Category Archives: Digital Playground

From 8-bit to whatever-the-hell-bit we are in right now, plug in and take a ride with us.

(Very Limited) 1st Impressions of GTAV

Introduction

Always on the cusp of several years ago when it comes to just about anything, I finally purchased an XBox One. A�”Why,” you might ask, “after all of this time, did you finally buy an XBox One?” If you are asking about the choice of console, there’s really only one answer and it is the answer that regular readers of the page will recognize. A�The XBox one version of Minecraft is the first one to be cross platform with the Windows 10 and mobile version. A�As Minecraft is still a huge deal in our house, that sealed the deal on the XBox as the next console in the house.

If you are more wondering why I finally dropped the cash to get one, my wife was wondering the same thing. A�It came in the mail on a day that they were all home due to snow, so I took it into the living room to show Aiden because I knew that he was excited about it and waiting for it to arrive. A�”What’s that?” A�She asked. A�Aiden replied, “An XBox One.” A�”Why did you buy an XBox One?” She inquired. A�This time I replied. “Because I’ve been working my balls off for 2 months and I finally have the money.” A�Aiden, our child who is most enamored with “bad words” giggled at my response and then asked me to set up the console so that he could play some Minecraft.

Minecraft is a hell of a drug.

Over the next two days, I got texts from both Chris and Kevin asking me how I was enjoying the new console. A�To be fair, I had texted them both that I finally ordered the thing and when it arrived. A�However, I hadn’t even been able to play it yet when they both asked me, so I had to sheepishly reply that the boys were enjoying it, but I hadn’t had a chance. A�I did try to play Grand Theft Auto V (Five), but as soon as I put the disk in, it started to install something that looked like it was going to take at least an hour and I thought I had to be up at 6 the next morning. A�Plus, I just didn’t have the patience for that. A�Back in my day, you put the game in and you played it!

Well, I’m here to report that I finally got to play GTAV (Five) for about an hour last night. A�That’s the only game that I’ve gotten to play so far, so this article will just be about my first impressions of the game. A�I hope to do something on cross platform Minecraft next week and maybe in a few weeks, I can do a deeper dive on GTA and maybe even Destiny 2 (the other free game that I got with the console) after that.

The Good

Bear in mind that I have only made it through (maybe) half of the tutorial of the game. A�I had a beer last night, the second mission is a driving one, and I am proof that you should not drink and drive, not even in a video game. A�I couldn’t, for the life of me, finish that mission. A�So, I was only able to see the opening shootout, the cut scenes with the psychologist and introduction of the two repo men, and some of the driving mission before I failed it. A�Not once, but twice.

No lie. No joke. This is as far as I made it in my first attempt. I made it to the part where you cut through the alley on the second one. Don’t drink and drive, kids.

Nevertheless, what I saw of the story was good. A�It isn’t that much different from what I remember in previous games. A�For reference, I played GTA3 to the end and then used the tank code to beat it so that I could see the ending, played a ridiculous amount of “try to jump the canal on your motorcycle” in Vice City, and just couldn’t get into San Andreas because it felt a little to real for me. A�I had a similar reaction to movies like Boyz N The Hood.

Even with the familiar feel, I was still invested in the characters that I met. A�Rockstar does a good job with their storytelling in their games and that is something that I appreciate. A�In fact, the story for Red Dead Redemption was not terribly original, but it was very well executed. A�The same can be said for this story. A�I can’t wait to finish that second mission to see what kinds of crazy trouble I can get into and what weirdos I meet.

The Bad

The story might be good, but I already wrote that it is, to put it mildly, familiar.A� I also mentioned Red Dead Redemption earlier.A� By the time that game came out, I had played enough GTA that I knew the formula.A� As a result, it took a while for me to actually play that game.A� I often derisively referred to the game as Grand Theft Auto:A� Horse.A� Consequently, when I finally got around to playing Red Dead Redemption, I got a good lesson in not judging a game by its cover because it remains one of my favorite games I’ve ever played.

And, the 2nd one became like Portal 3 or Half-Life 3, a fairy tale told to children to keep them docile and well behaved.

I mean, can you blame me?A� Grand Theft Auto 3 was pretty revolutionary at the time.A� They took a top scrolling racing game and developed it into a fully realized 3 dimensional sandbox game that was almost on par with Super Mario 64.A� I already told you that I played that one so much that I got to the end.A� Granted, it was with a cheat at the very end, but hopefully over the last 3 years of this web page I’ve successfully painted the picture that I am a casual and lazy gamer that has only gotten more lazy due to the time commitment of adulthood.

So, what do you do when you have a successful formula in movies, games, or anything else really?A� You abuse that formula to within an inch of its life.A� Humans are more creatures of habit than anything, so you can exploit that fact and just release the same thing over and over and people will still buy it.A� As a result, Vice City was just GTA with motorcycles!A� San Andreas was GTA with bikes.A� I never played 4 because I soon tired of the formula, but I assume that’s when they introduced airplanes and helicopters.A� If not, then this is that game.

