Destiny 2: Yeah people still play this

What’s up guys, I’m back again with some news from the Destiny universe. The sequel is happening. We have worked, looted, cheesed, and pissed off a half-dozen different alien species. This time, it gets real.

Gary(as r/destinythegame refers) and the cabal are launching a full-scale invasion and conquest of the city. All our armor, loot, ships, sparrows, everything is gone. So tighten those boots, grab a gun, charge your supers and get ready to get some fat loots; because why else do we kill aliens but for the loot they bring?

Destiny 2 launches September 8 for PS4, Xbox One, AND PC. So pick your platform with your friends and get ready for a lootstravaganza(this is a word now, ask Gearbox and Borderlands franchise). Preorders will get you early access to the beta.

 

Welcome back Guardians! Christmas…Destiny style!

Wassup readers. I’ve been away for a while doing other stuff trying to get caught up on various games that have come out recently. While I continue doing that, here’s a quick update on everyone’s favorite game to hate: Destiny.

This time we have the Christmas themed event called The Dawning. Check out the reveal trailer:

Everything starts on December 13th just after Iron Banner next week. So far we know that SRL or Sparrow Racing League will be coming back with new tracks, sparrows, and other various goodies. There are also supposed to be new quests, armor, shaders, emblems, decorations (Tower looking savvy) and updated strikes with a new scoring system. Oh yeah ICE BREAKER is back as well as two new machine guns code-named “Void Lord” and “Solar Lord”. Both were in the database since the Taken King, but are finally being unveiled. There will also be new items to Eververse and without dipping too deep into the salt mine that was Festival of the Lost, hopefully things are better this time.

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Stay locked on December 13th to get started on the newest live event. Don’t worry this one will be free.

UPDATE: Icebreaker will be available through a quest involving the nightfall and SRL and Strike scoring will be sticking around. SRL will be available through private matches only though. courtesy of Game Informer

Destiny: Festival of the Lost

Welcome back to another installment of Destiny news. This time we’re talking about festivities. That’s right it’s the Halloween season and Bungie has rolled out the red carpet for Festival of the Lost. I’m going to be running over the main information you need to know before jumping in and grabbing all that cool gear. To get started visit Eva Levante in the tower near the emblem/shader kiosks to begin your quests.

 

First off we’re going to talk about quests, because that’s where the event kicks off from. There are multiple quests varying from going into the crucible, taking on the Taken in the Court of Oryx, to running a heroic strike as the speaker. I had a lot of fun performing the various deeds along the way. There is also a special quest involving Eris Morn’s raisins this time around. You can find the details here as well as more courtesy of Reddit.

Gotta Keep the Traveler included

Gotta Keep the Traveler included

Now let’s dive into what makes Festival of the Lost, well festive. All three social spaces, Tower, Reef, and Felwinter’s peak have been decorated to celebrate this event. There are candy bags that you can fill by wearing a paper mask and killing enemies, or guardians in the crucible. There are special shaders and emblems that have come with Festival of the Lost to really get your guardian in the festive mood. I found one called Candlelight from opening a Skeleton Hoard chest at the end of a strike. After looking around for verification, you can get this one from any strike hoard chest as all you will need is a skeleton key to open it. There are plenty of masks to be had and worn throughout this event as well as some new weapon skins for the exotic weapon Bad Juju, which look pretty awesome.

Hey Girl, we almost match

Hey Girl, we almost match

Which brings me to my next point, while I have no issues with micro-transactions and vanity items, I do have an issue with locking the majority of it behind pay schemes. As of Rise of Iron’s debut, micro-transactions have been a hot topic and a target of Bungie’s most loyal fan base. Many players have no issue paying for new emotes, special sparrows, even weapon skins, but people do have issue when these micro-transactions begin to invade the regular game where you need a new currency “silver dust” which is locked behind premium loot boxes to purchase things in the game. Many of the cooler masks and new skins for your ghost are locked behind pay walls to acquire and you only get three premium loot boxes (one per character). Not that bad as they are all vanity items, but I wish there were more ways for people to acquire them WITHOUT paying money and hoping RNG (random number generator) gives them what they want.

