The Outer Worlds – Review

TOW Logo

My Rating:
7.75/10
Release Date: 25 October 2019
Price: 59.99+
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
Developer: https://www.obsidian.net/
Publisher: https://www.privatedivision.com/
Official Website: https://outerworlds.obsidian.net/en
Genres: First Person, Action, RPG
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, (Switch coming soon)
Modes: Single Player

Description:
The game is set in an alternate future that diverged in 1901, when U.S. President William McKinley is not assassinated by Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition. As a result, Theodore Roosevelt never succeeded him, allowing large business trusts to dominate society well into the future, where megacorporations have begun colonizing and terraforming alien planets. Originally bound for the furthest reaches of the galaxy, a colony ship’s faster-than-light travel goes astray, leaving it abandoned at the edge of colony space. The player character awakens on board from cryosleep only to find that most of the passengers are still in hibernation, and begins a journey to a nearby colony to investigate the true nature of the corporations. The game features several factions and a branching story that reacts to the player’s choices.

Pros:
1. The controls are fairly intuitive “by default” but configurable “to taste”
2. For anyone that has played the Fallout series – if you liked Fallout – you will enjoy this.
3. While being “story driven” – it is not “story locked”. Plenty of side quests and room to explore
4. For those familiar with Fallout’s combat “slo-mo” combat system – you will find similarity in The Outer World’s TDD (Tactical Time Dilation)
5. Once you gain possession of your first ship – you can re-spec your character on board the ship at any time
6. 4 Modes of Play – Story mode (Novice Mode) greatly reduces the “combat” aspect of the game

Cons:
1: Can be a bit “grindy”
2: Definitely a “re-spin” of the older Fallout style games

Notes: 8 Hours into this game – and I can say with some certainty – that I will be spending many more hours in it!

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Crash Bandicoot N-Sane Trilogy – Review

My Rating: 9/10
Release Date: 30 June, 2017
Price: 39.99 (varies by location)
ESRB Rating: E (Everybody)
Developer: Vicarious Visions
Publisher: Activision
Official Website: https://www.crashbandicoot.com/
Genres: Platform
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, Switch
Modes: Single-Player
***
Description: 
Your favorite marsupial, Crash Bandicoot®, is back and he’s enhanced, entranced & ready-to-dance! Now you can experience Crash Bandicoot like never before in fully-remastered HD graphical glory. Take on the epic challenges and adventures of the three games that started it all, Crash Bandicoot®, Crash Bandicoot® 2: Cortex Strikes Back and Crash Bandicoot®: Warped.

Crash Bandicoot
Dr. Neo Cortex has a plan to take over the world, and he wants to create genetically engineered animals to do his bidding. To create his minions, Cortex kidnaps as many animals as he can; Crash Bandicoot’s girlfriend just happens to be one of his victims. Take control of Crash as he runs, jumps, and spins through 30 levels of intense action on three different Australian islands. Only you can help Crash save the animals, save his girlfriend, and foil Dr. Cortex’s plot.

Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back
The evil Dr. Neo Cortex is back…out this time to save the world? And he’s asking for help from his arch nemesis, Crash Bandicoot? Is this just a conniving plan to lure Crash into Cortex’s next dastardly experiment? Can Crash win again or will he join Cortex’s mindless zoo? Bigger free-roaming 3-D environments, all-new animations and a whole host of colorful characters – watch as our hero Crash, ice-skates, rodeo-rides a polar bear and jet-packs through zero-gravity in the continuing adventures of Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back – This time he ain’t joking!

Crash Bandicoot Warped
Oh yeah…he’s back…AND he’s ready! It’s a Whole New Time-Traveling Adventure! All new-style gameplay action – scuba dive, ride a motorcycle, a baby T-Rex, and go free-roaming airborne in a plane! Play as Coco! Gallop along the Great Wall of China on a tiger, go extreme on a jet-ski and other high-flying surprises! Prove your skills with the new Super-charge Body Slam, Super Slide, Double Jump, Death-Tornado Spin and a Laser-Guided Bazooka. All new enemies include a new Big Boss, Uka Uka, N. Tropy, a menacing Dingodile and of course, the return of some favorites like N. Gin and Tiny. More Action. More Fun. More Puzzles and Secret Levels. And you didn’t think it could get any better!
***
Pros:
1. All 3 games for 1 low price making it an affordable investment.
2. Family-Friendly game play that everyone can enjoy. Even my 2.5 year old figured out the controls and enjoys running around!
3. The nostalgia of playing through the levels again from 1996-1998 is real. I found myself remembering hidden passages and mechanics from my childhood.
4. While they remastered old levels it still feels new with some great enhancements to game play. You won’t feel like you can just sail through on your memory alone!
5. Includes the never before released, originally unfinished, Stormy Ascension Level in the original Crash Game.
6. The first ever new level (in 20 years!) the Future Tense Level is also included.

