Let’s Play a Little: Mighty No.9

Let's-Play-a-Little---Mighty-No.9-title-card

Finally, after months of release delays, Mighty No.9 is now available to all. And how is it… Well the reviews aren’t favorable, but hey, critics are, if nothing, hyperbolic; so I’m going to give it a try and see what’s what for myself (and of course for the good people watching at home).

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Games & Gear (of 2016): Mighty No.9

[Update]: Well people, like I said, release dates do change and sadly Mighty No.9 is the first title to do so this year. The new release is hopefully 05/31/16, however that’s not confirmed on the official site. Sorry all.

If it looks like a Mega Man, talks like a Mega Man, and smells like a Mega Man – then it’s clearly a Mighty No.9.

Games & Gear of 2015: Dead Island 2 (2015)

DR2

 

Ah Zombie games, they’re everywhere aren’t they! Dying Light released only weeks ago and it doesn’t suck so undead titles is here to stay. Funny enough the creators of Dying Light also created the original Dead Island, a fun if not MMOish style of game. They chose not to do Dead Island 2 in lieu of Dying Light so this sequel, in many ways, will be its own game. So the plot is standard: Pharmaceutical company + science = Zombies, you play one of four survivors in California under siege. After that it’s all open playground stuff; find weapons, build weapons, make awesome vehicles, and of course handle the zombie problem one dead head at a time. Time will tell if DI 2 will be open world fun house or a title that’s beating a dead horse. I’m willing to give it a chance because not to long ago I took a chance on the original Dead Island, and had a good time, so it’s only fair to give this stand-alone sequel the same courtesy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Armada’s E3 picks: Dead Island 2 (2015)

 

Now, to me, the only thing Zombies are good for is killing in very creative, awesome ways; anything else is pretentious. That’s why when I saw the trailer for Dead Island 2, my mind was already coming up with some new ways of re-deading the undead. This sequel is light on info but it looks like the Zombie fever has hit not San Fran and per-usuche the government has the city locked down. However rebels, hold-outs, and action freaks have moved in and taken advantage of  the chaos. Now I don’t know where our new ‘heroes’ fit in here, or how many there are, or what happened to the old crew (although I have a few ideas), but one thing I do know for sure is that Zombies will learn to fear me all over again next year. Stay tuned people.

 

 

Game Review – Dead Island: Riptide

DI_Riptide

 

Hey people the weather is finally starting to warm up and before you know it summer will be here – time to go on vacation. Somewhere in the tropics, get some sun, see some sights, and of course fight for your life against the zombies. That’s right its Dead Island time again with their new game/sequel called Riptide. This game takes place right after the first one where Logan Carter, Sam B, Xian Mei, and Purna escape the undead filled island of Banoi with an NPC islander. However instead of safety and freedom the four get locked up by the military and experimented on. There they meet another immune (people immune to the zombie plague) & new playable character John Morgan as they discovered the ship’s crew is nearly all converted to zombies. Once again the main cast must work together to survive and thus they begin a new adventure.

 

 

Like the first game, Dead Island: Riptide is as close to an offline MMO or light MMO as a console game could get. Your characters in themselves are classes; some are better at tanking and drawing fire, while others good at DPS and backstabs. Your weapons are standard zombie killing fare (guns, bombs, conventional and unconventional) but they differ from weak gray to rare orange in grade quality. The zombies themselves range from fast to slow as the standard, but from time to time players will go against elite zombies that are tougher, stronger, faster, and/or attack from a distance. The locations of the game encourage exploration and treasure hunting, some of the best stuff can only be found in the most dangerous areas. Speaking of which, other NPC survivors you’ll meet will often give you quest to do. If you do them they’ll reward you with special items or services that will make zombie slaying much easier to do.  Finally if you played the first game you can take that character data and import it to this one, a definite plus for Dead Island veterans.

 

 

Rating

Pass-sign

 

The Dead Island series has always been a slow paced, thinking man’s zombie survivor game. Sure hitting them in the head is always good, but here it will take some doing just for them to stay down. Your play style, weapons, and co-op friends (yes that feature make a return here too) will dictate how much fun and how far you’ll get. Players and play this game solo but I don’t recommend it, Riptide is a huge game with most of it chock full of zombies that want to eat your face. Since the difficulty has been raised since the first game most of a solo play through will be spent dying or grinding one zombie at a time – and that’s no fun. That being said it could be easier to find a co-op game without people leaving it just because or won’t play it right because they’re jagoffs (but I suppose that not the game’s fault). Other than some random glitching and character models that look like mash potato pudding, Dead Island: Riptide is an excellent follow up to the first game. It’s not really doing anything new, but you know the old saying: if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

 

 

 

Trailer-Rama Week – Saints Row 4

 

Well people BioShock Infinite is coming out in a week and couldn’t be more excited – but am I ready? After spending all this time in my SimCity Zen garden, reflecting on my gaming journey to this point, and becoming one with the universe I’ve come to the conclusion, that, I miss taking out randoms with various weapons, powers, and my own two fists. I also miss bending over a boss and beating the sweet, sweet, loot out of it. Finally I miss that awesome feeling of playing a game from beginning to end, enjoying the experience, and letting you all know what I thought about it (and anyone else who asked). So am I ready? Oh heck yeah, but I’m still going to sharpen my skills til the game’s releases, so what that means is a full week of new trailers (with an extra trailer on Friday since I missed Monday). With that Saints Row 4! Yep slated as a DLC before THQ downfall, now in the reigns of Deep Silver it is a full-fledged game. So how do you top the awesome chaos that was Saints Row: the Third? By added super powers, aliens, and making the Saints leader (You) the president of the United States in the process. I said it before, and I’ll say it again: Video Game is the ultimate entertainment media.