Various New Eververse items

Various New Eververse items

I cannot say this was a success in my opinion. This Festival of the Lost was a massive step backward to me. Keeping the majority of masks locked behind pay walls is ridiculous and insulting. There should be more avenues to acquire items without paying for it. The only reason I can run around in my cooler masks is because I had them from last year. There are 6 new masks, 2 new ghost shells, one premium mask, and a sparrow (Which is another trick sparrow not an over-boost. Come on Bungie!). Sure I have fun with the festivities, but once I was done with the quests, I couldn’t find the drive to keep going like I did last year. The grind made it fun to get rare masks and materials to make your favorite ones permanent, but this year Bungie replaced the grind with micro-transactions. Yes, there should be some premium content locked behind pay walls, but not the majority. There should be ways for the casual gamer without disposable income to acquire the collectibles. Nothing should be free or simply given, but fair avenues for all to gain.

Premium Loot Box contents

So while I had fun running around performing tasks and filling my candy satchel, I did not have fun overall. I had more fun just shooting the breeze with some random guys in Archon’s forge with various masks we had on us talking about our favorites and acting out the characters. So personally I cannot say this was successful, despite my earlier comments. These micro-transactions are slowly taking away from the meat of the game and I feel Bungie is in store for a rude awakening when the player base finally says enough is enough. If you have the money and don’t mind spending it, that is ultimately your choice as a consumer. Either way, have fun your way, that’s the whole point of playing games.

See ya later !

See ya later !

Destiny: Rise of Iron After thoughts.

Hello readers, I’m coming back to give you some of my thoughts on of Destiny: Rise of Iron. This post is coming a tad bit later than I wanted to write and post, but I wanted to make sure I wasn’t just reviewing the newest expansion through rose-colored lenses. I also had a full text write-up draft on my tablet ready to go, but due to sleepiness and forgetting to plug my tablet in, I lost all the work (lesson learned). Anyways let’s get right into it!

Bungie making way for change

Bungie making way for change

Right off the bat I’m just going to say, ROI is hype (fight me grammar police). Overall I love the content added and there is plenty to do to keep yourself busy. That isn’t to say that the expansion is perfect, far from it. I will be lightly touching on various things I enjoy and don’t throughout this post. I might make a more detailed write-up when I’m not having fun shooting and looting.

Get ready for the grind!

Get ready for the grind!

The new grind to current max light of 385 (400 when the Hard mode raid releases) is a rocky slope. Instead of the fluid climb to 335 after the April Update, Bungie has slowed the climb dramatically. Engrams cap out at various levels depending on rarity and the activity they are acquired from, excluding exotic. Nightfall and the Archon’s Forge are great ways to increase your light steadily, with the Heroic strike playlist being the main option for many players.

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You think you’d know us by now Bungie

Despite Bungie changing the leveling system, the players will always find the shortest and easiest way to be maxed out. Players farmed the Omnigul strike as it was the only strike to allow double boss drops and veteran players knew this and capitalized on it to be ready for the raid which released 3 days after the expansion released.

Me trying to slowly advance through the quests...and failing

Me trying to slowly advance through the quests…and failing

The quests are great and nostalgic and really test what type of player you are. Originally Bungie touted that we would “become legend” through our adventures and completing these quests really proved it. I loved them all, especially the Gjallarhorn and Khvostov quests.

Finding out the steps for the Raid Exotic weapon

Finding out the steps for the Raid Exotic weapon

While the quests are awesome, I was not happy about finding out the steps needed to acquire the newest Raid Exotic Outbreak Prime. Let me tell you without spoiling anything, its intensive.

No way

The biggest surprise of all though, was finding out in the raid Bungie added a very special enemy. If you’ve ever browsed the Destiny subreddit or the forums or heard of Randal the Vandal, you know he was named by the community and known to be more powerful than his level indicated due to a bug. Bungie patched him shortly after finding out about him in Year 1, but reverted that patch after players begged for him to remain as he was. Well Randal has been immortalized in the Wrath of the machine raid known as Rahndel the Perfected. My personal favorite of the expansion.

