Ark: Survival Evolved

This is Froseph, I am doing a review on the Early Release version of Ark Survival Evolved. Now as it is Early Release some are hesitant to purchase the game. This is completely understandable as most early released games maybe update once a month or only when they have a major patch. However the makers of Ark seem to be pushing out the content with the firey passion of a thousand suns as they tend to release major patches 3 – 4 times a month and minor patches as often as needed. They have added 8 dino’s and many other items from a stone tier to crossbows with much more on the way.

So lets go over how things work in this dino island of adventure and pain. Your character wakes up on a sandy beach on one of the many points on the island with a futuristic chip in his wrist leaving you just as curious about your location as your character. Now at the moment of this review a person can get a total of 71 levels for their character on the official servers also your character is per server and not one you can take from server to server. However many of the rules go out the window on private servers as the owner can adjust everything from how many levels you get to how fast dinosaurs can be tamed.

Now with each level you can put points in to Health, Stamina (How long you can run, punch or chop trees) Oxygen (How long you can stay under water) Food/Water (Yes, you have to eat and drink in this game.) Weight (How much you can hold on your person) Movement Speed (How fast you can run) Fortitude (How much Coldier or Hotter it has to be to effect your character) Crafting speed (How fast it takes to construct something, However at this time it really is kinda pointless) and lastly Torpo which for the moment you can’t put points in to for the moment. Torpo is actually important both for your character and dinos as when filled knocks out your character or a dino you want to tame until it is brought back to zero either with time or with items in the game such as stimulants.

So how do you build weapons, armor, saddles and pieces for your house? Well those come from engrams and you get a certain amount of points per level to put in to the purchasing of these patterns. While weapons are important they are pretty self explanatory however armor can’t be forgotten about because depending on what are you wearing, what time it is during the day/night cycle and the location you are on the map will depend on whether or not you are hot or cold. Now to hot and you start to dehydrate quicker or to cold and you start to lose health faster. So armor is just as important as the weapon you wield because they protect you from dino’s and the elements. Now certain items like the Weapons, Armor and Saddles have a rarity and that is primitive (Grey) to Ascended (Orange) This ramping up is much like the item rarity in World of Warcraft. Though for each step above primitive the cost materials goes up as well the higher level they are and these patterns can only be found in supply drops or supply crates around the island or in the caves. and speaking of supply drops they also have different colors those colors are White for any level, Green for 15 and above, blue for 25 and above, purple for 35 and above, yellow for 45 and above and finally red for 55 and above. While it is random when they drop, the locations at least for the moment are static so building a home near a location does help in the beginning of the game.

Materials on the island are what aid in craft items so far in the game you have Stone, Fiber, Fur, Wood, Thatch, Flint, Metal, Obsidian, Berries, Meat, Oil and pearls. These are the major ones for now but as they update I am sure this will change and more will be added as they update continue rolling in.

Now where does the survival come in well our dino friends come in neutral like the dodo, trikes, and stego’s or aggressive like the T-Rex, Raptors, Dilo’s and Megalodon’s. Many of the aggressive dino’s will seek you out and try to kill you and for the moment they come at you for a long while so it is hard to run away so building shelter quick is key. As you level you will get slingshots, Bows and crossbows which are used to help you knock out and tame dino’s on the island. You will also get weapons like the spear, pike, pistol, shotgun and rifle to help you kill them if you would rather they be eliminated.

Should you decide to knock out a dino with stones or tranq arrows it is ready to tame make sure you have narcotics this will raise up your dino’s torpo level should it need it. Dino’s are either herbivores or carnivores. Each has its favorite foods herbivores have 4 different kinds of berries to choose from and each herbivore likes a different one more then the others. While carnivores love prime meat which spoils very quickly but gives a big boost in the taming process while raw meat any will eat but has a lower taming value. That being said as of patch 1.87 they added kibble which is specific to each dino carnivore or herbivore and gives them a bigger boost while raising the taming efficiency of the dino it is being used on. Kibble has a very high shelf life however it also takes specific dino eggs and additional ingredients.

