Titanfall Beta Impressions (PC)

I've played about 1.5 hours so far on PC. Servers crashed so these's are my impressions.

Graphics/Sounds:

---Feels like a Call of Duty game on the source engine, for sure. If you're expecting mind-blowing graphics, you're going to be very disappointed. I don't think it's because it's beta. I think it's just because it's a Source game. Having played Call of Duty: Ghosts on PS4 in November (some of you may have watched that stream), I would say that Ghosts looks slightly better in single player HOWEVER, Titanfall looks better than Ghosts' multiplayer.

---Stuttering issues. I shouldn't have any issues streaming and playing this game. It feels like something is hogging resources in the background. This is probably just because it's a beta. I've played enough betas to see this ironed out in the final product.

---When you first drop in a Titan, the sounds and graphics are awesome. Probably something I look forward to every time is just watching it crash into the ground. When you first experience it in-game, it's something to cherish. And the first time you get gracefully swooped up and tucked into it's chest is tear-jerking good.

---You can set you FOV in PC to 90!

Gameplay:

---The first time I ran into a hallway and a Titan dashed from out of view to right in front of me, my adrenaline pumped up and palms produced beads of sweat. Pretty awesome first match for me.

---Gunplay is very simple. There's no recoil at all. It feels a lot like Quake III in that sense. You see a pilot/titan and just hold down the fire until you get an XP score and see your name owning their name.

---The A.I. bots are boring and horrible. I've seen both sides of the argument and I'm going to say that they need to either remove them or revamp them. I wouldn't mind cannon fodder DOTA bots (which is what they are) but the real players... I can't ever tell if I'm chasing a pilot or bot until the name shows up.

---Not as twitchy as I had hoped for. I don't know if anyone remembers the "Brink" game, but it feels as twitchy as that game. Nothing like old-school Quake/UT games. Nothing wrong with that though. I don't mind it being a little slower honestly. Feels perfect at it's current speed. But if you were expecting UT/Q3, look elsewhere.

---Parkour feels tacky. If my videos saved on Twitch, I'll take my examples and upload them. I've rocketed myself a few times into the air on accident using the parkour/double jump system. It doesn't feel like Mirror's Edge in fast motion, or even as smooth as other games that have parkour. I haven't really found my balance with it. Right now, I feel it's a gimmick and a bit cheap.

---Stealth mode is fair. Titans haven't seen me yet while stealth and I can get a cheap shot on them. Other players seem to always see me. I guess I know why. You can clearly see their slightly invisible bodies standing there or running around. Shotguns come in handy for those stealthy sons of titans.

---The strategic use of Titan and pilot is amazing. This is my absolute favorite part of the game. You have a few options to utilize your Titan and I really didn't know how fun it would be to just be a pilot. I'm currently preferring the pilot since one of the ways you can take advantage of the battlefield is to just have the Titan guard and while you (the pilot) runs around defending it. You basically get double the damage from everyone on the field. This is how I've seen myself increasing my kills. Otherwise, jumping in a Titan and keeping it healthy by using shields and managing your attacks will just keep you from dying from crossfire or another player (since bots are not going to really get a kill on you).

---Maps feel a little small. This might just be because I come from Battlefield 4. They're probably the same size, or slightly bigger, than COD's maps. Personal preference obviously.

---The auto-target gun isn't that bad. I first wanted to hate it but it's not too shabby. The assault rifle is arguably the best weapon to pick at my level (5).

Overall:

I'm giving this a shot the entire weekend. Some days I'm not completely feeling a game. After 1.5 hours, I'd say that I've seen Titanfall and it's not a system seller, but it's a load of fun with some gameplay issues. Again, this is just my initial reaction and my honest one. I just hope it's not what it feels like right now: just another Call of Duty with mechs.

Worst thing about the game so far, and something that will drive me away quickly, is the bots OR just the lack of finding pilots. I really don't like how this is put together. I feel if they're not in Titans, I am not running into them.

Helpful hints:

For those playing, try placing the Titan on follow until you clear out an area. I've had way more kills outside the Titan than inside. Them things blow up good. But they also do a lot of score increasing if you have it battling a Titan while you use anti-Titan guns.

