I Am So Ready for Breath of the Wild

Breath of the Wild

In the words of Reggie, my body is ready.

Nintendo showed off some new gameplay in an awkward/fake “Let’s Play” during the VGA.

Despite the awkwardness, Breath of the Wild continues to look great.

Nintendo is continually pumping out amiibo to go along with Zelda, including a few new 30th anniversary ones that will include goodies in-game. The goodies aren’t enough to entice me to hunt for the amiibo or drop the cash on them, but I like Nintendo’s idea of implementing them. I’m torn between being a fan of the toy addons gimmick and being annoyed by them. But my love for them, and even further my love for the toys-to-life genre in general, keeps my internal strife going.

Zelda games have turned into a great gaming activity for me and Bri. We just finished up Twilight Princess HD for Wii U this month. It was awesome. As usual for us, I played and she was my co-pilot. When I would get stuck or have no clue where to go, she would have the walkthrough ready to guide us to the next adventure. Now we’re probably going to try and beat Windwaker before Breath of the Wild comes out.

We’re definitely getting Breath of the Wild of the Nintendo Switch. Fingers crossed it’s a launch title. Nintendo needs it to be.

Dauntless (Co-op Action RPG) Looks Cool

Dauntless F2P Action Co-op RPG

Dauntless is a F2P Co-op Action RPG coming next year. Visually it’s compelling, and conceptually (from a 30,000 feet perspective) it sound pretty cool.

From what I can piece together with my imagination (because that’s what they want you to do, so that you create this awesome hype machine all on your own), it seems like Dauntless if some sort of Monster Hunter experience.

Dauntless is an online co-op action RPG set in a savage science-fantasy world where up to 4 players (Slayers in the Dauntless universe) work together to hunt down ferocious beasts called Behemoths. Slayers will explore an ever-changing, uncharted frontier, brimming with verdant flora and unique wildlife to find and destroy Behemoths. Each Behemoth has its own unique abilities and rewards, making each fight engaging and full of unique challenges.”

Big monsters to hunt? Check
Different weapon styles with varying degrees of combos and abilities? Check
Crafted armor and weapons most likely based on monster drops? Check
A tagline on the website stating “Join the Hunt”? Check.

Dauntless characters

Can you see why it looks like Monster Hunter? Personally, I’m thrilled. I enjoy Monster Hunter on the 3DS, but that’s not the platform I really want to play this type of game on. A PC, multiplayer co-op style game would be perfect.

Now here’s the rub… it’s going to be F2P. To what extent this business model decision will obliterate their design remains to be seen. What I DO know is that we’re finally entering an era where we can unanimously agree that games no longer need to be free. This isn’t 2010-2015 anymore. Feels so good to say that. We’re going into 2017 now where F2P is once again starting (emphasis on starting, we’re still working on getting rid of it) to phase out of popularity.

There’s a beta signup on the official Dauntless website. Fingers crossed for something decent. I’m itchin’ for a good action rpg.

Gears of War 4 Review

Gears of War Campaign Review

Gears of War 4 came out last month, and naturally it’s taken Graev and I a little bit of time to finish up the campaign. I’m going to review the story campaign of GoW 4, but not the competitive versus modes on the multiplayer side.

Overall Story

If you haven’t played the original Gears trilogy, stop and go pick it up on Amazon for $30. It’s the original game with remastered graphics + backwards compatible versions of GoW 1, 2, 3, and judgement. You can play on PC or Xbox One depending on the version you buy.

Gears 4 is the first in what will become a new Gears trilogy. GoW4 picks up 25 years after the events of the third game when the characters are all much older and mostly grey.

You play as Marcus’ son, J.D., who abandoned the controlling and martial law enforcing COG to join the Outsiders who refuse to live under COG rule inside walled-off cities. Teh game starts off with J.D. and crew fighting back against the oppressive COG by stealing their power systems and supplies.

While trying to be a rebel and mess with the COG’s plans, J.D. and his friends make a discovery: The Locust are back!

The Locust have evolved and are now looking to capture humans to evolve. Along the way we meet up with a few familiar faces to help take down the baddies.

I’ll leave the story spoilers there.

There’s an interesting revelation at the end that I think is a little bit of a reach, but overall the story is at least more interesting than the confusing story from the first trilogy.

Gameplay

For the most part, we’re looking at a continuation of the same gameplay from previous gears games. There’s lots of cover mechanics, grenades into emergence holes, and shooting.

The game takes place mostly above-ground in the wilds and ruins of Sera, with only a few missions taking place in warehouses or mine tunnels.

A few new guns introduce a few extra things to watch for, but this is still 100% GoW at heart.

Play Anywhere

I purchased the digital copy of Gears of War 4, so that means I can play it on Xbox One AND/OR PC! In fact, I can play on PC and Graev on Xbox One, and we can play TOGETHER. We played the entire campaign with Graev hosting our game on Xbox One. Windows 10’s Xbox experience is phenomenal.

Since it works so well, I wish Microsoft would expand this beyond just first-party titles.

