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This War of Mine: A Bleak Tale of a City in War Times

This War of Mine

Marko looked through the little keyhole in the grocery store. He heard two voices as he entered the broken shop, and it scared him. What he saw was a soldier, harassing a young woman who was just scavenging. He didn’t hesitate even when the man held an AK. Marko burst through the door, the soldier had no time to react so Marko struck him with the make shift crowbar his friend Pavle fashioned out of rebar earlier that day. The soldier, after a few strikes, falls to the ground and the young lady runs off. Marko doesn’t care though; what mattered was scavenging this place for supplies. He was in the way and Marko had a chance to get rid of him quickly.

You don’t get to pick who you start out with, much less who survives.

TWoM is a rare game which isn’t really deep until you choose to think about it. I did, and at the end of it, I think I wouldn’t be a very good person during war.

I’ve watched several Let’s Plays about TWoM, and in every one, I’ve seen players make decisions they regret. The unfeeling detached nature of gamers disappears when you have to deal with each of them. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Morality can die in the Face of Survival

In the last couple of years, the survival genre has gotten big. From Day-Z to Don’t Starve, it’s been a genre/trend which has attracted a lot of attention. None of them for me really captures what it means to survive day after day. That isn’t to say that TWoM perfectly replicates the refugee’s experience in times of war; it offers us a safe place to explore those things and there are dire consequences when you do. If you steal, a lot of your characters will start to question whether or not it was worth it. But surviving often means doing exactly that.

The Deserter becomes very useful when raiding.

TWoM perfects one aspect of gaming which many prominent reviewers always find gripes about; morality. Like many things, it isn’t about doing good for a pay-off, much like doing bad isn’t about convenience. They are simply decisions carrying with them their own repercussions. There are extremes, there are grays, and the game illustrates the price people pay every with decision you make.

Being armed doesn’t mean you’re dangerous.

Four days ago, we waited for the trader who comes every so often. He’s a talkative savior, always prepared with exactly what we needed. Two children came instead, beckoning us for a couple of bottles of antibiotics. We couldn’t turn them away, so we gave them whatever we could. That was a mistake… Bruno, my dear friend, died because we couldn’t get him those same meds. We mourned him with cigarettes and alcohol, and that night we were raided.

Simple Mechanics in a Complicated Game

TWoM, like many other reviewers have described it, plays like the Sims; I’d like to make the same comparison but the game is much simpler than that. You’ll click through short menus to build simple things like stoves and other crafting stations, move them to the optimal locations, and cycle through each of your characters. Each of the people you’ll control will have a unique skill and that adds a level of darkness to the game. After my first few play throughs, I started picking the characters I wanted to use; neglecting the elderly characters in favor of those with more utility.

But whenever the less skilled characters would show at our doorstep, I couldn’t stand reading the text each of them spat out after each hour ticked down. I usually just clicked the “End Day” option so I didn’t have to suffer through their pleas. I wouldn’t be a very good person in war time.

There are no restarts when it comes to companion losses.

We’ve survived… The ceasefire was declared today and we listened through a radio our new friend Marin built. Was it worth it though? I cannot help but hope that life can get better after this, but our time in the shelter leaves a dark specter which looms over each of us. But we’ve survived, we’ve helped. We did the best we could and maybe in a time of war that is enough. I kept Pavle’s notes and I will bring them to his son and wife one day. The war is over and life moves on.

Conclusion

On my first play through, I started out with an ideal team. One could scavenge, the other could run, whilst the third could cook better meals to keep spirits up. My main team didn’t make it to the end but the rest of their new comrades did. On my second ride, I had a soldier and a thief. The latter died of sickness whilst the first was scavenging to find medicine. He hung himself in the empty shelter the next day.

Perma Death in the game affects everyone in the shelter.

Depression, happiness, and contentment rarely work as game mechanics because they are usually forced. The developers of TWoM thought it through and integrated it perfectly into this puzzling survival game. But that’s just my take on it and that’s the beauty of the game. No one person will walk away with the same experience. It explores a dark place from a safe space, but it’s also a sobering experience telling us that war games need not be about kill streaks and K\D ratios.