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TWB Clan Stories: “Space Cons: No Hope”

When Star Wars Galaxies expanded by adding in star ships (Jump to Light Speed), The Wet Bandits members decided it was time to break faces. We couldn't really afford a good ship so we bought the crappiest one we could find. Naturally, we decided to plunder someone’s expensive ship. Some innocent fool’s ship. We found one, on the planet of Tatoonie. He was selling transport on his very expensive taxi ship by screaming in the global chat. I private messaged him and the conversation went something like this:

Me: “Good sir, we need your services. We are apart of a major guild on this server and have some high bounties on our heads from some Imperial scum. May you provide refuge on your unmarked ship to hold our guild meeting?”

Foolish Guy: "Why yes! We are an expensive taxi service of sorts. It will cost (x) millions of credits. Would you fine gents like expensive foods and entertainment for this evening on my taxi?”

Me: “Yes, indeed. We require classical music and your finest of foods. We will pay you 5% on top of the value for the food, transport, and entertainment after you’ve provided us safe travel and allow us to hold our guild meeting on your ship. An extra couple thousand credits if you keep shut thy mouth about anything we talk about.”

We’re on a role-playing server which is why we were talking like this. After negotiations, this guy hires a full band to play music for us. He takes out a loan for the food, thousands of credits worth, and leads us aboard his taxi. His super expensive taxi. While he’s showing us around, I find an escape route for later that. It’s in the toilet area, where all good escapes happen. We get everything setup. I mean, it’s taking about 30 minutes to an hour to get this place decorated for our guild’s meeting/feast. I give the foolish host a space waypoint to warp to and off we go.

We sit down in our comfy chairs and discuss made-up business, all in sync with each other on how so-and-so is after us and whom we can still trust in our guild. While eating good virtual foods, I stood up and say, “Excuse me but I have to use the rest room. I think some of the food is bad.”.

I rush to the toilets and escape down the hatch. It may have not been a toilet. It’s more than likely just escape pods, but I’m sticking with toilets.

The escape pod brings me back to Tatoonie. I board the space ship we bought. It has laser guns and that’s about it. Not the best by any means but this guy’s high credit taxi is slow, defenseless and doesn’t have any weapons. Since I gave him the coordinates to where we were, I warp back to their location and charge my blasters.

Meanwhile on the taxi, the foolish host detects an incoming fighter on his ship’s radar. Or he just sees me outside his windows. He alerts us all, in which my two guild mate friends act clueless. The band has quit playing. The food is all looted thanks to a guild mate. And there’s a maniac outside this 60% glass ship that’s firing his lasers!

I laugh hysterically. I’m foggy on this part, but I believe my guild mates used the pods to get off the ship. The host stays with the band and tries to make a run for it. While trying to get into hyperspace, his ship blows up. Millions of credits down the drain. His stuff is all destroyed and we make off with the only lootable items he gave us access to.

A few minutes later, he messages me completely out of character and says, “I should have known what was going to happen but man, you guys were awesome. Completely ruined me!”. He probably quit playing shortly after.

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What if Diablo III was too hardcore?

So many gamers on different websites are full of whining about Diablo III‘s difficulty. Sure, the game is really hard. In Hell difficulty, you’re going to run into mobs that vortex (pull you closer to them), have near impossible to break shields, invulnerability, and molten lava footprints. That’s not even near the difficulty of mobs in Inferno. But as Blizzard has stated recently, it’s all because you guys aren’t getting the gear you need. That goes for me too. I have yet to beat Inferno, much like everyone else. But I do have an idea for what would make Diablo III the most frustrating game in the entire world, making most of the posts about it being “too hard” absolutely true. Hardcore mode would still be the way it is. But then there would be Realistic mode.

In Realistic mode, the game is a bit too realistic. You start off with no weapons, heading to New Tristram to do whatever it is you do. Since you have no armor, you must avoid fighting until you get to town. If you’re bit by a zombie during a fight, you’ll have hours, maybe minutes to live until your character is completely killed off. Game over. Unlike Hardcore mode, when you die in Realistic mode, you actually lose access to play with your current game key. This means you must actually buy the game again. It’s not very realistic to die and start a new life, right? I guess, technically, zombies aren’t real… or are they? Anyway, we have to at least do something in this game unless you just want something like Simsablo. So, hopefully, you’ll never encounter this:

Seems a bit too hardcore? Well, don’t worry. It gets better. If you do survive your first small encounter, you’re welcomed into town. There’s an inn in New Tristram, right? That’s for sleeping. You must actually have your character in the inn and he must sleep for 8 hours to be fully rested for battle. If you rest under that, you have a undisclosed chance to be sluggish and your stamina is drained. Not sleeping for days will result in death. Couldn’t you just leave your computer in game while you sleep? Sure, and that’s what realistic mode would want you to do. But don’t think you’re too smart! Going to work while your character sleeps may result in massive headaches or fatigue from oversleeping, if you’re not back by your tenth hour.

