Destiny Review

destiny-hp-fb-og-share-img Destiny is like an ex girlfriend you hate, but you keep coming back to because you have low self esteem. Fundamentally, there are some great moments, but enough flaws to remind you why you broke up in the first place. Yet, I keep finding myself playing Destiny despite it being one of the most frustrating gaming experiences in recent memory. Destiny is a first person shooter/MMO hybrid. Bungie refuses to call it an MMO and refers to the game as a “Shared World Shooter,” but lets be real…it’s an MMO. You will do quests, explore dungeons, play multiplayer, and go on raids. It is kinda cool at first glance to see how well these two genres mesh, but after you reach the level 20 level cap you will find nothing but an underwhelming hollow experience. 10_1_Guardians_1_shot Destiny’s story is the biggest train wreck with every plot point falling flat and a sense that no one at Bungie was on the same page on what the story should be. The plot revolves around the guardian who meets a robot companion named ghost. The guardian sees the seeker and finds out they must stop the darkness. The plot is so basic that I can’t even remember the names of anyone within the game. Stars like Peter Dinklidge and Nathan Fillion are voice actors, but their performances are so poorly written and phoned in that I wouldn’t be shocked if they actually recorded the lines over the phone. It’s hard to even criticize the plot of Destiny since there is so little to the plot that I can’t criticize anything. Destiny’s design is of a standard MMO with some twists to fit the FPS genre. Some design choices are great such as playing with friends and the well- established factions within the game. On the other hand Destiny makes so many mistakes that it makes the entire game a boring chore. Simply put, this is the most lonely MMO I have ever played. Matchmaking doesn’t exist for many strikes and there’s is no player auction house or even public chat. Everyone just stands around and no one talks with each other because they can’t. destiny-law-jungle The loot system is horrendous with the concept of end game being revolved around what loot you have on. This wouldn’t be a problem if loot drops ever occurred at all. Many players have already resorted to exploiting the game’s checkpoint system to farm loot since it happens so rarely. The worst part is when you obtain an engram. Engrams are blueprints for higher-tiered weapons and armor, but every time I would obtain a rare or legendary engram it would give me either useless currency or a much lower-tiered weapon. Destiny’s grind for better loot is so tedious since 50% of the time you won’t be rewarded for it. The same goes for the Crucible, which is Destiny’s standard multiplayer arena. Skill isn’t a factor since a legendary item has the same chance of going to the dead last player as well as the first place player. It’s so unfair and unbalanced since the reward system is random, players with better gear will always win in PVP, and most of the tasks in Destiny require a good 45 minutes to an hour to complete sometimes. Putting in that much time and effort only to not be reward is a slap in the face from Bungie. The repetitive nature of the game as a whole means that unless Bungie does a quick turnaround with Destiny expect NO ONE to be playing this unrewarding disaster in 3 month’s time. destiny_e3.0_cinema_640.0 Destiny does retain the great shooting mechanics from Halo and crafts a believable world that you initially want to explore. The problem is while gunplay can be a blast…exploring is basically non-existent. There are chests everywhere with crap loot and currency. The world of Destiny doesn’t do anything with its lore and actually hides the game’s lore behind grimoire cards, which you can only view on Destiny’s app or website. This leaves us with a faux open world, AI that constantly respawns and never changes their tactics, and some of the worst boss fights in gaming history. Regardless of your level boss fights within Destiny are incredibly tedious with each boss being a bullet sponge that takes upwards to 45 minutes to take down. The worst part is the boss’ checkpoint system, which starts the whole fight over if your team dies. Most strikes I’ve been in where our team dies everyone ends up quitting since we don’t have the patience to shoot the same boss over and over again. Destiny looks beautiful on the PS4 with a great sweeping orchestral soundtrack. Unfortunately, it also has no art. The locations, character designs, and atmosphere come across as every single shooter and space game I’ve ever played. The game is generic and has some of the worst cutscenes in gaming history with flat acting, poor writing, and most never move the plot along. The worst offense with these cutscenes is how they’re impossible to skip and given the repetitive nature of Destiny you will be forced to watch their mediocrity over and over again. It was almost as if Bungie had a checklist while making Destiny, but never looked at the finer bullet points. Story? Check. Loot? Check. PVP? Check. Everything about Destiny works on a basic level, but the experience is so frustrating and so hollow the further you dive into what Destiny has to offer. It does have moments of brilliance since I am somehow still playing it and it has the potential to get better with numerous patches, but in its current state Destiny is destined for mediocrity. Story: 2.1/10 Design: 4.2/10 Gameplay: 8.4/10 Presentation: 7/10 Final Score: 5.4