I am invested in the game, so I will continue to play it.A� I don’t expect to be blown away by any new technological advances.A� Unlike another game that I started to play that is very much like the original, The Sims, I suspect that I might get bored of this one earlier.A� Who knows, maybe the story and nostalgia will be enough to keep me engaged right to the end.

Then again, the new DOOM (and Fallout 4) beckons and DOOM was my first pew pew game love, so it might end up winning my heart again.

The Ugly

I may be an old man.A� And I probably can remove the may from that previous sentence.A� And I definitely can remove the probably from that previous sentence.A� I am an old man.A� I’m not ancient, but I am (statistically speaking) on the other side of the proverbial hill.A� So, what I’m about to say won’t come as much of a shock.

Granted, I haven’t made it too far into the game, but so far the violence level is high, but it’s not off the charts.A� So far, it is just spatters of blood.A� Certainly nothing like the disemboweling that happens in the Mortal Kombat series.A� I expect that to change, so something might come along to shock me into reconsidering my time with this game.

The other mature themes have yet to show up, too, so I can’t speak on them.A� But, the language.A� I’ve only played through maybe 5 minutes of actual game and they’ve used the “F” word more than a full length movie.A� I mean, I haven’t been counting, but when the phrase “F” this “F”ing “F” is used, that seems a bit excessive.A� Bear in mind that I’ve used that phrase more than once in my life.

Heck, the reason that I laugh so hard at the soap scenes in A Christmas Story is that I’ve lived it more than once.

So, I’m no stranger to swearing and I don’t even consider swearing that bad.A� It’s just that when anything is excessive, over the top, or it feels like it’s being used to cover up weak storytelling or dialogue, I get a little nervous.A� Also, I’ve listened to a podcast series recently that has changed my mind a little bit about the extraneous effects of certain pop culture phenomenon.A� I’m not going to jump into the GTA is contributing to the downfall of American life (except I kind of am skirting the issue), but we can’t possibly know all of the repercussions of any single event.A� Now that I’m older and the kids will eventually have to take over for me and the other old farts, I worry what legacy we’ve created for them.

The Verdict

This has become my calling card.A� Like the Tick with “Spoon!”, I have “It’s *fill in the blank*.”A� There’s a reason for that and I wrote about it earlier.A� When you find something that works, you repeat that formula until it doesn’t work anymore because, well, why would you?A� Why take the resources to develop something new that will take time when you can just slap a new wrapping on the old thing and nobody will question you?

Well, that’s where we are with GTA.A� Good or bad, it’s GTA at this point.A� They might give it updated graphics.A� They might be able to convince some Hollywood hotshots to lend their voices to the series.A� They might let you drive helicopters or boats.A� They’ll put in an online mode.A� But, in the end, it’s just GTA.A� For now, I can forgive that because the story and my memories of the old games have me engaged, but I can’t promise that will last.A� After all, I bought GTA 4 on the recommendation of a friend and never opened the game.

And that one was supposed to feed exclusively off of my nostalgia for the “original”.

Quoth the Raven

Introduction

A few days ago, I noticed a post on Instagram about the new Hearthstone “year” and was surprised.A� I don’t know why I was surprised.A� I knew that it was about this time that they started their version of Standard and then it would have been around this time that they had their first rotations.A� However, unlike Magic, a game that I am almost always aware of new sets and rotations, Hearthstone is more of a hobby.

Bear in mind that Magic itself is only a hobby and you will then understand the priority that Hearthstone is not for me.A� I am back to playing a bit each day to complete a daily quest or two.A� I watch the game on stream because it is an easy game to just veg out to while I’m writing or doing school work.A� Every once in a while I get delusions of grandeur and think that I’m going to grind to legend one month.A� So far, I haven’t pursued that particular goal.A� With my current schedule, I don’t think that I will anytime soon, either.

So, to make a long story short (I know, too late!) I had no idea that the rotation was imminent.A� Once I saw the Instagram post, I decided to do a little bit of research on what was imminent for the “Year of the Raven.”A� Needless to say, true to form, Blizzard did not give much information other than the name and the cards that were rotating into the Hall of Fame.A� Sure, I could speculate.A� Since I’m not a Hearthstone acolyte and I haven’t played WoW consistently for about 5 years now, any speculation on my part would most likely be wildly inaccurate.

When has that ever stopped us before?

The Good

Once upon a time, Molten Giant was part of an OTK warrior combo that quickly got nerfed via the Warsong Commander nerf.A� They had to further nerf Warsong Commander when OTK Patron Warrior became a thing.A� The final nail in the coffin of this card came because of the stifling nature of handlock and the fact that they often could cast all giants for very cheap or even free, as was the case for this card.

I was a huge fan of the old Handlock decks because they fit right into my playstyle.A� It was a control deck that required several different decisions to be made on every turn.A� I wasn’t the best Handlock player, though, and I understand why the deck became so dominant when played by players who are much better than I am.A� This card needed to be nerfed if it was to continue into the future and shake up the standard meta.

I mentioned in my discussion of the latest round of nerfs that I liked that Blizzard wasn’t ignoring their eternal format as I was afraid they might.A� Some of those decisions were directly related to the Wild format.A� This decision is the same.A� Because there are more tools to deal with a pre-nerf Molten Giant, they’re giving it a chance to see if it can find a place in the meta.A� I don’t know if this will allow old Handlock to shine again, but I’m holding out hope.

