There Are No Bad Super Hero Games

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I’ve never played a bad superhero game. I don’t even know if it’s possible to make one. There’s just something about taking over an  iconic characters that instantly makes for an especially enjoyable time. With  new Spider-Man game coming to the PS4 this month I got to thinking about what superhero games I’ve played over the years.

Of course there is Spider-Man 2, a game I played for hundreds of hours on the Gamecube. Besides Super Smash Brothers Melee it’s probably one of my most played games ever and the reason why my original Gamecube controllers are so worn out.  I think this was my first open world game ever and I loved that you could go anywhere you wanted. I only beat the story once and the rest of the time was spent climbing buildings, swinging around New York, and fighting petty crime, and getting those sweet, sweet, collectibles.

Before Spider Man 2 there was Spider Man, naturally. This was another one of my favorites on the Gamecube. This one was more constricted, it had a set of levels you played through that were fairly linear. I remember how excited I was when I realized there was a cheat code to play as the Green Goblin.

The most recent super hero game I’ve played is Batman Arkham Asylum. Me and Batman have had our ups and downs over the years. Batman: The Animated series, easily one of my favorite cartoons growing up. Christopher Nolan’s edgy Batman turned me off to the character for many years. Then I started to read the comics around 2016 and I’m all for Batman again. I really liked Arkham Asylum and thought it was a good mix of a stealth game and an action game. I own Arkham City but haven’t played it yet.

It doesn’t matter the setting or the genre if it’s got super heroes I’m in. Marvel Heros’ (RIP) cast alone made me return to the game every so often  I’m not particularly a fan of fighting games but if i put in a ton of hours X-Men: Next Dimension for Gamecube. I even enjoyed the Incredibles game and I’m pretty sure that was just made to reap in the profits after the movie was released. Even the mobile games can be fun for a little while.

I know that there are a few super hero MMOs in the works right now. I never got to play City of Heros but I did play DC Universe Online for a little bit. Before playing DCUO I thought that the main appeal of super hero games would be being a specific character. But it turns out that flying and super strength are just as fun on characters you make up as well.

The point is there’s just something about Super Heroes that work for video games. Maybe it’s a dash of nostalgia mixed with familiarity. Maybe it’s getting to take control of the story now instead of reading or watching it. Maybe it’s seeing super powers come to life. Or maybe it’s the joy of my inner child getting to be a super hero for a little while.

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Double Dipping: Buying games more than once

img_20180805_153750.jpgThis weekend I picked up No Man’s Sky on PC after having a ton of fun with it earlier in the week on PS4. It was on sale for $30 which was just in the right price range for me to justify getting it again. I was put off by how poorly it was running on my original PS4 and by how small the text was on my TV. I’m not sure if it was always like this or if I’ve just been spoiled by PC games now.  I also thought it would play better with a keyboard and mouse; so far it has.

I don’t normally buy games more than once with the rare occasion that I get one in a Humble Bundle. I also don’t really go for the remastered or Game of the Year editions either. Over the years though there have been a handful of titles that I’ve bought on different systems for one reason or another.

I’ve been thinking about this a lot recently. Monster Hunter World hits PC this week and I’ve been debating on whether or not I want to get it. So I thought I’d share some games that I have bought multiple times in the past.

Borderlands 2

I own Borderlands 2 on PS3, PS4, and PC. The funny thing is I don’t even like borderlands that much. I bought it for PS3 because it was $10 and me and Greg were suppose to play it together but we never got around to it. Then the Handsome Jack Collection came out for PS4 and we both bought that because it was 2 games in one with all the DLC. We played a lot of it but still haven’t finished it because I got burnt out on it. Finally, I own it on PC because it was part of a Humble Bundle where I wanted some other games in that tier.

Diablo 3

I bought Diablo 3 on whim when I had the itch to play an ARPG and I found out that my college laptop could run it. This was a bit after launch back before Loot 2.0 when drop rates were terrible and there was still the Auction House. I ended up buying the expansion as well when it came out and put a ton of time into it. Sometime between graduating from college and buying a PS4 I had lost my battlenet account credentials that I had bought Diablo 3 with. So I bought Diablo 3 for PS4 and I have to say that I liked it even more on that platform. I also got a couple friends to get it too and we played it heavily for about a year. To this day it’s still the only game I’ve gotten a platinum trophy for on PS4.