TWoM is probably one of the most important games to come out this year. It goes out of its way to give you control, while throwing inescapable events your way when you feel a little too cocky. It’s not for everyone though, as the gameplay has a learning curve which requires you to act quickly, but to think of the future patiently.

Sometimes, we escape to games to feel like something we’re not; Heroes. Check out Spec Ops the Line, The Last of Us, or I Have no Mouth and I must Scream for other sobering gaming experiences.

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Saga: Explicit, Violent, Sweet, Instant Classic

There’s a reason why I wasn’t that excited for the new Star Wars movie. The lightsaber didn’t surprise me, and it seems like a cool idea anyways. And sure, the general reaction to the black stormtrooper had me scratching my head, but other than that, Star Wars isn’t what defines sci-fi and space operas for me anymore. Saga does because it’s filled with the weirdest and sweetest stuff to ever grace sci-fi since Firefly and it all starts with a daughter talking about her folks.

A Comic with an Outlandish Premise
Saga is strange in many different ways. Firstly, it’s fantasy/sci-fi romp through a wide universe. Each planet is peopled by some fun races which range from adorable anthropomorphic seals to the magical folk of Wreath. The Robot Kingdom are filled with, surprise, robots, with TVs replacing their heads and with the anatomy and functionality of humans. It’s all very weird and it’s a lot to take in if you aren’t initiated with how Pulpy old school Sci-Fi can get.

But that’s just a small part of how wild and beautiful Saga is. In between bounty hunters with extendable lances, Spider/human beings armed to the teeth, and ghosts, there’s a sweet story about family and forbidden love.

Inspired by Star Wars and Flash Gordon
Now a lot of people might already draw parallels between this comic and the biggun’ which is Star Wars, and for the most part, those comparisons are right. Brian Vaughan openly admits that his inspirations for Saga fall firmly in the world of the Jedi with a little Flash Gordon splashed in for flavor. However, those lines have been drawn and both already have followings of their own. Saga is new to the game, but each page brings a treasure trove of visually striking art and lore you can really sink your teeth into. Also, The Will is cool as hell.

‘Cause you can’t do Sci-Fi without a few burns.

The Heart of an Epic Saga
If you’ve ever read any of my old reviews, then my adoration for sappy stuff should be evident. The special thing I found in Saga is its familial themes. While battling bounty hunters, combat trained grandparents, and occasionally their own cultures, Marko and Alana struggle to make ends meet. They seek shelter wherever they can while raising their little Hazel in a very violent world wired to hate her from the get go. Things can’t get any worse for this fledgling family, and yet, they make it work with a little grit and a lot of love. It also helps that between high octane action scenes are tender little moments like this.

This is Lying Cat, which calls anyone out on their lies. Lying Cat is my new favorite thing.

Conclusion
Saga is a special little gem of a comic that constantly builds on its already expansive and deep lore. I can tell that this will run for a very long time, and may even inspire some studios to adapt its weird and bright material. Give it a read if you’re a little tired of the Sci-Fi you see on the TV. Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples have made one helluva sweet story. Next week’s review will jump right back into Science Fiction, but it’ll be pulpier and even a bit more nostalgic than most titles.

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The New Year Show Round-Up

Woo! It’s been a while since we’ve updated, and that’s totally my fault. I haven’t been working the hardest in many things, and at the same time, the holidays just piled on relentlessly. So, instead of doing the single posts and reviews, I wanted to make a bunch of mini-reviews for all the wicked shows and flicks which came out this year. Also, I noticed I write about everything I love, so instead of just endless love, I’ll also mention everything which I didn’t enjoy and I’ll start off with that.

The Disappointing: Constantine

Man… I wanted to love Constantine so bad… The Hellblazer series is awesome and it comes from one of the best graphic novel writers ever to have graced the glossy page. I wanted to be surprised by Constantine; hell, I was looking forward to how the writers and creators would have worked something new into the series. Honestly, the only episode I liked was ‘A Feast of Friends’ wherein a glimmer of Constantine’s apathetic nature came out, only to be revealed as a smoke screen. He cared about his friends, and he hated doing what he did. The latter part came as a surprise because John’s just an ass in the comic. It’s unfortunate that the rest felt like a rehash. But maybe that’s just me; I’m an avid fan of the first 5 seasons of Supernatural, and honestly, Constantine plays a lot like that.