Now while I could sit here and go over every feature from the monoliths that summon rare mobs and the pvp and pve aspects, I think it is better for people to get in and play it. Make a tribe with your friends build bases, tame dinos, whether you join a pvp server and kill other tribes or pve and trade with fellow tribes on your server in order to help each other grow this game is fun. Hopefully this review has helped you so this is Fro signing off. Hope to see you on the next review.

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Rocket League

I’m Froseph and I am doing a review for Rocket League. This game is pretty straight forward it plays like Soccer/Futball if you are outside of the states. Rocket League has 2 goals, 2 teams and 1 over sized ball, Now this doesn’t have players running across the field or taking a knee while pretending to be injured so they can take a free shot. No this has Rc Cars that can flip, spin and rocket boost all for players to control in order to destroy the enemy team and score goals.

Now Rocket league is on PS4, Xbox One and PC. That being said I am focusing on PC because that is what I mostly play games on so you have to ways to play using the keyboard or Controller. I recommend a controller while keyboard is just as good, the controller really helps at least for me.

Now the key thing is to play the freaking 2 tutorial’s one for rookie and one for pro. Take the time to learn what it has to offer. This will teach you how to use the jump boost to gain speed and gain ball control and in a game like this you have to knock around that ball.

Now once you have mastered those tutorials or have lied to yourself because you want to take on some real opponents you can proceed to online mode which has quick matches for 1v1 – 4v4 or ranked mode which is much the same way. Each match starts with 5 mins on the board in which the teams try and score as my goals as possibly with in the time limit in the caged arena. Now it sounds simple right use the car hit the ball score the goal. Wrong in this game while easy to understand is hard to master.

While I could spit out a bunch of tips about how to play I will say finding your own style and getting a group of friends together on ventrillo or teamspeak really helps. It also makes it way more fun. However the game also has a season which can be played against computer components which is 26 weeks against the games own self created teams. This is a good way to find shots that work and don’t while feeling like you are doing more then just exhibition game after exhibition game against the computer.

Also you level each match you get so many points for winning or losing for centering a ball or taking a shot. All this goes in to your level which unlocks cars and accessories for you. Now all this just ascetics and really doesn’t do much other then make you stand out on the field of battle. Now I have read that they will be releasing soon a paid DLC so I am unsure what will be in it but I imagine it will be more ascetics and perhaps a few new game modes.

So while this is a short review I would say it is worth getting, It is oddly addicting because with the games being so short you find yourself playing 5 or 6 and only 30 mins having gone by. So it is great to play when you don’t have a lot of time before work or hanging with friends. It is very competitive and has great replay value, also you can put it away for a while and come back and be right back in the game.

Left 4 Dead – 1 & 2

I’m Froseph and I am reviewing The Left for Dead series. Why? because I have put in so much time playing this game, more then I can count but luckly steam keeps count so while it is definitely dated now it is still a great series to come back to when you want some mindless killing of the undead. The characters, the difficulty and the overall play style makes it fun each time you play through. Left for dead is definitely not for the feint of heart, because even if you may played it a 100 times, know your way through all the levels it won’t matter because the infected hordes and the special infected are rarely in the same place twice. Which means one run you could have a witch in a location and the next play through it could be a tank or simply nothing at all. The Left 4 Dead series randomizes what infected are where and what weapons you get access to. Each level is episodic and strings in to the next level leaving you to wondering how these people have such bad luck in a already terrible situation.

