Video Game Tuesday: A Lament for Birthright

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m talking about a game I wish had seen the light of day. It’s A Lament for Birthright!

Birthright? If the above image wasn’t enough of a clue, I’m talking about Mistborn: Birthright, a game that was in development for years, and was ultimately cancelled.

Haven’t you talked about this before?: Yes I have, and I still hold that it could easily be an amazing game but recently I played Arkham Knight for the first time thanks to PlayStation Plus offering it for free. It got me thinking about Birthright again and what might have been.

Why wasn’t it released?: According to statements released by the developer Little Orbit and Brandon Sanderson it was due to multiple things, but mainly it was due to funding. Frankly I think that the Little Orbit just bit off more than they could chew with trying to handle such an ambitious game properly. I’m thankful that they didn’t release a subpar game which is what it was possibly going to be given how long it was in development with only a single concept art, pictured above, being released.

So what could it be like?: Frankly I’d love to see it be a game that mixed Arkham Knight and the Spiderman PS4’s movement and gadget system with Shadows of Mordor’s Nemesis and combat system. The story has already been written by Brandon Sanderson, so they just need to make the game around that story. Arkham Knight was quite fun and I loved how the stealth system so seamlessly used verticality. Most other stealth games like Assassin’s Creed and it’s like just don’t handle verticality as well as Arkham Knight did it with the Bathook being usable at pretty much anytime to quickly traverse up and down. That is my dream game I could see being a huge hit, but frankly I doubt that we’ll get that lucky to ever see such a game. The Mistborn series has an amazing magic system that is just screaming to be used in games, what with Steelpushing and Ironpulling being able to be used for both movement and defense and attack. And that’s just two of the sixteen powers that can be used to make gameplay very interesting.

That’s it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. What do you wish Birthright could have been like? Leave your thoughts on it in the comments below!

Retro Game Friday: Mario Superstar Baseball

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m back with another Mario game. It’s Mario Superstar Baseball!

Gameplay: The gameplay is pretty good, although the fact that they implemented a Mercy rule in gameplay was pretty hilarious to me at the time. It still is, but the main appeal of the game was to recruit players on the opposing team by performing certain acts to earn flags towards recruiting the player. You’d try to do that without recruiting the team’s captain at the same time, which could lead to you intentionally performing poorly, although never to the point of throwing a game since you had to win to recruit someone. If you recruited the captain you’d have to face off against the people you didn’t recruit on a team led by Bowser Jr. which was a pain in the butt from what I remember.

Art: The art was good at the time, but it’s aged poorly since it’s release. That isn’t surprising at all, but required mentioning nonetheless.

Music: Classic Mario music, nothing more need be said really.

Overall: A fun game, but skippable if you weren’t really wanting to play a baseball game that had a Mario spin.

For those who like: Sports Games, Baseball, Mario Games, Good Gameplay.

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

Video Game Tuesday: Thoughts on the Epic Games Store

Hey all I’m back with a topic that you’ll either not give a crap about, or hate me for talking about it for this week’s Video Game Tuesday. It’s my Thoughts on the Epic Games Store!

Epic Games Store?: So for those unaware Epic Games, the publisher behind games such as Unreal and Fortnite, launched a Digital store to compete with Steam this past Decemeber. It was to drastically cut down on the profit gained from Epic Games for games they did not publish sold on the store compared to Steam. Steam has a 30% cut of the profits earned from each game sale, where as the Epic Games Store would only take 12% of that, and it would forgo the 5% profit if it was made using the Unreal Engine which is one of the most popular game engines available today.

So what’s the problem?: Well there were a few games that were announced incredibly late, just weeks before release, that would become Epic Games Store exclusives, games that had already had Pre-Orders on Steam for months at that point. So the Internet went up in arms and people started Review Bombing games on Steam. Frankly for those cases I can understand the upset about it. The fact that they’d either be forced to download a seperate program to play the game, or risk losing out on the game they spent money on already. However later whenever a game was announced to be an Epic Games Store exclusive, or even just a Timed-Exclusive, there would be significant backlash against it. Frankly I don’t sympathize with those upset at Developers and Publishers wanting to make more money by using the Epic Games Store. Even a single percent, let alone up to 18%, in profits could mean potentially millions of dollars in revenue that could be used by the makers of games to make more games, or make them better. So I get why I they would do that. More money is always appreciated and frankly I get that desire. Maybe Steam needs to change their policies if they wish to be competitive, but either way this isn’t a situation that is going to go away so long as that profit margin is different.

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

Retro Game Friday: Cooking Mama

This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a game that I really didn’t care for all that much. It’s Cooking Mama!

Gameplay: The gameplay is a series of Mini Games, and features heavily the usage of the touchscreen on the Nintendo DS. Honestly this was one of those games that were meant to utilize the gimmick of a system more than anything else, and while it sold pretty well, I still can never really be a fan of this game.

Art: The art is okay, it’s not amazing, but given it’s 2D nature it’s aged much better than most games of it’s time. Still it looks old and weary now a days.

Music: This was a portable game, which meant that I didn’t get to listen to the music of it. So I can’t remember anything of it. Sorry.