The Surprising: Gotham

Ben Mckenzie’s sense of humor is pretty spot on

I made a review about this, and I’m happy enough to admit that I was wrong. Gotham came with the premise that it existed within Batman canon. I watched it as such and I hated it for a while. That is, until I realized, this is about Gotham. It’s a place which molded one of the most beloved vigilante’s ever. In this context, the series makes much more sense. Think of it this way; while Gordon is a target for most of Batman’s villains, have you ever noticed that (with the exception of Joker) most of them don’t try to mess with him? I think Gotham’s writers are trying to build that respect for him, which is why not a lot of villains try to hurt Jim.

The Questionable Investment: Supernatural

Tada! It’s sort of paradoxical that I would mention this in a list where I cited it as a great example of supernatural-centric series. Honestly though, Supernatural hasn’t been at its prime for a while. Sure, there are some episodes from season 6 to 10 which will rip your heart out, but the tenth and final season seems underwhelming. But that’s partially due to the fact that every problem, major or otherwise, pans out exactly the same way they did the first time. Basically, this season feels like a greatest hits album, exempting episodes like Fan Fiction, and Death’s Door.

The Bromance: The Flash and The Arrow

Superman and Ba- I mean Flash and Arrow

Arrow, started out slow. It was obvious that the writers were still trying to feel out the series when the Arrow started. However, over time, the series got strong enough so that it could host many different iconic DC villains. No one could have seen that Arrow would also be the best jumping off point for a series like The Flash. Plus; this is probably the best and most dysfunctional bromance on TV since Turk and JD from Scrubs also considering House and WIlson. I’m hoping that the DC movie universe will be able to replicate Barry and Oliver’s dynamic when Dawn of Justice comes out.

The Sadness: The Colbert Report

Well at least John Oliver’s still around

I’m not mad at this series because it sucks; I’m mad because it ended…

The Most Surprising Turn Around: Korra

That rumbling in the ground, can you hear it? That is the sound of a thousand Fan Fic artists’ wishes coming true

It comes as no surprise that the writers and producers behind Avatar came up with yet another amazing little gem of a series. However, what surprised me about Korra is that it asks you to stick around when it hits its low points. As a whole, this series perfects character development in that each season brings something new. The over-arching themes in each season are complemented by the most constant underlying lesson; change is inevitable but slow. Korra grows to discover herself, along with her best friends, over many years and we get to see that growth pay out in spades. The finale also had people up in arms, but I fully support how this series grows on you if you stick with it.

The Weird: Interstellar

2014 also had Baymax

A lot of people remain on the fence about this movie and I’m count myself among them. Interstellar is probably Christopher Nolan’s most hopeful movie, but he tells the story in a very ham fisted manner. There is spectacle after spectacle as the movie goes through its epic motions, but you’ll also have to be ready for lengthy banter in between. Mathew Mcconaughey hits the nail on the head with every scene he appears in, but I ended up favoring the Monolithic AI companion Tars more than the human characters. Overall though, I’d have to say I really liked this movie. It sits alongside titles like The 5th Element and Sunshine in my collection of funky Sci-Fi flicks.

I’m probably going to make a sequel to this soon, but for now, these are the media that made 2014 the year that it was. Watch out next week for the comic which made me a lot less excited about Star Wars Ep 7. I found that it pushes a lance right through the heart of those stupid laser swords.

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Weeky Comic Round Up: All Star Superman an Old School Super Powered Fool

Doomed Planet. Desperate Scientists. Last Hope. Superman.

Superman’s a difficult character to write for. He’s omnipotent; having a huge set of powers while being almost indestructible. He’s also got his moral compass constantly pointing north. It’s hard not to find him boring because he’s the archetypical hero; strong, humble, and he stands for the American way. So why would anyone want to read All Star Superman? Well, for one reason, you’ll get to see Supes in a different light.

