Geek Wish-List: Division Beta Breakdown

Last week I mentioned that I would soon be talking about the new Tom Clancy game “The Division.”  While playing the closed beta I was able to experience a little of the game play that we can look forward to on March 8th.

The majority of the game is still a mystery. The parts of the beta that I want to talk about this week include the loot and gear system, combat, and the mysterious Dark Zone that we’ve heard so much about.

LOOT & GEAR:

To start things off I thought that the loot system in The Division took some pointers from Borderlands in the way it allows players to know the rarity of the gear that dropped as soon as it’s generated. Once you walk over to look at a pile a summary of the gear pops up with quick options for you to decide if you want to pick it up, equip it, or leave it. However, with the price of merchant goods in the game I’m sure that we’ll all be taking all the loot we can to the virtual pawn shop.

The other part of the loot/gear system that I want to mention is what you do after picking up your gear. As expected you can get better armor and weapons like other RPG’s out there through completing quests and getting enemy loot drops. However, the unique system of having a separate type of loot devoted to aesthetic gear is something that I believe sets this game apart from other similar RPG’s. I love how you have gear slots for hats, jackets, shirts, pants, and boots that don’t affect your characters stats. I’m really looking forward to more exotic aesthetic gear when the game comes out.

From gamerant.com

From gamerant.com

COMBAT: 

I’m not going to talk extensively about the combat of The Division because other than the limited use of the beginning skills and weapons, we didn’t get a very detailed preview of combat. What we did learn was that each level of upgrades in the HQ will unlock different skills, perks, and talents in the wing that we choose to upgrade. The majority of the combat is similar to other Tom Clancy games in how cover is used, but the one difference that I saw is how interactive the surroundings where. Granted it’s not a  fully destructive environment, but the fact that car doors will shut as you go past them gives another layer of realism to the game play.

From www.unilad.co.uk

From www.unilad.co.uk

THE DARK ZONE:

The Dark Zone is The Division’s most noticeable difference from other games on the market. The way that the Dark Zone functions is that each player has a “Dark Zone” rank that they need in order to buy better gear that is available through the Dark Zone merchants.  The game is structured so that even though you can reach max level without going to the Dark Zone the best gear in the game will require you to risk the PvP element of the Dark Zone.

Speaking of which, the Dark Zone’s most interesting feature is how players can attack other players in an attempt to take their loot away. Players will be able to get loot like normal, however the difference is that players have the option to go to extraction zones to empty their inventory into the stash so that players can’t steal their hard earned gear. My only response to this is to make sure to take a party member or two with you when venturing into the Dark Zone. Not only are the NPC’s stronger in the Dark Zone, but your enemies aren’t just limited to NPC.

From www.tentonhammer.com

From www.tentonhammer.com

 

Next Week I’m planning on sharing an item from my Wish-List. Specifically, what kind of high budget fantasy movie I would love to see in the future. I believe that  a D&D movie is just what the doctor ordered.

Geek Wish-List: Final Fantasy 15 Update

Hello again everyone! I’m really excited to talk about the newest gameplay footage that was released by Square Enix on January the 30th. In the newest video we get to see Noctis and the gang infiltrate a Niflheim base that ends with a fight against the “Dragoon Lady” Aranea Highwind. To watch the official Niflheim base video click here.

Now just to make a quick clarification Niflheim has been noted as the primary enemy that you’ll be facing off against in Final Fantasy 15. This isn’t to say that we’ll have no interactions with the other nations, but that Niflheim will be the force that will be driving the majority of the games events. With that lets break this video down a bit.

COMBAT:

First of all I want to say how excited I am for the new combat system of Final Fantasy 15. Unlike all the previous Final Fantasy games that I’ve had the privilege of playing this is the only game that I’ve seen that has free flowing combat.  Finally I can enjoy a Final Fantasy game that doesn’t follow the tradition turn based combat system (YES!!).

from finalfantasy.wikia.com

from finalfantasy.wikia.com

The other part of combat that I am very excited for is how your teammates can combo your attacks together and vice versa. In the video we see Ignis shoot a soldier in a quick camera shot that opens up a combo attack for Noctis to join in on. The Magic system in Final Fantasy 15 was also modified from what we’ve seen previously. The three types of magic in the game are Fire,Thunder, and Blizzard. We now know that these magic attacks can be used to devastating effectiveness based on the environment. I.E. oil being set a flame, thunder attacks dealing more damage in the rain, and water freezing after a blizzard attack.