The Bad

Out of the three cards that are being put into the Hall of Fame, this is the decision that I understand the least.A� While this is a frustrating card to play against, I don’t often see it in Standard decks at all.A� I play against it all the time in Wild already because I play against a bunch of Mill rogue and occasionally see them in a Freeze or Quest Mage deck.

I’d have rather seen Doomguard in this slot and I’m not the only one.A� I’ve seen more than one discussion in Twitch chat (yes, they do happen sometimes) and on message boards about how annoying it is to play against Warlock with Doomguards, cubes, and Skull of the Man’ari.A� Warlock may or may not have been as oppressive as everyone thought when they nerfed priest (mostly) with the last patch, but I do know that I have seen a lot of Warlock being played on stream.A� I’m astounded that Doomguard is not in this spot.

This leads me to believe that maybe they are releasing a standard card that does a similar thing or would cause this card to be busted wide open.A� I know that Blizzard seems to shy away from pushing a mill strategy, even though some players want to see that in Hearthstone.A� I understand why Blizzard would not want it.A� Without a graveyard and the possibility of interaction, cards that are burned are gone.A� It’s just not a fun strategy for the kind of game that Hearthstone is designed to be.A� Hopefully, Blizzard hasn’t decided to make mill viable in Standard.A� The fact that this card is moving to Wild only makes me think that they have.

The Ugly

This is perhaps the single most frustrating card to play against in the game.A� Since the only win condition is to reduce your opponent’s health to zero, adding immunity to the game messes up all calculations and delays that victory by at least one turn.A� Since mage also has very powerful minion removal, the ability to gain life through Artificer now, and the ability to have more than two Ice Block in their decks, a sure victory often becomes a defeat that nothing could have been done to prevent.

So, I understand that reason for moving this card to Wild.A� However, they just gave a few new cards to Rogue that give them immunity for a turn similar to this card.A� So, I don’t completely understand the decision.A� Granted those cards work slightly different from this one and they can be played around (especially the secret that only grants immunity after damage is dealt and it doesn’t prevent the damage) easier than this one.

As a result, in addition to moving this card to Wild, perhaps they should have also adjusted this card so that it works more like that card or something.A� I honestly don’t know how they would change the card other than to make it like the rogue card, but that seems like a lazy way of doing things.A� A quick look at the most recent Wild snapshot shows that Mage decks that use Ice Block are only considered Tier 2, so perhaps Blizzard knows what they’re doing.A� So, I’m skeptical, but I guess that’s why I don’t design card games.

The Verdict

There are other things that they have announced.A� First, that we here at 2 Generations Gaming are most excited about is the announcement of a tournament mode.A� Yes, we can start to network and advertise the web page with our own tournaments in Hearthstone!A� When Chris told me about it, I was beyond excited.A� When we first started having the idea for the web page, I always wanted to do a tournament for Magic and we’ve even had discussions about that, too.A� Things are really starting to come together.

Two other cool things for filthy casuals like us is that they are altering some of the more difficult quests to finish and making them easier.A� This will mean less time invested in getting my gold to buy my packs that I will never open.A� Finally, the new Druid hero is finally here and she is easy to get.A� Win 10 Standard games over the season and you will have Lunara instead of Malfurion.A� All great stuff.

As far as the new set, I don’t have much to say right now.A� I refuse to speculate because I’m mostly ignorant to both Hearthstone and World of Warcraft at this point.A� Anything that I might say or think will be simply guessing and even though I made the joke earlier, I’m not usually one to engage in wild speculation on what Blizzard might do.A� As we saw with my analysis of Ice Block, it is sure to be incorrect.

However, I have seen some speculation from others who know better than I do.A� First, someone said that the year of the Kraken seemed to deal with mystical and god like powers.A� Then, the year of the Mammoth dealt with large creatures and effects.A� Therefore, the year of the Raven will deal with dark and dreary themes.A� This made them conclude that the next expansion might have something to do with Duskwood.A� There was another image out there that made theory seem plausible, but I don’t exactly see Duskwood in that icon at the middle of the teaser.A� I suppose that we will see.A� Continue to visit for more of my analysis as we get closer to the release.

God Among Sims

Introduction

I’ve played The Sims since the beginning.A� I was always a fan of the other Sim titles, most notably Sim City.A� I also played Sim Tower quite a bit and tried many of the others.A� However, I always came back to Sim City.A� In fact, one of the first games I downloaded for my phone was the Sim City game.A� I still play it almost daily.

When I heard that they were going to release a game that focused on the strange speaking denizens of those cities, I was excited.A� There’s just something about being in charge of virtual lives that appeals to me.A� I owned a Furby and Tomagachi.A� heck, I even got sucked into that silly “Chao World” mini game for Sonic Adventure.

I can still hear the voice, haunting my dream, asking me, “Why? Why did you let them die?” in an accusatory whisper.

In preparation for the relaunch of Noob and Sons, I played the latest version of the game, The Sims 4.A� The boys played a lot of it last year and over Christmas break.A� I wanted to take advantage of that interest to do our first show back on role playing.A� I also wanted to see what advances they’ve made in Sims technology.