 

 

 

Game Review: Dead Island – Can zombies go on vacation? Why the heck not?

 

Yes, yes, yes! It’s official people, the fall of games has arrived, bout time too! Though admittedly it really began with Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which I played but never reviewed (but I left in summary at the bottom of this review just in case readers want to hear my thoughts on the matter). Regardless this is the special time of the year where all the would-be triple A titles finally come out and try to justify their existence by taking our $59.99 plus tax. When I saw the Dead Island coverage at E3 however I knew it would be one such title; but hey I’ve been wrong before. So does this game measure up or does it fall flat like a burning zombie corpse on the street?

 

 

 

 Game Info

 

You know tropical islands maybe beautiful, picturesque, free of normal pollutions found in metropolitan cities and the like; but they also have insane weather, dangerous beasties, society in quagmire, and now zombies. Banoi (not a real island mind you) is one such place; sure before it was where those who could afford to live well, did. Now, much of the island’s population is either dead or undead and set to eat the still living. It does seem Banoi and the people on it are S.O.L. right? Well fortunately for them they got an ace up their sleeves, and there’s four of them. First there’s Purna, former Sydney detective now body guard for the rich and powerful – though these days the only body she’s protecting is her own; Logan, former Football (not Futball) star, turned alcohol/dope fiend; Sam B, former rap star, now one hit wonder; and finally Xian Mei, young Mary Sue from china – or is she? The hodgepodge four over here may not seem like much but they do have one thing that sets them apart from the rest of the meat bags on the island and that is they can’t be turned into zombie themselves. So in order to survive they must not only work together with each other and with other survivors all across the island; because rescue doesn’t seem to be coming and the cause of the zombie outbreak is still unknown.

 

Fortunately being zombie-proof isn’t the only skill the ‘former four’ have; each character has many skills and a special ability that make surviving the grey screaming masses little bit easier. Purna, being former police, knows her way around a gun. Also with her training she can effectively turn the group into a serious fighting force – especially when she actives her ability which increases all the groups stats and regenerates health for a short time. Pro or no, Logan still got game. He can effectively use any weapon (improvise or otherwise) he finds and while the others only get drunk from drinking alcohol; he becomes stronger, tougher, and recovers health whenever that white lightening hits his lips. When the zombies get as clingy as his former fans however, he can breakout his special ability throw anything in his hands like a missile – and return to him like a boomerang. Most gangsta rappers play hardcore to pander to the audience but Sam B is crunk 24/7. An expert in blunt weapons (bats, pipes, sledgehammers, etc.) B can make smash hits with everything except record sales. Also while the others have to worry about annoying things like bleeding out or health kits, B can regain health on his own like Wolverine from the X-Men. Finally, like any non- wanksta, B can go back to basics by beating down bums with his original bludgeoners (his fists) with his special ability. Not to be left in the dust of the others; Xian can carve up zombies like lunch meat thanks to her expertise on blades, which also translates to her specially ability as well. She also has the best stamina of the group with means she can keep the attack going until they die or she does (which is not recommended – just shuck & jive people). The abilities I mentioned here are only the very tip of the iceberg; it’s up to you players to unlock the very best they have to offer – just be aware of opportunity cost.

 

Now before you get out there with your chosen character let me put some F.U. prospective on this: there’s only the four of you versus nearly the entire island of death coming after your sweat, tasty, flesh. Sure the walkers (or the target practice zombies) are easily dealt with by themselves or in groups of two or three; but they become more than a mild annoyance once they come at you in a pack (nothing good comes in pack form by the by) – and they’re the weak ones. Over time your intrepid party will discover every conventional ‘super’ zombie out on the market today: fast zombie, strong zombie, smokey zombie, rhino zombie, feral zombie, the whole gambit. And if you don’t think they won’t all appear on the map, all at the same time, to jump you around the next corner then you’re dreaming. Oh and by the by, not every enemies you’ll face will be zombie, those other enemies will be packing heat however and are very good shots so good luck with all that.

 

Dead Island at its core is a grand mixture of almost every zombie game that came before it plus a little Borderlands thrown in – yet and still it’s more RPG than anything. The first thing is the character abilities are separated into three unique skill trees that focus on special, combat, and survival abilities. Once a player levels up they get a point to put toward a tree; they can either focus on maxing out a single tree or spread the love (and the points) on all of them. Now with any survival horror game players must grab whatever at hand, but I don’t remember that last time they had a ‘Debilitating Pipe’ or ‘Spiteful Revolver’ in, well, anything actually. The weapons are color coded by rarity as well, with white being standard fare all the way up to purple for being hardcore elite… Dead RPG, I mean, Island, involves a lot of quests at different survivor hubs and on the map. Truthfully however they’re mostly fetch quests and kill the elite, just substitute goblins with zombies.

