This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m answering a question I’ve been asked recently. Loot Boxes Are Evil?
Loot Boxes?: A term used to describe a virtual item that could be likened to a booster pack for a trading card game. However since this is a virtual item and made purely of code you can’t really trade the items gained from a Loot Box to someone else for money or other goods. You won’t see people on Ebay selling Overwatch Loot Box contents like you would with rare trading cards from something like Magic: The Gathering.
Evil?: Well recently people have been in an uproar over the stunt EA pulled with the recently released Battlefront II monetization plan which was in lieu of paying for DLC. You had to either spend ridiculously long amounts of time to unlock heroes like Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader, or spend real cash to get a chance at earning them. Frankly I hate EA, I will never ever respect them as a publisher because of the practices they use like this Loot Box debacle, or yearly game releases of series like Madden. This last one is really unnecessary, just add the new atheletes that get drafted that year into the game with DLC for god’s sake.
So EA is at fault?: Pretty much, there is a bit of blame to be laid at the feet of the developers at DICE for going along with their plan for microtransactions, but at the end of the day they are working for EA to produce a game. EA has frequently been named America’s most hated company for a reason, beating out banks and telecom companies like Comcast or Time Warner. They tend to use sleazy means to get people to spend more money on their products.
So why all the uproar?: Well for one it was a Pay to Win situation, where if you spent the money to buy the heroes you had a serious advantage against other players, or at least that is how I understand the issue. I very well may be wrong on this, however as some really cool politician (and I can’t believe I’m putting those two words together in writing) from Hawaii said, EA is playing off kid’s desire to be heroes from Star Wars in a game and milking them and their parents to gamble away their money. It’s a sleazeball practice and frankly really needs to stop. Cosmetic items like Overwatches skins in their loot boxes are one thing, but getting gameplay changes like the ones in Battlefront II is unacceptable.
What about Gacha Games?: That is a topic for another day, which I’ll cover in the very near future. However there are some differences and those are pretty important. Will those differences hold out against the weight of public sentiment? I’m as clueless as the rest of you, personally I doubt they’ll get nearly as much recognition.
That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday! What are your thoughts on the topic? Leave a comment below!
This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering the sequel to Rogue Squadron. It’s Rogue Squadron II: Rogue Leader!
Plot: The plot is pretty decent, it follows the exploits of Rogue Squadron during the time of the original trilogy. So we have Luke and Wedge as our player characters.
Gameplay: This is one of my favorite games because of how simple it was to fly the various ships in this game. Lots of games try to make it hard to fly in them, and frankly I find that to be frustrating and shortsighted if it’s purely a single player game. My favorite ship to fly was the A-Wing, I always preferred speed over anything else, but it was quite fun to play all the various ships, including the Buick.
Music: Classic Star Wars, which is great.
Art: The only thing about this game that hasn’t withstood the test of time is the artwork, I’m sure there are mods out there to update the game to make it more palatable in today’s market, but back in the day this was really quite amazing. I remember seeing the E3 Reveal of this game and thinking that I could barely tell if it was a scene from the movie or game footage at first.
Overall: If you love Star Wars, or Combat Flight Sims, you need to play Rogue Squadron II!
This week I’m going over my favorite Battlefield-style video game of all time, Star Wars Battlefront II.
Plot Synopsis: The game is told as an autobiography, with an unknown clone recounting the battles of the 501st Legion.
Plot: It’s a Star Wars game, watch the movies and read some of the books to get the plot.
Gameplay: Here is where the game really shined, in the gameplay department. You could play as six different classes, with four being generally the same as the opposing sides forces, with the added benefit of two specialized classes depending on your current team. For the Rebellion faction, the Bothan Spy and the Wookie; for the Empire, The Officer and The Dark Trooper; for the Republic, the Commander and the Jet Trooper; and for the CIS, the Magnaguard and the Droideka. Battlefront II also features heroes – a special class that allows the player to control iconic characters from the Star Wars universe.You could unlock them by being the top scorer or capturing the most objectives on your team. They were generally overpowered as hell and would take coordinated efforts to take down or the other team’s hero.
In addition you could pilot all sorts of vehicles ranging from speeders to spaceships. The main difference, and the reason I enjoy the Battlefront Series so much is that you can easily pilot any vehicle and it’s never very complicated at all; compared to more modern FPS games like Battlefront 3 and 4 where it’s stupidly hard to pilot vehicles without a special controller for your PC and if you are on the consoles you’re just flat out of luck.
Music: It’s a Star Wars game, it sounds just like the movies.
Art: Pretty good, and I really enjoyed the art for it’s time, but it looks aged now.
Overall: If you want a good Battlefield-style game you can’t go wrong with this game.
For those who like: Star Wars, Battlefield-style games, FPS games, Dogfighting in space.
This week we are going over one of my favorite Star Wars games of all time, Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast.
Plot Synopsis: The game begins with Kyle Katarn and Jan Ors investigating a supposedly abandoned Imperial outpost on Kejim. However, when they arrive, they find the base crawling with Imperial forces. They fight their way through the base, discovering a research centre studying cortosis crystals, which are similar to those used to power lightsabers.
Plot: It’s a Star Wars game take that for what you will, but I enjoyed this game’s plot more than any other other Star Wars games.
Gameplay: The big focus on this game is the ability to use the Lightsaber, and for the first time in this series in 3rd Person view. Once you gain a lightsaber you are pretty much unstoppable to any standard enemy, as they are nothing more to you than fodder. I still enjoyed playing this because it actually had you able to sever people’s arms and hands off. It was pretty fun for it’s time. You could also engage in FPS elements, but like I said you once you got a lightsaber you rarely if ever pulled out anything else.
Art: For it’s time the art was pretty good, but nothing spectacular.
Music: It’s a Star Wars game, it sounds like Star Wars.
Overall: If you want a good time cutting up Stormtroopers look no further.
For those who like: Star Wars, Lightsaber Combat, FPS games.