As I said Left 4 Dead is pretty straight forward, Bill, Francis, Zoey and Louis join forces against the infected on a roof top in a storm and try to make it to the hospital which is a designated safe zone. Now in the series the infected are pretty much fodder to your main characters and the challenges really come from the smokers, boomers, tanks, witches and hunters which spawn in the longer you take to clear through an area. The weapons in left for dead are pretty limited giving you the lower level guns in the beginning and slowly get better towards the end though it really only has 8 – 10 in total with 2 thrown items the pipe bomb and Molotov. Also never forget your first Aid or Pills because while you could be at full life for 75% of the level all it takes is one bad bit of RNG and you are at 5% and near death. This first game was done well and is amazingly fun and challenging. It also allows you to stop after each episode so you can return later to continue the adventure.

Left 4 dead 2 is a major upgrade in visuals as well as weapons and items your characters have access to. In Left for Dead 2 you are following a new set of characters as Nick, Ellis, Couch and Rocshell. We are also introduced to some new special infected such as the charger, the jokey, spitter. As well as our old friends from the previous games and some unique infected that tend to bring in the hordes of regular infected down on you. New ammo has been added in the form of explosive and incendiary rounds and they doubled the guns in left 4 dead 2 from 10 to around 15 – 20 as well as bring melee weapons such as the bat, golf club and katana (Oh and the chain Saw, can’t forget about that.). A new bomb made of boomer bile was added to go along with the pipe bomb and Molotov. The style of the game hasn’t changed from the first as valve tends to takes on a if it isn’t broke don’t fix it mentality for these games and I can’t fault them for it. One last great thing about Left for dead 2 is they also updated the original left for dead missions and placed them in to left for dead 2 and you can play those missions over again as well with the new special infected and weapons.

They added some really fun secondary games and a way to go through with what is called realism mode. The mini games are great and even now so long after they have been out the servers are still full of people popping in and playing through. This game is a classic and a fun time when you just feel like killing those zombies. Pick it up and get in your zombie killing.

Batman: Arkham Origins

My name is Froseph and in this blog… I am going to do something I don’t normally do and say straight out this is a big fat pass. Now before the people of Gotham, the batman fanboys and the internet come at me with pitchforks and torches. Let me explain to you why this installment of the Dark Knight should be cleansed from the record books.

Lets start with the plot, now if you have played Batman Arkham Asylum and Batman Arkham City you know a few very important things… One of those is that they love throwing the joker at you… Now don’t get me wrong Mark Hamill as the joker is definitely amazing and his portrayal of the psycho clown is phenomenal. However he was the main villain in the first two, so going in to the third game with that knowledge in hand I set out to play batman at the beginning of career as the caped crusader. Right off the bat (No pun intended) you get the same feelings you had from Arkham city and that maybe everything is going to be ok and like a man who wants to believe, you ignore the controls don’t feel right and feel slow to react. When like a punch to the face by your grandma, Death Stroke comes to town and his fight makes you want to punch a small child or punt a cute puppy. I know right baby punching and puppy kicking… what kinda of monster would do that. Only a monster created from the pain that Batman Origins brings. So after you get through Death Stroke… if you even get through it… and several other bosses who should appear but the joker… and he is pulling all the strings… and all the early villains of batman go back to supporting roles and it is you vs the clown all over again…

Now for the mechanics and controls these are a step down from Arkham city and feel less responsive. Honestly what they did is say “see what Rocksteady did on the last two… take that regress it back a decade and give me a story… except don’t take away any of the gadgets he had and give him even better and cooler technology then he had in the previous two.” So they did it and all was not good.

Now graphics wise all of this looks to be on par if not better then the first two… which is not unexpected they are not going to downgrade to maintain the same feel of the first two nor do I or anyone else expecting them too. The music sounds like what you would hear from any animated Batman TV series or movie… The voice work for this is amazing and for that at the very least My hat is off to you.

In conclusion again I reiterate this is a pass, go and buy the first two and pretend this didn’t happen… Its good parts are far and in between most of the boss fights are way to gimmicky and while you still enjoy flying around Gotham you can do it back in two. Now for those of you who may lose faith in the series of games do not lose heart Rocksteady will be doing Batman Arkham knights and once it goes back on steam I will definitely be picking it so I can review it and stream my play-through of it.

