Black Friday Game Shopping Tips

 

It’s 3 in the morning, do you know where your loved ones are? Of course you do because its Black Friday and you’re all in the same place – a line. Sure it maybe a different store but its always the same line, but we all know the real fun begins when you get into the store and try to sift through the good deals with the bad. So for the sake of all the would-be shoppers for games, here’s an article I wrote last year that might help you and your shopping experience. You might be able to make your own deals as well… What? It’s not a cop out, give me a break, I’m fighting some dude for the last Wii U (or I think I am, you never know with Black Friday).

 

 

 

 

 

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Vid Tips – Pandora Survival in the Borderlands

Vid-Tips

 

Well people today D day, meaning the day to pick up your copy of Borderlands 2 (yes!), which is something I’ll be doing the first change I get. However there are a bunch of players giving the Borderlands series a try for the first time. Pandora’s a trip and coming to it for the first time can be very painful without a little guidance, so the following here are some of my collected knowledge & strategy of my time spent in the first game. Yes, I know the 2nd game maybe different from the first, but from what I researched the core mechanics are still there so these tips are good. If nothing else it will help you die less.

 

Know your character classes: Seriously, this is more important now than it was in the first game. In Borderlands the classes were different sure but they were only good for dealing damage. Which is good and bad for many reasons; however in this sequel the classes are finely tuned and actually have roles on the battlefield. The Gunzerker can bring the pain but also tank enemies to keep the team protected; the Siren is a controller keeping enemies suppressed or confused but she’s also a decent healer if spec’ed correctly; Commando is a true DPS taking out mobs of enemies with his turret(s) – heck he can upgrade it with a nuke effect every time its deployed so yeah there you go; but of course no classed based game would be complete without  a massive single DPS assassin which the game also has (funny enough you can choose to take that role up close or through a sniper scope). Find a class that resonates with you and go for it, just make sure you know what you’re getting into.

 

 

Know your Gun: With 87 Bazillion Guns at our disposal this should be obvious, but again people just want to use the most powerful they can, not realizing the difference of the guns and the Manufacturers who made them. The difference between a Jakobs shotgun and one from Maliwan can make all the difference in a fire fight. Jakobs is the higher caliber weapon on paper; however Maliwan attaches elemental effects to all their weapons and that’s a definite plus against enemies’ resistance to non-elemental damage. Fortunately for us players we get up to four weapon slots to customize our arsenal with; so for the love all things good and awesome don’t be a brand loyalist – try new things!

 

Know your mods: Like the guns, the Manufacturers also affect the mods you use. Mods, if you didn’t know, enhance your grenades, energy shields, and even your class stats in unique, sometimes unexpected, ways. You got to decide which is most useful to you and your combat roles because you’ll need every advantage you can get as the weight of Pandora starts bearing down on you.

 

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Kill, kill, kill!: Now most guns you can buy from the venders or get as rewards for completing quests. We all know however all the really deadly goodies are hidden on or in the baddies we take down. What’s more the higher level monsters often have the best gear to loot. So the bigger and badder the beastie is, the more likely your get that purple, gold (not orange, gold), or dare I say, pearlescent item of your dreams. Of course in order to get those high valve targets, more often, you’ll have to join with others players online. Which brings me to…

 

Putting the Co-Op back into the Co-Op: Now I know everyone want to show everyone else online that they are quote/unquote ‘Badass’, but running into a pack superbad midget psychos, popping to off your abilities (not spec’ed well might I add) too soon, then dying doesn’t nothing for the team but leading the little anklebiters to us. And since we’re a lame man down we die too – thanks a lot! You want to avoid this then work with your team, know what they’re capable of, watch each other’s backs, communicate, avoid being petty with loot and you’ll go far. Mass rage quits are the #1 killers of online play, don’t let this happen to you.

 

Keep this tips in mind and you too can survive to horrors of Pandora, the find the new vault and put Handsome Jack in his place.

 

 

 

 

 

Game Trading Tips – Maximum gaming with minimal money

 


Let’s face it people: gaming is expensive. It always has been expensive since the 90’s and even more expensive in the 80’s. Long gone are the days you can plunk in a quarter and have some bit based fun from five to twenty five minutes at a time. These days the fun is longer and yours but you have to shell out at least $200 to start and keep paying $65.00 to keep the fun going, with no guarantee the game’s any good. What’s a gamer to do? I’ll tell you – trade-in. Games even as old as PlayStation can even be trade in for actual money; but how do you go about it, there are plenty of gaming stores with their own policies, which ones are the best for me? Thankfully that is why we’re here; in this segment we will look at examples of two types of gaming stores out there (that the Armada staff has shopped in regularly) and how they handle trades-ins. Together we will find the best way to get the latest games for you and get Christmas presents for everyone else with the money you saved.