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Bit-Sized Review:Injustice Gods Among Us

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I was impressed when Netherrealm announced the follow-up to 2011’s fantastic Mortal Kombat was not another Mortal Kombat game, but instead a new IP. What they made for us is Injustice Gods Among Us, which is a fighting game starring DC’s finest superheroes. Does it live up to Mortal Kombat or does it crash and burn like Ryan Reynold’s Green Lantern?

Story: Now becoming a Netherrealm staple, the massive story of Injustice is more ambitious than Mortal Kombat was. Unfortunately, this does not equate to better execution. The story bounces between the heroes as they deal with an inter-dimensional Superman who has turned into a dictator following the death of Lois Lane. The story starts strong and thoroughly explains the complex nature of the story, but by the 3rd act the story loses steam and the game ends with a very underwhelming boss fight. Compared to other fighting games the story is amazing, but compared to the amazing story of Mortal Kombat…it doesn’t even come close.

Design: Injustice does a great job at giving the player plenty of modes and replay value. The UI is simple and slick, but does seem generic at times. Besides the 4 hour campaign there are dozens of  battles for the player to complete and hundreds of Star Lab’s missions. While this gives great replay value the Star Labs is a missed opportunity. This mode is extremely linear so if the player wants to do a certain character’s missions they might have to grind for hours to get enough stars to unlock them. Along with unlocking Star Lab’s missions the player gets XP for everything they do. This addition also lacks the depth and rewarding experience one associates with leveling up. You unlock Armory cards and Access cards, which grants you costumes, battles, card portraits, and boosts for more XP. There’s also portraits, icons, and backgrounds the player can unlock for their Hero card, to show off to friends. Unfortunately, most of these unlockables are lackluster with many of the coolest unlocks being held back by the IOS version of Injustice. So if you don’t have an IOS device…sucks to be you.

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Gameplay: If you played Mortal Kombat for the past 2 years you’ll feel right at home. Netherrealm’s button heavy combos have becomes smoother, making Injustice a beautiful ballet of bone-breaking chaos. Each character feels unique and fun to play. The game’s balance may still be in question after this few weeks, but in my experience I haven’t found anyone I consider over-powered or under-powered. The fights are frantic, fluid, and fun with each character building up their super meter, which they can use in either a meter burn power move or a devastating super move. These super moves never get old and are always a treat to watch because of their diversity among characters. Playing against friends is also a blast as long as your friend doesn’t fall into the usual fighting stereotypes of spamming projectiles. The game’s level transitions are also a joy to watch as the superheroes and villains can change the location entirely and interact with the environment around them. Examples include breaking the giant fish tank in Atlantis or knocking your enemy into dark seid’s lair. Overall it’s the most polished fighting game Netherrealm has made yet.

Presentation: The visuals deliver a wonderful spectacle of chaos and carnage. Cameos are everywhere and the character models are extremely well done. There are some rough edges as you dig deeper though. Fighting becomes frustrating as some animations are wonky and make hit detection a little weird. Also, Netherrealm has no idea how to make women fighters still. Wonder Woman looks like a busty dude, while Raven rocks a Jay Leno chin. Voice acting holds up pretty well, but Mark Hamill not being the Joker just doesn’t feel the same…but the amount of DC cameos though is ridiculous and fan service is up the wazoo!

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Injustice is a great fighting game, but doesn’t quite reach the level of heroic it was going for. Despite it’s flaws it is still worth picking up because I haven’t had this much fun with a fighter since Mortal Kombat.