Bioshock Infinite

bioshock-infinite-8As always I am Froseph and this is a review for the 3rd installment in the Bioshock franchise Bioshock Infinite, taking place in New Columbia the city floating in the clouds Led by the zealot Sheppard Comstalk, this opposite of the first two which took place under the water in Rapture, a Utopian society run by Andrew Ryan. Now as this is the 3rd installment, I would highly suggest going back and purchasing both Bioshock 1 & 2. However this is merely a suggest, Because Ken Levine enjoys lacing his stories with throwbacks, parallels and references to the games predecessors. So you will get more out of Bioshock infinite with them under your belt. This also allows you to see the progression that each Bioshock game has taken. That being said with or without playing the first two games, Bioshock Infinite does stand alone, So with out further adue. Lets open a rift and travel to New Columbia.

So like any great Bioshock game you start off in the dead of night with a monolithic lighthouse standing out on a island in the middle of no where. with a brief conversation and a singular mission in mind, Booker the main character of this story says the haunting words “Give us the girl wipe away the debt.” One sentence that shapes this game in to a wild ride and makes you want to unravel this mystery and save the girl.

Now while I feel this game has a amazing story line, I feel that irrational games decided that for this installment people need a very linear play through, with little to no choices that effect the overall outcome. Now this is vastly different from the original two bioshock game which had multiple decisions that actually held real consequences for your character and the final outcome of his story.

Among the changes was the overhaul to the weapons system, in the originals you were able to hold all the weapon and could see the changes to the weapon as you upgraded them. In Bioshock infinite the weapons looks never changed and you can only hold 2 weapons at a time. Now while it can be arguing that it gives a stronger feeling of urgency, I felt that it made for a more narrow weapon selection because while I was playing through I avoided picking up the more situation weapons for the more practical weapons I needed to win boss fights.

Another key features that was removed was the map, A feature that is so helpful in Bioshock 1 & 2 and any game really, was replaced with a Navigation arrow. While this is helpful to keeping the plot moving it doesn’t help in exploring the many extra rooms that can sometimes be missed.

Along the same lines as that change was the switch of Tonics to clothes, again they have no effect on how you look while wearing them and while the may be somewhat helpful I feel you lose the major customization to the character

And the final piece of old tech I miss is the ability to hack, While this did cause people to feel they were wasting time in the first two Bioshocks. it was a fun side game that I always enjoyed. hacking left the turrets, cameras and vending machines permanently on your side. unlike the possession vigor in infinite that only allows temporary hacking and only gives you money from the vending machines.

Now I knows it seems like all I am doing is spitting out negatives for a game I said is worth picking up. so I will get to the positives for the game and one of those is the vigors after two games the vigors are more refined and more useful when upgraded. You can use the vigor you find the most fun as they are all pretty balanced. So no needing to feel forced to use one particular one because it is stronger then the others. Another major positive is the skyhook which is one of the most unique play experiences in the game. The sky hook allows you to soar around New Columbia on metal tracks constructed around the city allowing you to jump down on the enemies or shoot them with your weapon from high above them like some vengeful god. This mechanic definitely brings a added level to the game.

Now the last mechanic and plot device is Elizabeth. The first time you meet this poor girl she is locked inside a cage shaped like a angelic statue. Once freed, Elizabeth and Booker try to make their way to their versions of freedom for Elizabeth it is Paris and Booker it is New York to wipe away his debt. Elizabeth is one of the key Plot mechanics she can open rifts and pick locks. She is also what pulled me in to the game, Elizabeth sets the tone and helped reign in Booker’s violent nature and her nature makes you try and solve problems with the least amount of killing as possible. Her innocent nature is what gives you the true understanding of what is going to on around you in the game and care about what has happened both to her and to Booker.