Conclusion

Gears of War 4 is great. Graev and I both enjoyed the campaign, and enjoyed playing it co-op together cross-platform.

I’m excited to see where the trilogy goes.

Holiday Buyer’s Guide [2016 Edition]

It’s that time of year again! Our turkey is still digesting, but Christmas music is already playing and decorations are coming out of the garage. That means it’s time for our annual Video Game / Holiday Buyer’s Guide!

I’m very proud of how it turned out this year. I’m still adding items to the guide, but these represent the “can’t go wrong” selection of this season. We own all of these items, have written our ‘formal’ reviews (or are in the process of writing), and would happily say to anyone that these are must-buys.

As always, if there’s something you feel absolutely must be gifted this year then please leave a comment letting everyone know.

Additional FYI’s for Black Friday / Cyber Monday shoppers:

Please share any great deals you find!

Warcraft Games I Want to See Made

Blizzard has a great property on their hands. Warcraft has been a RTS, a MMORPG, sort of a MOBA, and even a card game. I’d like to see Warcraft take shape into a few different/new spinoffs.

Warcraft classic adventure game

Warcraft the Classic Adventure Game

Did you know there was going to be a Warcraft adventure game? I did, and i was really looking forward to it! Lord of the Clans was set to release back in 1997, but due to communication issues and the competing Monkey Island, the project was cancelled — and it was pretty much finished!

I think a classic adventure game set in the Warcraft universe would be amazing. There’s so much lore and familiarity surrounding the characters and their world(s). A great story could be told with humor and familiar locales. Moorgard, can you get on this project asap?

The series would lend itself very well to point and click adventure, with puzzles and thought-provoking narrative. I imagine it would be a mix of Monkey Island and King’s Quest.

Warcraft RPG

Warcraft the Roleplaying Game

We have a massively multiplayer role-playing game in full 3d, but I think that Warcraft could be amazing as a Baldur’s Gate / NWN type of isometric RPG.

I would want the systems to be heavily based on D&D, and wouldn’t mind the combat being exactly the same. In fact, take almsot everything about Baldur’s Gate 2 or NWN and slap it into the Warcraft universe and I’m sold.

Everything is there: (1) Massive world, (2) Lore, (3) classes/races/abilities. The design doc pretty much writes itself.

 

Warcraft Action RPG

Warcraft the Action (RPG) Game

Any Champions of Norrath or Baldur’s Gate Dark Alliance fans out there? Maybe some Gauntlet Legends? These games were loosely called “action role-playing games,” but they can pretty much be summed up as hack and slash adventures. You smash through mobs in dungeons while gathering loot and progressing your character. Dungeons were set in diverse areas, and could indoor and outdoor. Once again, Azeroth lends itself well.

All of these great action rpgs were somewhat isometric, but much less top-down than Baldur’s Gate. The camera is typically movable too. They featured ability trees, gear drops (typical green, blue, yellow stuff), and stat progression.

Characters were usually a set race, with an associated class. For example, a Night Elf Druid or a Gnome Hunter would be playable, and each have their own ability trees. Gear would be somewhat up to the player. For example, the Hunter would easily lend itself to melee and traps or ranged and pet usage. Once again, the design doc practically writes itself.

Warcraft the Fighting Game

Warcraft the Fighting Game

Now here’s a departure, but not as far as you might think. Imagine a Street Fighter or Tekken style fighter set in the Warcraft universe.

The characters could be generic “Undead Rogue” or could be famous characters like “Grom Hellscream” or “Sylvanas.” These characters would have their own combos and unique skills. Rogues could have a ‘vanish’ abilities that makes them appear behind the other player and stab them. Hunters could have “stampede” where they call a horde of animals. Shaman could summon lightning or frost shock to freeze then rock smash or something.

If you think about it, this style of fighting game wouldn’t be too far of a departure from arenas. Blizzard has already created a “fighting” feel, and once again the characters and their abilities are done as well as the world lending itself to maps like Gadgetzan’s cage, or Orgrimmar’s arena.

Warcraft Open-World RPG

Warcraft the Open-World RPG

Perhaps the most ambitious project of them all would be an open-world RPG like the Elder Scrolls franchise. An overall story could be told, but otherwise the player would be set loose in a single-player world full of interaction and exploration.

Once again I find myself thinking they could just lift Oblivion or Skyrim’s mechanics and set it all in a Warcraft universe and I’d be fine. Joining some sort of Ravenholdt (Assassin’s League) or interacting with the Bloodsail Buccaneer would be fantastic. There are hundreds of potential story arches to explore here.

Warcraft the Open-World RPG could explore a darker side of the universe, a more gritty and realistic tone. There could be lesser-told stories (again, Ravenholdt or even Northsea Pirates) and more of an untold story going on in the world. This could even all be set at a time before the events of WoW — that way there’s no conflict or crossover.

So Much Potential

There’s so much potential with the Warcraft universe. I hope that Blizzard is or will sometime soon devote serious thought toward branching out from their comfort zone.

As I wrap up this post, I can already think of a couple more. Did I miss any you’d want to see made?