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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Octopath Traveler – Review

Octo Logo
Octopath Traveler
 
 
Our Rating: 9/10 (*********-)
Price: $59.99
ESRB Rating: Teen
Developer: Square Enix, Acquire
Publisher: Nintendo
Official Website: http://octopathtraveler.nintendo.com
Genres: RPG
Platforms: Nintendo Switch
 
Description:
Octopath Traveler is an RPG where you take control of eight travelers, each with their own story and unique set of skills.
 
Pros:
* Beautiful blend of old (classic 16 bit) and new HD graphics
* Outstanding music that brings life to each environment
* 8 truly unique characters that all seem to feel equally powerful
* Innovative battle system that actually makes turn-based fighting feel new
* Solid game length for the price at about 30 hrs to run though the main story lines
* Large map where you can actually go in any direction right from the start
* Menus are very easy to navigate
 
Cons:
* Not all that challenging ( zero deaths at over 10 hrs)
* Naps are pretty linear without a real sense of exploration
* It’s another Japanese style RPG – I don’t believe this will change your mind if this isn’t your style of game
 
Game-play Features:
* Pick any one of the characters to begin their story and build your party in any order you wish.
* Each traveler has their own strengths and weaknesses that will be useful against the huge variety of enemies.
* Your party will consist of only 4 of the travelers at a time – but you can switch them up at any of the towns.
* Eight stories that each provide a backstory and motivation for each traveler
* Octopath Traveler truly allows you to play in any way and in any direction you choose.
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Dungeon Defenders 2 – Review

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Dungeon Defenders 2

Our Rating:
7/10

Price:
Free

ESRB Rating: Rated “E 10+” (Everyone 10+)

Developer: Trendy Entertainment
Publisher: Trendy Entertainment

Genres: Action role-playing game, tower defense, survival
Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC

Description:
Etheria is under attack! Build mighty defenses to freeze, burn and disintegrate your foes, then grab a sword and jump into the action! Level up a team of heroes, deck them out in loot, and destroy the hordes by yourself or in four player online co-op!

Pros:
* Ease of play — Easy to learn controls along with a fairly easy to understand and straight forward tutorial
* Both Single and Multiplayer options (multiplayer up to 4 players and allows for either online or local multiplayer)
* An interesting mix of both a Tower defence and RPG gameplay
* Every character type is relevant and useful
* Plenty to do at End Game

Cons:
* Only a few characters available without earning a lot of in game premium currency or spending money.
*Matchmaking can be quiet slow
* End Game upgrades are quite time consuming

Some Key Gameplay features:
* Both static and randomly generated map rules and objectives
* Unique ability to switch between characters mid game and mid battle.

Overall a fun game! And at the low price of Free-fidy, there is a lot to do in this title. Although grinding new characters is time consuming there is not any dull moments in the gameplay. The towers and skills unique to each character are all worth using, it is very hard to pick a “main character” and with this game, you don’t have to. If you enjoy tower defense and RPG games, this is a title you may definitely want to give a try.

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Portal Knights – Review

Game Logo

Our Rating:
8/10

Price: 
$10-$20 (depending on platform and point of purchase)
(Free on X Box Game Pass)

ESRB Rating: Rated “E” (Everyone)

Developer: Keen Games (http://www.keengames.com/)
Publisher: 505 Games (https://505games.com/)
Official Website: https://www.portalknights.com/en/

Genres: Action role-playing game, Survival game

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Android, Microsoft Windows

Description:
Leave the familiar world behind and step into the fantastic unknown with Portal Knights, a cooperative 3D sandbox action-RPG! Level up your character and craft powerful gear to defeat your enemies in real-time tactical combat. Explore dozens of randomly-generated islands and restore peace to a world torn apart by The Fracture.

Pros:
* Ease of play – once you determine the actual controls – game play is fairly simple.
* Both Single and Multiplayer options (multiplayer up to 4 players in a “world” and allows for either online or local multiplayer)
* “Worlds” can be used in either mode (single or multiplayer)
* Allows for both 1st and 3rd person view – very handy to swap between depending on the task you are trying to achieve

Cons: 
* Poor Tutorial – no real detail on how to do most things – and no clear guidance on what is actually achievable in the game.
* Inventory/Inventory management system is cumbersome
* Fairly long transition screens/times

Some Key Gameplay features:
– Randomly generated 3D sandbox worlds
– Tactical Action Combat (TAC)
– 3 RPG character classes to choose from and master
– Boss battles
– Random “Events” that produce unique “prizes”
– Mine/gather resources from across the lands to craft your arsenal and supplies
– Build your home with dozens of materials and furnishings
– Have your friends in 4-person cooperative multiplayer. Work together on the same island to build structures, explore dungeons, and overcome the toughest perils (including the events).

After several hours of game play – I am STILL playing this game. Now that I have passed through the crucible of learning the controls and what the recipes are for certain necessary items – I will most likely be starting a new character so that I can apply my “lessons learned” from my first attempt with this game. This is a game that I can play by myself, with my son, and even with my grandson. It’s combination of TAC – and a Minecraft-like building/crafting system makes it very “re-playable”

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State of Decay 2 – Review

Game Logo

Our Rating:
8/10

Price: 
Standard Edition: $30 or Free with Xbox GamePass
Ultimate Edition: $60

Rating: Rated “M” (Blood and Gore, Drug Reference, Intense Violence, Strong Language.)

Pros:
Very solid survival feel with the potential to be great
Graphics for this game are fantastic
Price is affordable to say the least
Replay value is high initially
There are infinite options on how to play through this game
The customization on bases and cars is definitely a plus
Many weapons to choose from allowing you to play the way you want
The different leader types and personality traits give the game a nice layer of depth
Multiplayer gives incentive for helping your friends
Boons, these little bonuses from each play through with a different leader type make a huge difference.

Cons: 
Learning curve on the first play through is pretty steep if you haven’t played the previous games.
Mechanics are still a bit buggy.
Once you have done 3 or more playthroughs the game begins to feel too repetitive .
Not enough customization available for the guns.
Multiplayer initially was very hard to work through all the bugs, but has since been patched.
Patches are HUGE, 5-19Gb

 

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