Good job

Like I said, despite my gripes and concerns, I managed to be raid ready by hitting 365 in about 2 weeks, and I enjoyed the ride. I can’t wait to join my friends and dive into the raid and continue enjoying all that Bungie has in store for us.

Show me what you got

Destiny: Rise of Iron. A brief look at strikes.

Welcome to a special post for Destiny: Rise of Iron. This post is special because I’m going to be talking about the new strikes coming to Destiny. I realized after I made the post about the new things coming to PvE, I forgot to discuss strikes. So here we are with a dedicated post.

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The main change coming regarding strikes is the brand new strike in the Plaguelands called The Wretched Eye. Rather than tell you what’s going on, here’s a gameplay video from a test build at Bungie. Keep in mind, everything you see can be changed and may already have been.

Looks pretty interesting right? I know I can’t wait to jump in and play this strike. Along with the brand new strike, 2 old strikes are making a comeback: The Summoning Pits and Devil’s Lair. These strikes are getting a makeover similar to how some of the strikes gained a “Taken” alternative when the Taken King expansion released. The Heroic strike playlist and Nightfall strike are also getting changed with a light level increase of 350 and 360 respectively.

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Bonus change, is a brand new mechanic being introduced to how strikes work. A new item called Skeleton Keys which can be dropped by defeating the boss at the end of a strike. These “keys” allow the player to gain strike specific loot from a chest at the end. Basically Bungie is trying to cut down on the amount of “farming” players do trying to get strike specific loot. Players can only carry 5 keys at one time, but you can acquire as many as possible.

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Well, that’s it for this special post. Destiny: Rise of Iron releases on September 20th for 29.99 USD and Destiny: The Collection sells for 59.99 USD. Remember to get your pre-orders in if you want the Iron Gjallarhorn and Iron Gjallarwing to do so before then.

Destiny: Rise of Iron. A look at what’s coming to PvE

Welcome back to another installment of Destiny: Rise of Iron! I’m your captain of this hype train. We’ll continue humming along and should reach hyper speed shortly. So sit back relax, and take a look at the details I’ll be unveiling this time around.

hyperspace

This time around I’ll be delving deeper into the changes coming to the PvE, or player versus enemy, content. This includes the Patrol, Strikes, Quests, and the Raid. I’ll only be able to highlight the info that has been disclosed via Bungie’s various sources.

Destiny-Lord Saladin

First off, let’s take a look at the bread and butter. A brand new questline involving Lord Saladin telling why he’s the last Iron Lord, and why he’s calling on the Guardians for help. There will be other questlines given by new and returning characters.  There will also be a brand new questline for the fan favorite THE GJALLARHORN and the bane of PvP guardians THORN. Making a surprise return, the Kvostov, the very first gun you get when starting Destiny only this time it’ll be EXOTIC! These are only a taste of the kinds of missions we’ll be able to partake in this September when ROI is released.

Destiny Action Shot

The Raid. Bungie’s signature group aspect and the main draw for the hardcore. Typically a 6 man fireteam that delves into the deepest and darkest corners of the enemy base. Only the brave and skilled should dare challenge the monsters that dwell here. This time around Bungie is bringing us a brand new raid with you guessed it, a Fallen-SIVA theme. Not much is revealed, and with good reason, about the raid, only sparse details about what players will do. We only have one real detail and that pertains to the “Death Zamboni” that players will have to run and shoot their way out. Many players look forward to the “blind runs” that come with a brand new raid. No knowledge, just you and your trusted comrades battling the unknown. The Wrath of the Machine launches Friday September 23rd, and the hard mode in the coming weeks.

Meet the Death Zamboni

Meet the Death Zamboni

Next up is a brand new aspect to the PvE universe, The Archon’s Forge. This is the newest addition to the player-activated public event. Similar in style to the Court of Oryx on the Dreadnaught, players will need a specific piece required to activate the event. Built similar to a certain colosseum from a certain movie (2 men enter 1 man leaves). Curious about what all the Archon’s Forge entails? Check out this video that gives a bit of insight:

Rounding out the end of the year will be the return of two events, Festival of the Lost and Sparrow Racing League (SRL). Festival of the Lost is a Halloween themed event that entails gathering candy from various sources in exchange for masks. Now with the return, there are bound to be some changes that have yet to be revealed, but expect more information as we approach the event.