Cons: 
1. Gameplay can be monotonous if you aren’t driven by childhood nostalgia like I was.
2. The game is definitely more difficult than it used to be. They updated the controls which require a lot more finesse than it did 20 years ago. This is especially true in the first game and can be a point of great frustration if you aren’t looking to grind into a game about a cartoon bandicoot

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Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 – Review

My Rating:
8.75/10
Release Date: 15 March 2019 (The Old Man’s b-day)
Price: 59.99+
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
Developer: Massive Entertainment
Publisher: Ubisoft
Official Website: https://tomclancy-thedivision.ubisoft.com/game/en-us/home
Genres: third-person shooter, RPG shooter
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Modes: Multiplayer

Description:
“Washington D.C. is on the brink of collapse. Lawlessness and instability threaten our society, and rumours of a coup in the Capitol are only amplifying the chaos. All active Division agents are desperately needed to save the city before it’s too late.

Pros:
1. Massive Entertainment took the lessons learned from The Division and implemented most of the best liked features from the original – the right way.
2. Specialization adds a new layer of customization to the game – that is also hot swappable. You can tailor your loadouts for the Specialization you feel like playing.
3. The storyline is long and immersive. The story makes you care about the characters and the people of Washington DC.
4. Gear and weapon customization is balanced and fairly self explanatory, especially for those who played the first game – while also accessible for new players to the series.
5. Pick how you play. 3 options for game play; PvE, PvP, or Co-op.
6. Clans reward teaming up with your friends and working together.
7. Endgame that is both story driven and fun! The Division 2 offers end game content from day 1 – and it doesn’t feel rushed or half done.
8. The game has a very dynamic (and ever changing) map due to circumstance. Gives a player plenty to do, without feeling grindy.

Cons:
1: Special ammo cannot be saved, it must be used as you pick it up
2: There have been a few issues with the connectivity to the game

Notes: With about 40 hours played, I have really enjoyed this game and the challenge of saving DC. Massive Entertainment has done an outstanding job following up the success of The Division 1 and continuing to give players a reason to keep coming back.

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Black Desert Online – Review

Black Desert Online

Black Desert Online

By: #MCGYaBoiBoots

My Rating:
8/10
Release Date: March 4 2019
Price: $30-$99
ESRB Rating: NR
Developer: Pearl Abyss
Official Website: https://www.blackdesertonline.com/
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Modes: Massive Multiplayer Online RPG

Description: “The Beginning of a Journey/Jordine and the Secret Guards”

“Goma Naru is central city of Trading. Back when ships from Valencia would anchor in Naru, children would greet the merchants and fireworks would light the skies. Goma Naru was a thriving city of sailors and merchants and mercenaries. Little did they know what had just arrived into the harbor.

Could any of these people know about the Elision Stone? It is the mythical stone of the ancient civilization, which had long been hidden due to the dark power, but uncovered by a cult and brought to Goma Naru by ship.

A mysterious black shadowy smoke rose up over the horizon and headed straight for that merchants ship. The Elision Stone exploded in a cataclysmic event, destroying all of the city and everyone in it, wiping it from the face of the world.

In the end there was no one left and that day was long forgotten.”

Pros:

1: A very extensive player system. Crafting, gathering, Hunting. There is always something to do.

2: Every character brings a new angle to the fight – leaving room for the game to be played in different ways on each playthrough.

3. “An open world to explore” – which means very few loading screens. This leads to very little downtime while waiting to load and continue your adventures.

4. Graphics are amazing and very appealing. Makes you want to go and explore, and see what the world truly has to offer.

6.The market system is so immense that there’s always something for everybody at cheap prices.