The Good

Customization:A� As soon as I started the game, I was overwhelmed by the number of choices it gives you for characters.A� The game was always about letting you choose how your character looked and giving him or her a personality to match.A� However, they have taken that to the extreme in this game.A� You can change every aspect of your Sim’s looks and that isn’t an exaggeration.A� I spent about a half an hour just exploring the character creation screen before even playing the game.

No, you can’t customize everything. Actually, I’m not sure if you can change the naughty bits. You are going to have to figure that one on your own, perverts.

Helpful Tips:A� No game is complete anymore without a tutorial section. A�Ever since developers realized that nobody reads directions and got sick of email, DMS, and tweets asking them how to play their games, they’ve simply programmed the first 5-10 minutes of the game to be about how to play the game. A�The Sims are less intrusive than most games and they just have helpful tips that pop up every now and then to remind you what you’re doing just might cause your Sim to die by some horrific way or another.

An iPhone for Every Sim: A�Back in my day, you had to wait for a paper or not build a toilet in your house (because a mop was free) so that you could afford a computer to search for jobs. A�Not so anymore. A�In keeping with the times, your Sim has a smart phone that they can use to find a job. A�Furthermore, you are no longer limited to one or three jobs depending on your method of finding one. A�Now, you can choose from an array of jobs right from the start, so you can get right to improving your Sim’s life.

How long until Sims from the first game start complaining how out of touch these Quatros Sims are with their cell phones and their more robust work environments?

Other Quality of (Simulated) Life Enhancements: A�As you go along and do things, you gain access to new skills that you can then train up like normal. A�For instance, the other day, I sent my Sim out to trim a flower or something and she gained the gardening skill. A�I now assume that I have to continue to do things to improve that skill as I do normally, but I’m not sure what those things are yet. A�Even so, it is fun to have those Easter eggs that pop up simply from going through your day as a pretend human being. A�Sort of makes me wish things like that happened in real life.

Upgrade From “Live” Mode: A�Again, it used to be that you had to open a whole new mode if you wanted to upgrade your bed, toilet (once you upgraded the first time from a mop), or dishwasher. A�Now, if you right click on the object, the menu will give you the option to upgrade the item. A�I haven’t tried it yet to see if it still takes you into the “build” mode to do so. A�But, just being able to click the item and not having to search through the “build” mode menu is a great upgrade to the game experience.

The Sims Resource?: A�All this discussion of items, upgrading, and building new things made me think of one of the reasons that I enjoyed The Sims 2 so much and maybe didn’t like The Sims 3 (or at least, I didn’t see a reason to upgrade the number), is that there was this great resource (pun fully intended) web page that allowed you to download new things for the game. A�I went to search for it and it is still there. A�But, I think that Maxis might have built something right into the game that allows people to mod items. A�I kept getting a notification the other day when I played, but I didn’t follow up on any of them to see if that’s actually what it is. A�I will have to play again and verify before we record so I don’t sound like a total moron. A�Well, no more than usual.

The Bad

No Needs? (Oh, there they are): A�One of the most fun things about The Sims is that they are driven by 6 basic needs. A�You have to balance the day so that all of the needs get met. A�Otherwise your Sim becomes unhappy or even dead. A�Admittedly, there is some perverse pleasure in intentionally killing your Sim in increasingly more violent and ridiculous ways. A�But, that comes later after you’re bored of them and ready for a change. A�Until then, you want to keep them alive and happy.

It’s especially cool when your Sim comes back from the dead to haunt future generations.

At first, I thought they might have gotten rid of that part of the game. A�As it was such an integral part, I wondered how that might work and how the game would be any good. A�Why eat if you don’t have to eat? A�Why sleep if you aren’t tired? A�Then, I noticed that things were still affecting my Sim, so I thought that maybe they had hidden them from people to make you pay more attention to your Sim and his/her actions. A�Turns out that it just was hidden as a menu option where I didn’t expect it. A�So, only bad for a brief period of time, but it did make me question my purchase for that time.

Food costs money?: A�This might have started with The Sims 2, but I don’t remember at this point. A�All I know is that I was shocked to open the fridge and see that I had to pay money to buy the food to cook it. A�Furthermore, I couldn’t even make some dishes because I didn’t have the proper ingredients and I have no idea how to go about getting those ingredients. A�So, my poor Sim has nothing to eat aside from grilled cheese and cereal.

Being Bad Has Consequences: A�I’m not talking about Jessica Rabbit “bad”, though that might have consequences, too. A�I don’t have enough Sim friends nor a boyfriend to see if talking bad about them behind their backs or lying/cheating on your significant other will actually affect your Sim or their mood. A�However, if you do something terribly, then it will affect your Sim. A�For instance, my Sim cooked a bad meal and was in a funk for a few hours. A�Another time, she slept weird in her bed and was off the next day. A�These are cool little touches that make the game more interesting.

Oh well, nothing can defeat the Homer Simpson philosophy. Alcohol, the cause of and solution to all of life’s problems.

