Archive | April 2017

Borderlands 2: the state of the game in 2017.

Hello folks,

 

Thought I might do a piece on the state of the game Borderlands 2 in the year 2017 – some folks like to play old games, and why not help them figure out things while you are at it? Diving right into it the game still has people playing online co-op: the multiplayer base is separated by a matchmaker that sets you up with the games that are closest to your level. One reason, I think, this happens is to avoid players jumping into level 61 games and being absolutely murdered when they join in.

 

The most common games I find are ones that are levels 29 and below; seldom do you find games above this level – I have no information to answer the question as to why this occurs. Level 24 tends to produce quite a few public games, with level 14 also producing a similar amount of of public games for players to join in.

 

Being this far into the game’s life cycle there will be times where you are playing in triple digit ping games – best thing to do is adjust your gameplay and hope your connection is somewhat stable enough to handle high ping. Generally I can get the game to run and get a couple of hours in with the title, though sometimes the ping is too high for me to even play so I end up leaving after rubber-banding all over the walls.

 

Borderlands 2 is still alive and healthy for players to enjoy. The game is even healthy enough to be featured on Steam’s stats in the top 20 of games with concurrent players. Feel free to re-install the game or pick it up on a Steam sale if you lack a copy – still alive, still strong.

 

P.S. Bear in mind that this “review” is for the PC version; consoles I do not have a copy of the game nor do I plan on purchasing it at the present.

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Call of Duty WW2 reveal.

Right so let us get right into the action here; Call of Duty WW2 was revealed today the 26 of April 2017 – the presentation was good. Now I will not dive right into the hype and say: “oh my goodness this was great – such a great game we will get later this year!” The presentation kept emphasizing: “this is authentic,” or “this is such a visceral story – it is such a new ‘boots on the ground’ experience!” Right, okay first off throwing around the word “authentic” will not make the game more entertaining or realistic – the actual product will speak for itself when it comes out. Second, I get it you want to market your product, but instead of talking so bloody much why not show us some gameplay? The presentation just had the reveal trailer and afterwards the voice actors and developers sat around with the host of the reveal talking about their game – I get enough of that stuff from watching actor interviews in the theaters before a film starts.

 

Then there are the tweets – they feel fake. Ever notice the difference between the actual commenters and the fake comments? Some are more vulgar than others and yes they need to be censored, but these tweets feel sterile and automated. However with that said, there seems to be new multiplayer modes which emphasize warfare (ie: capturing points, having objectives to complete etc) as opposed to headless chicken runs with SMGs – looks promising. This of course was just the developer talking; he has a valid reason to promote his product as the game needs to sell in order to recover the production cost and to make a profit – I get it.

 

Then there was zombies – just a picture and more boasting was all we got. Afterwards the broadcast concluded and IGN resumed their commentary. Also one thing to point out with this reveal is the story will focus on the European theater of the war from 1944 to 1945 – I am disappointed there is no Pacific Theater nor Eastern front action – the war was so much more than just Western Europe alone and the developers just decided: “no, D-Day up to the push to Berlin from the US perspective going in.” Sure I get it, the American audience want an American perspective of the war, but what about Italy and north Africa? US troops fought in North Africa initially alongside the Pacific before Italy and finally D-Day and onwards – they fought everywhere just like the British did. Having those important elements thrown out feels cheap and lackluster – at least Battlefield 1 included the Middle East and the Italian front with the Russian front coming soon.

 

Skeptical is my approach to this game. Indeed hardcore Call of Duty fans will drink this game up like the other additions to the franchise but I feel cheated as there is no Pacific theater, north African theater, nor Italian theater – many brave troops died on those fronts and all we ever get to see is: “NORMANDY! NORMANDY! D-Day – yeah!” This might be the point where I get annoyed with it, but even then I will probably watch the game movie just to see what all the fuss is about. Thank you all for reading, and we shall see you next time.