Overall: This is a game that is easily skippable. The only noteworthy thing I remember about this game was PETA protesting it by making a Flash game parodying it.

For those who like: Touchscreen Gimmicks, Mini Games.

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

 

Video Game Tuesday: Shadowkeep’s Seasonal Content Is Not OK

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m once more upset with Bungie. It’s why Shadowkeep’s Seasonal Content Is Not OK!

Seasonal Content?: So let’s get this out of the way first. I haven’t played Shadowkeep, I didn’t receive a review copy and I have no desire to get back into a game that I love to hate on, unless I get asked to do so. That being said the plan outlined about a month and a half ago by Luke Smith regarding future content with Destiny 2 is completely unacceptable in my eyes. It involves limited time content that will take tens, if not hundreds, of hours of player’s time and throw it all away forever. They gave an example using the Black Armory content, where it’d ramp up over the course of a single season (about 3 months real time) and by the end of it all the main activities introduced in that season would be gone forever, including all the loot and activities. That’s not okay in a game like Destiny. Fortnite and games like it get away with it because it’s a purely PvP game at it’s core. Sure you can ignore the competition parts and go complete certain Battle Pass objectives in a match, but that really isn’t what the game is about.

Destiny on the other hand is all about the power fantasy and getting cool guns. If they remove the ability to get certain guns forever that’s not okay. People who join late, or even people who have unfortunate circumstances in their actual lives that prevent them from playing during that season like say a hurricane flooding your home, are completely and utterly screwed over. It’s a weaponized form of FOMO, or the Fear Of Missing Out, and that’s a completely predatory and unacceptable practice on Bungie’s part. It proves, at least to me, once and for all that Bungie doesn’t really care about their player base and it’s one of the biggest reasons I’ll not be going back to Destiny 2 unless I’m asked to do so with a review copy. If I had lost the ability to gain Vex Mythoclast in Destiny 1 when The Dark Below launched I would’ve been incredibly upset and I know I’m not the only one who would feel that way.

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

Retro Game Friday: Cruis’n USA

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This week for Retro Game Friday I’m covering a rather old classic game. It’s Cruis’n USA!

Gameplay: This is a fairly typical racing game, the only real attraction of the game was the ability to play in various locales around the US. The gameplay itself is pretty boring and not all that great. Sure you could play with others, but it was still not that great a game even with a friend playing by your side in the arcade. Don’t even get me started on the N64 version….

Art: The art has aged incredibly poorly. That is completely expected however though given that it was during the start of the 3D Era of games in the early 90’s.

Music: The music was okay, not that you could really hear it in an Arcade.

Overall: Skip this game, it’s completely boring compared to any good racing game, and doesn’t even come close to something like Mario Kart.

For those who like: Arcade Games, Racing.

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

Video Game Tuesday: Shadowbringers’ Lack of Healer

This week for Video Game Tuesday I’m back with a topic I promised I’d cover in my review of Final Fantasy XIV’s latest expansion. It’s all about Shadowbringers’ Lack of Healer!

Lack of Healer?: Yes, Shadowbringers is the second expansion in a row that Final Fantasy XIV has not had a new healer job added to the game. Many people are upset that Dancer wasn’t a healer and were very quick to blame the development team for this. It’s certainly their fault, but not at all for the reasons most people assume.

So why is it their fault?: Well first off there are two archetypes of healer that work in Final Fantasy XIV’s combat system. Adding any more to that would either dilute the given identity of the already available Jobs. This is completely on the developers for getting themselves stuck with those two archetypes as the only viable options. But to be fair the last avaliable archetype isn’t really possible in any MMO if you hope to have balance.

Archetypes?: The two healer archetypes present in Final Fantasy are the Heal over Time and Shield to Prevent Damage types. These are best showcased with White Mage being the Heal over Time type and Scholar being the Shielding type. Astrologian, is both of the two with the addition of RNG cards in the mix. However Astrologian cannot switch between the two types in combat, and lacks the fairy of the Scholar to add consistent healing. In Shadowbringers Astrologian’s utility was changed quite a bit, with every card being a damage increase to two roles, like Tank and Melee Damage Dealer. However if you were when it comes down to the basic archetype it’s nothing either of the other two jobs don’t already do. No other archetype works with the combat system of XIV, everyone already does damage, so the last archetype that hasn’t been used, the damage to perform healing archetype, is completely impossible to pull off with any reasonable balance.

So what?: Well if they were to add any other shield or heal over time jobs they’d be hard pressed to come up with an option that feels different to the current three and is still able to be balanced with every other job currently in the game. It’s just not possible unless they completely redo the combat system, and while that would be something they could theoretically do, they just can’t do it reasonably with the funding they are receiving at the moment. The higher ups at Square Enix won’t really want to fund the massive undertaking that would be needed to completely revamp the combat system, and all that entails, which includes remaking every single fight in the game.

So no more healers?: I’d say most likely not, they might add one more in the future, but honestly with Astrologian already having identity issues it’s just not an option at the moment and I don’t see how they’d pull off adding another.

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