Story:8.4/10

Design:7.5/10

Gameplay:9.4/10

Presentation: 8.5/10

Final Score: 8.4/10

Bit-Sized Reviews: Bioshock Infinite

Welcome back to the land of the living Mr. Dewitt.

Welcome back to the land of the living Mr. Dewitt.

Bioshock Infinite left me disappointed and very upset…because I know that very few games will ever come close to its level of excellence. Ken Levine and his crew at Irrational games have created a masterpiece so near perfect that it deserves a seat next to games like Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time, Half Life 2, Persona 4, Portal, Final Fantasy 6, etc. Bioshock Infinite’s ambition soars above and beyond its city in the clouds to create a world so unforgettable that this game will be talked about for generations.

Story: You play as Booker Dewitt, a man with a shady past who gets a chance to “wash away the debt” by rescuing a girl named Elizabeth. This simple job leads Booker to the flying city of Columbia, where things take a turn for the worst. Columbia treats Patriotism as an extreme religion with our founding fathers as Gods preached by the game’s main antagonist, “Prophet” Zachary Comstock. Booker is branded as the false Shepard (Anti-Christ) who will lead the lamb (Elizabeth) astray. The game’s themes of racism, religion, and xenophobia all shine through in what can only be described as one of the best written pieces of entertainment ever. Elizabeth is the game’s true star and the amount of detail that goes into her character (and the whole world for that matter) is astounding. The way she sits down when Booker stops moving, the way she skips along happily one moment and is terrified the second conflict arises. Few games can establish characters as rich as Elizabeth and Bioshock Infinite shows what video games can achieve when pushed beyond its limits. Bioshock Infinite has one of the most perfectly polished stories in recent memory, not just as a video game, but as a piece of entertainment.

Design: Bioshock Infinite is a first person shooter, but its strengths put it in a league far above the Call of Duty’s and Borderland’s. The game has no multiplayer (Which is great) and the main story will take you about 12-15 hours to complete. While the main story is linear it’s the way the levels open up to create some breathtaking gameplay and exploration. The world of Columbia is an explorers dream with items and upgrades in every nook and cranny. The Skyline rails make getting around Columbia a thrilling roller coaster ride and overhearing the conversations of the citizens is fascinating. Simply put, this is flawless design. The game moves you along at a brisk pace, but never holds your hand or gets in the way if you want to explore (WHICH YOU WILL). Columbia is such a fully realized world and I must give a standing ovation to Irrational Games since very few games achieve this level of immersion and polish.

Gameplay: The game is a freakin’ BLAST. Exploration is well rewarded and experimenting with the vigors (Special powers) is never dull. The combat steals the show by giving the player freedom to literally go nuts. In combat Booker shoots, rides the skyline, and uses the special vigor powers. Elizabeth can use her ability to open “tears” in reality bringing in much needed items or cover for Booker. It makes combat chaotic, but brilliant. The game’s AI doesn’t disappoint either with many enemies flanking, changing strategies, and riding the skylines. Elizabeth once again steals the show because she isn’t useless (unlike most escort quests). On top of her ability to open tears she can also hold her own in a fight and give Booker much needed ammo, health, and spare coin. Bioshock Infinite’s gameplay is fast, frantic, violent, bloody, but at the same time graceful and could almost pass a ballet. It is an unforgettable experience with too many memorable moments to count.

Columbia is one of the most fully realized worlds in the history of fiction.

Columbia is one of the most fully realized worlds in the history of fiction.

Presentation: What more can even be said!? Bioshock Infinite is undeniably beautiful. The floating city of Columbia is so fully realized I keep checking out my bedroom window to see if Columbia is floating over my city. The way the city oozes with life and personality puts it above and beyond most video games. The voice acting is perfect and the sound design is flawless. The score is the true highlight of the presentation with many modern day songs reworked to fit the ragtime 1912 setting. Jazzy version of Tainted Love? You got it. A soul, gospel version of Fortunate Son? Yep, in there as well. Bioshock Infinite’s presentation can be described in these three simple words: Polished, Timeless, Flawless.