 

 

 

1. Chain Stores (i.e. GameStop, BestBuy)

Chain stories are stores that either specialize in one subject, and for our purposes today that’s video games, or deal with many different products along that vine. As an example only two stores comes to mind – GameStop and Best Buy; they have over thousand stores across the world, they both own and control video game magazines, Game Informer and @Gamer, and of course offers some of the best trade-in deals available. Here’s their stats:

 

+ Knowledgeable Staff (GameStop)

+ Convenient locations

+ Pre order bonuses

+ Midnight pick-ups (some games, not all)

+ Trade-in range from Current to PS2

+ Trade-in pricing from $30.00 (for current ‘just releases’) and below (all other games) per game

+ Trade-in Memberships. Basic membership offer points for every bought or sold game, the premiums memberships offers more at the cost of a yearly fee ($15) (GameStop/Best Buy)

+ Used (yet current) games can be brought at cheaper prices

+ Now buying old iPods, iTouches and iPhones (GameStop).

+ The option of getting trade-in as cash (GameStop)

+ Can use trade in funds to buy other non-video game related things (Best Buy)

 

– Some staff is not as knowledgeable or helpful as others (Best Buy)

– Will not take Xbox or below games

– Each store may have a different price value for traded in games (GameStop)

– No trade-in as cash (Best Buy)

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Local Stores (i.e. The Exchange)

 

 

While many say that local stores are on the decline, they won’t go quietly into the night. This is true for local stores that buy, sell, and trade in video games. Where the chain stores may say ‘no’ in, the local one tends to work things out. For the example I chose ‘The Exchange’; a business that may have stores in three states but they’re a far cry from Wal-Mart. They deal with music, movies, figurines, video games, and even board games. Here’s what they bring to the table:

 

+ Friendly staff

+ A surprising selection of new and old games at reduced prices

+ Trade-in range only limited to PC games

+ Trade-in pricing can be up 75% ($48.75) of original price (the newer the game the better)

+ Can use trade in funds to buy other non-video game related things

+ The option of getting trade-in as cash

 

–  No special for trade-in deals

– Trade in prices vary from store to store

– Stock vary from store to store

 

 

So those are pretty much your choices on the old school route, but nowhere near your only one. E-Bay, Amazon, and other internet sellers provide a greater opportunity for blingitude (but it’s never guaranteed), also different chain & local stores may have much better offers than the examples stores I’ve listed today. The best (and final) piece of advice I can give on this subject is to do a little research; go to your favorite gaming hole and see what they offer in trade-ins. If they’re good then go for it; if not then you have this guild to fall back on. Where there’s a game, there’s a way.

 

Crysis 2 Multiplayer Demo Tips – Running and gunning with superpowers

Ok people, just so you know there was a Crysis 2 Multiplayer Demo available for Xbox live gold accounts. It been out for a while now and I’ve been having a great time with it; until the unseen time limit ran out and they close down the multiplayer demo – too bad. Well I have all this Crysis 2 knowledge and I can’t use it until March, so I decided to do the next best thing and teach what I know. Experimentation is always key, but with these. the learning curve won’t be slapping you in the face so much at launch:

 

 

1. Getting to know your Semiautonomous Enhanced Combat Ops: Neuro-integration and Delivery AI (S.E.C.O.N.D.) Nanosuit

Basically that’s the thing your character wearing and makes the game different than any other shooter so far. With a push of a button(s) it’s can make you run quicker (although it’s no more quicker than any other run/rush/sprint in any other shooter), be tougher by increasing your armor’s resistance to all damage, and even become invisible to get the drop on many unaware players. You get all these abilities at start which is awesome and you can use them whenever you want. However the down side is that all those abilities draw from the same power source which needs to be recharged the longer a power or powers are being used. The powerbar (my term, not the game’s) recharge is quick enough, but if you max it out you’ll be vulnerable and the bar won’t charge for a few seconds – and that’s an eternity on the battlefield. So while it’s tempting to go full throttle with the super jazz, I recommend against it, otherwise it will be your head being sniped in instant replay.

 

 

2. Power & Armor & Stealth highs and lows

Power means sprinting in most cases, and sprinting makes you go faster (obviously). It also helps you climb and reach ledges from structures, hops gaps in spaces, slide on the ground for tactical take-downs and make quick escapes when things get hairy. All this action eats your powerbar so watch the random parkour stuff chief.

