Nintendo at E3 or Smash at E3?

FeaturedNintendo at E3 or Smash at E3?

When Nintendo said that they would be giving us a look at the new Super Smash Bros. for The Nintendo Switch, boy did they mean it. We were treated to the kind of in depth look that we would expect from a Nintendo Direct. Nintendo didn’t hold any details back during it’s presentation a few minutes ago. Before, we delve into Smash, let’s talk about a few of the other announcements…

  • Daemon X Machina: Was the very first game shown during the conference. The cel shaded mech style game didn’t give a lot of info other than a 2019 release window.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: Will have new DLC coming soon titled Torna The Golden Country. This of course if free if you purchased the expansion pass.
  • Lets Go Pikachu and Eevee was shown briefly with emphasis on The Poke Ball Plus attached which is sold separately. This add on will come with mythical Pokemon Mew already caught.
  • Super Mario Party was announced for release on October 5th 2018. This new game will allow friends to connect their Switch consoles for competitive and co-op play. This is something that I can say I really haven’t seen anywhere before.
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses was revealed for a release in 2019. I really thought we would get something this year.
  • Indy titles were on display as well with Overcooked 2, Killer Queen Black and Hollow Knight being shown.
  • Other titles included Captain Toad Treasure Tracker, Dragon Ball Z Fighterz, Mario + Rabbids Donkey Kong DLC and more.
  • FORTNITE: Did I forget that Fortnite is not playable on the Switch TODAY? The game that I felt should have opened the presentation as thrown in the middle for some reason

The presentation went fairly fast leading up to Super Smash Bros Ultimate. The new Smash for The Nintendo Switch will include every fighter that has even shown up in a previous game which is huge. Nintendo did a great job in introducing the character along with their numbered entry into the series. The narrator of the video then described the changed in each character from previous games. All the way down to the facial changes in Wii Fit Trainer. We were then shown new super moves, then power ups, then stages…it seemed like it would never end.

Smash Bros All Char

I skimmed through most of the comments throughout the presentation on IGN and most of us were overwhelmed with the information. We didn’t expect to be presented with that much info. I was even growing tired and I enjoy playing Smash. There was no mention of Bayonetta, Metroid, Pokemon RPG or even Yoshi. Nintendo put everything into Smash and while I know it’s going to be huge but, us true Nintendo fans wanted more. Smash isn’t the only game that matters this year…or is it?

-Chay

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Bethesda and Their Odd E3 Press Conference

Bethesda and Their Odd E3 Press Conference

Yesterday afternoon I was pretty upset that I had to miss The Bethesda E3 Showcase last night. I had a prior engagement scheduled but, my E3 anticipation level was on ten all day long. Microsoft gave what I would call one heck of a show. Sure a lot of the games were multi-platform titles and the exclusives were a lot of the tried and true titles. This isn’t an article about Microsoft though. Point is…Microsoft set a tone and I was more than ready for Bethesda to knock it out of the park. I just finished the press conference here at work and I don’t know how to feel.

The event began with Rage 2 and I am very happy with what was shown. It reminds me of Mad Max mixed with Doom which makes for an interesting setting. A lot of different locations were shown which tells me that Bethesda is really fleshing this game out. I am really looking forward to move information and this will be a day one purchase for me. Let’s add Doom Eternal to the bandwagon because Doom is one of my favorite franchises ever. The fact that they are working on a sequel gives me even more to look forward to. Besides these two games, I feel dragged through an hour of mediocrity.

Elder Scrolls Legends, Online, Blades and even VI is too much Elder Scrolls. I know its popular but, if they skipped a year or two of Elder Scrolls I would be more than happy. Quake Champions seems dated to me. I have Prey but, I haven’t played it yet. I know it’s a decent game and I did expect to learn of new DLC. I may give it a shot this weekend. Wolfenstein 2 is awesome but, I didn’t finish the game. I also expected new DLC. FallOut76 is where I realized that I am probably just not a Bethesda guy at this point. I just didn’t jump out of my seat with applause which brings me to the underlying issue here. Why was everyone begging for applause?

From the very start of the event with Pete Hines, each and every presenter felt the need to bring applause out of the audience. It felt as if they need confirmation that things were going well. Compare this to Microsoft where Phil Spencer gets massive applause for just entering the room. Over at Sony, Shawn Layden gets the same treatment. What was the purpose here? From a viewer standpoint it seemed as though everyone was waiting on an Elder Scrolls VI announcement and if they didn’t get it, this would have been considered a failure. Well…at the very end they delivered with a quick trailer and everyone stood on their feet in applause.

After it was all said and done I now have two games to look forward to. A rather dry showing by Bethesda in my opinion. I hope next year they don’t have to drag a reaction out of the audience. It should be a natural thing.

