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!

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Video Game Tuesday: To Platinum or Not

Hey all, I’m back with another answer to a question I receive a lot for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! It’s whether To Platinum or Not!

To Platinum?: I mean to complete a game 100% or to unlock all the achievements (Trophies for those PlayStation gamers) in a game. This often involves beating the game on the hardest difficulty and/or doing so in a certain way. Whether that is a time limit or a character level limit, or even just a side quest completion rate it doesn’t really matter. The actual question I get asked however often goes like this, “As a Game Reviewer do you complete a game 100% before writing the review?”.

So do you?: As a general rule of thumb, the answer is a big fat NO. I do not achieve a Platinum Trophy in a game before reviewing it, because for most games that would take way too much time to accomplish. I’ll often do the story and if it’s an RPG any sidequests, before giving a review. There have been exceptions like the one time I reviewed Coffin Dodgers, which is my all time record of lowest score ever for a game I reviewed. Now if a game was to be so short and simple to beat that I was easily able to earn a Platinum trophy in a matter of hours instead of days I might end up going for the Platinum. That is if I find the game worth investing that time into. I have a busy schedule, and while I do what I love which is to review stories in all sorts of various formats, doing that takes up a bunch of time for me. So spending hours upon hours to Platinum a game that I find boring or even just mediocre I won’t bother going for a Platinum.

But have you ever fully completed a game you reviewed?: Yes I have, Final Fantasy XV and InFAMOUS Second Son are both games I’ve completed 100%. Earning the Platinum on Second Son was pretty interesting as you ended up hearing Delsin give you a message upon achieving the final Trophy. That was a fun way to reward the player alongside the Platinum Trophy. I’d love it if more games followed that example.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! Do you go for a 100% completion in games you own? Share your thoughts and stories in the comments below!

Video Game Tuesday: Why Ultimate Coil Should Be The Gold Standard

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about the success of Final Fantasy XIV’s latest hardcore encounter. It’s Why Ultimate Coil Should Be The Gold Standard!

Ultimate Coil?: The Unending Coil of Bahamut (Ultimate) is the latest hardcore fight in Final Fantasy XIV. To even enter Ultimate Coil it requires the player to clear the Savage version of Omega Deltascape V4 (The Exdeath Fight). Plenty of players have yet to even clear that fight, and as of the time writing this post (9 days after the release of the encounter) there still hasn’t been a clear of Ultimate Coil. That being said there are no new mechanics to the encounter which features Twintania the boss of Turn 5, Nael the boss of Turn 9 and Bahamut the boss of Turn 13. It’s merely just incredibly unforgiving and hard. If you make a single mistake it almost assuredly will lead to a wipe. This is the type of content that should be present in every MMO out there, the type that is so hard to complete it takes people weeks or months to complete.

The actual fight is said to last for about 20 minutes in total, not terribly long compared to past Square Enix bosses like the 18 hour boss fight of XI’s Pandemonium Warden. People have yet to complete this fight and I find that fact incredibly amazing. There are no bullshit glitches (Crota I’m looking at you, you teleporting bastard), no unknown mechanics, just pure difficulty. The first group to clear this encounter will probably go down in gaming history as some of the best gamers in gaming history. They’ll be up there with the likes of Mionee, a World of Warcraft player who has been soloing the hardest encounters in the game by herself for years.

So Gold Standard?: Yea, if other developers can adopt this sort of fight to their own games it would mean a lot for the hardcore players. Imagine doing a boss fight in Destiny where you not only took on Oryx, but had to deal with Atheon and Crota with all their mechanics at the same time. It’d be insane, heartpounding and a ridiculous bragging point if you and your friends could actually complete such an encounter. Ultimate Coil has a gear reward that matches the same you’d get from V4 Savage, with just an extra materia slot, so for the most part it’s only there for bragging rights, but that isn’t a small thing.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! Do you want to have the hardcore boss fights in your games be like Ultimate Coil, where you just have to be nearly perfect in execution to succeed? Leave your answers in the comments below!

Edited on 11/4: The Unending Coil of Bahamut (Ultimate) was beaten 12 days and 2 hours after release on 11/4/2017.

Video Game Tuesday: What other MMOs can learn from FFXIV

This week for Video Game Tuesday is I’m covering a topic that sets apart my favorite MMO from all others. It’s all about What other MMOs can learn from FFXIV!

What is the biggest difference?: Well it’s really simple, Final Fantasy XIV (FFXIV) makes you feel like the hero of the story, and not just some passenger to an NPC’s story. No in Final Fantasy almost every NPC knows about you. You’ve killed gods, brought end to wars and taken down dragons. The NPCs you work with always acknowledge that you are the key figure in these fights, that without you none of it could have been possible.

Really?: World of Warcraft has had issues for years where no matter how powerful your character became, you were always not the main participant of the story. You as the player were never the hero in the story. Sure you might have taken down Nefarian, stopped C’Thun in Ahn’Qhiraj, killed Illidan and beaten Kiljaedan through the Sunwell. You might have brought down the Lich King and killed a dragon gone mad with power that tore apart the world, but you never really were the main character.

