Video Game Tuesday: For Chris Metzen


This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m honoring a legend. It’s For Chris Metzen!

Chris Metzen?: Chris Metzen was Blizzard Entertainment’s Senior Vice President of Story and Franchise Development. In other words he had the final say on what the story of pretty much every Blizzard Game. He worked on pretty much every game they made in at least one form or another starting with Justice League Task Force and the original Warcraft up to the most recent launch of World of Warcraft: Legion. He also was a concept artist and voice actor for many of Blizzard’s video games. He voiced Thrall for example in every Warcraft game that Thrall appears in.

Wow, so what is happening?: He’s retiring, to spend more time with his family. It’s really hard for artists to let go of their pet projects, and Warcraft was definitely Metzen’s baby. So I respect him for having the courage and resolve to retire and spend time with his family instead of staying on to watch over his work.

He’s not staying in Game Development?: Nope, he really just wants to spend time with his family, and won’t be joining any other game studios. Again I really respect him for this choice, but given his success I have no doubt he’s pretty much set for life by now.

So what’s up with the picture above, it looks like a statue?: It is Blizzard’s farewell present to Chris for everything he’s done for the studio, which is a huge amount. It will be erected soon™.

So Chris I hope you have a fun time being a fan instead of a developer in the future! The industry will have lost one of it’s greatest, but your legacy will live on for many, many years.

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

Video Game Tuesday: Free to Play


This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering a topic that can really bug me sometimes. It’s Free to Play games!

What is Free to Play?: Free-to-play (F2P) refers to video games which give players access to a significant portion of their content without paying.

What’s so bad about something being free?: I’ve got no problem with a game being free, in fact I laud a company that can make a good game that is free to play. Hearthstone is a great example of a properly done F2P game. However so many other games out there take advantage of the consumer, you, by having incredibly intrusive advertising and constant prompts to buy the game or features that will let you beat it easier. I don’t like having advertising forced on me, in fact I hate it with a passion, and paying to beat a game that is supposed to be free is incredibly unethical. Some games out there are impossible to beat without cheating, it’s not very common, but I find them to be the lowest type of scam and despise anyone who makes such a game. A game is meant to be played for fun, not to frustrate you so much that you end up buying something to beat it because it’s impossible to accomplish for 99.99% of the human population.

Candy Crush is a perfect example of a game that I hate, I can understand if you locked some game modes behind a paywall. Go for it, that’s a reasonable thing to sell. But selling something to allow you to continue playing the already free game modes is incredibly messed up. It scams more ignorant consumers and is to me an incredibly shady sort of business.

Any good suggestions on well made F2P games?: MOBAs are a good example with League of Legends being an incredibly well made F2P game. Hearthstone like I mentioned above is another one. There are F2P games out there that aren’t scams, but you need to be careful and choose wisely.

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

Video Game Tuesday: My Top 5 Games of 2014



This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m covering my Top 5 Video Games of 2014!

#5: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft  This game was my favorite Mobile game of 2014, and it’s easy to see why. This game was lots of fun on my iPad and I really enjoy the thinking it makes you do if you are even half decent at the game.

Honorable Mention: Watch_Dogs was a great game, if you loved decent gameplay. It wasn’t anything new or amazing and the driving in that game sucked balls, but it was lots of fun to hack stuff around Chicago and cause havoc. Is it better than GTAV? Probably not even close to beating that game, but as I’ve never played GTAV I can’t say for sure. If someone wants to send me a copy of GTAV for my PS4 I’ll rectify that situation.

#4: Heroes of the Storm was a game I never expected to enjoy, in the few weeks I got to play it before my computer died on me it was a blast. Did I find it as enthralling as WoW? No, but it sure as hell beat playing League of Legends where every other game I get cursed out for making a mistake in ward placement. This is still in Technical Alpha as far as I know, and I expect it will only get better as it gets closer to release.

#3: InFamous: Second Son was easily the prettiest game I had played on my PS4 prior to Destiny, and that’s not a bad thing. The only thing keeping this from being higher in the list was the length and difficulty of the game. I put maybe 50 hours into it and was able to get my first ever Platinum trophy for a PlayStation game.

#2: Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag was released last year, but I played it this year, and with Unity being an ugly mess of Bugs and Framerate issues I put Black Flag on this list. It was amazingly fun to perform assassinations from the top of a ship you just boarded. Not only that, but it was easily the most fun I’d had playing an Assassin’s Creed game since Assassin’s Creed 2.

