Games

Apex Legends

Rarely does a game hold my attention for as long as this one does. What it excels at is shooting mechanics, and simply, the overall feel of it. Yes, it’s a battle royale. Yes, it’s free. Yes, there are microtransactions. I’ve dropped easily 40 hours into this by now and I haven’t spent a dime.

For those that are unaware, Apex Legends is team based/squads of 3 based first person shooter in the battle royale genre. 20 teams of 3 compete to be the last team standing. Players drop from a single dropship and can jetpack glide down to the surface/area they wish to land. Weapons are randomized across the playfield, with certain areas leading to better tiered loot than others. Supply drops land randomly (or purposefully, I haven’t figured it out) which contain high tier loot, possibly legendaries. Loot is separated into common, rare, epic and legendary.

Now even with the weapons being tiered off, each weapon is a powerhouse in its own respective range. The shotguns, mainly the peacekeeper, dominate the close range. The sub-machine guns dominate the short-med range, and assault rifles to alright all round, but better at medium to long range, and sniper rifles can actually work at all ranges provided one is skilled.

Being skilled is actually seen in this game because those that are such, will be absolutely deadly with certain weapons while the casual gamer will feel a sense of “this gun needs to be nerfed”. I personally dominate with the g7 scout and the wingman.

When you play the game, you have the choice of 6 characters to choose from at the start. The other two can be unlocked by leveling up and gaining currency or spending real money. It took me about 40 hours (roughly the last little while I been playing) before I got the last character. Each character has their own unique hit-box (which I absolutely love, and pray that it doesn’t get changed), and their own set of abilities with a passive as well.

There’s Bloodhound, it can track enemy player’s recent movements with its passive, it’s tactical is to scan nearby and see through walls where the enemy is – it doesn’t show if they move away, just where they last where – and her ultimate makes her run really fast, and all enemies are highlighted red that are in sight.

There’s Gibraltar, who has a off/on shield whenever he aims, his tactical throws down in an area a shield that blocks all outgoing and incoming damage, and his ultimate rains mortar strikes in a massive area.

There’s Lifeline, a combat medic who has more than one passive; she can revive teammates while providing a frontal shield to block incoming damage, and she heals 25% faster. Her tactical is a long cooldown drone that provides healing to both ally and enemy. And her ultimate is a care package that can kill if it lands on someone, and contains high tier loot, usually purple shields.

There’s also Wraith, who can tell when an enemy is aiming at her or her allies, or if she’s being pinged or her allies are. Her tactical makes her invisible and invincible for 3 seconds and her ultimate plants a portal at one location, then you run to another spot and place the exit. While she’s using her ult, she runs 25% faster.

There’s Bangalore who when she gets shot at, she runs twice as fast. Her tactical is a multi use, before cooldowns, smoke grenade. Her ultimate covers an area in missiles that blow up after 5 seconds or so – easily dodged.

Caustic (gotta unlock) has the passive that he can see his enemies, even through walls, if they enter his gas. His tactical is that he can plant up to 6 gas mines around the map, 3 at once before 30 seconds cooldown to recover each charge. His ultimate tosses a grenade that covers a large area in toxic gas.

Mirage (gotta unlock) has a pretty tame passive in that when he gets knocked down, he goes invisible for 5 seconds and has a clone do a death animation. His tactical is he sends out a decoy that runs in straight line and if anybody shoots it, they get revealed to only Mirage. While his ultimate deploys clones in a circle who just stand there, while he himself goes invisible for a bit.

And lastly, there’s my favorite legend. Pathfinder. This robot’s passive is that he can scan beacons which are found in tall places around the map, which will reveal the location of the next circle. It’s astounding how many players fail to realize that tactical value in that. You can plan ahead where to move. Most games when my teammates abandon (so aggravating, I’m almost to the respawn and they quit), i can get second easily because I’m already waiting inside the next ring. Pathfinder’s tactical is he shoots a grappling hook that propels him to a target location, and when used correctly, can send him to hard to reach places or move about the battlefield with such ease; you can also grapple enemies towards yourself. His ultimate lets him create a zipline that can reach up to 10,000 range, and the ziplines stay on the field. I play Pathfinder the most.

All in all, I highly recommend this game to both veteran and casual gamers alike.

Games

Divinity: Original Sin 2

I warn thee that there are spoilers in this post moving forward about the ending of the game.

Last chance, I warned you.

Ok. I begin.

This game is set in a dungeons and dragons type world meaning there are dice rolls (hidden) and statistics, and a whole lot of min/maxing. You can play either by yourself, or with a party up to 4 – either computers or human. I played through the game in its entirety with my brother. We made original characters, he played a lizard warrior and I played an elf wizard.

My favourite memories of the game were the crisp graphics, and the stunning and often beautiful scenes. Also how all the particle effects would dance on-screen, and how they would interact with each other. The game is filled to the brim with secrets and hidden areas, as well as hidden characters. And to that end, we (my brother and I) created our characters to be able to cover both halves of the game, whatever we may need.