-Chay

 

EA ANNOUNCES NEW FOCUS ON STREAMING GAMES

EA ANNOUNCES NEW FOCUS ON STREAMING GAMES

It isn’t surprising that EA announced a new focus on video game streaming during their E3 press conference today. Video game streaming has grown immensely over the last few years and EA already has a subscription service in it’s EA Access platform. EA Origins (which is exclusive to Xbox One) allows players to stream games from the EA vault directly to their Xbox One consoles. Part of me wants to run away from streaming games but, I’m very optimistic about the potential.

I AM A CONSOLE GAMER

As a 30 year old gamer, I have seen a lot change….a lot! The first game system I played as the NES and we have come a long long way from 8-bit goodness. One thing that has never changed for me is my love for gaming consoles. I still camp outside for video game consoles even knowing that I can just pre-order one online. The satisfaction of having a brand new console in your hand at the earliest moment still puts a smile on my face. There is no other feeling like it. And this is part of the reason that I struggle to embrace streaming for the games I play. The other reason being that I enjoy collecting my physical titles. I have over 500 games in my game room and I’d be crushed to have to give that up. There are always more retro titles to buy though.

EASE OF USE

EA is thinking about the future as any forward thinking business should. Streaming has its advantages and its tough not to take notice. Why get up from your couch to purchase a game when you don’t have to? For me it’s the feeling of having something physical in your hand. For young kids today, it’s about getting things fast. Thinking back to my childhood, I would of loved for a download option for games. Asking my parents to drive me to the local video store every Friday became a pain. Even worse was that they didn’t always take me. Streaming is brilliant.

THE FUTURE IS CALLING

This past week Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot commented that there would be one last console generation. His feeling is that the need for in home hardware will diminish. Streaming will take it’s place and lead us into the future. This statement resonates with me because I also feel that streaming is going to take over gaming. It reminds me of the CD’s and MP3’s. Early on it didn’t seem like a threat but, fast forward 20 years and CD’s are hardly sold in stores. Does it make sense to need a physical disc when you can download the full game onto a drive?

MY RESERVES

Let’s say hypothetically I decide to make the jump to digital. Are my games completely secure in the cloud? I would say no because, technology isn’t always stable. A server could fail, a license could expire or more importantly a company could decide to cut support in a game altogether. We’ve seen more than our fair share of games pulled from online stores. I myself feel that the games I play should be mine. Though i do own my games, I don’t always have free reign when a cloud is involved. I could go into online gaming but that would be a story for another article.

IN CONCLUSION

I’ve purchased a handful of titles digitally but, I’ve purchased two in particular which serves my optimism for digital games. State of Decay 2 and Detroit Become Human are awesome games that I really enjoy. I still place a higher focus on my physical titles but, I have to say that its amazing to pre-download games and play immediately at launch. I m also signing up for EA Access today. There are a few games that I would love to play but, I wouldn’t spend the money on. I hope I’m not becoming the type of person I’ve always complained about. I want it today, and I want it right now…..I am so disappointed in myself. EA I will be keeping my eye on you.

State of Decay 2 is Awesome! Yeah I Said It!

FeaturedState of Decay 2 is Awesome! Yeah I Said It!

 

It’s been a few weeks since State of Decay 2 released on Xbox One and even I am shocked to see that I am still having as much fun as day one. Prior to my impulse buy, I knew very little about the franchise. Sure I played about 10 minutes of the original but, how fair is it to form an opinion in just 10 minutes? Xbox doesn’t have a boatload of exclusive titles and my Xbox One X was begging for a new title. Here we are weeks later and I am hooked. Funny how I can love a game and everyone else is going on about how much they hate it. Is the hate warranted though?

THE BEGINNING

State of Decay 2 is an open world survival game where a lot of the decision making is left to the player. The purpose of the game is to kill the blood plague which are these nasty hearts that the zombies sort of worship. Clear the blood plague and you win the game. This is a sandbox game at it’s best. You have the choice of a few sets of characters. Each character has their own back stories with traits that will affect the game going forward. In my game I decided to choose a man who was great at fighting and a women who was great at gardening (don’t judge me). We started in The Foothills which seemed nicest to me at the time. We found our way to a nice home which provided nice blockage from unwanted flesh eaters. It wasn’t long before I realized just how real the game would become. Not only did I need to find food for my home, we needed medication and gas to get around. Why did I spend the first three days on foot I have no idea.

SURVIVING

Scavenging for material feels very rewarding in State of Decay 2. There are countless places to search throughout the three maps. Every setting is different which adds a unique feel to everything. Zombies are sort of few and far between in a way where you aren’t running into them every second. You rarely see more than 6-7 at a time. Unless you are killing an infestations which puts your up against 10 or so at a time. Clearing zombies and scavenging for materials will provide you with weapons, enhancements and rucksacks. Rucksacks are the food, meds, and gas that you carry back to your camp to keep everyone happy. They diminish very quickly early on in the same. You will definitely feel the grind early on.