 

Final Fantasy XIV

Yet another game I bought on PS4 because I didn’t have a PC that could handle it. Actually now that I think about it, I bought it on PS3 first before I owned a PS4. I was super excited that there was a full blown MMO on consoles and that it worked well with a controller. At the time there was not as many free to play MMOs on consoles as there are now. Once I got a PS4 I ended up upgrading to the PS4 version and picking up Heavensward. While I beat the original A Realm Reborn content I still haven’t gone into the second expansion. One day I saw that the PC version was on sale with all 3 expansions and jumped on it just to see how it was on PC. I go back to it every once and a while. I really like that the accounts are cross platform so that one day when my friends want to play on PS4 again I can still play with them from my PC.

 

The Elder Scrolls Online

I picked up a physical copy of ESO for $5 at a Gamestop. I played it for a while and was really enjoying it. So when I wanted to get the DLC’s I found it was cheaper to get a digital bundle that was on sale that included the base game too. I ended up giving my physical copy to a friend so that we could play together. Then I forgot to pause my Humble Bundle subscription one month and ended up getting the base game on PC. This is one of the only games I enjoyed a lot more on PS4 than PC. If I ever get back into it it’ll be on PS4 for sure.

Kingdoms of Amular: Reckoning

This is one of my favorite PS3 games. This one game is why I still keep my PS3 in the closet in case I want to play it. I bought it on PC during a sale once because I’ve come to the realization that I’m too lazy to hook up my PS3 again and the PC version came with all the DLC I never played.

Destiny & Battlefield 4

For a couple months Destiny was my main game. I missed the upgrade window by the time I got a PS4 and had to buy it again to continue playing. The same thing happened with Battlefield 4. Luckily, I was able to pick up both disks fairly cheap.

 

Are there any games that you’ve bought more than once?

 

 

 

 

 

Anjanath Down!

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We finally got everyone caught up in our group for Monster Hunter. I was able to take down the Anjanath late Friday night on my own, barely.  After my second faint my strategy was to use the last life to obseverve its attacks to be better prepared for the inevitable second attempt. But I had a really good few combos on him and once I saw him limping away  I had to try for the kill. By the end of the fight I was down to my last faint and mega potion. The following day the two others were able to get through the fight relatively quickly. Saturday night was spent with all three of us going through the story.

We ended up in the Coral Highlands and took down the Paolumu and were immediately taken to the Rotten Vale. I really like the Coral Highlands their very colorful and I like the layout of the map. On the flip side I’m not a fan of the Rotten Vale so far and neither was the rest of the group so we did some expeditions and optional quests in the Coral Highlands for the rest of the night. I think we killed the Tzitzi-Y-Ku 3 or 4 times because the fight was fun and easy. We decided to kill the Anjanath one more time to see if we could get some pieces of its armor. I had a really cool screen shot of the Great Jagras, Anjanath, and Tobi-Kadachi all in one area but the ps4 decided not to save it. Sadness.

Now that we’re all caught up I’ll probably only be playing the game when the group is on which I prefer. As much as I like Monster Hunter, it’s much more fun with of group of friends. So for now progress will be slow going as far as the stories concerned. I’ll probably boot it up a few days a week to farm parts from things we’ve already killed on my own. I really want the Paolumu set the skills and stats aren’t great but it’s pink and fluffy!

 

 

Backlogged: The Division- How We Saved New York

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Last night I saved New York from a mad man with a helicopter. Me and Jay have been making our way through The Division’s story off and on for the last year and a half? Has it really been that long?

We geared up for the last mission a few weeks ago and then proceeded not to play it at all. Part of me didn’t want it to be over. The games cover mechanics and Diablo like loot drops made for a great time taking on all of the street thugs, pyromaniacs, and rouge agents through out almost-post-apocalyptic New York. But last night we decided it was time and walked into the UN armed to the teeth.

For most of the last mission everything felt anti-climactic. We were completing the same objectives and fighting the save wave patterns of enemies that we had been the whole game. Nothing about it felt especially epic or exciting. I mean, having a shoot out in the General Assembly of the UN was a nice touch, how many times do you get to do that?

Regardless of whether things felt mostly the same or not, we died a lot. The Division’s missions all seem to have a spot where we get stuck and almost feel like giving up and it’s always at or near the end. We beat most of the missions just because we didn’t feel like losing a half hour of time by quitting for the night and retrying later. But in this last encounter, we didn’t hit anything like that. Either we had gotten better or our gear was very powerful. Probably a mix of both.