Call of Duty WW2 reveal video (1 hour 26 minutes):

Battlefield Bad Company 2 Xbox One vs PC comparison/review

Alright folks time to compare and review the Xbox One version of Bad Company 2 to the PC version – figured after a good weekend of gaming done on the Xbox on parallel with the PC it would be best to deliver the results before the “meat” became spoiled so to speak.

Right first off both the Xbox and PC versions have healthy communities after all these years – the game always puts me in a match regardless of PC or console and I can always get a good match or two in before I leave due to boredom. However there are differences in the two communities: for starters the Xbox One/360 community is significantly smaller than the PC community. While playing on the Xbox One the largest match I ever joined was an 9v9 whereas for PC the vanilla Bad Company 2 servers tend to have near to full house of about 24 to 32 players depending on which server and time of day. Now for Bad Company 2 Vietnam the population is even smaller with Xbox putting me in matches of 3v3, whereas the largest I managed to join on PC was 14 players so 7v7 – I even had an 8v8 match or two before some players decided to leave to play something else.

The player count drops even further with Vietnam as players on PC far outnumber players on Xbox with PC matches going as high as 15/32 on large maps whereas on Xbox the largest I have experienced is 6v6 (and this is a consistent number as these are the most frequent numbers encountered). Sometimes both console and PC you can experience empty servers where there is just no one playing at that specific hour – vanilla Bad Company there is always people playing whereas Vietnam there are moments of utter silence.

Now I did drop more currency for the Xbox version than the PC version as I purchased it outside of a sale but despite my diluted sense of disappointment in my lack of restraint the Xbox Bad Company 2 turned out alright. With the game being almost ten years old Bad Company 2 should work on most modern systems (computers) with even my old machine using a 512mb video card able to run the game on medium/low settings.

Players who either want to re-purchase Bad Company 2 or have never played the game cannot go wrong with either choice. Yet I would be lying if I said both versions were equal – the PC version has a higher player count for vanilla, and Vietnam can also deliver a high player count when compared to the Xbox versions which seldom reach their maximum of 24 and even struggle to go past 15.

This concludes the comparison/review of the PC Bad Company 2 vs the Xbox One backwards compatible Bad Company 2 – PC has a higher player count and more chances to get into larger games than the Xbox version, but one can still have fun with the Xbox version albeit on a smaller scale. Thanks for reading everyone; please share this post with other readers, keep track of Thoughts and Topics for more content, check out the Patreon if you so wish, and we shall see you next time.

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The magic of Bad Company 2 Vietnam on Xbox One…

Right so after thinking for a while on this, I ended up picking up Bad Company 2 and the Vietnam expansion for Xbox One; right up until this point my experience with Bad Company 2 has mostly been on the PC platform. After waiting anxiously for the game and the DLC to finish (and somewhat feeling nervous from all the forum posts) I was greeted with a different menu and layout. Orientation wasn’t difficult, and soon I was in a match with 5 other players (6 total) on a Vietnam map shooting my way to victory.

 

Suffice it to say the opening moments of the game were great, and the console version – though similar in name – is a totally different game altogether. The streamlined menu and a lack of a server browser are two noticeable items, and the controls do take some getting used to while playing.

 

Somehow despite the fact that I paid more for the game on Xbox than I did for the PC version, I am not disappointed with my decision. You folks ever get the feeling when you buy something that you probably should have waited for it to go on sale? Well that feeling is there though somewhat diluted – I looked at the final price tag with tax in total and initially was thinking to myself: “well, I should have waited for it to go on sale – good job!” Then I think about ‘why’ I purchased the game: the PC scene for Vietnam is slow on the weekdays, and with a renewed interest in Bad Company 2 on Xbox with the game being backwards compatible I thought I might give the game a shot and squeeze out more multiplayer fun.