Speaking of headaches, what’s more realistic than disease and sickness. All of those germs busting out of enemies must cause some sort of sickness to occur, right? At some points, you’re standing in a vat of poison. Standing in a vat of poison has an undisclosed chance of causing your character to become infected with a disease, which can also cause a very rare chance for you to die over time. If you’re diseased, your character must head to town and buy medicine. You can continue to battle after, but you have even more chance to become fatigued. You may just want your character to take his medicine, drink lots of fluids, and stay at the inn until you’re all better.

Inventory is now limited to weight, just like in The Elder Scrolls and Dungeon & Dragons games. Unlike those games, your character cannot carry around hundreds of pounds, you’ll only be able to carry around a certain amount of trashy magicals with you. Instead, you can buy a wheel barrel. You can fill it up like a bag, but you better hope a mob doesn’t break the thing. You’d have to travel back to town and buy a new one.

Food and fluids will be needed as well, for the same reasons as above. You will have to drink lots of water throughout the game and eat food three times a day. You’ll be able to check a protein counter in your inventory screen. Water is the most efficient way to survive and rehydrate. However, vendors will sell you different alternatives to water. These items are sponsored by companies and have great real life effects. Every time you drink a Cola-Cola “health potion”, you’ll be able to generate some in-game gold until their logo runs out (see below). There’s no real health benefit to drinking sodas, but getting sponsor money seems realistic. As a matter of fact, nothing you do can truly heals you aside from visiting the “was before” useless blessing people in towns. Now they’re surgeons and they’ll patch you up. Much like everything else in real life, there’s a chance you can die on the operating table. Operations also require time to heal.

Something I’m personally excited about is the different traits your character will randomly generate right off the bat or over time. Just buy creating a character, you’ll have passive skills automatically selected for you that cause your character to be truly unique. Allergies, for example. You’ll actually have to keep an eye on the allergy bar if you’re chosen for this cruel fate. Walking around outside may give you a 15% chance to random stun yourself due to a heavy sneeze.

Town portals are eliminated. That’s not very realistic. You must walk everywhere. It sucks but at least it’s realistic.

Real life money must be spent to acquire certain items. These usually come from your higher end merchants that want to sell you stuff instead of barter. You can easily distinguish which markets are setup to accept gold and which are setup for real life cash only. Usually the “cash only” merchants are named “Bob of Wal-mart” or “Karen, the Hot Topic Manager”. With real life money spent, you get a huge benefit. You can actually return items to these venders within 14 real life days! There’s only a few restrictions. You have to pay a 15% restocking fee if the item was used. You also have to have your receipt. Much like real life, you have a 30% chance of losing the receipt just by walking around.

What about multiplayer? To make the game still a game, we need to have a way for people to jump in. We’ll keep that in. They still can’t teleport back to you. Instead, they must run around until they find you. When they do, you better hope you know them. All characters will have the ability to murder you and/or rob you. If they rob you, you may actually lose real life money too. But hey, just hope they don’t murder you. The best thing to do is if someone chats, “Gimme your money!”, you better just trade them all the stuff you have and let them run off with your wheel barrel full of goodies. It’s not worth dying over.

Now, some of you may be laughing because the idea seems stupid or impossible. Some of you might be asking about magical characters and monsters. Will they be in there? Of course. Because those things are realistic. There’s been many reports of monster sightings and real life magic, even movies based on these matters. And movies never lie to me.

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One-Hour Impressions: Brink


*Be sure to check out my official blog for a new feature I implemented today: Official FAQ of TWBB.

Not trusting reviews, your local blogger got on the scene to see how well this game actually works. I'm here to report that the pathetic reviewers in the video game industry have done us all a grave injustice! Because this game is absolutely horrific. They have summed all of their irenic energy to make sure Bethesda and Splash Damage were at least some-what satisfied with their Frankenstein project. Let's take you through the first hour of my living hell, shall we?

The game had a patch, immediately. Not too bad, since we all knew that the netcode was broken. I'm also playing on the PlayStation 3 because I prefer to play online games on there. That, or the PC. I picked this up for the PlayStation 3 because on the PC, it's linked to Steam and I figured if it sucked, I could sell this on Amazon or Craigslist. The game has hardly any load time. It's probably the fastest title I've seen in a while as far as loading times. It asked me to sign in to the PlayStation Network. I chuckled a bit, and then moved on.