 

Armor is a Rambo’s fanboy/girl dream come true. Turn it on and go to town on players who are too stupid to use it themselves (especially with the LMG), it does make getting multikills must easier. However once activated it will make you slower (even while sprinting) and drain your powerbar for each bullet hit. Also turn it on while being attacked doesn’t help much in the long run.

 

Stealth’s advantages are obvious and are great for guerilla style assassinations (seriously players freak the freakout) but be careful. Stealth has the fasting drain of your powerbar of the three abilities; add sprinting and your only have a few seconds – tops. Also attacking or being attacked while stealthed will automatically max out your powerbar. Manually shutting down stealth, then attacking, will incur no penalty, but again won’t help if you’re being attacked.  Stealth is very high risk/high reward; used property you can rule the field, used poorly and it will be nothing but an endless montage of pain and suffering.

 

 

 

3. Tools make the man

Incredible powers are only half the game, weapons are the other half. For the sake of the demo are only four main weapons available: assault rifle, LMG, sniper and the cheap ol’shotty. Now am sure all of you have played a FPS before so you know the basic mechanics of the weapons here: the assault rifle is deadly accurate and easy to use (good for beginners), the LMG is a very big gun that shoots lots of bullets (great for mowing down more than one enemy), the sniper is, as always, one shot – one kill (headshot that is), and shotguns low range/high fire power hasn’t changed since time immortal. Players can even add weapon attachments like hologram projectors, silencers and sight scopes to really ramp up the aggression.  It’s up to the player to decide what combination of powers, weapons and tactics will lead to victory. Of course there will be more weapons available at launch, these weapon types will be the ones players will use at the beginning.

 

 

4. Mucho! Mucho! Melee!

Ok people, even in a shooting game I’m always the guy charging in to clobbering people with rifle butts, skull cracks, and yes even riot shields (but don’t tell my clan, Shhhh!). So I’m happy to say Crysis 2 fully support my warrior lifestyle, melee attacks are one hit, one kill (unarmored – two if opponent is armored). It’s almost too easy, if you don’t get gun down first; what’s more it almost makes using the shotgun useless. Even at close range you can miss an enemy (multiple times) if they’re moving around, smacking them in the head once and they drop. So be bold! Catch a player off guard and save some bullets all at the same time – Judo Chop.

 

 

5. Spawn cloaking

From the demo spawning locations are always random so there’s a possibly the full game will follow (nano) suit. In that case it’s a good idea to cloak as soon as you appear, it will cut down on cheap shots attacks against you and you’ll be able to recon the area before your power runs out (provided you don’t sprint for no good reason). Heck you might even catch an ambusher with an ambush of your own.

 

 

6. Make those shots count

Like the vaunted Call of Duty: Modern Warfare series, there isn’t any ‘ammo drops’ floating about in multiplayer. This means bullets (or whatever) are a finite luxury that are only regained through death or luck via finding the same weapon type drop from an enemy’s corpse. So make sure you fire with purpose, flank your enemies, or go for a cheap melee strike; otherwise you’ll be stuck using a pistol, and pistols suck.

 

 

7. Getting to know your Semiautonomous Enhanced Combat Ops: Neuro-integration and Delivery AI (S.E.C.O.N.D.) Nanosuit pt.2

Your gear doesn’t just give you powers, it also gives you modules as well. These modules help complement the Power, Armor & Stealth powers you use; making you an even more effective super solider. With your stealth module you can choose to make your footsteps silent to gain total sneak attacks, or maybe amp up your armor mode module to recharge your powerbar partially for every kill you make. Really shake up the competition with the air stomp power module and bring death from above in glorious resolution; the choice is really yours as there are many modules to choose from. Become the ultimate living weapon of your own design.

 

 

8. Dogging those Dog tags

Also like Modern Warfare, Crysis 2 has killstreaks, only you don’t just get them by killing players, you must also collect the downed enemies dog tags (which is also customized to the player’s liking). Which makes campers cry: a sniper on a very high vantage point can headshot people all the live long day, he won’t gain killstreak the first without coming down to collect those tags. Of course such people could always activate the Dog tag module and collect the tags automatically; they may lose a potentially helpful mod in doing so. Experimentation is key people.

 

Well that’s all I could take from my, short, short demo experience. I had fun and I can’t wait for March 22 to come. So readers take my words to heart; when this game go’s live and you’re starting up multiplayer for the first time, don’t be on the wrong side of a smackdown.

