Retro Game Friday: TimeSplitters

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with a game that is quite unremembered. It’s TimeSplitters!

Plot: The game really didn’t have any plot, other than “Stop the TimeSplitters!”. Granted that when you get down to pretty much any story it boils down to something along those lines, but still the fact that that was pretty much the entirety of the plot wasn’t great.

Gameplay: Thankfully this was a really fun game, which considering it was made by people from Rare, who made GoldenEye and Perfect Dark, that shouldn’t be a surprise. Multiplayer was the big draw of the game, and since this was made in the heyday of local multiplayer you had to be careful of the other players screen watching you, and trying to do the same to them without them knowing.

Art: The art has aged poorly, but in the day it was pretty impressive, and considering it was a PlayStation 2 launch title you can bet it’s graphics were really hyped up.

Music: I don’t remember it, as I was dealing with trash talking to my friends and them doing the same to me.

Overall: A great game if you played with others for multiplayer, but otherwise a lackluster single player game.

For those who like: Multiplayer, FPS.

Not for those who don’t like: Either of the above.

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Retro Game Friday: Crysis

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a game that was the benchmark for graphics in gaming for a while. It’s Crysis!

Plot Synopsis: The game begins on August 7, 2020 when North Korean forces led by General Ri-Chan Kyong take control of the Lingshan Islands. A team of American civilian archaeologists, led by Dr. Rosenthal, send out a distress call indicating that they have discovered something that could change the world. A week later, Raptor Team is dispatched to the islands, with the core mission of evacuating them and securing any valuable information that they have. The team consists of Nomad, Psycho, Aztec, Jester and team leader Prophet (all under code names); they are outfitted with Nanosuits, which help protect them from gunfire and explosions, as well as giving them superhuman strength and abilities. As they perform a high-altitude jump onto one of the islands, an unknown flying entity disrupts the jump by smashing into Nomad, and the team is separated.

Plot: The plot is okay, but it’s not super amazing either. That being said it wasn’t terrible either. It just was, and while Mediocre isn’t quite the right word I want to use, it’s the best I can come up with at the moment with a splitting headache.

Gameplay: This plays like a lot like other FPS, the big “gimmick” for Crysis though was the ability to switch between various power armor modes. There was Speed, Armor, Strength and Cloak. Frankly I preferred Speed as I enjoyed getting reloading faster, but that might just be my personal preference for speed archetypes in almost every game.

Graphics: This game’s max settings were incredibly expensive to be usable at the time of release because of how much strain they caused. You might remember hearing the question “Can it run Crysis?” as a way of determining how much of a powerhouse your PC was. So yes, the game looked pretty damn amazing. That being said it still aged not particularly well, but a hell of a lot better than Halo CE did, although that is a game from the previous generation of gaming.

Music: Honestly don’t remember it, and frankly I might not have ever listened to it as I was using a roommates computer to play it during college.

Overall: A good game, but mostly famous for being a graphical nightmare for PCs if you didn’t have a powerful enough computer.

For those who like: FPS Games, Sci-Fi, Military Fiction, Drama, Action, Awesome Artwork (especially in the day).

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above.

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!

Video Game Tuesday: Destiny 2

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m going to cover the topic you all knew I would eventually. It’s all about Destiny 2!

Destiny 2: It was announced on March 30th that Destiny 2 was a real thing and would be released this year, but there were some big “surprises” announced. It would release on the PC and everything, or close to everything, wouldn’t transfer from the first game and it’s “expansions”.

PC?!?: Yea color me not that surprised, it was rumored for months prior to the announcement that it would release on PC, so I’m really not that surprised. It was a surprise it didn’t release on the PC in the first place to be honest. And just to clarify I probably won’t be playing it on PC as my main platform if I should happen to receive codes for both PC and PS4.

Wait our stuff?: Yea all that time you spent on gearing up your characters, getting cool things like Exotics, fancy looking ships, awesome Shaders, and cool Emblems was wasted. The only confirmed thing that will transfer over is the appearance of your characters, but that’s hardly a thing to be excited about. It’s not like we were ever all that attached to our characters since Destiny never had much of a story. I’d hope at least cosmetic stuff like Shaders, Emblems, Ghost Shells, Sparrows and Shaders would transfer over, but that isn’t confirmed and probably won’t happen.

My Hopes?: I hope the game transfers over the cosmetic stuff, has a story that isn’t a piece of crap, and has a loot system that doesn’t exploit players. My expectations that any of those will be met is very low, and all of them being met? Practically non-existent. I hope Bungie can redeem themselves, but I highly doubt that is possible at this point.

Video Game Tuesday: The Magic FPS

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic that gets way too overblown these days. It’s all about The Magic FPS.

FPS? First Person Shooter?: No, I mean Frames Per Second, although I hear the most complaints come from shooter fans about frame rates. Frankly I don’t see why people get so upset about not getting a steady 60fps for every game. There are various reasons why it’s not the standard frame rate for games.