SRL Banner

SRL was a fan-favorite and highly requested mode be added. Hop on your sparrow and race to be first across the finish line. Originally supposed to be ran 3 weeks at a time every month with iron banner to fill the last week, SRL was canceled after the very first event. No information was given as to why the event never made its return the following months. Some speculated that it was due to player’s complaints of too few maps or unrewarding loot. Either way, fans were upset and confused that no further information was given and another mark put upon Bungie’s shoulders for lying to players about the event and refusing to communicate with their player base. Hopefully with the return SRL will stick around this time with welcome changes as this time around, there will be more than just competitive racing to be had according to Bungie.

destiny-srl

Hope that is enough to get you enticed for the next expansion. Next I’ll be taking a look at the PvP changes coming in Rise of Iron with the Crucible. Destiny: Rise of Iron releases on September 20th for $29.99 US. Don’t forget if you want the Gjallarhorn in black and the brand new Iron Gjallarwing, you’ll have to get your pre-order in before September 20th.

Saints Row: Gat out of Hell Review

Saints Row: Gat out of Hell_20160717161520

 

Ever wondered what it would be like to shoot Satan in the face? Unleash that pent-up murder you’ve kept locked away inside? Well Johnny Gat does just that.

 

Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell is the 5th installment to the Saint’s Row franchise, in which you take control of either Johnny Gat or Kinzie Kensington. Following the events of Saints Row 4, which I will leave unspoiled for those who haven’t had a chance to play through it yet, it is Kinzie’s birthday and all the Saints have decided to throw her a birthday party and what better way to celebrate than with an alien artifact Ouija board. Things go from “ha ha” to “oh no” when the leader of the saints gets sucked into hell to marry Jezebel, Satan’s daughter. Now it’s up to Gat and Kinzie to jump into hell and save the boss like any loyal companion would. I won’t spoil too much of the plot here and jump into my main thoughts.

I'm coming For YOU Satan!

I’m coming For YOU Satan!

Saint’s Row: Gat Out of Hell is more of an expansion than a full game at $14.99 because the size of it was too large to be a simple DLC (downloadable content) according to the developer. I have to agree that adding it to the already expansive game that Saint’s Row 4 was. The scenery was refreshing from the usual cityscape that players were used to seeing from previous iterations. Everything was dark, dirty and hellish, lots of lava too. There are new characters including some old favorites and favorites from history like Blackbeard. The comedy that veteran players were used to make a return and is just as good. There’s even a special piece of dialogue I’ll keep a secret, but it was a nice breakaway from the usual sarcasm, murderous threats, and dirty puns.

 

Now I’ll get into the gameplay, which isn’t much different from the full game of Saint’s Row 4. What I mean is, if you’ve played the full game, going into this will be no different. The controls are just as familiar and comfortable to work with as they were before. You have super powers that you gain through various activities and can power up by collecting soul clusters that are scattered through the city. Keep in mind though, if you want to max out all your abilities, there’s over 500 to collect, so get collecting. Mission and activities aren’t much different from the full game, which to be quite honest, doesn’t surprise me. Missions are repetitive, but that isn’t much different from previous Saint’s Row games.  This is an expansion, not a brand new game.

 

As much as I did like that game, it was not without its bugs and quirks. While playing I ran into 3 critical errors which exited the game to the console dashboard. Now normally that wouldn’t raise any flags for me, but seeing how this is just an expansion, I wonder if this was properly tested and optimized. I’m no expert, but when researching the error codes I received, I learned that they were all game related and not a product of the console misbehaving. There was texture issues occasionally while just running around the city and were exasperated while using certain superpowers, such as super speed. Sometimes while using the super sprint, the camera would just bug out and lose tracking on the character. Those are a few of the weird bugs I encountered during my playtime.