Everybody's working for the Weekend

Everybody’s working for the Weekend!

Dying gets to Us All

How does an omnipotent being deal with mortality? That’s the first and only question Grant Morrison wanted to pose to every fan and newbie who picked up this comic. The opening scenes of issue 1 have Superman saving a group of scientists from a ploy cooked up by Lex Luthor. Clark succeeds, as he usually does, but his reward is a super charged cancer. There is a twist to this unfortunate news though; Superman is slowly turning into pure energy, making him even more powerful than he already is.

That should make this series a lot more boring, as one of his new found powers is immunity to Kryptonite.

So, now that he’s even more super charged, what will Clark do? Well, he does what he’s good at and that’s just helping out as many people as he can. That’s the point of this whole comic, but what unfolds, if you’re willing to put up with some cheesy stuff, is truly something special.

Never Preachy, Just Hopeful

Action speaks a lot louder than words do, and Grant Morrison tries to show that off in spades. Superman’s plans in the comic don’t involve him preaching to the masses about goodness through rhetoric. Instead of finishing off his enemies, he gives them another chance like he always does. One particular arc shows him giving his more angry Kryptonian cousins mercy as they slowly die after being poisoned. In another, he gives Lois Lane every one of his powers for a period of 24 hours.

The Daily Grind

But what really got me was issue ten where he’s bombarded by hundreds of little tasks in Metropolis. He hears segments of a long conversation between a therapist and his young ward. The therapist is desperate; being delayed from his appointment by numerous problems during the day. Superman while gleaning whatever he could from the snippets of the therapist’s conversation, figures out what’s happening to the patient and does something about it. it marks a certain page in issue 10 as a real heartfelt moment in the Superman lore cannon.

The point here is that he acted rather than spoke, and when he does speak to people, it is in as few words as he can.

Rehashed, Retconned Deaths
Superman has died so many times that any event declaring his mortality can be easily shrugged off. The Death of Superman is particularly iconic, and The Dark Knight Returns also shows you an instance where he is not strong enough to give Bruce Wayne a beatdown. It’s easy to pass this comic off as another one-shot meant to give Superman mad props for being a boy scout.

Lex' Ugly Cry

Ugly cry all you want Lex

Grant Morrison doesn’t do that here. He gives future writers the ability to play around with the ending, while allowing readers to glean a sense of finality from the comic. For me, this is how I see Superman taking his final bow. Not with anger, or with preaching, nor will he spend his time inactive and afraid. He’ll just keep doing what he does, with a smile on his face and a quiet, relaxed confidence. Definitely give All Star Superman a chance if you need a feel good comic. There’s a movie out too and I actually enjoyed that ending better for the bumbling Clark Kent.

Anime Assault: Kill La Kill

GIGA! DRILL! STRIIIIPPPPPEEERR!

Kill La Kill, for the most part, holds equal parts allure and scathing human insight into our world. Made by the same people who brought you Gurren Lagann, this anime was, for the most part, traditionally drawn and animated. It revolves around a girl named Matoi Ryuuko as she transfers to Honnouji Academy, a school ruled and controlled by Kiryuuin Satsuki, which for the most part is an all-around upstanding antagonist. Fuelled by the death of her Father, and wielding one half of a giant scissor sword, Matoi goes on a quest for vengeance against the patricidal murderer and the god robes, powerful school uniforms worn by Satsuki and her school elite. This isn’t some run of the mill battle anime either, it holds a lot of World War II symbolisms, let me just go through a few.

Hail Hy- W-We mean Satsuki!

War… War Never Changes unless the Fighters are Half or Fully Naked

The first few episodes revolve around the arrival of Ryuuko, who for the most part, represents the allied powers as they enter the fray…. Okay, are the weak ones gone? Let’s get down to business. Kill La Kill offers viewers a good splash of color, action, animation, score, and yes, feels all rolled up into one big throw back to Gurren Lagann. Being made by the same team, it is filled with reality punching sequences and all out spam attacks that leave you begging for more.

Oh wait… Did I mention fan service?