The Ugly

At the end of the day, it’s still simulated human life. A�And, I think that we can all agree that real life isn’t all that great to begin with. A�You wake up, take a shower, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, maybe have an hour or two to yourself, go to bed, rinse, and repeat until you go crazy out of boredom or go through a mid life crisis. A�Which, I guess, is just a reaction to 35-40 years of a boring life. A�So, honestly, how much more exciting can they make simulated life? A�The answer, unfortunately, is not more exciting at all.

The Verdict

Not much has happened in Simsville over the years. A�Everything that was great about the games is still great about the games. A�There have been some quality of life improvements, but most of the parts of the game that weren’t fun still aren’t fun. A�Life, as we all too often learn, just isn’t as amazing as the magazines and social media profiles of jet setting young trust fund babies would have us believe. A�It’s mostly just going to work so you can afford to buy a toilet and don’t have to pee your pants any more.

I still love and enjoy the game. A�The boys, when the mood strikes them, will play for hours and laugh and giggle as their Sims do silly things that they’d never consider doing. A�Wait until their older and the realize that is happiness sucking, soul crushing life and the Sims are closer to reality than they ever expected.

Enjoy it while you can, Kids.

Okay, I don’t want to end this on a downer, but I also don’t want to ruin the joke. A�I don’t care as much about the joke as I do about keeping things positive, so here goes. A�I will continue to play the heck out of The Sims 4. A�I haven’t gotten as into it as I was when I was younger, but that’s mostly because I’m older now and free time is much less abundant than it once was. A�However, I’d like to follow a Sim family through several generations and see where that leads. A�Coming Soon to Hulu?: A�Pinky’s Family!

Rapid Fire!..Random Thoughts 2/19

-To buy a box of M25 or not? I wish the spoilers were flowing a little more freely since the boxes are below $200 at the moment and while the thought of possibly pulling a Jace, the Mind Sculptor out of a pack is dancing in my head, ita��s not quite enough to make me jump and preorder. My prediction for the big ticket cards in the set: Enemy fetches, Tarmogoyf, Aether Vial, Liliana of the Veil, Wurmcoil Engine, Force of Will, Mana Drain and Crucible of the Worlds.

-The first DLC characters for Dragonball FighterZ have been announced; Borly and Bardoc. Bardoc is Gokua��s pops so ita��s essentially another Saiyan which is a little disappointing. While I have gushed uncontrollably about the game, I do wish they would bring in some more non-Saiyan characters. On the other hand Borly should be the largest character in the game so ita��ll be interesting to see how powerful the character actually is.

-A Japanese bike company (Khodaa-Bloom) designed a really cool Megaman themed bike. It can be yours for the low, low price of $2700 USD. For that price, it better come with a friggina�� Buster Shot on the front.

-Not sure where Ia��ve been, but somehow I missed the fact that Gamestop managed to swing a deal to have a Secret of Mana remake for the PS4 be a Gamestop exclusive. Interesting to see if this becomes a thing, (i.e. Target gets exclusive games, Walmart gets exclusive games,..).

-Only 59 more days until God of War 4 is released. But whoa��s counting?

-For all of my Star Wars fans out there, you can preorder the largest Star Wars toy that Hasbro has ever made, Jabbaa��s Sail Barge, for a mere $499.99! This monstrosity is 4 feet long, a little over a foot wide, and a 1 A? feet tall, and comes with either divorce papers or a letter from your child expressing their undying love and gratitude. There is a catch, Hasbro will only start production if they get 5,000 preorders by 4/3 (currently, as of this post, they have 1,259 orders). You can place your preorder at www.hasbrolab.com.

-Finally, I want to thank everyone who follows us on Twitter and/or Instagram!

The Death of Marvel vs Capcom

Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite is dead. Leta��s just get that out there in the open. I know, you know it, Capcom knows it. Capcom knows it so much that they omitted MVC from their Capcom Pro tournament. Think about that. The company that designed, marketed and released the game is saying that their own game is not good enough for their own tournament. Holy hell, people. This is a sad day for me as I have been a huge fan of the MVC series and to see it get the ola�� Street Fighter V treatment, aka releasing an unfinished game, and then to basically lose support from its studio, is a travesty to me. At least Street Fighter V has been updated and Capcom supports it. Do you know how many Twitch viewers MVC gets? A few hundred at a time. Really. A few hundred. Which essentially means that the general gaming community has lost interest in it. To pour another pile of crap onto this growing mountain of fertilizer, it wona��t be included in EVO this year. For those of you not familiar with EVO, ita��s essentially the World Series of fighting games. This is a death sentence. If the game is now not going to be in any noteworthy tournaments thata��s a wrap folks. It appears that Dragonball FighterZ has taken its place as the premier 3v3 tag fighter on the market (rightfully so).