from www.youtube.com

from www.youtube.com

CHARACTER:

The second part of the video that I want to talk about is the re-reveal of Aranea Highwind or the “Dragoon Lady” as fans    have been calling her. From Square Enix’s official description we know her as the captain of the Niflheim Empire’s Third Army Corps 86th Airborne Unit. What I’m hoping for is some kind of continuing rivalry between the “Dragoon Lady” and Noctis. In other words I’m hoping that we get to fight a character that will be highly developed and acts as a combative face for the Niflheim forces during the course of the game.

from www.youtube.com

from www.youtube.com

WISHES:

Now that we have spent some time talking about the newly released information; I have some personal hopes for the game before the anticipated day of release.

The biggest wish I have for this game is to get a huge collection of amazing summons like the ones that we’ve seen so far. Now I can’t really see them allowing us to use the Leviathan in this game based on just how powerful and destructive it is; not to mention how bloody massive it is (see here for video on Summons).

My other wish is to get a truly massive story that doesn’t get boring or dull to the point where I start to lose interest in the game. However, with the long standing record of great stories that Square Enix has provided I doubt I’ll have to worry too much about that.

from www.youtube.com

from www.youtube.com

For more Information about the new features released as well as other news on Final Fantasy 15 visit Nova Crystallis. In addition we also learned that the next event Square Enix has planned, titled Uncovered: Final Fantasy XV,  will be giving us the official release date for the finish game and will take place on March 30 at 7PM PST at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California. Next week, having played in the closed beta, I’ll go over some wishes that I have for Tom Clancy’s the Division.

Geek Wish-List: E-Z Multiplayer

Hello again everyone, it’s time for your weekly Wish-List update. Last week, I said I was going to talk about how I wish for a hassle-free way to play video games with other people. Let me take a moment to explain the problem.

I’m sure every multiplayer gamer has been set up with useless, rude, or just plain annoying people at least once. I’m also fairly certain many of you have wanted to play a game with friends, only to give up after fighting with a poorly designed matchmaking system.

Oh, the multi-player system problems I’ve had. Star War Battlefront, Call of Duty, and Destiny are the most problematic multiplayer systems I’ve played. I want Battlefront to fix their multiplayer system in general. Call of Duty should move all the rude, annoying players int one match, and Destiny needs to wake-up, and consolidate players into raids.

Most of us remember simpler times when people just hooked up a second controller, and played split-screen. For me, the best personal play with friends were the Star Wars, Battlefront games. When I heard a new Battlefront front was out, I hopped on the nearest bandwagon and got myself a copy.

Although the gameplay was fun, I’d be here all day if I had to critique Battlefront’s many issues. Above all, I wish Star Wars Battlefront would use a conventional matchmaking system. You join a friend in a group, and play matches instead of using ‘partner-join’ to catch a partner as you join a game—hopefully a player with similar skill-levels.

But my biggest problem is, when you play with people who maxed out in the last two weeks, and just wreck everyone in sight.

from rangers-gaming.com

www.rangers-gaming.com

Next up, the infamous multiplayer epic, Call of Duty. As every player knows, the biggest problem with this  franchise are the ever-present 12 year-olds who talk endless, random shit about everyone in the game.

There’s always some squeaky voice on the speaker. A constant wail bemoaning they are being killed. Worse, after only two kills, they’re suddenly the next best thing. And, for some obscure twelve year-old reason, somehow, these screechers always have something to say about your mother.

Although unlikely, I also really wish there was a way of instantly removing all the bratty video game players. It would be great to stash them into one game where they can teabag, argue, and be unpleasant to each other all they like. Just leave the civilized gamers alone.

from www.gamezone.com

www.gamezone.com

My final multiplayer gripe is Destiny. For the most part, I enjoy its flaws, but one issue I can’t stand is how hard it is to group for a strike or raid. There’s only one successful way to group for endgame content. You need Destiny-playing friends on hand, or you use third-party grouping apps to locate alternates who may not even have a working mic.

I want the Destiny people to get off their recliners, and install a group finder. WoW or GW2 will do, I don’t really care. Any big MMO knows how useful group finders are, but Destiny seems allergic to the idea.

Group finders randomly pair people, and Destiny raids require coordinated action and a common a common goal. Now, you need a third-party app to link players. It would be easier if the game offered a default option for grouping players. Destiny producers Bungie and Activision suggest the challenges are too hard for random strangers.