Which Reasons?: Well for one reason 24fps is what we watch movies in. If you watch it with any faster frame rate it will look off, and often breaks suspension of disbelief much easier. But 24fps isn’t the baseline that most games use these days. That would be 30fps. It still is very close to the cinematic standard of 24fps, but it’s a solid round number that is easy to work with and doesn’t strain the eyes of players. Most games these days run in 30fps.

So why 60fps?: Because it looks really smooth, which I’ll admit is sometimes very nice. But I’m going to point out that it looks just wrong for most cutscenes and since I play Video Games because I want stories, that is a huge disadvantage to me. It also isn’t very easy to get with ever improving 3D artwork for most developers. It can be done, but most systems won’t be able to run it easily. So really, please stop complaining about not reaching that “magic number” of frames, because 60 isn’t all that amazing. It has more disadvantages than advantages.

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

Video Game Tuesday: Destiny Daily Log Day 6

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This week for Video Game Tuesday, I continue in my journey to gear up my Hunter in Destiny for the 6th day of my Destiny log.

Goal for the week: Gear up my Hunter and get a better hand cannon to use.

Dust Palace: The Dust Palace strike is a PlayStation exclusive strike mission for a year, and it’s pretty good. It’s not as frustratingly hard as the Summoning Pits Strike on the Moon, but is still difficult enough to prove tough for those who are just goofing around. I actually really enjoy this Strike as it’s pretty quick, and while the last “Boss” Fight is difficult it’s pretty easy to handle once you learn to watch both sides of the area you fight in for adds. The bosses themselves tend to stay away from you and take potshots at you and your fireteam, which leaves you plenty of room to take care of the adds that can decimate you if you don’t clear them out quickly. I finally beat it today and got myself a nice rare quality hand cannon. It might have helped that my fireteam and myself were slightly over the suggested level of 20 for the Strike Wolf playlist.

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Patrol: I continued in my exploration of Old Russia and went to all those places that were blocked by high level enemies in the Beta and Alpha. Turns out they still are blocked, though you can find a couple of shortcuts to other areas of the map through some of them and some random chests and a couple dead ghosts in the others.  One place in particular is very useful if you need to complete the kill 10 Hive Major or Ultra bounty, 3 Major enemies spawn in a tunnel just to the left of where you spawn when you first enter Old Russia during Exploration mode. You’ll see a small building with some stairs, go down them and enter a hallway until your ghost turns on your flashlight and than look for the enemies that should appear on your radar. You’ll find two Acolytes and a Knight that are level 18 and they all are majors.

Overall: I’ve been building up my Grimoire score and finding out more about the lore of Destiny, and while there are crazy rumors going around about what the plot is actually about, it’s all very interesting. I really love how you have to search for the plot instead of having it handed to you through cutscenes or whatnot.

Video Game Tuesday: Destiny Daily Log Day 5

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This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m continuing my log of my first week in Destiny with Destiny Daily Log Day 5.

Goal of the Day: Try to get the Weekly Heroic Strike done.

Weekly Heroic Strike: You want to be at least level 22, increased level of two Light Levels at the experience cap. This ensures you do the normal amount of damage against enemies and they do the normal amount of damage against you instead of 30% decrease and increase respectively. I found this out the hard way when me and Mike Sacco (of WoW Insider fame) attempted to do this with another friend of his. We got our butts kicked by the first wave of enemies in The Devil’s Lair in the wave portion of the Strike.

Strike Playlist: Luckily we decided to tackle the level 20 Strike playlist instead and I got to take part against the Cabal on Mars in the area I was trying to find on Day 3. I quickly got the last golden chest for Mars, which sadly only gave me a level 16 Heavy Machine Gun. I’ve put it in my vault for a later character, probably my Warlock.

Gear: I’ve decided to use Hand Cannons as they give me the precision and damage that I want while requiring me to pull the trigger less due to their high Impact values. It really helps and hopefully I won’t wear out my DualShock 4 as quickly. I continued to improve my gear until I got to Light Level 22, and I think I’ve got a good stat priority for Bladedancer Hunters.

Light>Intellect>Discipline>Strength. Light is an obvious one, the more you have the better damage you do, it’s a straight up DPS (Damage Per Second) increase. Intellect allows you to use your Arc Blade more often which is great for when you need some burst damage and Discipline allows you to use your grenade more. I unlocked the last grenade for the Bladedancer sub-class and I really like it. It does a quick 360 degree scan in a medium sized area around where it lands and anything it scans gets hit by Arc Damage lightning for a high amount of damage. It’s perfect for clearing out clumps of enemies when your Arc Blade is down and you can’t use it along with the Showstopper perk to decimate them. Strength is last because of Blink Strike’s situational use, if you can get behind enemies prior to using it, it can cause a great amount of damage with the Backstabber perk. But with no sure fire way of gaining a bosses attention by any class it’s hard to get that damage boost. I’m personally waiting to unlock the perk that lowers Blink Strike’s cooldown and will probably use that. [Update: With that perk, Strength becomes almost useless for PvE as it lowers the cooldown to 5 seconds with no strength at all, having 70% strength only lowers it to 3 seconds.]

Overall: Pleased with what I accomplished in a couple of hours of playtime.  Not as much time as I’d have liked in playing, and I didn’t get the chance to take any good screenshots for today’s post.