We got boobs for days…

Well there is a lot of it. From panty shots to upskirts, underboob, sideboob, and even boob flopping, it’s all in there. Not to mention, the character designs and animations are just gorgeous. The way they use a chalk and doodle style for the effects are simply amazing. That’s not to grab away from the dialogue and the Music though, but you will revel at the colourful backgrounds of the slums to the near uniform grey of Honnouji academy, they all look beautiful on your screen.

Hits all the right Notes

The score is something worth listening to as well. The Four Devas, students who basically serve as area bosses for Matoi to reach Satsuki, get wonderful background music that sets the mood and suspense. Even the magical girl transformation from high school student to semi-nude, leather clad, warrior princesses has this distinct song during the whole transformation to get you pumped for the upcoming battle filled with stars, explosions, and undergarments.

Watch it Because…

It is of note that, as much as the whole of the series alludes to the Second World War, it can be interpreted as a really good coming of age story of Matoi, as well as Satsuki. The way this plays out can’t be stressed enough without you watching the whole series, which I massively push you to do sometime right now. There are moments where you just well up with a feeling of warmth and how you feel for the characters. And in the end, a big lesson of overcoming rebellion, desire, preconceived notions, and clothes gives you a sense of passion with moving on and being content.

I highly recommend you watch this anime if not for the feels, then the fan service and the good battle animations. If you like more of the things you saw in Kill La Kill, you could try Gurren Lagann and Space Dandy for some over the top action and a few good laughs.


 




 


 

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Hope For The Future, Paul McCartney’s End Credit Track For Destiny

Your Destiny Awaits

Well that was a pleasant surprise for me, waiting on a friend to finish his cigarette break I found a small icon on the lower right corner of the orbit screen. Give it a click or better yet just play the video above. Not much mention of this track by Paul McCartney(I pray to the gods we don’t have to tell you who he is) was made public, hopefully if you haven’t heard it yet it will be a glorious find for you as well.

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The Strain: Slow Boiling Action Bonanza

Boy, Guillermo Del Toro is getting a lot of gigs lately, and I’m truly happy for the guy. I’m a bit of a fanboy when it comes to his work, and that’s mostly because his earlier films were brilliantly poetic horror films. I could probably throw in Edgar Allen Poe right in there too, but this is an article about The Strain. Well, for starters, this series isn’t exactly going to hook you immediately and if you’re not familiar with Del Toro’s work that can be a turn off.

The Slow Boil

One thing that The Strain gets right about horror is that it’s doesn’t want to rush. The story builds over the course of a few episodes, and in that time, we’re introduced to the characters. There’s Ephraim, the negligent workaholic/recovering alcoholic father, and his family. Fet, the hyper competent, anti-social pest exterminator. Gus is a Latino thug who loves his family and friends, and who is also my second favorite in the series. Nora, who follows the same line as Gus but with less of a sketchy past being that she, is a doctor. There’s Satrakian, basically a facsimile of Van Helsing but who is more awesome just by being an ass kicking senior. And finally, there’s Dutch Velders… She plays the redemption story line well, or at least better than any of these characters because her fault is evident and bigger.

Satrakian

Senior Citizen Ass Kickery

It’s a mark of how memorable these characters are, I guess, that I take the time to nitpick them, but the issue here lies in how slow their stories unravel. It takes a few episodes before the show finds its stride, but that’s okay because when it does, The Strain gets very good very quickly. In fact, I’d say any amount of patience you lend this series will get repaid in spades.

Melt in your Mouth Action

Okay, The Strain is supposed to be a horror, and it is in a traditional sense. Tense moments often crop when you know the characters are in danger, but they don’t last as long as you might want them to. An occasional jumpscare will have your heart pumping real quickly, but there is very little suspense to be had in The Strain. What I do keep coming back for is how the danger brings out some pretty awesome and creative action scenes. There’s a part where Ephraim’s son owns at being an independent character, rather than being very useless plot point. Possibly the best fight, however, is the finale engagement against the master himself. This actually segues into the next issue people have about the series.