If truth be told, I see complete strangers work together all the time, and I can’t understand why Destiny doesn’t include a group finder. Prompts asking for player mic preferences, skill or difficulty levels would be helpful. Such a system would improve endgame content, and enhance player enjoyment.

from gamingtrend.com

www.gamingtrend.com

Now that’s done, next week I’ll be talking about how it would be nice to see more event fan-drawings featuring video games or fictional characters. Check Amy Mebberson’s Pocket Princess for examples of the kind of stuff I’m interested to see..

Pocket Princesses from amymebberson.tumblr.com

Pocket Princesses from amymebberson.tumblr.com

Geek Wish-List: eSports for 2016

Hello everybody, apologies for the late post. Those technical issues finally caught up with me. It’s now 2016, and like I said last year, I want to talk about games I hope will enter the world of eSports. With the new year upon us, preparation for this year’s championships have already begun. From LoLto Counterstrike, people are training for a chance to take home the trophy. WIth many already training hard and building the community with newer teams by having advanced players by being able to buy lol account in order to train the newer ones. It’s safe to say that eSports have grown more than enough to gives some other franchises some attention.

The games I hope to see get more attention in the world of eSports this year include the new Blizzard game, Overwatch, Halo Wars 2, and the newest DOOM.

The most realistic game to enter the eSports line-up is Overwatch. A Blizzard creator, and MOBA-style gameplay make the game a
no-brainier for eSports fans. I hope Blizzcon hosts the first Overwatch world-championship in 2016.

Siliconangle.com

Image from Siliconangle.com

Next, I want to see a new RTS take the stage in eSports, and I think, Halo Wars 2 would bring new flavor to the arena. But I also believe changes are needed. There are two factions fighting in Halo Wars, and within each there are three sub-factions. Following RTS tradition, a third set of sub-factions would result in a more satisfying outcome. The Flood or Forerunners could easily fill the gap.

Giantbomb.com

Halo Wars 2. Image from Giantbomb.com

And finally, my big wish for eSports this year. In 2016, we are supposed to get the newest DOOM game. Indeed, DOOM is to return with shiny new graphics, depending on how well its multiplayer function works. The DOOM series is labeled as an ‘arena-style shooter’, which screams eSports. I can see DOOM being played in an eSports bar, and someone says, “Dude, so and so is on fire—oops, spoke too soon, he was just impaled.” (insert Frozen meme here)

Gamesradar.com

Image from Gamesradar.com

I’m now done with my weekly rant, and sorry for being late. Winter semester starts next week, and I’m so excited for the next round of geek-related stuff at the U. I will officially start the semester with my Wish-list for the geek community at the U. It’s gonna be a good year guys, I can feel it.

Multiplayer Games To Help Survive The Holidays

Christmas is time for hanging with the Fam, drinking hot coco, and watching strange and depressing Christmas movies with Grandma on Lifetime television. The latter may just be me, but it’s still a time to hang out with family and remember how much you love that strange uncle, or the crazy lady who always shows up to family reunions even though she’s not really part of the family.

While you might be a big online gamer, playing games like League of Legends and maybe even using one of the best lol boosting services to help boost your levels. But this game isn’t a very good game for multiple people to play against each other in, especially if they aren’t gamers too. This means the best way to survive these crazy weeks of family cheer is to breakout dank local-multiplayer games, and show them your hidden competitive side, a mix between a Velociraptor and a non-racist Donald Trump.

Donald Trump on Velociraptor (NinetyMilesfromTyranny.blogpost.com)

Who doesn’t love a good Christmas brawl or Battle Royal? And, without a doubt some intense and competitive couch multiplayer games can create such fun opportunities. Here is a compilation of games I recommend, or if you want a silent night, then I definitely don’t recommend it.

The first is for the aerial members in your family. It incorporates everything good about Christmas, including destruction, guns, presents, explosions, rooftops and roasted ducks. The most important game mechanic, however, is its name. That’s right, it’s called Duck Game.

duck game start menu

This game could have another name…

Duck Game is for family members who really like to get quacking on Christmas morning when the gifts are bestowed from under the tree. Just be careful, because as Duck Game teaches, not everything inside presents is good. There are worse things than coal.

Duck game gifts

Literally, a spartan laser.