The first screen that appears is one asking you to create a character. The creation tools are really cool, and giving yourself scars or tattoos make permanent marks on your skin. Don't like it? You can just create another character!

The game has a few gameplay options. I tried out a few of the challenges (which don't work fully due to the PSN being down). They're alright. Then I tried Single Player. I knew what I was getting into: multiplayer training in single player. I had heard the bots were dumb. Boy, that's the understatement of the year. These bots will literally stand right next to the objectives or near enemies, and do nothing. It's embarrassing.

I played for about an hour. I can say the multiplayer might be fun, if it works when the PSN is up, but for now, I can't think of one thing gameplay wise this game is doing that's worthy of a $60 price tag. The graphics are sucky too. If you've played an Unreal Tournament 3 engine title, you know where the textures have to load in? Yeah, this game constantly does this. It's very, very annoying. And the one thing I was interested in, the Mirror's Edge style gameplay, is useless. It's just tragic. Bulletstorm has more parkour than this game. Just sad...

I usually give games a second go. When the PSN is back up, I'll try it out and then I'll review the entire title after patches and such. I'm hoping that this game doesn't die off completely. I think there's a lot of potential if the online community stays with it.

Also, if you want an easy Platinum Trophy, or 100% achievement, this game is for you. After 1 hour, I'm at 30% complete. I'll be at 100% within a week, I'm sure. NOTHING is hard, even if it seems hard.

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Gamers, Let's Talk About Feelings


I'm starting to think that our glorious hobby has turned into a Care Bear fest. When Grand Theft Auto 4 took heat for its morals, we were jumping all over the networks for their thoughts and lack of journalism. Stories like this pop up all the time, and what do we do? We jump all over the place, defending our different positions on video games. We're screaming and arguing the whole time of who is right and wrong.

I guess my question would have to be: why do we care so much what other people think of our hobby?

More recently, there's been a ridiculous cry over the " Your Mom Hates Dead Space 2" campaign ad. The cry has been that this goes a step backwards in proving that gaming isn't something that's just violent and immature to the general public. There are gamers claiming that when the next crazed loon that shoots up a place and happens to have played Dead Space 2, the news media will have easy ammunition just by using this ad. There's even an article about how this same ad is aimed towards children, since obviously only people 17 and under have children. Is that really what the ad is saying, or is it more in the lines of "Do you kiss your mother with that mouth?".

I certainly don't care or mind what the outside world thinks of my hobby. To me, the more the world looks at it and shakes its head, the more I give my hobby a thumbs up. It's more punk rock to have a hobby that sickens the outside world, than to just fall in line. I like it that way. But I think part of the problem is that we have way too many people wanting video games to conform to an art form than to just let it be as explosive and pseudo-violent as it wants to be. The more we have people wanting Super Mario Galaxy to be in the ranks of a Picasso, the more reason we have to just tone it all down so the outside world sees its beauty. It's Care Bear garbage!

We also have people who care because of the effects that feel it might have on the industry as a whole. We fear that outsiders will tell us what games should be like. But Hollywood is often attacked because of its betrayal of horrific violent scenes. The music industry is attacked because of its violent lyrics. Has this stopped films from being released recently? Expendables still was released, and it had gibs all over the place. So before we just assume, let's look at the realistic picture: gaming will not be effected (in America, sorry to the rest of the world).

In 1994, my dad took me to Best Buy and we picked up a video game that Jack Thompson believes is a reason kids are violent today. We bought Mortal Kombat II on my Super Nintendo, the first day it came out. I grew up in a violent video game world, and the sicker the game was, the bigger the explosions, the more I wanted it. Does anyone remember when Soldier of Fortune I & II came out?


Yeah, I was all over that stuff. Gore in video games is as American as apple pie. I didn't grow up mental. I've never killed an animal. Haven't been in a fist fight in forever. I avoid confrontations. I actually can't stand the sight of real life blood (it makes me dizzy). But in a video game, I know it's fake and often humorously exaggerated, and that's the way I like it.

But gamers, if you're really concerned about the content in video games because your friends or family believe it turns people into ruthless killers, just ask them what video games Jack the Ripper played or which Mortal Kombat Adolf Hitler inspired him. While they still hold that dumb look of confusion on their face, just reply, "Exactly." and walk away.

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