 

Once you have that purple cosmic frying pan as a reward from quests (or found in a treasure chest if your lock picking skill is high enough (seriously)) you can keeping smashing enemies with it or you can upgrade its effectiveness if you got the money for it (that’s right, even in thunder dome you still got to kick up the cash to help save humanity). Better yet, you’ll gain access to weapon mods throughout the game that will turn almost any weapon into supreme mutilators extraordinaire. However not only will that take money to do but various parts and pieces on the island. Players will have to become hero hobos to find all the necessary parts they need. Finally the game progress with the four main characters always, but in single player you only play as one of them. Which is good if you’re anti-social, but you will need other players eventually so you can open your game to other players online or join theirs all quick and easy like. So essentially Dead Island in a not so broad sense is World of WarCraft w/ zombies.

 

 

 

The Goods

 


Looks: Whether you’re catching some rays on the beach, shopping in the city or enjoying the naïve wildlife in the jungle, the island of Banoi is always a breathtaking visual experience. Also… Annihilating zombies in the most graphic, gory, and of course gratuitous way possible is not bad on the peepers either.

 

Mod-Weapons: What’s better: a baseball bat with a motorized saw blade up top or a 10mm with a duct taped computer battery that shoots taser bullets? It’s a trick question because they’re both awesome and only two examples of the many weapons players can pimp out and use to thin out the zombie population.

 

Combat Mechanic: A game can be made or broken on how the player controls work. Well I’m glad to say doing battle with zombies is a fluid as it could possibly be for this game. Using the item wheel is great for switching weapons on the fly, there no conflict between shooting and smashing, and most other functions are already hot keyed to buttons (like health kits are always the B button on the Xbox controller whenever you have it on the item wheel or not).  They even give you an analog option so you can fight zombies with your control sticks directly.

 

Co-Op drop in/drop out: The worst thing about most co-op games is that you have to wait in a lobby for people to join up just to get started, not so here. Once a fellow player comes in close proximity to you all you have to do is press a button and your business. Now you can pool your skills with another players’ and take on whatever comes your way; once you’re done or just tired you can drop out no question ask. Almost perfect, almost…

 

 

 

The Bad

 

 

Co-Op drop in/drop out aftermath: Once you or your partners leave the shared game you have the option of say where you’re at, which may cause difficulty completing quests, or send you back to a point where you lasted saved on your single game. Sadly that’s usually in a place full of zombies, and they won’t be happy to see you either. Which brings me to another sour note.

 

Cheap shot zombies: They are really. You walking down the street, minding your own business, you hear a zombie coming so you pull out your weapon but its already too late –you’re mauled to death (and you lose 5G in the process – I need that money man!). Even if you catch the S.O.B. and beat him to an inch of his re-life; here comes his big brother to smacks you down and wipe out the rest of your health with one hit. If you forget this is a co-op game, these guys will remind you.

 

 

 

 

Ranking

 

Dead Island is not as fast paced as Left 4 Dead, in fact this might be a little too stat happy for twitch players, but I myself have been enjoying this title by myself and with other players. Unlocking abilities, customizing weapons, and just finding new ways so hurt zombies is just plain fun (and you would think Dead Rising would have undead mutilation covered). Sure the zombies may get you once in a while, and you’ll have to keep finding better weapons when your current ones brake or are too weak against higher level enemies. But this is one of the rare titles that will challenge you without being too difficult, it gives a sense of satisfaction when you fought through a whole building of those things and won. When working with a group, it’s just the four of you against a world full of zombies, watching each others’ back as time and the elements closes in. No matter how you play this game you will either find it familiar to an MMO or an enjoyable romp in the tropics with zombies – maybe even both.

 


 

 

 

 

Deus Ex: Human Revolution – In summary

Now I never played the original Deus Ex game but I had played its sequel (Invisible War) so along with this I get the gist of the overall series. This prequel was good from settings to characters; although in traditional Square Enix style the story was somewhat convoluted (the reality of the game is highly suspect, who would chop off  their own arm for a robotic version, people don’t even hold on to their iPhone longer than a year). The augmented abilities are neat, they allow many ways to reach your goals but the combat in general is boring and easy to bypass. The game highlight was character interaction with CASIE augment, give players insight on the people their talking to and not just another enhanced charisma roll. Also conversations do not have a set answer key, meaning if you answer one question wrong you’ll have to start from scratch with the next one (or hope you’re persuasion is still high enough to get what you want if you run out of questions). A low point is that melee has been replaced with attack cut scenes (with limit uses I might add) and a lack of diverse locations (players go to the same places three or four times). Still I had fun with this title and I hope they continue the series with actual sequels next time (for now a DLC is already in the works).