But the end of the mission, that’s an entirely different story. Thus far we had been fighting guys with guns, bigger guys with guns, and occasionally a couple big guys with guns at the same time. The final boss however, was a big guy with a giant helicopter.

Luckily we could turn on some turrets to help us take it down which required us to run around the stage like mad men dodging the helicopters mounted guns. Once we turned on most of the turrets, the helicopter got angry. Now it was both fire lots of bullets and launching blinding flares. And just as we had gotten rid of it’s shield, it started launching rockets.

Now the helicopter boss in itself wasn’t too bad once we figured out where all the switches to turn on the turrets were. The part that kept killing us over and over and over were the ground troops that started to spawn. These guys had a lot of health, like way more than the normal red enemies and they did a ton of damage. After what seemed like our tenth attempt were able to overcome every obstacle and blast the helicopter our of the sky. One big fancy explosion later and we had beaten the base game.

I also hit level 30 which promoted a tutorial of the end game. I really have no interest in playing the end game or collecting all the things I’ve missed on the map.  It was a fun ride and I liked the story missions but farming the dark zone just doesn’t sound appealing to me. I do think that when the DLC goes on sale again for PS4 I’ll probably pick it up but for now The Division can rest snugly back on the shelf.

 

 

E3: Three Games I’m Hyped For

This is the first year I really paid any sort of attention to E3. Usually I have a vague idea whats slated to come out for the end of the year holiday season and maybe a few titles in between, but I’ve never been able to get hyped for a game years in advance.

I’m also not into sitting down and watching a press conference so I poured over a list of games “revealed” at each conference. I’m not sure how this thing usually goes,I’ve heard this years E3 has been lack luster, but I found a few games I’ll be looking forward to for the next year and a half.

 

Monster Hunter World

I had to reread the list to make sure I was still scrolling down the Sony reveals on this one. I’ve been waiting to play Monster Hunter on something other than a handheld since Monster Hunter Tri for the Wii.

My first experience of a Monster Hunter game was on the PSP with Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, and to be honest I hated every minute of it. The camera was awful and you couldn’t lock on to anything. I don’t remember why I decided to give it another chance on the Wii but I fell in love with it. I must have put hundreds of hours into it over a few summer breaks. Then came the 3DS releases which was a system seller for me even before Pokemon.

While the 3DS were great I always wanted the franchise to come back to the big screen. The PS4 has some offerings in the same vein as Monster Hunter, namely God Eater and the Toukiden series. But neither of them quite as exciting as Monster Hunter. Ya I know I could have bought a Wii U for Monster Hunter 3 but there wasn’t anything else for that system that I wanted to play.

Either way the trailer looks slick, the graphics got a much needed update, and if this turns out to be as good as the last few handheld games I can see my friends and I putting in long hours hunting.

 

Marvel’s Spider-Man

My favorite super hero game of all time is Spider-Man 2 which I played on the Gamecube. It was my first open world game, one of the first games I ever beat without a guide. And one of the first games I’ve taken the time to hunt down all the collectibles.

We’ve known for a while that Sony had a Spider-Man game coming out for a while now and I enjoyed the new trailer for it. There are a lot of criticisms about it having so many quick time events but I didn’t think it detracted from the game that much. If anything it added a more cinematic feel to the whole thing.

The one concern I have with it is the stealthy looking game play in the beginning. It looked very much like the Arkham games which I’m in the middle of playing through. While that style of play works for Batman, Spider-Man has never  been a stealthy hero to me. He’s more of a flashy, I’m going to make fun of you while beating you up, kind of hero and I didn’t see a lot of that in the trailer.

Regardless of how it turns out I’ll probably pick it up at some point. The swinging and wall running look to fun to pass up even if its full of quick time events and stealth missions.

 

Anthem

Let me start out by saying this game looks awesome. It’s got sci-fi Iron Man suits, it’s got squad based combat, and it’s apparently got RPG-like progression. It’s Bioware’s Very Pretty Destiny and Oh You Can Have A Jet Pack Too.

But I know how these things go and while all of it looks and sounds great when it’s first announced theres always that thought in the back of my mind that says, how are they going to screw this up. This looks like the poster child for the hype trains next wreck. But I’m hopeful and out of all the games I’ll be following the news on this one closely if only to temper my expectations for how insanely awesome this looks like its going to be.

 

Sampling the Borderlands

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For the better part of 2 weeks the only games on my gaming menu have been Borderlands, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre Sequel. For better or for worse I’ve been bouncing between all three games depending on which one of my friends are on to play. I played Borderlands when no one was around, I played Borderlands 2 when Jay was around, and I’ve just started a play through of the Pre Sequel with Jay and CC.