Cons:

1. It’s another sandbox MMO. Not as point-and-click as most – but it’s still there.

2. The learning curve is drastic when trying to figure things out as a new player.

3. Monsters no longer drop silver when grinding making it harder to maintain a steady money flow. However, aggressive mobs will drop bars.

4. There is a lack of PVE content for players, leaving those that love a story line in the dark.

5. There are no dungeon crawls – making money and grinding the only way to get better gear.

Notes:

Overall, I have enjoyed Black Desert online. The immense and colorful world has made it nearly impossible to put my controller down. I’m still “learning as I go” but the community is actually very helpful when you ask questions.

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APEX – Review

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Apex Legends

My Rating:
7.5/10
Release Date: 4 February 2019
Price: Free
ESRB Rating: T (Teen)
Developer: Respawn Entertainment
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Official Website: https://www.ea.com/games/apex-legends
Genres: first-person shooter, Battle royale
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Modes: Multiplayer

Description:
“A WORLD WHERE ANYTHING GOES
The Frontier War is over. After hundreds of years of conflict between the Interstellar Manufacturing Corporation and the Militia founded to fight them, the far-off region of space known as the Frontier can finally know peace.

But liberation can come at a cost: when the IMC and the Militia departed, they took everything of value and left the Frontier worlds in disarray. With no way to support themselves, the people of the Frontier had no choice but to leave their homes. The brave relocated to the Outlands.

A remote cluster of planets on the fringes of the Frontier, the Outlands are untouched by war and teeming with resources and opportunity. But life is cheap here, and danger lurks around every corner. Its pioneers, explorers, and outlaws used to spend their lives locked in an endless power struggle – now, they settle their differences in the Apex Games, a bloodsport where Legends from all corners of the Frontier compete for money, fame, and glory.”

Pros:

1: ‘Reviving’ in this title are two fold. ‘Reviving while down’ gets your teammates quickly back into the fight. BUT – if you cannot get to them right away – due to dodging bullets and dropping bodies – then you can grab their badge, high tail it to a ‘revive point’, and get them on the next dropship back into the fight.

2: Having role based classes, every character brings a new angle to the fight.

Cons:
1: Yet another battle royal game thrown into the mix of an over-saturated market.
2: Currently has no solo or duo modes
3: Weapons leave a lot to be desired. It requires a lot of ammo to kill a person.
4: The armor system is, also, lacking. Example: you can have a full set of purple and you can still get killed by a person that has all white armor and sometimes no armor on.
5: You can’t run and heal. You have to walk. If you start to run while healing it cancels the healing process. Takes way too long to heal.

Notes:

Overall, I have enjoyed Apex. It is a refreshing addition to the battle royal genre. If you play with a group of friends, getting ‘wins’ is fairly easy. However, playing with a group of random players will be a bit of a rough time. Hours of good fun are to be had with Apex.

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Fallout 76 – Review

Fallout 76 Screenshot

 

Our Rating:
Console: 5.5/10
PC: 5.5/10
Release Date: 14 November 2018
Price: $59.99 – $79.99
ESRB Rating: M (Mature) 17+
Developer: Bethesda Game Studio
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Official Website: https://fallout.bethesda.net/
Genres: First-person/Third Person, Survival, Online, Multiplayer, Open World, RPG
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Description: 
The online prequel to the Fallout series – where every surviving human is a real person. Work together, or not, to survive. Under the threat of nuclear annihilation, you’ll experience the largest, most dynamic world ever created in the legendary Fallout universe.

Reclamation Day, 2102. Twenty-five years after the bombs fall, you and your fellow Vault Dwellers – chosen from the nation’s best and brightest – emerge into post-nuclear America (Applachia, West Virginia). Play solo or join together as you explore, quest, build, and triumph against the wasteland’s greatest threats.

Pros:
1: Multiplayer – with “private servers” expected “shortly”
2: Huge Open World (four times the size of Fallout 4)
3: Revised “SPECIAL” progression system
4: Users can form Teams with their friends to accomplish goals/quests
5: (PC Version) – Mods/Modding will be available “soon”
6: Main quest plus MANY side quests, “daily” quests, and “events”
7: The Bethesda team has been working diligently to give frequent patches to the game to try and fix what players are reporting

Cons:
1: Multiplayer – until such time as the private servers are available, EXPECT “griefing”
2: It can feel “grindy” when running “solo” and trying to build up/accomplish things
3: Not a game I would recommend to someone that hasn’t already played some of the Fallout series – the learning curve can be “steep”
4: “In-game Purchases” – I can see this becoming a cheesy way for Bethesda to bilk players for real world dollars.
5: Very repeatable scenarios that make the game crash.  One of the main quests – “Personal Matters” – is completely broken and prevents players from being able to finish it.