This problem is highlighted most with the Lich King encounter at the end of Wrath of the Lich King. You bring down Arthas all the way to 10% and boom you and your entire raid die. But Tirion Fordring, breaks from the ice that kept him out of the entire fight, breaks Frostmourne and deals the fatal blow to Arthas.  You the player on the other hand are shoved to the side until you get resurrected and hurry him along to death. There’s no thanks other than maybe a statue of the races of your faction in Dalaran if you killed him first on your server and some shiny weapons. That’s it, you get no real recognition. You may get a few NPCs thanking you, but in general you aren’t proclaimed the hero and lauded throughout the world. You were just there, helping Tirion while he slept in a block of ice until he decided to get out of it and finish the fight you were dealing with.

Final Fantasy XIV doesn’t have that problem and lots of MMOs, including not MMOs like Destiny, could do with learning from how Final Fantasy treats the player. You are treated as a hero, and even other players aren’t treated like you are by NPCs. It makes you feel special and gives further immersion into the world of Hydaelyn.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. What are your thought son the subject? Do you feel like the main character in MMOs, or just a minor actor compared to some NPC hero. Leave your comments below.

Delay in Plans

This week instead of the usual Anime Sunday I’m going to make a quick post updating on why I haven’t gotten back to doing a post a day. It’s about my Delay in Plans!

What delay?: Well I really wanted to get back to full steam way back in the middle of May, but circumstances have lead me to be unable to do that. Mostly that’s because I’ve been spending half my time at my parent’s taking care of the family dog who is getting on in years, she’s 13 years old and while she’s still active and mobile she’s started to lose her hearing. This has lead her to being very unhappy when left alone for too long. So any day that my parents are gone for more than 6 hours I end up spending time there. Most of the time before this year I’d have just gone over in the day and walked her and hung out for an hour or two because my folks would be back later that afternoon. Unfortunately that hasn’t been the case these past few months and I’ve been spending entire days at my parents. In addition with all the stress of trying to get my data off my old computer, something I’m still struggling with even as I write this, I’ve been thrown off my pace of being able to churn out daily posts.

So what now?: Well for the time being I’ll still be attempting to give out a weekly review, of either a book or game, and I’ll be keeping to every other day posts. I’m hoping to get back to full steam by August, but at this point I’m reluctant to make any solid promises given how stressed out I’ve been.

That’s it for this little update, Anime Sunday will return in two weeks with a look at the Summer 2017 Anime Season!

Video Game Tuesday: Most Anticipated Summer 2017 Games

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m going to cover what I’m looking forward to for video games this summer. It’s my Most Anticipated Summer 2017 Games!

Stormblood: I’ve been a fan of Final Fantasy XIV for the past couple years, and Stormblood is looking to be just as good of an expansion to the game as Heavensward was for A Realm Reborn. Adding 10 more levels, two additional jobs, Samurai and Red Mage, and what’s shaping up to be an amazing storyline from the past few patches. There’s also a lot more content, including swimming, we’ll see how that goes but hopefully not as bad as Vashj’ir in WoW. Stormblood releases on June 20th, with early access to the entire expansion on June 16th for those who preorder.

Shadow of War: The sequel to the hit game Shadow of Mordor by Monolith, this looks to be just as amazing as the first game. Plus it gives me hope that we can get awesome video games from books. I’ve posted this sentiment before, but my dream Mistborn game would be done by Monolith.

That’s what I’m particularly looking forward to, what are you all looking forward to this summer? Post your most anticipated games in the comments below.

 

 

Video Game Tuesday: What Makes Good Seasonal Events

the_rising_2015

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic many MMO players will recognize! It’s all about What Makes Good Seasonal Events!

Seasonal Events?: I mean stuff like Brewfest in World of Warcraft, or The Rising in Final Fantasy XIV. These events come up every year and celebrate either a real holiday or a game related one, Brewfest is WoW’s version of Oktoberfest, and The Rising is FFXIV: A Realm Reborn’s launch anniversary holiday.

Okay so what’s an example of a good Seasonal Event?: Last year’s The Rising was an amazing event that brought the players and developers closer together than any other in game event I’ve ever participated in. To give some context, I did the “What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been” Achievement in WoW, twice (Switched mains right after Wrath launched.)  But more importantly it needs to allow spontaneous engagement and disengagement depending on the player. Having to wait to participate in the event sucks, and should be an open world thing. Not something locked behind a Matchmaking tool.

What’s an example of a bad Seasonal Event?: Sparrow Racing League from Destiny is a great example, to get anything useful out of the event, other than having fun, it took tons of races to unlock even decently relevant items and the dreaded RNG still might screw you over (I know it did for me!). Not only that, but SRL hasn’t returned since it’s one and only launch, despite constant requests by the community to reactivate it. Oh and it didn’t fulfill the above requirements, at all.

Here’s a list of my favorite in-game events: 1. The Rising, for reasons I linked above. 2. The Wrath of the Lich King Pre-launch event, aka The Zombie Plague (Yes it was a one time thing, but damn if it wasn’t some of the best fun I had in that game outside of ICC25H.) 3. Children’s Week, Because I loved to hear people complain about bringing the orphans into PvP for the achievement (Pro-tip: Do it on the very first day of the event, although I think they made it a Feat of Strength and it doesn’t count towards What a Long Strange Trip anymore.)

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! Are there any fun Seasonal Events you love? Leave a comment below!