 

Champions Online Tips

Vid-Tips-2

Hello, hello, hello all. Sorry for being MIA, but being the One True Omnigamer means being busy; especially with the fall of games bearing down a upon us. Currently I’m playing the last year champs (Fallout 3 & Fable II) to get me ready for this year’s fun. However I’ve also recently (and extensively) played the super hero MMO ‘Champions’ Online’; where despite its content issues I’ve gave it a Platinum Rating in my review. Now that the game has been out for almost a month and a half now I figure it only a matter of time before main-stream players come to seek this diamond in the rough out. Especially since it get better everyday, and will available on Xbox 360 soon.

So in my awesomeness to all the new players I will impart some heroic wisdom for CO to make the fight against evil a little less hair whitening.

1. Be who you want to be.

Accept for maybe Saint Row 2, City of Heroes/Villains, WWE wrestling games, and to some extent Fable II, I’ve never played a game with such an elaborate and detailed character creator. CO gives your imaginary characters form & function; they can look like, and do just about, anything (within reason of course). So go nuts… Just try to observe copy right law (but who are we kidding, right).

2. Regeneration + Teleport = Cheap!

I’m sorry pro ‘R & T’ users but they are, and I don’t want to hear: “I’ll do whatever to win” or “Don’t hate the player, hate the programmer” because I’m not buying those either. Now for those who don’t know, these two abilities’ give the players who uses them in PVP an unfair advantage. Regeneration automatically heals the player (through HoT) every time they receive damage, which is fine, but the lower their health the higher their percentage of them being heal. Which is not fine, because it makes setting up killing blows, or even causing lasting damage, impossible… Then there’s Teleport (or as it should be called: short range WoW Hearthing with a 5 to 20 sec cool down time – doesn’t quite roll off the tongue though – still); say by some chance you do cause more damage to a Regen player than their ability to heal and victory’s almost yours then – Poof! They’re gone, only to reappear a few moments later with near full health and techno colored death beams that shreds yours. Heed well my words new heroes, R & T are your best friends in PVE but your worst nightmare in PVP. They’re not impossible to beat but they’re certainly cheap! You have been warmed…

3. Block: Your frienemy.

Block is another innovation CO brought to the MMO landscape, well in a sense that you control your character’s block and not by an invisible adding machine in many other MMO’s. Of course the block blunts incoming damage toward your character, but it also causes your energy to recover much faster in battle. You start with a standard block in the beginning but can upgrade it soon after in many ways; a definite must by the by. Block is essential in CO but like R & T it can be annoying in PVP. So the best way to stop a blocking stalemate is to, at least, give one of your abilities’ ‘Crippling Challenge’. That not only removes the opponents’ ability to block for a few seconds but it also makes their next few attacks from them substantially weaker as well. Its only downside is that it does force the attention of NPC enemies to the user for about 4 seconds. Which is no threat for a tank-style characters but glass cannons should watch out.

4. No team, no problem.

World named target missions are easier to deal with in CO, not only do they spawn quickly but you don’t necessary need to form a team to deal with’em. What I mean is that if you arrive at the target’s location and find another hero or a group of heroes already fighting it you don’t have to wait for the next spawn (although you certainly could, it wouldn’t take very long) – join in! If you do a significant amount of damage you’ll get credit for the kill, as well as helping out your fellow heroes as well. Of course you’ll still need a team for high-ranked dungeon missions, but at least now you can get to them much quicker.

5. I only get two super stats?!

This game comes with a whole bunch of stats for you character, but you can only choose two of them to make ‘super’. Meaning the higher you make those stats due to training, equipment or leveling the more powerful your overall abilities will be. My recommendation is to choose the ones that most empowers your character. While it may be temping to add dexterity (increases the chance of criticals to your attacks) to your brick character, or constitution (more health) to your mystical mage hero; in the long run it will only serve to weaken your character with mismatched stats – so don’t be a maverick!

6. The third super stat… Sort of.

Ok I lied, you don’t get another super stat, but you ‘can’ focus on one more normal statistic through training and equipment to be just as high as a S.S. This will give you an extra advantage through that stat, though it won’t improve your abilities like a S.S. So you can give that brick a dex boost, or make the mage take the pain as well as give it. On the other hand, you could always take the jack-of-all-trades route but in this game I really don’t see any advantages to that; plus it only makes your job harder by constantly figuring out how to balance out your gear and training to make it work.