Duck Game is about as much fun as Christmas morning, provided everyone is a non-flying angry duck. All players receive a variety of very dangerous toys!

duck game mid game

The key to success lies in the Upper Right-hand room

big picture fire

Look, as I spread Christmas cheer, burning ducks for all to hear. (cue evil Laugh)

Next up, it’s a game that isn’t dark, contrary to its name. In fact, it’s a rather light-hearted, historical reenactment of what goes on in the kitchen every holiday season. That is, if mashed-potatoes were crossbows, and roasted turkeys were laser guns. It’s Knight Squad.

K-UTE Blog posts Screenshot 2015-12-12 16-43-46

Knight Squad!

K-UTE Blog posts Screenshot 2015-12-12 15-30-20

Domination rocks!

This game embellishes on the scene from Shrek that parody’s Cops. But, Knight Squad is more like, Knight SWAT!

Whole new pepper spray.

Knight Squad is true craziness because it forces players to stab and shoot their way to glory. The numerous modes aren’t’ bad either, especially when you play soccer with a giant bolder.

Now the Bolder Puzzle is Going too Far (reddit.com)

K-UTE Blog posts Screenshot 2015-12-12 15-47-27

Instead of jousting, they play soccer.

The best thing about Knight Squad is that it supports 8-players, so, you can also include that lady who shows up at family events. It’s great because in the end, Knight Squad makes everyone angry, so no one is the odd duck.

K-UTE Blog posts Screenshot 2015-12-12 15-30-04

Survival of the Knightiest.

K-UTE Blog posts Screenshot 2015-12-12 15-31-11

Trap!

More fun can be had if you pretend the Red Knight is Santa Clause. Make Santa the Juggernaut, and give him a freakin’ mini-gun. This is as close as we get to a video game version of Weird Al Yankovic’s song, The Night Santa Went Crazy.

K-UTE Blog posts Screenshot 2015-12-12 15-29-32

Rampage!

K-UTE Blog posts Screenshot 2015-12-12 15-29-09

The game where Santa goes crazy.

Next, on my weird list of strange games, is the cheating game. It’s best for family members who just can’t help themselves, or the friends who make you so angry when you’re playing Halo split-screen. Oh wait, you can’t do that anymore. The name of the game is Screencheat.

K-UTE Blog posts Screenshot 2015-12-11 12-49-45

Rag doll love.

This is the only game where cheating won’t get you repeatedly shot in the face with a Nerf gun. Everyone is invisible. In order to You must look at an opponent’s screens to find out where they are. The best part is, the maps are a bunch of crazy beautiful colors, like my Grandma’s fruit-cake, so locating opponents is easy.

It’s is also great if you’re trying to understand someone else’s perspective…literally. Added bonus, you can kill opponents with a rocking horse. If there’s a small child in your house, this is the only plausible option for after game fights.

K-UTE Blog posts Screenshot 2015-12-11 12-49-32

Games are often close.

K-UTE Blog posts Screenshot 2015-12-11 12-51-17

Always sass, with each death.

K-UTE Blog posts Screenshot 2015-12-11 12-51-07

Invisible prey to stalk.

K-UTE Blog posts Screenshot 2015-12-11 12-50-18

FIREWORKS

Finally, the game I’ve been punched over, TowerFall Ascension. Everyone can be an archer, which really helps other players get the point, and it’s just as much fun as arrow roulette. This game turns hours into minutes, and friends into werewolves. It’s fast, it’s frenetic, and you’ll never value an arrow so much.

K-UTE Blog posts Screenshot 2015-12-11 13-08-23

Santa’s workshop is full of more maps than elves, and more modifiers than the average number of bulbs on an American Christmas tree. You can be a ghost as you enjoy sweet, sweet revenge. (Cue evil laugh, again)

Explosions! (www.towerfall-game.com)

What’s in the Chest? (www.gamespot.com)

The purple person is about to get hit by her own arrow. (www.polygon.com)

I hope you enjoyed the list. These games are chaotic, and meant to relieve the holiday stress. Grab them, and give your family a few Christmas games that keep on giving.

Remember, be cautious when opening your gifts ’cause you never know what’s inside. Unless you look, in which case, you’re on the naughty list anyway, and you’ll probably get coal.

Happy Holidays, “quack, quack.”

— Ollie, Master of Stealth and Assassination (ducks out)

Ro Soldier Finale By Parsui98.deviantart.com

Where did all the World War II games go?

Not too long ago the United States fought in the Second Great War. It’s not uncommon to hear World War II characterized as the contribution of a generation. It’s also hot in video games.

Just what is it about those great games?