BUILDING

As you progress through the game, you will begin to build a stronger camp. As you meet new survivors, you will want to grow their skills to build a better camp as well. Each camp has a specific amount of upgrade spaces. The better your characters are, the better your bases will become. I’ve moved into a building that automatically provides power, and holds massive amounts of fuel. I am now working on creating a pharmacy to create med kits. It’s amazing to see characters stats grow just by playing the game rather than having to focus on one aspect of the game itself. It really feel organic.

ZOMBIES

There are 5 types of zombies in State of Decay 2. Each of them are dangerous in their own right.

  • The basic zombies is what you will see the most of. They aren’t overly dangerous but, get bitten by enough of them and you will contract the plague. You will have three hours in real time to find a cure, if you don’t you character is gone forever.
  • Bloaters are the typical fat zombie that explodes leaving a huge cloud of green acidic dust. Avoid them at all costs as they really drain your health. It’s even worse if your in a car because, your car will continue to hold the mist.
  • Screamers are zombies that can’t attack you but, they can attract nearby zombies. You want to kill them before they scream
  • Ferals are very strong zombies that are also very fast. They have the ability to pull you out of your car and rip you to shreds. Try to keep your distance unless you have a friend around.
  • The Juggernauts are the beast of all zombies. They are huge and pack a big punch. You can’t drive through them but, they can run through you. Make sure you are with your group when you try to take them down.

INFLUENCE

In State of Decay 2, things are paid for with something called influence. There is no cash handling around these parts. You gain influence by killing zombies, help survivors, trading and completing personal mission. A typically gameplay mission will gain you around 25-50 influence. You should use it to buy outposts that provide things that you need like food and meds early on. Once you gain enough, you can purchase a new place to call home which can cost upward of 1,000+. There are also really good options for trading with other survivors. I recommend trading with everyone you can. Other survivors have really helped my crew from starving early on.

WHY THE HATE?

As I mentioned early on, there are a lot of folks out there who don’t like this game. At launch the game was bugged out. Icons would just vanish. Characters were getting clipped in doorways. The framerate would jump all over the place. There are things that you really can’t have happening during online gameplay. I played one mission online and I almost died which brings me to everyone’s largest gripe…permadeath. When you lose a character in State of Decay 2, they are gone forever! They don’t come back and that rubs a lot of people the wrong way. I look at it as a chance to take my game play seriously. This is the closest experience that we will ever get to The Walking Dead. We literally have to make friends with strangers, co-exist, and battle the walking dead. One mistake and it could cost you everything. That is real to me.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Would I have taken a chance at this game 10 years ago? Probably not. Xbox has changed a lot since the launch of the Xbox One and this is one game that many were looking forward to. I took a chance on it and I think it’s paid off nicely. I enjoy the feel of being in complete control of my community. That is something I can’t say about 98% of video games on the market. State of Decay 2 allows you to play the game your way. It may not be the most polished title but, the foundation is outstanding. I would recommend this game to any Xbox fan who is looking for something different from the other zombie titles out there. You won’t get this experience with Resident Evil, Dying Light or Dead Rising. State of Decay 2 is awesome!

-Chay

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1000 Subcribers on Youtube!

Youtube

Its has been a while since I’ve updated this blog. A little over a year ago, I started to create Youtube videos on a regular basis. It was never intended for me to make anything of it, just more of a hobby than anything. As of late, I have been getting a lot of awesome feedback from a lot of awesome people. They are helping me to realize that I have the ability to create some really good content. I myself just need to focus and put in the needed work. I recently reached my 1000 subscriber milestone and that was affirmation that there are people out there that do enjoy my content. In 2018, I have plans to do so many cool things on my channel and most importantly I get to have fun with it!

SNES Classic Launches on 9/29/2017

SNES Classic Launches on 9/29/2017

What can I say other than OMG!!!!!

As a lifelong Nintendo fan, I live for these special moments where classic gaming comes to the forefront. I grew up playing Nintendo games with my friends daily. Before Microsoft and Sony came into the picture, Nintendo had all of my attention. Sure Sega was around but, they were big meanies in my opinion. Sega did what Nintendon’t and ran themselves out of business. I do have a lot love for Sega don’t get me wrong. Nintendo is my heart though. They just announced that the SNES Classic Edition is set to release on September 29th 2017. Many people probably aren’t excited for reasons I will explain shortly but, I myself am ecstatic.

The SNES Classic follows the release of the NES Classic from 2016. The NES Classic was a mini version of the original Nintendo console packed with 30 classic games. I didn’t go to Target when they opened on release day because, I figured I would be able to just pick on up at anytime. Well, it became the hottest item of the Christmas holiday. Not only were they sold out at my local Target; they were sold out all over the country. People were waiting 10+ hours in the blistering cold to get their hands on one. I was one of those people (maybe not 10 hours for me but, hours before store opening all the same). When I finally got my hands on one I felt like I had finally won! Here we go all over again!