Info/Notes (Pendragon): I have played several hours on both the PC and Xbox versions of the game. Game play, thus far, has been fairly similar – though I like the keyboard/mouse of the PC version over the “controller only” of the Xbox version. It just lends itself to more “control” of my game play. That could “just be me” however – as I am an “old school gamer”. As for the recent “bad press” that this game seems to be drawing – all I can say is I have no issue spending HOURS playing this game. Are there still some glitches? Yes. But, I imagine, folks will be hard pressed to name a newly released game that doesn’t have those at initial release. Bethesda has been “on top” of things – releases maintenance updates regularly since “go live” and I expect that trend to continue.

Side Note: This review took considerable time in being formulated – as many of the Admins wished to weigh in on this particular game.

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – Review

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Our Rating:
Console: 8.5/10
Release Date: 12 October 2018
Price: $59.99 – $119.99
ESRB Rating: M (Mature) 17+
Developer: Treyarch
Publisher: Activision
Official Websitehttps://www.callofduty.com/blackops4
Genres: First-person shooter, Battle Royale
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Description: “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 (stylized as Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII) is a multiplayer first-person shooter video game developed by Treyarch and published by Activision. It was released worldwide on October 12, 2018, for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It is a sequel to the 2015 game Call of Duty: Black Ops III and is the fifth entry in the Black Ops subseries as well as the 15th main installment in the Call of Duty series overall.” (Quoted from Wikipedia)

Pros:
1: New game mode: Battle Royale. CoD hasn’t seen a Battle Royale, so a new exciting game mode.
2: Maps: familiar maps to gamers that have played Black Ops before
3: Realistic player mechanics
4: Much Improved hit detection when facing an enemy
5: Game is boots on the ground which gamers tend to love.
6: Firearms are sweet. Very crisp and good feel
To them.
7: Characters, each unique character has its own special abilities. So it’s a must to play as a team.
8: Zombies: if you liked zombies in WWII, you’ll love it in BO4.

Cons:
1: Game Mode: seem to be following instead of leading in the Batte Royale mode, but it’s the hottest new thing
2: Maps: recycled maps from previous CoD as already stated. Paying the price you do, it’d be nice to see new maps.
3: Campaign: THERE IS NONE! I’m not real happy about this as I enjoy the campaign mode.
4: If you’re new to Black Ops like myself, other players that have played the maps in previous editions, will have a leg up.
5: Campers: I’ve noticed that there’s a lot more camping going on compared to WWII. Just take your time moving around and you’ll be just fine.

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DayZ – Review

Our Rating:
Console: 6.5/10 (Game Preview like PUBG was)
Release Date: 16 December 2013 (Xbox 29 August 2018)
Price: $39.99
ESRB Rating: Mature 17+
Developer: Bohemia Interactive
Publisher: Bohemia Interactive
Official Website: https://www.dayz.com/
Genres: First Person shooter, Third Person Shooter, Survival
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Description: Post zombie apocalypse where you survive the elements and other players trying to get loot. It’s a pvp and pve game that’ll keep you on your toes.

DayZ:
Pros:
1: If you’ve been playing the PC version of this, you’ll have a leg up on knowing how to play and where to go.
2: Absolutely HUGE map. You can run for awhile and move just to the next biggest town.
3: So much to do and places to go, you can easily sit down and before you know it, a few hours have passed by.
4: Tons of servers to choose from. There are US and European servers you can choose from to play on.

Cons:
1: Very steep learning curve. Since I had never played a game like this before, I had to learn pretty quick, or die from dehydration or lack of food. Which I did the first two times I went into a server.
2: Absolutely HUGE map. I know I put this as a pro as well, but here’s the downside. The map is so large, that if you want to play with a friend, depending on where you’re at and where they’re at, it could take awhile just to meet up.
3: No motorized transportation at this time. The programmers are slowly and surely trying to bring it in line with the PC version, but right now, you have to run wherever you need to go.
4: Since it’s still in game preview like PUBG was, its still a little buggy on some things. I’m assuming these will be cleaned up over the months to come though, since I read today that they’re looking at a Q1 2019 full release of this game.