So with all that doom and gloom out of the way, Ia��m really trying to find a way to look at this from a positive point of view. Is this the wakeup call that Capcom needs? Are we as a collective group saying, a�?Stop releasing beta versions of your fighters or your product will sit on the shelvesa�?? God, I hope so. Enough is enough. Capcom has always been guilty of performing the blatant cash grab (re: releasing the same game over and over again with a new mode, or with a couple of new fighters that you have to download), but to knowingly release an unfinished game and forcing the consumer to download massive update files to patch it, is unforgivable. They have done it twice in a row with Street Fighter V and MVC. By the way, Street Fighter V was rereleased as Street Fighter V: Arcade Edition, which is the exact same game as the original version but comes with a download code for more characters. Yup. Cash. Grab. I love Street Fighter, I really do, and I was so disappointed when I bought SFV only to find that I needed to download a 9gb file just to play it. With that said, I love the MVC series even more, so ita��s even more of a travesty that Capcom, well, Capcoma��ed it, and released the game with a weak roster which has led to weaker sales. So what better way to remedy poor sales then bya��rereleasing the game in a steelbook case and a download code for more characters. You know what? With some games this would be okay, and by some games, I mean any game that feels like a finished product. I know that in the past I have complained about DLC as being greedy but I know thata��s the way the gaming world works today: companies have to try to get as much revenue off of a title as possible and if ita��s by selling digital content then ita��s easier to increase their margin and also cover the production costs of eventually rereleasing the title with everything included. In the case of MVC, it feels like the download code should have been given out for free in order to decrease the unhappiness of the community, instead of trying to sell another copy of the game with everything that was missing from the first version but in a metal friggina�� case. Capcom, clearly youa��re able to release quality games, you *literally* just did with Monster Hunter World, why cana��t you show the same love for your fighter fans?

I hope this isna��t the end of the MvC franchise but I have a hard time believing that Capcom will be in a hurry to invest money and resources into another title after they have essentially pulled support from the franchise. Who knows? Maybe after Avengers: Infinity War is released and sells a bazillion and a half tickets, Capcom will be inspired to ride the hype wave. Ah well, either way life goes on, so Ia��ll dry my eyes and then play some Dragonball FighterZ.


Also, MvC 2 is the best of the MvC series. I don’t know why people say 3 is. 52 characters! 52, people! *drops mic*

Deck List! Hearthstone Secret Aggro Hunter (Standard)

I discovered this little gem online and decided to give it a whirl. I went 6-1 with it only losing to a Warlock deck (shocking..). Regardless it’s very cool, and you can quickly overwhelm your opponent right out of the gate. As far as mulligan tips go, try to get a Secret Keeper in your opening hand along with some of the 2 drop Secrets in order to pump it. You can also look for an Alleycat and a Cloaked Huntress. The Alleycat puts instant pressure on your opponent and on T3 the Huntress comes out and your secrets are now free. It’s a very synergistic deck that can put up a fight against anything out there, besides Warlock apparently. I definitely recommend you try this one out and let us know what you think.

Currently Playing…Battle Chasers: Nightwar (PS4)

I’m hoping that all my fellow comic nerds out there remember the late 90’s comic series, Battle Chasers. It was created by one of my favorite artists on this planet, Joe Madureira, who is known for mixing Anime designs with really detailed American-style shading techniques. His style blew my mind when he was drawing Uncanny X-men, but once he started to work on Battle Chasers, he really started to hit his stride as a penciller. He was and still is one of the major influences of my pencil work, which makes this review a little hard to do. But my job is to give unbiased opinions for you guys, and I would be doing a crappy job if I told you that this game is amazing.

Battle Chasers starts out promising. The visuals are really sharp and you can tell that a ton of time was put into character design, the environments as well as the cut scenes. I was a little annoyed that the beginning of the game was a longer cut scene that lasts several minutes before you can actually play. Once you can actually play the game is pretty decent to begin with. It’s an old school JRPG with some unique elements that work well. There are two different kind of maps in this game: one that is an overworld view with different map points you move between and enemy encounters that are clearly identified, and the others are Diablo-esque dungeons. I really liked the dungeons and love the idea of mixing dungeon exploration with a turn-based JRPG. Each character in your party has different abilities that help you get through the dungeon. Before you enter a dungeon you have the choice of difficulty level, the harder the difficulty the better the loot you can pick up. The majority of Nightwar is actually spent in the randomly generated dungeons. But there is also plenty of side quests, crafting, and exploring to do in this game, I still haven’t become disinterested in the game because there is always something to do.

Ok, so what else did I like about this game? Other than the visuals and the dungeons that I mentioned above, the combat feels old school, which I love, yet also had a fresh feeling with the Overdrive mechanic. Usually you pay mana to use spells and special abilities, but by doing attacks you build up your Overdrive meter, which when fully charged, lets you use abilities for free, increases damage, etc. It adds an additional element of strategy to each fight, do you use the Overdrive early and try to build it up again? Or do you hold off until you have a boss on the ropes? I also like that random enemy encounters are not a thing in this game. It’s one of my pet peeves about other RPGs. Nothing worse than trying to walk somewhere and getting constantly bombarded by random enemies.

Okay, so now onto the bad stuff. The game crashed a few times on me. After some interwebz research, I wasn’t the only one that this happened to. I was very, very thankful that it autosaves so much so I didn’t really lose much. Still, this is something that is unforgivable in a finished product. I also found the inventory screen to be clunky and confusing, as well as having tiny font (I played this on my 60″), and the font was still on the smaller side. If it wasn’t for these issues, one being major, this game is actually decent as far as a JRPG goes. So back to the end of the first paragraph, I can’t say this game is amazing, don’t get me wrong, it’s certainly one of the better JRPGs that has been released in the past couple of years, but the bug and the menu design hold it back from being great. Is it worth the $25 price tag? Absolutely. Is it perfect? No, but still fun.