Nintendo is the only video game company that knows how to create rare items. Many people complain about them not making their products readily available. Sure they have stock issues and have historically. I can’t remember a time when a Nintendo system didn’t have a stock issue. That is completely fine with me because, Nintendo creates rare, timeless gems. Only 2 million NES Classics were sold. If they were openly available, Nintendo may have sold double, triple even quadruple that given the demand. Instead the system was discontinued after just 5 months. Another rare gem for the Nintendo fans in the world.

The SNES Classic will come with 21 pack-in games (9 less than the NES) but, these aren’t your run of the mill titles. Please see the game list below:

  • Super Mario World
  • Super Mario Kart
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past
  • Super Metroid
  • F-Zero
  • Star Fox 2 (never released)
  • Super Punch-Out
  • Street Fighter 2 Turbo
  • Super Castlevania IV
  • Donkey Kong Country
  • Mega Man X
  • Kirby Superstar
  • Final Fantasy III
  • Kirby’s Dream Course
  • Star Fox
  • Yoshi’s Island
  • Super Mario RPG
  • Contra III
  • Secret of Mana
  • Earthbound
  • Super Ghouls and Ghosts

I am genuinely excited to have another piece of my childhood back. A lot of these games I have physical copies of but, I currently don’t have an SNES system. THIS IS AWESOME!

Microsoft and Xbox Deserve A Lot of Credit

Microsoft and Xbox Deserve A Lot of Credit

This was my view from the Microsoft E3 Press Conference this past Monday in Los Angeles. I can’t say that I’ve ever experienced something as cool as what Microsoft did for me last week. The road to the show wasn’t without it’s own issues although. From having a ticket, to not having a ticket, to the entire trip being in jeopardy; it all worked out pretty well in the end. Let’s start from the top.

Every year, the E3 Electronics Expo comes to L.A to showcase the video gaming technology. This is the first year that E3 has allowed the public to buy tickets to the show as in previous years, only media have been allowed entry. I jumped at the chance to experience my first E3. I was able to secure tickets the minute they went on sale. Microsoft announced their own separate event called “Xbox Fan Fest”. This is something that they have done for a few years now for die-hard Xbox fans. They give gamer’s a chance to experience their newest games away from the massive lines on the show floor. Only 400 tickets were available through an online ticket system and I was one of the lucky few. That is until Microsoft sent a second email out stating that the system let more than the allotted amount in and all tickets had t be voided. Despite the frustration, I tried again on the rescheduled date and received a page time-out error. Even more frustrated, I emailed Xbox support and they rewarded me with a ticket to FanFest!

A lot of gamer’s missed out during the second go round. This is the one issue with social media is that issues bring loads of added attention and the pool became a lot bigger than it was initially. Information was few and far between leading up to the date. It wasn’t until the week of the event that I received my code and information email. With anticipation building, Fan Fest was just around the corner. Since I was a young kid, I’ve watched the major game companies like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have these really cool press conferences with live music, entertainment and most importantly great games. Going into everything, I wondered if my first experience would be everything I hoped it would. The morning of the event, I took my first Uber ride into downtown L.A and I stood in my first of many long lines of the week. I made it to the Fan Fest.

Microsoft greeted everyone with a pre-party. We were given an early lunch, custom t-shirts to wear with our Fan Fest lanyards. We were then carried over to the Gallin Center on Microsoft’s expense. The picture above is exactly what I saw when I walked into the arena. From the television to my eyes, the set looked utterly amazing! I couldn’t believe my eyes let alone how close I was to the stage. The entire event was very organized and calm. The fans were enthusiastic about Xbox and so was I. On a huge 4K screen I was one of the first people witness the Xbox One X in person. Following the press conference, we were taken back to the pre-party location that had been transformed into an after-party. Full service open bar, custom hat making, free food, free games and more. At the end of the night I walked away with a backpack full of Xbox goodies and they weren’t cheap either.

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The following night we were treated to a preview of all of the upcoming show floor games. We got to play them all before they went public the next morning. Once again a full open bar, food, snacks, games, and personal time with developers, and the people that made it all happen. Microsoft deserves a lot of credit for creating an unmatched experience that I don’t think anyone could imagine. They even provided the unlucky folks that weren’t able to score tickets from the first round free 3-day expo passes. No one truly lost as an Xbox fan this year.

In conclusion, I have to show a new respect for Microsoft and people that run the show. Not only did they create magic, but they set the bar really high. This is an experience that I will never ever forget. Despite all of the trouble to get there, in the end it was well worth it. Thank you Microsoft and Xbox for all of the hard work you put forth.