#1: Destiny is probably no surprise to those who have been reading my blog since June. I’ve loved the game since the Alpha and I’ve had tons of fun playing all the different aspects of the game. There is issues with the story telling in this game, a quarter of which would solved by just including the Grimoire Cards in the game itself.

That’s it for this year in Video Game Tuesday! I’ll see you all in the New Year, or as the Japanese would say it Akemashite Omedetou!

Video Game Tuesday: Hearthstone [iPad review]


This week I’m covering Hearthstone, the addictive game from Blizzard. I’m going to talk about the iPad functionality and only dabble in the gameplay briefly.

Plot Synopsis: There really isn’t a plot to this game, as it’s a digital CCG, or Collectible Card Game.

Plot: I swear we’ve had this conversation about looking for plot where there is none before….

Gameplay: Hearthstone does what it does very well, and while there are always going to be annoying as hell decks to compete against, damn you control decks, the game will keep evolving and there are always counters. The difference between a normal game and a game like Hearthstone is that you might not have the cards to perform counters in Hearthstone, where as in a game like Halo 4 a player camping with a sniper can be brought down by a patient person with Active Camouflage easily.

Functionality: I really like playing Hearthstone on my iPad as it’s functionality is as good if not better than it is on my desktop Computer, well right now my computer is dead and I’m writing this on my brother’s computer. You can perform emotes as easily as you can on a desktop. The only thing you really have to get used to is making sure you don’t hit yourself with a Pyroblast and kill yourself instead of your opponent by accident by removing your finger too early from the targeting reticle; Yes I actually did that on my first game on the iPad and was furious at myself.

Music: Like all my portable games I don’t listen to the music of the game itself, and listen either to my own music or I listen to an Audiobook. Don’t ask me why I can listen to a book and play Hearthstone, I really don’t know.

Art: The art is as good as your iPad is, so if you have a Retina display iPad it looks great; if you are using an iPad 2 which is the oldest one you can use I think, it looks okay.

Overall: If you enjoy playing Hearthstone and have an iPad capable of playing the game you should try playing it on the iPad.

For those who like: CCGs, Warcraft, iPad games, Blizzard Games.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, or playing against others who may have bought card packs. I bought 2 card packs in the beta, and none since, and I win ~70% of the time.

P.S. Destiny launches today! Finally!

Video Game Tuesday: Hearthstone



This week on Video Game Tuesday I’m reviewing Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft! I got into the beta for the game back in December and was happy to try it out for a bit, but was disappointed a bit at the lack of balance at the time between the different decks. So when it launched on the iPad a couple weeks ago I was very happy to give it another try and was very pleased at how it turned out.

Plot Synopsis: Wait you were expecting a plot for a card game?

Gameplay: It’s a card game in the fashion of Magic the Gathering, or Yu-Gi-Oh if you were burdened with a little brother in the early 2000’s like I was. You choose to build a deck of 30 cards and depending on what Hero you choose, Jaina Proudmoore is the Mage for example, you can add different spells and minions as well as hero-neutral minions into your deck. I prefer playing with a Hunter Deck, Rexxar is the hero, and building up my less powerful minions by sacrificing more of my own minions to become stronger. The gameplay is very balanced now and while it will probably become quite different come Fall, with the new Adventure mode being released sometime this summer, so far I’m really happy with how my deck turned out. I win 60% of the time with that deck, which isn’t bad in a game where RNG, Random Number Generators, rule supreme. I’ve reached Rank 20, because I don’t really enjoy competitions all that much and I only wanted the card back for reaching that rank which is pretty easy to get.  One thing that must be stressed about this game is that you can buy cards with real money, however if you are a cheap person like me you can get a pack with 100 gold, which can be earned by winning 30 games or completing a couple of daily quests. You don’t need to buy cards to win games, as I’ve nearly leveled all the card decks to level 10, the point in which every basic spell and minion specific to each deck is unlocked. I have bought 2 packs with money (it cost $3), however I did that as part of the beta test.

Art: The art in this game is pretty amazing, although there are certain things that bug me, like the Gryphon on the Human board being the low poly model that’s been around since World of Warcraft launched and not the much more recent Grand Gryphon model of Mists of Pandaria.

Music: It’s okay, but since I play this on my iPad most of the time I don’t get to listen to it. I’m actually listening to an audiobook, if I’m just playing casual games; or music, if I’m playing ranked games.

Overall: If you want a great card game to play that is multiplayer and free play this game. It’s been released for iPads so far and will be coming to Android soonish.

For those who like: Collectible Card Games, Warcraft, Free games.

Not for those who don’t like: Any of the above, but really it’s free just give it a try.