I wasn’t interested in Borderlands when it first came out in 2009 on the account that I was really into the Nintendo Wii at the time and didn’t like the FPS genre all that much. I remember my friends in high school were eagerly awaiting it’s release. I didn’t even really know what it was until a few years later when I started playing it with Jay. By the time I played it with him he had played it 7 times over and new where do go and what to do andd ended up dragging me through the game. We kept restarting to play new characters and I don’t think we ever got farther than the second boss.

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Fast forward to a few days ago when I decided to fire up the PC version of Borderlands I got from one steam sale or another. The game is brutal I spent more time at the revive station than actually shooting some times. By myself there’s no other focus for the enemies so I’m the one absorbing every bit of damage. It was still fun though if not challenging. It was the first time I actually paid any attention to the story and it turns out I wasn’t missing out on that much. As fun as it was I’ve made it to level 15 where we had stopped in the past and I don’t know if I’ll ever go back to finish it.

I bought the Handsome Jack Collection to play with Jay about a year and a half ago and we still haven’t beaten it. Borderlands 2 is much like Diablo 3 where I get in a mood to play it and then it becomes my main game for a few weeks until I get bored. So every few months or so we’d pick it back up and get a lot of story done and some DLC and then we’d stop.

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It’s always been a struggle to get myself psyched to play it that first time after a long break because the co op game play is a lot of fun but the story is kinda boring even with a great cast of characters. And after a few hours the dialogue gets overdone. I love spoofs, puns, and pop culture references in games but when its all of that 24/7 it gets a little tiring.

With that being said me and Jay are currently working through BL2’s DLC Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragons Keep and it’s fantastic. I especially enjoyed a quest line spoofing Dark Souls and the whole setting of being in a tabletop game. In fact both the DLC’s that we’ve played through have been much more interesting than the rest of the game.

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Now we’ve just started the story in the Pre-sequel and it’s nothing new in terms of story telling or game play. But the Pre-Sequel, despite the story outshines the other 2 in terms of co op for one reason. I can be ClapTrap who is simultaneously the trolliest and most supportive character all in one. I can dish out tons of helpful buffs and abilities to my allies one moment and then turn us all into bouncing rubber ducks the next moment. Much to the chagrin of my friends. Since the game is set on the moon there’s very little air and apparently there’s a mechanic my friends keep talking about where they have to fill up their air canisters every now and then or they die….but I don’t really know because as a robot I don’t need air.

So after this intensive few weeks of the crash course to the Borderlands series I can say that its much more fun to play with friends than alone, the story is nothing to write home about, but the game play and co op is top notch. Your always one drop away from a gun that will change your entire play style or make you super overpowered for your level.

New Dungeon Jitters

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While I’ve been continuing through the 2.XX main quest line I keep getting distracted by quest that unlock things. As a result I’ve filled up my quest tracker and journal with a bunch of quests that unlock more parts of the game. Most of the ones I’ve picked up have led to unlocking more dungeons and primal fights. While a few of them have been new dungeons most of them are Hard Mode of the rest of the ARR dungeons and trials.

New dungeons are exciting but there are always those new dungeon jitters. These are so old that most of the players in the Duty  Finder have already done them many times over which results in being dragged through which isn’t an ideal way to experience new content. That’s just how it is though coming in later, which I totally understand. But I also don’t want to slow them down too much as I’m learning the dungeon.  What still surprises me is that even though these Hard Mode dungeons are being run as efficiently as possible by the more experienced players they still stop and explain things when I ask, which is awesome.

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In the regular story dungeons in ARR there is some skipping of rooms and alternate paths but the group typically kills everything in its way. What’s throwing me off with these level 50 dungeons is that the tank will either pull everything and their mother or just skip entire packs of mobs. It feels faster passed and more rushed than the regular story dungeons ever did.

Now I know I could possibly get FC mates or a PUG together to this stuff slower but I know eventually I too will be running these dungeons again and again so I might as well learn how its usually run.

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Other than new content I’ve been leveling up my pugilist through the daily leveling roulette. It’s going pretty well I like the class much more than I did the last time I played it. It’s fun moving around the enemies to land those positionals. It feels like a very active class. After being in greased lighting for a while and losing it the GDC skills feel like they take forever to reset. I’m also enjoying the class quest story line and Hamon Holyfist is such a delightful character.