Bottom Line: Bioshock Infinite isn’t just one of the best games of the year, it is one of the best games ever made. From the brilliant story to the memorable gameplay to the flawless design and timeless presentation. Bioshock Infinite takes to the clouds with its ambition and succeeds in EVERY WAY. Bioshock Infinite is one for the ages.

Story: 10/10
Design: 10/10
Gameplay: 10/10
Presentation: 10/10

Final Score: 10/10

Bit-Sized Reviews: Aliens Colonial Marines

The screams of the victims, the cries of those in pain, and the silence of the stunned. These are the sounds made by anyone who purchased Gearbox’s highly anticipated title, Aliens: Colonial marines.

GAME OVER MAN!

GAME OVER MAN!

Lets get this out of the way immediately, this game is unfinished. It is not worth its full price tag and is not worth your time unless you’re a PC owner with access to mods. There were multiple developers on this game since Gearbox was busy with Borderlands 2. The bait and switch comes in from the game’s demo released last year (which made the game look amazing.) and the final product (Which looks and plays like a broken game from 2008.) In space, no one can hear you bitch for your money back.

Story: You play as Winters, a marine who is sent to the Sulaco after the events of Aliens 2. From there, the player is thrown from set piece to set piece with the pacing of a Saturday Night Live sketch. There’s no real story here. You’re just reliving moments from the movies that come as absolutely no surprise. The laziness of the story bleeds over to the script and dialogue. “AW SHIT IN MY BREAKFAST!” was my personal favorite line as each line is delivered with zero sense of dread or hopelessness. The random times when the characters did show emotion was in the most mundane moments. Like when we pass a single dead body (After 4 hours of constant slaughter) and Bella gets upset over the dead body. The inconsistency and plotholes are both due to the unfinished-ness of the game and the quality of the shoddy writers involved. It is a travesty that this story is considered official to the film.

Design: The game is broken up into 11 short missions that can be completed in 5 hours. Within these missions you can collect dog tags, audio clips, and legendary weapons. The problem is that these collectables are ruined by the games unfinished environments. The battlefields you’re put into are massive, but don’t even bother exploring. A majority of the environments are left empty or completely forgotten about (cough unfinished cough). This gets even worst when awful invisible walls block pathways to what looks like a path to a way better game, but instead we’re stuck in this piece of shit.Co-op is a disaster as cutscenes glitch out, framerate drops, and screen tearing occurs. The worst part though is how if you stray over 10 feet away from your partner the game magically teleports you back towards them. Thus ruining exploration even more. Multiplayer tries to be interesting by pinning Xenos against Marines, but its so broken that you’d rather have a baby xeno bursting from your chest. The marines are vastly overpowered compared to the Xenos due to weapons. Xenos have to use stealth to take out the marines, but this is a total disaster since leveling up for Marines can happen in story mode as well. This gives Marines around a 20 level advantage for those who beat the game, leaving the Xenomorphs at level 1. It ends up being a slaughter as Marines can camp in a corner and pick off the poor Xenos (Who die in literally two hits).

Gameplay: The AI is god awful, whether it be your teammates or enemies. The “SUPER ULTRA THREATENING” Xenomorphs don’t know how to do anything, but run straight at you. The majority of the game is facing off against incredibly stupid Weyland-Yutani mercs, who enjoy long walks on the beach, facing the wrong way, standing still, and shooting straight up. The pulse rifle does sound like the pulse rifle, but the audio is in 3 round bursts, while the gun fires in automatic (cause that makes sense). The load times are incredibly long and the heartrate monitor is quite possibly the worst item in gaming history. The constant beeping is not only annoying, but kills any and all scares the game could’ve had. The boss fights are the worst as it usually involves tedious hide and seek with the enemy. With all the bad execution Aliens CM has, I still had fun with it in a bad B-movie kind of way. Making your own meta-game of “Count the glitches” became a joy for me and kept me motivated to beat it. Obviously, this shows how bad Aliens CM is and how low self esteem I really have.

Presentation: BAHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA The game looks like ass. I had a more professional response planned for this segment, but the game doesn’t deserve it. So Here’s a list of all presentation issues I experienced in my playthrough.

