Microtransactions – A.K.A. Pay-to-win

Everyone and their distant cousin’s aunt knows about the recent drama with EA—you can look it up. I want to address the topic of micro transactions and loot crates apart from them, as it has been an issue since before them and is still an issue for many others.

Continue reading Microtransactions – A.K.A. Pay-to-win


TellTale Games: Guardian’s of the Galaxy

TellTale Games released a much anticipated series off Marvel’s Guardian’s of the Galaxy in late April. After a failed attempt at waiting till summer’s end to pick up, I fell victim of its intrigue.

TellTale Games is known to make their games into episodic stories of rich depth, choice, and characters. So let me first clarify: as of thus, only the first episode is available. That aside, I will be playing them as they unlock and updating as I can.

So lets get gritty.

I was a HUGE fan of The Wolf Among Us. Seriously #amazing though absolutely not for children or teens. Guardian’s of the Galaxy has a much more peer-friendly atmosphere. It is, as the films are, a lot more focused upon creating a lively atmosphere and stunning visuals. With but the first episode available, its actually hard to say how I feel about the plot thus far. It isn’t feeling quite too original or deep, which leads me into the next point…

It feels far too choppy. Ya, choppy. The scenes feel underdeveloped, emotions and responses rushed, and cut-scenes broken. I understand TellTale has a distinct “vibe” or “style” in their games as was the case with The Walking Dead and Tales From The Borderlands.

But this is a little more obvious. I will give it time and chance, but the first episode felt like its whole scene/graphics production was cut short. Maybe it has something to do with the pre-leak of its work-in-progress, but regardless, I have high hopes.

Especially for the story. In all the other games, they end up being quite creative, so I’m looking forward to where the present plot will grow and change hopefully.

In a boomerang, I am slightly let down thus far but look forward to that opinion changing. Presently, the game sits at a 6.5/10. I do really appreciate it being more peer-appropriate, as I am a huge fan of replaying good games with friends and family and sharing to the rest at every opportunity should the game be worth  it. Which I hope the Guardians of the Galaxy will become.

Life Is Strange, Episode 1

Personal Rating: 8/10

Family Rating: 4/10

For the longest time, I was skeptical about buying this game. It intrigued me primarily from its resemblance to TellTale Game’s way of telling stories. I have always been a fan of a rich narrative and impactful choices. From story-lines like Mass Effect, settings like Bioshock, atmospheres like Amnesia, and decisions like The Wolf Among Us, Life Is Strange seems to be a great addition to my library–especially being as the first episode is free.

So lets break it down. Story-wise, I love the concept. When I was telling my wife about the game, she was intrigued simply from the setting and character development. The twist only added to the strangeness and mystery of the game that already had us lured. Such a feat is greatly admirable in games.

And the richness of character is a feat in of itself. I love the psychology behind peoples actions in context of their home, peers, and surroundings. To hear the story of Chloe and see how it affected her feels so real. A true eye opener as far as seeing the world outside of the box. The balance of character development alongside age and peer drama is both comical and engrossing. That is, of course, if you can not already predict the typical drama that is so stereotypical. But that is where the twist makes it all the most intriguing.

I will add, however, that the amount of language is outstandingly persistent. Granted, I realize the day in which we live and that playing the game is a choice in of itself. I understand that, but as a result it limits the amount of sharing I can do with this game. Second to loving a game, I love sharing it. That can be hard when most of its content is so rich with language or secular content. But it makes the game feel more real. Right now, I am able to play it through with my wife–which is greatly enjoyable–but I know how bothered she is.

All in all, I would give the game a worth to play for free, but also a warning: unless you’re fine with the harsh language and coarse drama, this is a game better to played alone or with someone who is used to the negatives. I look forward to continuing the Life Is Strange series, both as a gamer and intrigued author. The dialog and character development is so rich and true, but I will wait for the sale as the content is also so vulgar and salty, I cant justify it for the wife’s sake. Or the baby on the way.

Bioshock 1

First of all, one must understand that there are many categories to which games can be rated. One might call the genre, while I feel like there is need of classification of more depth. For such an instance, I undoubtedly would call the Bioshock franchise of EPIC proportions. Quite honestly, they make for some of my favorite games from their atmospheric richness and ever-engrossing ideologies.

The first Bioshock indeed set the bar. Very high. I give it an eight of eight and a nine point five of ten. Why not ten of ten? I feel there were some parts where they walked too closely the line of psychotic madness. Granted, the human mind is a wonderful thing–and a powerful tool for manipulation and corruption. This series captures the most in-depth storytelling I have ever played. For once, I am as interested in the protagonist as I am in his surroundings. Truly, a franchise to be reckoned.

The triangular thought of views of you–the protagonist–as to that of Andrew Ryan the Antagonist and Atlas, the mysterious. Such a game reminds me of a quote by Alexander from Amnesia: The Dark Descent, “Are you so blind that you see no good in me? Or evil in Agrippa?”

The Wolf Among Us

Having finally completed this sure task of episodic engrossment, I was able to walk away with three things: words bear great power, there is a brokenness between justice and poverty, and there is a great pain and neglect of care to the women caught up in the pubs.

Like it or hate it, the game’s content was by all means mature and adult, but its points were valid. I was gripped to see the conflict between the authorities, poverty, the suffering, and the criminal. On a scale of one to eight, I would have to rate The Wolf Among Us at six. It’s content was just too graphic for most cases of the game to be enjoyed with others, making its peer play-through hold at four. As a solo play-through, however, I would give it a seven. It’s mechanics and interactions were superb.

Six overall for the full impression of the game. Or in the case of a ten point scale, I’d put it at an eight.