Saints Row: Gat out of Hell_20160717160526

 

Overall, the game was enjoyable enough to play especially as one of the free games of the month for PlayStation Plus. Although at a $15 price tag, it’s a tad high for the bugs that come with the game. As much fun as I had with it, the game just doesn’t feel like it was given that AAA title finalization. The one thing that left me wanting though, was the two characters that you can swap between at any time. There isn’t much in terms of unique dialogue between the various characters you meet, especially between some former acquaintances. All in all, the game is enjoyable to play if you’re looking for some casual, co-op enabled mayhem, like having your own reclining death chair.

Saints Row: Gat out of Hell_20160717161053

SSB vs. Destiny. (Spoiler: It’s not pretty)

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It’s been a little more than a week since Destiny dropped into our hot little hands here at the SSB-Zaibatsu, and well….sorry.  Ferris and I have been playing this game non-stop.  Big shoutout to Thanh, the Aslaronas, SvN, Fernando, Joseph, and anyone who I’ve rolled with.

Yeah.  Sorry for the lack of updates again, this game has sucked up nearly all my free time.  My life has become a cycle of work -> Destiny -> Sleep -> Destiny -> work.  So is the game worth it?  What do you think?  It’s a shooter X MMO hybrid made by Activision and Bungie.  I can’t really think of how it would suck.  You play as a Guardian, fighting to save earth from aliens and THE DARKNESS.

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Rick James tried to warn us, but we didn’t heed his warning.

I’m a level 27 Human Titan with some pretty sweet gear.  20 is the hard cap, and anything higher than that (for now) is due to equipment EXP and light levels.  Most of that stuff I got was through strike missions, which are 3-man maps where you go from one end to the other, and kill the boss at the end.  It seems generic, but Bungie absolutely kills in the presentation and gameplay departments.

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It’s been a nonstop rush ever since I put the game in my PS4.  Strikes, Raids, Missions, drops, it’s every bit as addicting as WoW was, but since it’s in a FPS form, it feels accessible.  Streamlined.  And most of all…fun.  Playing with your friends only multiplies that effect.

You may remember from my earlier Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance entry my criteria for reviewing games.  Is it fun?  YOU BET YOUR ASS IT IS.

With that in mind, we of SSB hope to see you here, or in Destiny.  Hit me up for a game.  My PSN ID is….on our FB page.  Check it out!

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Thank you PlayStation 4

FACT: I don’t own a PlayStation 4. Francis and Ferris do. I don’t. Now before you say that I’m 200-and-late on next-gen consoles, hear me out for a second! I am a big proponent of the PS4. I love what it can do and what it will be capable of doing. I will own one when the time is right. However, I would like to remind you guys about a little something…

PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3

During the typical console cycle, content improves as the cycle progresses because developers learn how to maximize game output using console hardware. The PlayStation 3/XBOX 360 cycle is currently over 8 years with (give or take) a couple years left. However, the latest and greatest content has only recently released only. Titles such as The Last of Us, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, Beyond: Two Souls represent the zenith of PS3 game development.

Even though PS4 released last holiday season, it’s a great time to own a PS3!
– HD remakes of classics are still pouring onto PlayStation Network
Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns completes the next-gen story
– The entire Bioshock franchise!
South Park: The Stick of Truth provides a fun JRPG-style experience
The Walking Dead Game: Season 2 leads an army of exciting PSN content
Persona 5… WOO!
– Not to mention PS3 ports of PS4 titles Watch Dogs, Rayman Legends, Thief, The Evil Within, Wolfenstein, Destiny

PS4 did all of us PS3 gamers a favor: MASSIVE PRICE DROPS! If you go into your local GameStop, most of the the games you’d want to play but never bought are under $20 used. I’m not even kidding. So rejoice, PS3 owners! Your backlog of games has just increased tenfold! Better get started now…

THE VERDICT: As of now, I highly recommend not to ditch your PS3. No need to upgrade your console (and TV if you don’t have HDMI inputs like I do) just yet. But if you want to, we totally understand.

So, thank you PlayStation 4. You’re the gift that will keep on giving. Happy Valentine’s Day. Game on dudes!