  • Bad voice acting
  • Graphics look like they’re from 2006
  • Terrible lighting
  • Screen tearing constantly
  • God awful and incomplete animations (Xenomorphs sometimes just vanish suddenly when killed with no indication that you killed them
  • GLITCHES ARE EVERYWHERE
  • Floating item boxes
  • Sound cuts out frequently
  • framerate dips!
  • Muddy textures and constant texture popping.
  • Items only appear when you’re 5 feet away from them.
  • etc. etc. etc.

Aliens: Colonial Marines needs at least 8 months of development left to be considered “DONE” and unfortunately it was released now. It is one of the biggest letdowns in recent gaming history and is easily going to be one of the worst games of the year. That said though I did have fun with the game and its few bright ideas (even if most good ideas involved me, cyanide, and alcohol.)

but hey I’ll give Aliens: Colonial Marines this…AT LEAST ITS BETTER THAN RESIDENT EVIL 6.

Story: 2/10
Design 1.7/10
Gameplay: 4.8/10
Presentation: 1/10

Final Score: 2.3/10

GAME OVER MAN! GAME OVER!

Game News-Last of Us Delayed to June 14th.

Last of Us Delayed from May7th to June 14th worldwide.

Last of Us Delayed from May7th to June 14th worldwide.

 

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source:every other game site.

Lets Build the Hypeeeeeeeeeee Yo!

2013 is here so obviously you’re pumped for the games to come. Here are the most anticipated games we’re looking forward to if we had to pick one game each month…until we run out of solid release dates.

January
NI NO KUNI (PS3)- Level 5 teams up with Anime juggernaut Studio Ghibli. HOW DO I NOT BUY THAT!? I have a god damn Totoro tattoo on my right arm. After playing the demo I can happily say this game is going to be fantastic, blending the best of old school RPGs with great modern innovation

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Reasons to Buy: Studio Ghibli is the tits yo, gameplay mixes Xenoblade Chronicles, old school Final Fantasy (Pre-7), and Pokemon.

February
ALIENS COLONIAL MARINES-
Probably under the radar for some, especially since Dead Space 3 and Crysis 3 are being released as well that month. BUT Gearbox is easily making the best Aliens game to date, thus making this the only fresh title in a month of many sequels.

AliensColonialMarines

Reasons to Buy: It doesn’t have a 3 in its name, Not made awful by EA’s bullshit policies.

March
BIOSHOCK INFINITE-
Although tough competition with Tomb Raider, Bioshock Infinite still looks incredible and the hype for this game is through the roof after so many delays!

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Reasons To Buy: Looks awesome, Plays Awesome, Everything you expect from a well-polished Bioshock experience.

April
PIKMIN 3 (WiiU)- Ok, there aren’t many solid release dates after March so I’m guesstimating here. WiiU is kinda looking like shizzzzz, but Pikmin 3 looks to change that! The clever strategy game is back with new Pikmin, team management, and brain teasers. Miyamoto touched this game, so it’s gonna be gold kids.

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Reasons to Buy: If you own a WiiU… Buy this, because it might be a rough road ahead for Nintendo.

May
THE LAST OF US (PS3)- Naughty Dog’s latest game looks incredible and gamers should not miss this one. The post apocalyptic adventures of Joel and Ellie is a predicted candidate for game of the year 2013

the-last-of-us-promo-pic

Reasons to Buy: It’s Naughty Dog…it’s gonna be great.

June
GRAND THEFT AUTO V-
Duh.

Grand-Theft-Auto-5-Quad-Bike-Art

Reasons to Buy: It’s Grand Theft Auto 5…we don’t even need to have this talk.

The Rest of The Year!
Pokemon X&Y-
3D pokemon!
Watch Dogs- Original IP based in Chicago FTW
Star Wars 1313- A good Star Wars Game Wha???
Beyond Two Souls- Another reason to like Ellen Paige
South Park: The Stick of Truth- It’s South Park…I’m ROLFCOPTORING EVERYWHERE,

 

Bottom Line, 2013 is going to be a fantastic year in gaming.