The combat is where the game shines because the way everything is possible and mixes together allows for some interesting combos. It is turn based, with each character having a certain amount of action points per turn (which can be augmented with skills) and a special skill cost that is revealed past the tutorial in the game. Those special costs allow for the most devastating of abilities and are truly handy.

The story is where the spoilers come in. Basically, by the end of the game (90 hours in) you can choose to be a god, or reject it. And me, being the noble brother, rejected it – not knowing my brother had not and then we were forced to fight to the death. He had the starting turn…

HOWEVER!… I may have let him think my wizard was not that strong the entire game because I had an inkling he would betray me as earlier on during the tutorial island, he betrayed me for arena champion (10 hours in). Ergo, combat starts, and he unleashes everything and due to an ability I had not shared with him, I survive by the skin of my teeth. On my turn, I teleport away and launch a thunderstorm (which I had also not let him be aware of, and let him think he’s the reason we could solo kill bosses) and killed him instantly.

My brother and I spent 91 hours playing this game. The moral lessons that were learnt during this session were plenty.

All in all, I recommend this game if you wanna learn who your true friends are, and who are those that are tempted by power.

Games

Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons

This game was 3 hours long, and I played it with my older brother. I controlled the stick for the younger brother in the game, and my bro controlled the older brother. On hindsight, after playing the game, I don’t recommend this. This is not a game to play with your older brother if you want to spend happy, quality time together.

It was, though, rather fun to work through the puzzles together and having to coordinate to get it done. The graphics were gorgeous and the controllers were tightly knit. And the storytelling and plot is what sold the game for me as being a masterpiece. Lovely moral message put in there. I won’t spoil it any further. I highly recommend it.

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Two brothers enjoying the view

10/10 (ratings are arbitrary, either I recommend it or not, I just like making ratings)

 

Games

ABZU

ABZU is a beautiful, underwater, diving game and some of the better non violent games I’ve played. It has some truly beautiful graphics and you often feel immersed in the setting around you. The colour scheme ranges from bright colours to darker ones as you descend deeper into the depths however it never once loses its sense of beauty. Though the game follows a linear path, many secrets are waiting to be found should the player search around a bit before moving on. Finding these secrets does give a bit of a sense of “hurrah!” and it is often an enjoyable task to do once moving into a new area.  Game-play itself is fun in and of itself because it is simply a joy to move around. And you can even grab onto larger marine animals for a ride.

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One taxi please

The other aspect I enjoyed is that there are pedestals you can sit on to simply watch and observe the life around you. These times were often serene and quite peaceful and can lead to nice screenshots (I did not take advantage of, I took others).

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Majestic

The storytelling is touching and well told through the use of cut-scenes and game-play taking place in a vast ocean with the main character referred to as female diver. The ending is worth the journey but more importantly, the journey was very well told, and very well done. It’s a game I recommend to everyone.

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OMMM

10/10 game for me.

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Catching a ride, dude!
Games

How not to make a card game

Every single computer trading card game struggles at the very concept of its core game-play. You don’t fucking randomise my hand, and deck. Doing so, completely nullifies any strategy involved in the deck and makes the game turn out to be 100% a matter of luck. No skill is needed. Slay the Spire is a card game that tries to reinvent certain aspects of the card game but ultimately fails flat on its face. You start with one hero, and as you play once with that hero, you unlock the next. Until you’ve unlocked all three. Each hero has their own starting deck, and you choose which linear path of rooms to clear. Clearing a fight results in a getting a new RANDOM card, or you can choose to decline. You can come across rooms that have a random event, giving you cards, or taking away, or upgrading, or just a random thing happens. There’s shops and there you can remove a card, but the price goes up. You choose which cards to add, or not. You face off a series of enemies that have set patterns, so it’s up to you to decide how to use your deck. Except…

NONE OF THIS MATTERS.

You are 100% up to the mercy of the game. The cards you can earn are completely randomised and the second hero you unlock, is so completely under-powered compared to the other two, you wonder if the developers even bother testing him out… oh wait, it’s an early access title… GO FIGURE.

The only strategy available for this hero is to redo and abandon every run unless you get a set of poison cards, or shiv cards. Otherwise no matter how well you try to do, you’ll inevitably lose without making it to the final boss. And if through some sheer luck, you manage to get to the final boss, it’s a possibility of three final bosses. And if you’re in my case, each FUCKING TIME, you get to the final boss, it’s the HARDEST boss available who absolutely fucks up the second hero. You had an insane stack of poison going? Purged. You had an insane shield stack going? Purge. Meanwhile the boss progressively gets stronger and stronger.

I dream of a day developers realise that the only strategy that can exist in a card game is only achievable by letting the player choose which fucking cards will be drawn, what fucking hand to start with, and every other hand. Give me control of my cards, and then.. I know, this next part is hard to swallow, omg look at that, there’s no more fucking luck involved. Then, miraculously, SURPRISE! There’s actual skill involved and not who can pay more money to the maker of the cards, or let me be at the mercy of sheer fucking luck.