Buy it: If you’re an old school JRPG fan, like Diablo and used to be a fan of the Battle Chasers comic. It’s really neat seeing the characters come to life so to speak.

Try it: If you like JRPGs, this game is worth giving giving a shot. Is it Final Fantasy 3? No, but you might want to consider adding it to your collection anyways.

Walk by it: If you’re looking for a perfectly polished game. Or you have kids. Seriously, don’t buy this for your kids. Red Monika’s outfit is a bit much, and hers is not the only one, there is a witch in the game that leaves very little to the imagination.

Deck List! Hearthstone Secret Tempo Mage (Wild)

This is probably one of my most favorite decks to play. The synergy between Flamewaker, Mana Wyrm, Sorcerers Apprentice and all of the cheap spells make it easy to go off for 6+ damage every turn. All of the secrets in this deck give you some breathing room to keep going face on your opponent as well as pump up your Mana Wyrms.

Mulligan Strategy: Try to get a Mana Wyrm in your opening hand as well as some 1 drop spells or a Kabal Lackey with a Secret. Maybe its just me but it’s pretty easy to get a decent opening hand with this deck.

Super Saiyan!

Introduction

The 2 Guys Gaming got together for the first time in months.A� With the business of the holidays, the start of the new semester, and just general overall old man Mr. Winter, we just weren’t able to connect and make plans.A� Whenever we do, we both say that we need to do it more often and then life gets in the way.A� Well, I’ve made last year and this year about telling life to go to hell when it decides to get in the way of my grand plans.A� We’ve got games to play and podcasts to record!

During this visit, we tried out his new arcade stick emulator, Padora’s Boxx by beating the old classic puncher X-Men.A� It seemed much shorter and easier than when I was a teenager.A� it’s a game where you walk sideways and punch things.A� It’s not like we were playing 3 dimensional chess back then.A� Why did the game seem so difficult?A� Well, Chris and I didn’t have to plug quarters into the machine.A� When you aren’t paying a quarter every 5 minutes to revive your character, you aren’t as aware of your limitations when playing the game.

The difficulty is ratcheted up, though when you are hitting the enemy with skateboards and vacuum cleaners instead of lasers and Adamantium claws.

We also did a Winchester draft (more on that in a couple of days) and played some of the new fighting game Dragonball Fighterz.A� Chris has raved about the game to me and he even wrote a review of the game last week.A� He was so excited about the game that I couldn’t wait to play it.A� We waited until the end of the night to play.A� Without giving too much away, it was worth the wait.

The Good

The best part of the game is that they have made it very noob friendly.A� I had never played the game.A� I hadn’t even watched any gameplay videos like I told Chris I might after seeing some screenshots and thinking that the game looked absolutely gorgeous.A� I was going in completely blind, so to speak.A� That made no difference.

The move scheme is, as Chris explained it, “If you can do a fireball motion, you are all set”.A� Because of that, I was pulling off crazy combos right out of the gate.A� Well, based on my previous experience in fighting games, they were crazy combos.A� I imagine in this day and age, they are just a basic combo that any preschooler could pull off with his eyes closed and both hands ties behind his back.A� I even beat Chris in the first game.A� Beginner’s luck?

And you had to walk through the snow, uphill both ways, in order to pull off a combo.

Then I beat him again, and a third time.A� I can’t remember how many times I actually beat him in a row before he finally got a win, but it was at least three.A� More on that in a bit.A� It sounds weird and it might just have been because I was new to the game, but it felt like something different happened every match.

One time, one of the characters flew up into the air, seemed to collect a bunch of energy, and then threw it down onto the other guy.A� Another time, Chris finished my guy off by throwing him threw 3 mountains, bringing the third one down on top of me.A� Several times, it looked like an atom bomb went off to end the fight.

One time, I somehow pulled off some sort of “finishing” move.A� It was called an ultimate devastation or something like that.A� It wasn’t quite a fatality like from Mortal Kombat.A� The camera panned back, the animation was a huge explosion, and then the words came across the screen.A� I can’t remember exactly what the words were and I can’t find any evidence of it online, but both Chris and I sat in stunned silence for a few seconds.A� He finally said, “I’ve never seen that happen before.”A� Mind you, he’s been playing the game about 2 hours a day for a week to this point.

Animations like this are commonplace. Needless to say, this isn’t a game for those with epilepsy. Heck, they may find that it’s bad for people who have functioning eyes.

The Bad

Naturally, having grown up during the hey day of Street Fighter 2, I’m a Capcom baby.A� Since this game utilizes a lot of the same functionality in moves and super combos, it made me think of the Capcom games.A� In fact, during our games, Chris said something like “Capcom should take notes.”A� While I agree, that’s not quite my main disagreement.A� Because I grew up with the Capcom characters, I know which characters I like and which I don’t.A� Having never watched any DragonballZ, I had no idea about anything about any of the characters.A� I knew some of the names from various memes and everyone knows the “over 9000!” line.A� Other than that, though, I knew nothing.