The Vamps

There are countless movies and series have been awash with vampire lore; taking them away from what they once were. Ann Rice may be at fault here, but there is a lot of value to be found in the seductive tempter. The vampires in this series don’t look very good, and often seem too covered in prosthetics. But I realized one thing about them all. They all look like the original film vampire, Nosferatu.

Waiting for a tentacle

Waiting for a tentacle

The Point

The Strain is fun and reminds me of the first 5 seasons of Supernatural. However, there is a sense of impending dread in the finale, which you know will bite you back in the ass eventually. I’d recommend this series to folks who are tired of zombie shows and don’t want to jump into superhero centric series like The Flash, Constantine, Gotham, and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

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Weekly Comic Round Up: Sex Criminals

I want to take a step back, think for a bit, and if you’re willing to overlook that title for a minute, then I want you to take a step back with me. Not too long ago, a bill regarding reproductive education was in the works here in the Philippines. It would have provided a more comprehensive approach towards sex, how it works, and how the youth can protect themselves while they are engaged in relations. This bill, however, didn’t completely pass because we’re a conservative country with some old school views on religion. For every Filipino kid whose have danced awkwardly around the subject of sex, I say pick up this comic if you want some answers.

The Comic: Not as dirty as you think

Now at first, I approached this comic with a bit of apprehension and doubt. From the title alone, my assumptions brought me to the conclusion that Sex Criminals was going to be soft core porn. I couldn’t have been more wrong about a comic in all my life. Sure, most of the themes in this very graphic novel are sexual in nature; there nudie scenes everywhere, but that doesn’t subtract anything from the core message of the comic. It’s just about two people finding each other, and despite their difficult pasts, falling in love in a very real way.

Oh, and it doesn’t end there either.

Approaching Awkward Themes as Gracefully as a Bull in a Sex Shop

Sex Criminals is also trying to start a conversation about the awkward teen years when you’re just learning about masturbation, how sex works, and how no one ever has a straight answer for you when you do ask. At its core, Sex Criminals is trying to address Sex in a personal and often funny way. One scene depicted Jon, the lead male character, not actually climaxing during his first sexual encounter.

Suzie is also a delight; Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky approach her coming (pun intended) of age in a realistic and none exploitative manner, and that’s rare when it comes to lead female protagonists. Oh, when both of these characters climax they freeze time, so that’s something to look forward to.

ET Junior

Letter Daddies

While the writing on its own is hilarious, heartwarming, and weird, the real gems are the so called Letter Daddies found on the last pages of the comic. Every month, folks send out hilarious anecdotes about porn in the woods, cleverly worded dick jokes, and surprisingly, a lot of people also try to discuss some very intimate issues they have about sex. Quite recently, the creators have also called upon the services of a professor who deals with sexual issues in real life. You might even learn a thing or two from the sex tips. I particularly found this piece of advice most helpful.

Special Spiderman

The Point

You know, I find a lot of important points that come up in SC. Past relationships, issues about promiscuity, orientation, and even mental health; Matt and Chip do a wonderful job of bringing these stories to light. I may paraphrase this a bit, but I think the words of Matt in one of the later issues sums up the conversation up pretty well. “Sex, like so many other things in life is a continuum of experience”.

It gets two big thumbs up from me; thumbs that go straight up the creators’ happy places.

Related Products:

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What This Fascination For “Loot Caves” Tell Us About This Generations Gamers

Lucky Bastard

I am not innocent of abusing game exploits, in this article about Destiny being a grind game, I mention a few sins I’ve been guilty of in the past. Some count resetting instances in Allods and even botting Diablo 3 for profit. I’ll take all your condescending remarks, it was a bad ordeal, and all my accounts have been banned since.

What I can’t understand is how people continuously complain about the loot drops in Destiny. When will people accept that this game is trying to give you more than 40 hours for your money’s worth. This isn’t an addition to the Halo series so it shouldn’t be treated as one. I think its brave of Bungie to try and build an MMO franchise, why don’t people appreciate the effort in that.