Call of Duty, the game that inspired a generation with Nazi zombies, is one of the most notable in the WWII genre. There’s also Red Orchestra 2, another fantastic, first-person shooter (FPS) example of an ultra-realistic World War II game. And, let’s not forget the Medal of Honor series, which seems to have completely fallen off the face of the earth.

Call of Duty: Your Finest Hour (callofduty.wikia)

Call of Duty: Your Finest Hour (call of duty: Your Finest Hour.wikia)

This epic, epic globe-spanning conflict is gold for gaming. There are really, really bad, bad guys, like Adolf Hitler for one thing. Secondly, this type of game offers ample supply of alternate story lines for different adventures. Erwin Rommel’s lost treasure is choice.

And, don’t forget about the numerous plots to assassinate Hitler. Also, talk about the characters. You got “Old Blood and Guts” General George S. Patton, General Montgomery, Eisenhower, Erwin Rommel, Joseph Goebbels, and the list goes on. So many great and bad, but all are interesting people who contributed to a world-shaking conflict.

I want those games back! Aside from Wolfenstein there is a huge absence of the Great Wars in the gaming world right now.

store.steampowered.com

Imagine what we can do with the technology available to us. Games are bigger, faster and prettier than ever before. But there hasn’t been a WWII game to utilize big battlefield technology. Imagine you’re a single soldier on a D-Day beach. Players swarm around you, as MG-42s flash in hillside bunkers, and the whole time you just need to duck and cover behind the tank blockade just ahead.

Massive battles with many players would allow for extravagant objectives and excellent teamwork—not to mention tanks! Who doesn’t love tanks? One of my favorite things to do is drive tanks in video games, and driving a German King Tiger would be icing on the cake. It would all be spectacular.

Panzer IV, Model WaW

Panzer IV, Model WaW (Google Images)

Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem like such a spectacular idea to some people. Fast-pace, FPS games dominate the market with a tight niche in e-sports. This year’s Fall games lineup included sci-fi, and rapid competitive multiplayer games, like Halo 5 and Call of Duty: Black Ops 3.

Don’t get me wrong, I love those games. Competitive multiplayer and e-sports are great, and sci-fi is one of my favorite things ever. Still, we need balance. I want a deep, historical experience in an age of so much technology.

Red Orchestra, Rising Storm (SKIDKI)

Besides, World War II plays an extremely important role in American, and international history. Games are a great medium to teach this, especially when the details can be made historically accurate. I also feel games pay homage to the Americans who gave their lives to defend freedom we hold so dear. I also I fear a trend that forgets this world-changing event. Future video games may be the only way children get their history. History is super-important, because it shows us the mistakes we have made, so we don’t make them again.

For example, there is a very strong argument World War II could have been avoided if certain measures had been taken to reset the European balance-of-power to help Germany instead of punish her. But failure by political leaders to look at the past, guaranteed a second world war.

We need to examine history in order to create a brighter future, and perhaps, to avoid World War 3. Maybe a hugely complex World War II video game could help us get there.

– Ollie, Master of Stealth and Assassination

The Geekwave Episode 12: The Game Awards 2015

The Game Awards are almost here. This is one of Solar’s favorite events of the year, the big award ceremony for all members of the Video Game Industry. In this episode, Solar, Logan, and Lee talk about the nominations, argue about the merits of specific games, and try to predict who will win. Tune in to find out more!

Also in this episode, we talk about the new My Little Pony movie, mini-chainsaws, the new James Bond movie Spectre, and Golden KitKats.

For you audiophiles, we know quality is a little lower than usual this week. Our production room is having issues. We apologize, and hopefully it will be better next week.

We hope to see you all on #selfiewithyourturkey day!

The Geekwave Episode 11: Bethesda and Blizzard be Bitchin’

Chances are, if you’re a gamer, you have precious little time to spare right now from playing Fallout 4. But if you’re the kind of person who can listen to the radio while you play a game, then we think you’re going to enjoy this episode. We talk about Fallout 4, and all of the announcements and hype from Blizzcon (just give me Overwatch already!)

If gaming isn’t your favorite realm of The Geekdom, we also talk about new movies we’re excited for (Finding Dory, Toy Story 4, Star Wars VII, Warcraft). Solar tells us about seeing Chris Hardwick live and stories about The Talking Dead.

Events coming up in the next few weeks include tomorrow’s Cosplay Boot Camp and next Saturday’s Crimson LAN.

We also watch Shia watch Shia for a little bit. Definitely don’t want to miss that.