In addition, there aren’t that many characters to begin with.A� I mean, the character selection screen is full, but many of those characters are just alternate versions of the other characters.A� I think I counted 3 or 4 different Gokus and that might be low.A� Again, as a new entry into the Dragonball Z universe, maybe there just aren’t that many characters in the series.A� However, as someone who likes a variety of characters to choose and try out in a new game, that was a bit disappointing.

Finally, with all of the interaction and animations, they do get stale.A� Most notably, the entry animation when one of your characters gets knocked out gets old real fast because it never changes.A� The new character just flies in along with the opposing character and they punch each other’s fists.A� This is quite disappointing as I was at least expecting each pair of characters to have their own animations similar to the beginning fight sequences.

Yep, that’s it. I kid you not.

The Ugly

I know that I often struggle to find “The Ugly” for many of these articles, but this game is as close to a perfect fighter as I’ve played in a long time.A� Other than the few minor nit picks I had for “The Bad” section, I have no complaints about this game.A� Certainly not anything that could possibly be elevated to “Ugly” status.

So, I will just take this space to gloat a little bit more.A� It took Chris a few matches to finally beat me and I probably won about 70-75% of the matches that we played.A� I suppose we could just call it all beginners luck, but I’m going to go with L2P Noob.A� I’m just too good for you.

Shots fired, Bro.

The Verdict

As we were playing, I said to Chris, I definitely have to get an XBox One.A� I actually said that I wanted to get an XBox One and a PS4 because I didn’t think that Dragonball was a cross platform title.A� I have no idea why I thought that.A� I think I’m just looking for a reason to spend money that I don’t have on things I don’t need.A� I’m a complicated individual.

So, now more than ever, I want to buy an XBox One.A� We can get Minecraft that allows for cross platform support.A� We can get Dragonball Fighterz and Chris made the point that the boys would really get a kick out of the game.A� He’s right.A� Dragonball Fighterz is selling consoles (at least to me) and I don’t know when the last time a fighting game made me want to own a console.

I’m sure anyone who wants to play the game already has done so.A� However, if you are like me and have somehow avoided both purchasing either and XBox One or PS4 and the game, then you need to go out and buy it right now.A� You will not be disappointed.A� Heck, the game has even made it to EVO already as Chris predicted that it probably would.A� At least for me, that is must see viewing.

Hearthstone Deck List – Priest N’Zoth Greed (Wild)

Introduction

Chris posted a HearthstoneA�deck list a couple of days ago.A� I checked it out and then texted him with encouragement.A� It’s a Paladin aggro list and those are very strong in Wild right now.A� I used one that I threw together to beat the same poor soul three times in a row by turn 5 in each game to finish off a quest that I had to do.

His post inspired me to think about maybe with some possibility probably posting one of my own.A� I have this debilitating controlly greed Priest deck that I use to crush any hope out of my opponent.A� I told Chris that I can almost see the point at which they realize that it’s hopeless and give up on the game even though they are an anonymous avatar in a computer game.

The Deck

Some Notes

The deck hasn’t been updated with any new cards for maybe two expansions.A� So, it probably isn’t as strong as it could be.A� I do know that I discovered a cube from my curator in one game that seems like it could be very strong in the deck.A� Maybe I’d remove one or both of the curators so that I just had the cubes without having to rely on discover.A� I also only have one shifting shade, so maybe cutting a Shrinkmeister for another Shade would add that extra death rattle minion for your eventual N’Zoth.

The only board clear is Nova, which generally isn’t an issue.A� With the Velen’s Chosen cards and the Thalnos, you can generally get a 3 or 4 damage nova.A� I don’t know much about the meta of wild, but a Lightbomb might also be an addition if you wanted to swap out one of the Novas.A� Other than that, I have good success with the deck as it is.A� The one downside is getting stuck with a heavy hand or the Shrinkmeister without any other minion.

Playing/Mulligan

I usually hard mulligan for a cleric against most decks.A� The card draw let’s you cycle through the deck and get to your heavy hitters/defensive cards quicker.A� Having a Shrinkmeister is nice, too for decks like Shaman or Paladin, that can coin or play big minions on 2.A� Aside from that, just shoot for a low curve out hand so that you are making a play each turn and getting that board presence.A� PW: Shield and Velen’s chosen allow you to get great value trades and a follow up Holy Nova often wipes their boards completely.

Entombs are there to clean up possible big taunts/high impact minions.A� It can also be used for those pesky 4 attack minions that people think they’ll play to give you trouble.A� Then again, a Shrinkmeister/SW: Pain or Cabal Shadow Priest will give you a big to massive swing in the early game with Pain or the late game with the Shadow Priest.A� Once you’ve exhausted all of their resources, the N’Zoth turn is often back breaking.

I’m no professional deck builder.A� I just put together things that I think are fun.A� This one plays right into my fun police player profile and it gets good results most of the time. If you have any constructive criticism, I’d like to hear it.A� L2P Noob?A� I’ve heard that all before.