OK. I admit the story is shite, there is only a few incoherent and disconnected cut scenes that struggle to put a shameful story together, and to make it worse DLC has been blatantly announced and offered for pre-purchase. Fine, bottom line is they need the money, but come on folks! The Destiny loot system may be far from perfect, I for one got an Exotic out of a blunder of a Crucible Match, but that only proves that the game DOES drop these so revered impossible items. While you’re complaining about drops people are patiently hiding behind rocks picking off huge Cabals one by one for the Queens Wrath and completing the legendary set. Painfully I finished one event by myself and got my first legendary chest piece, I died more than 20 times. I admit I pretty much suck at FPSes, and I may have been undergeared to do a 24 heroic on my own, but I had fun and furthermore learned one must keep a Pulse Rifle handy(Some mobs will resist projectiles but die to one Pulse Rifle shot).

But that’s the beauty of grind games, the path to getting great loot will be its own reward. Soon people will be geared enough to run these raids solo and be posting speed runs where they’ve perfectly time the cycle of their grenades and skills to make these extremely difficult raids seem like cheese. And these folks whining about loot caves will have left the game I imagine, still left with no clue how much fun a game can be when you’re invested in it.

Destiny’s loot system is tough, but it’s not worse than Diablo 3’s legendaries rolling stats you do not exactly need, not even worse that World of Warcrafts broken die roll system, it’s not even close to how difficult it is to Guildwars 2’s legendary crafting.

I’m tired of hearing seeing entitled attitude, don’t play it if you don’t want to play it. If you wanted your hand held through out the game, don’t pick up a grind game, and for Christ’s sake lets stop saying console games can never be MMOs, it is a step towards perfecting Shooter MMOs on console, a large step at that.

I can only imagine what people will say when Kingdom Under Fire II hits next gen or will people nitpick The Division’s MMO facet, will they complain about how other people have better cars in The Crew? Enough please.

Overnight, a buddy of mine burned the midnight oil to finish the story and got into the raids after hitting 20, I checked his profile and saw 3 exotics. That is just one night.

NOTE: Image was just modified to hide the PSN ID. Ill ask him if he wants to get internet famous 😀

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Reviewing the Indies: Thomas was Alone

Thomas Was Alone

Thomas, was alone.
But not for long.

I like complicated games. The top titles I fell in love with last year were the Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite, and Gone Home, which will get its own review soon. Sometimes though, complicated titles that deal with survival, meta theories about gaming, or dealing with your sexuality can take its toll. Sometimes you don’t need sweeping landscapes or intimately detailed environments. Hell, in rare occasions, a game doesn’t even need voice actors/actresses to tell a great story.

Sometimes, all you need to make a fantastic game with a great story is a bunch of polygons and a quirky narrator. This is exactly what Thomas was Alone is all about.

Simple Platforming Goodness
Platforming hasn’t been such a big thing since 3D environments have gotten bigger. 2D titles are rare, few, and are usually indie too. Thomas was Alone doesn’t buck that trend much. Everything about this game screams minimalism, and the gameplay really builds on that foundation. Sure, the levels are as simple as black platforms with a few animations in the background, but what impressed me is how the developers made use of that limited space.

I got to use every one of the characters’ abilities to their full extent, and then some. Later in the game, you’ll end up with a character that is basically the anti-gravity version of Thomas. Basically, it was one helluva trippy batch of levels, and it only got more complicated when the normal characters get mixed in.

Thomas Was Alone

The Point
What are really nice about this title weren’t the gorgeous but simple visuals. It was the gameplay. In Thomas was Alone, narration mattered. You didn’t need some digital sergeant to tell you where to go, and you never wanted one anyway. The game is several shades of self-referential, but it needs to be. Much of the title’s most hilarious moments are when they talk about Internet memes and even Nathan Fillion.

But another thing that got me about the game is that it tells a story that isn’t trying to be ironic or cynical. On the contrary, it’s trying to conjure up emphatic responses by making a bunch of 2D shapes relatable. I didn’t get that from Watch Dogs, nor any other triple A game to come out this year.

We all start alone, but when we try, our efforts no matter how pointless or hard they may be, might result in something good. Hell, along the way we might even meet some people who are just as crazy as we are.

Thomas was alone is brilliant in my books so I suggest getting it right now. It’s pretty cheap on steam and is often a favored title for when Humble Bundles come out.