 

Later on as time passes I will have a better measurement of success and whether or not the price tag was worth it – you can check out Bad Company 2 on Xbox One through the marketplace store and purchase it should you lack a copy. Thanks for reading folks and I shall see you next time.

 

P.S. Let’s be honest, I wanted to play Vietnam on Xbox – the vanilla Bad Company might get some attention from time to time but it’s good old ‘Nam for me.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 trailer.

Right well here we are with yet another Star Wars-related item; Battlefront 2’s new trailer looks great and while I am going to hold back from jumping on the hype train I am impressed with the effort put into this installment. Diving right into the deep sea we are shown a campaign which seems to indicate that we will be playing an Empire character – a welcome change from constantly playing as the Rebel Alliance (though in the original Battlefront games you could choose who to play as; the PSP Renegade Squadron was the exception).

 

Contained within the trailer we are shown members of the special forces of the Empire as they first engage the rebels on Endor, witness the destruction of the second Death Star and afterwards the war effort that spans the 30 year gap between the Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Glorious it will be to finally be part of the Imperial war machine, and the graphics this time around will add to the immersion factor. Yet words cannot describe how amazing the trailer was; it even featured Jakku in the final bits before it cut to the title and if it is true then we will finally get the narrated battle of Jakku that many of us have been wanting for so long – to experience actually fighting in the battle, even if scripted, will beat the multiplayer DLC map that was given to us in the first installment by ten thousand country-miles.

 

Now being the excellent dealer of “dangerous goods” that I am, I will spoil you yet again with more dru- I mean trailers. Enjoy!

 

P.S. It would appear that we are also getting some Clone Wars action in multiplayer – 501st anyone?

 

New Season 4 of Star Wars Rebels trailer.

Seems we have yet another trailer from our favourite galaxy far far away – let’s dive right into it. The trailer starts off with some scenes from season 3, and then it shows what appears to be the rebels moving to Yavin, Agent Kallus growing out his hair, and the Mandalorians going to war on their homeworld with – what appears to be – the unification of all the clans against the Empire. There’s bit of Thrawn in there, and I think Hera and Kanan will have a bit of a romance arc in season 4.

 

Great so I really enjoyed season 2 and 3 of Star Wars Rebels – great show, and while it lacked the never-ending fighting of the Clone Wars series it did its job well in portraying the struggle of the rebellion during the early years of the movement. Now of course season 4’s trailer did feature our favourite extremist guerrilla Saw Gerrera and he seems to have some grey hair now; an indicator, perhaps, of his character inching closer to the Rogue One setting where he is missing limbs which were replaced by mechanical parts, and where he is no longer the fighting-fit leader he once was, and has relegated himself to a command structure with his trusted lieutenants taking charge in the field.

 

Now I am a horrible, horrible dealer of “dangerous goods” so I will once again feed your addiction – trailer’s located below (humor and sarcasm intended). Take care folks, have a good Easter and we shall see you next time.

 

The Last Jedi Teaser!

Right well I recall what I said about Force Awakens not having the same magic as Rogue One but the teaser trailer for the Last Jedi was well put together and has my excited for what is to come in December. Jumping right into it basically it teases some Jedi training, followed by some planetside snowspeeder-like scenes (it’s a desert world this time), followed by a climactic battle in space against the First Order (because it isn’t Star Wars without a full on conventional war). The usual cast returns, and it seems – seems – that they want to ramp up the action tenfold rather than the slow burn of Force Awakens.

 

While it is tempting to give into the hype and excitement, keep in mind that generally a teaser trailer is as advertised; to tease a product so that the customers get excited. Now were it the case that they were unable to get the crowd excited over the film then the marketing team would have failed to do their jobs properly and will probably be sent to the Spice Mines of Kessel. The fact remains that the trailer is just a trailer, and until we get a better idea of what the final product is later on in December we will just have to sit patiently and wait – giving into hype can only lead to disappointment.

 

That said I will fuel your addiction with the trailer linked below; enjoy!