7. Be single minded in the beginning.

CO gives players I wide array of powers and abilities to pick and choose from (as I mentioned in #1) but in order to get the best ones you’ll have to unlock other tier powers. Now tier powers under the same category unlock faster than ones that are not, so it’s a good idea to focus on one main category for the beginning – at least till you reach level 13. The game is simple at first, but it does get tougher sooner than you think; having access to the Orbital Cannon or the Burning Chi Fist early will make the transition less traumatic (believe me …)

8. You are your own worst Nemesis.

Once you reach level 25 players will be able to create their own super villain rival – a Nemesis. Using the same tools to create your hero, your villain can easily fit your personally – or something crazy and completely off the wall. When you’re done however, you’ll come to find out; that your creation can kick your ass (again, learned that the hard way). Save yourselves the pain and bring a friend when you start the first nemesis mission. Once you finish it then congratulations; this is where things get interesting for you. Not only do you have to worry about the normal dangers that comes from being a hero in a crazy persistent MMO world, but now you have the added treat of get jumped by your nemesis’ crazy good henchmen – even (and especially) during missions. You’ll have to watch your back constantly; otherwise you’ll end up dead and lose one of your hero stars and that’s annoying… So if you need to afk; log off or stand next to a NPC hero.

Well that should be enough hand holding for all the rooks out there; follow these simple tips (and your own common senses) and players should be fine. Now go out there and save the world, or destroy it. I’m not that picky.

Online Survival Tips – Noobs need apply

Vid-Tips

Hello all you legions of V.G.A. fans out there. For my latest blog entry, instead for doing a hyper-opinioned blog like you’re all accustomed of me doing, I decided to do something productive an offer some tidbits of knowledge in the online arena. Why? Glad you asked, see, lately I’ve been noticing ‘pro-gamers’ like Tom “TSquared” Taylor offering advice to people through media of choice (X-Play, websites, etc). Having hearing/reading this advice, I judge them ok for quick advantages, but not enough for long term tactics. The standard basics is what players need to survive before going all fancy, otherwise my online matches are going to be boring to oblivion. I know, I know, a lot of you know basics already and that’s fine; this for the players who don’t, so deal with it. And who knows maybe you will find this interesting anyway. There are 16 tips but they are separated by the three types of online play one will experience: Online Action, Online Strategy and Online Role Play. Granted some games the tips won’t cover like Madden; but I’m sure you all forgive me for being lazy.


Online Action

  • When in Online Action game like First person shooter it always a good idea to keep moving, if you stand still your easy target for other players to pick off
  • Always keep you head turning, never look in the same direction for more than 5 second at a time. After all, the easiest kill is in the back.

  • If you need to stop moving for any reason always use your surroundings to hide yourself, even something as simple as crouching against the wall could fool other players for a second.

  • Always keep your eye out for “the better”. The better weapon, the better vehicle, the better rout, the better move, the better whatever. Make sure you get it before your opponents do.

  • Beware of the psyche-out; some online players will try to mess with you to throw your game off. Use it against them or create your own; be creative.

  • If you don’t rank well in the beginning don’t worry about it, just keep trying. Before you know it the name who might be on top on the next match will be yours.


Online Strategy

  • Defense, defense, defense. You always got to make sure you’re protected at all times otherwise it will be an easy victory for your opponent.

  • In a normal real time strategy game resources are key; your armies will be pitiful without decent supplies to keep them well armed and healthy.

  • Don’t waste time with crazy strategies in the beginning, you may think it will catch your opponent off guard, but all it will get you and your armies annihilated.

  • Never rush your moves; patience is a virtue, not a suggestion.

  • If you can, try to play strategy stages before you enter the online arena so you know the maps and quickest ways to victory.


Online Role Play

  • When you role play, have fun with it. This type of game allows you to be someone else like a great warrior or a genius scientist; just don’t be the nerd too cool to role play.

  • Role play games are usually huge explore when you can but watch out for areas with monsters stronger than you. Their faster, have a bigger attack range and kill you quickly.

  • Role play games are saturated with online players, it a good idea to communicate with the other players because some areas of the game won’t be accessible without help. Please and thank you goes a long way too; trust me on this.

  • Prioritize your money; put to skills, put to equipment, put to partying, whatever! Just make sure you have a plan.

  • Finally be aware that in role play games you’ll be fighting more computerized monsters than other players, but it’s not unheard of to get attacked by another player who looks for an easy way to make your life living hell. So either don’t go ‘player vs. player’ or watch out when you do.