Game-play Features:
You have a few basic options to run with. You can either be a Bandit (running around and killing other players on sight to loot them), a cannibal (should know what this is), Hero (protecting the newer players or protecting other players from the previously mentioned player styles). There’s also the lone survivor where you’re not a part of any group and just kind of do your own thing (this is where I fall currently).

Biggest thing is a person can make the game play however they like it. It’s just one massive ongoing game. There’s no winning or losing, just surviving! How long can you last?!

(PS, once you die, you start back from the beginning.)

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Madden 19 – Review

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Our Rating:  Console: 7/10
Release Date: August 10, 2018
Price: $59.99 – $79.99 (Depending on version bought)
ESRB Rating: Everyone
Developer: EA Tiburon
Publisher: EA Sports
Official Website: www.easports.com/madden-nfl
Genres: Sports
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Description:
Madden NFL 19 is an American football sports video game based on the National Football League, developed and published by EA Sports.

Pros:
1: Familiarity: if you had Madden 18, you should be familiar with the setup of everything. They did make a change however to the home screen, which I really like.
2: Clean: As mentioned in the first Pro, they changed up the home screen which really cleaned up the user interface. To me, it makes it easier to navigate to the different areas of the game.
3: Chemistry: They added chemistry to the game, so like a real NFL, it adds a “bonus” to same real team players, such as Balanced Defense, Power Run and many more items for both Offense and Defense.
4: Special Players: I do love having some HoF players on my team as well as some outstanding rookies that were drafted this past year.

Cons:
1: Store: In order to get some nice packs to open, you’re going to have to spend real money, and not just in-game coins. This leaves a bit of a bitter taste in my mouth and scratching my head trying to figure out how to compete. I do understand though that a company is in business to make money.
2: Squad: I really wish that you could squad up with randoms to play in the MUT (Madden Ultimate Team) Squad play. Since I don’t have many friends that have Madden 19, I’m stuck with a part of the game I can’t play.
3: Player Upgrades: I really just wish they would make it easier to upgrade players.
4: Longshot story: So far I’m 70% complete with the Longshot story and to say it is a disappointment, would be an understatement. At least in Madden 18, you could make choices along the way. Two thumbs down for the continuation of this story.

Game-play Features: MUT, Franchise Longshot and Exhibition. I love that they continued the Longshot story. I completed the storyline in Madden 18, and it should be fun to continue the storyline

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Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 – Review

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Our Rating:
Console: 7/10 (Based on beta gameplay)
Price: $59.99 – $129.99 (Dependent on Platform and game version)
ESRB Rating: Mature
Developer: Treyarch, Beenox
Publisher: Activision
Genres: First Person Shooter, Battle Royale
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Microsoft Windows
Description:
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 is a first person shooter. Unlike previous titles in the Call of Duty series, Black Ops 4 is the first entry to not feature a traditional Single Player campaign, and contains only Multiplayer, Zombies and a new Battle Royale mode called Blackout. Now we have only seen a small glimpse at the multiplayer gameplay and the Battle Royale beta will be releasing soon.
Pros
  • Boots on the ground gameplay, Call of Duty has lost a lot of loyal gamers over the year due to jetpacks, exo suits, and a slew of crazy attachments that took away from the original Call of Duty feel.
  • The weapons feel good. From the one LMG we’ve gotten our hands on to the plethora of rifles we saw in the beta, there was not one weapon that felt off balance. We all know that one gun that we say the first time we use it…. Never again.
  • The Maps, the maps are quite large but small enough at the same time to get some good close quarters combat.
  • The classes are extremely well balanced and encourage team play.
Cons
  • The Beta was overly short for the Xbox
  • With only a few options for game modes
  • The reward for getting max level in the beta was one permanent unlock token when the game releases
  • No Single Player Campaign. This is a major let down for me as I always enjoy the call of duty campaigns
Game-play Features:
  • There were several game modes available for play including the new Heist game mode.
  • Classed based game play really forces you to play together with your team if you want to be truly effective, if you do not then when you play a team that is, you’ll be crushed.
  • A truly fluid feel and response from the controls, everything is very responsive and seems polished.

 

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