Now graphic wise this is the strongest of the Bioshock series but it is the music in this game with its mix of both a old church hymnals to it a mix of both modern and old music. The ups and downs match the settings and feelings of the characters situations and while much of the music may not fit the time period it has been tailored to feel like it always had been. Bioshock Infinite is a strong successor to the previous 2 and even though many of the features have been streamlined down it is still worth purchasing. And afterwards I found myself waiting for the dlc burial at Sea and when I got it I enjoyed it, 70% of the things I missed were back in it… A new mini game, some unique weapons with the ability to have the full arsenal at your fingertips and while the story line was quick, It was still fun. so while it seems irriational games has closed this chapter of the Bioshock series it was definitely a fun ride so give it a play.

Borderlands 2

borderlands_2This blog post we take a look at Borderlands Two. As always I am Froseph and welcome to Pandora. The Hyperion corporation and Handsome Jack have come to tame the wilds and search for the mother lode of all vaults. You have the choice of playing several characters depending on if you have gotten all the the DLC content. The basics are The Commando, The Assassin, The Siren and The Gunzerker. If you have gotten the DLC content you also have The Mechromancer and The Psycho. Upon Choosing you find yourself swept into a cutscene and you are a vault hunter and on your way to meet handsome jack when. Out of no where comes a betrayal five and for those of you who don’t know that is a scrubs reference. When your train is blown up and you meet probably the saddest and most delusion character of the game claptrap a robot that is the brunt of all most jokes in the game and who you kinda feel sorry for as the story progresses. So lets break this down before I head out on my diamond pony and I mean it is literally made of diamonds.

First are the mechanics on this game the ui which runs your standard health, shields and map is the stable for many fps platforms while the out of game inventory, quest log and character screen give it a rpg feel. Upon leveling you are given three skill trees to choose from to place your skill points as well as by doing random things in game you also get badass points, which can be turned to buff many aspects of your character such as recoil reduction to critical strike. While it is a fun single player game I actually feel the it lends better to the multi-player because the skill trees all seem more 3 additional players. Likewise the enemies in the game have a slightly below average ai but to make up for that they throw enemies at you as if you personally killed the game designers father. While in multiplayer mode you would get the same amount of enemies.

On to transportation in borderlands, Transportation is the key and the catch-a-ride delivers as it allows you to call forth one of many vehicles that can shoot drill blades to missiles it also allow you to teleport back to your vehicle should you die. Pandora has all the elements deserts, plains and tundra’s. So you will be spend a lot of time exploring and fighting your way through enemies respawns that make you feel like you are facing a unending horde.

The last piece of mechanics and what I feel is a minor set backs is it having a true randomization of the weapons. Because in this game each gun maker gives a gun a different ability from rapid fire to increased zoom and like any other fps game you have sniper rifles, pistols, shotguns, rocket launchers, Smg and rifles. They all also have a element that can be randomized on to them such as poison, incendiary, shock or slag. So just with those few pieces not including the fact that items can be common, uncommon, rare, epic or legendary. You have quite a setup. So sometimes your all powerful and sometimes your praying for a better gun set.

This also plays in to shields that work the same way and just give you added protection or perhaps a cool ability when your shields break that may allow you to get away and hide to recoup your shields.

The graphics are probably the most unique thing about it, now most games try to get as close to realism as possible. This game throws that right out the window at the start for a cartoon like atmosphere and the only thing it is missing is a gun suppler named acme. Now one of the nice things about this game is because of the cartoon feel any minor graphical glitches don’t take you out of the game and even in the future it will look very nice as the engine for it will hold should you want to go back to it.

Now the music in this is forgettable, in the battles where it should drive the moment or even in minor plot moments where it should push you it really doesn’t come through, as I find the battles themselves to be more of the focus. Now that being said the running commentary through the comes from old borderlands characters and handsome jack make up for the overall lack of memorable music with his witty remarks and general wise cracking nature.

So this is definitely worth playing you will laugh with the puns and juvenile humor. You will rage with the respawns who come by the 100’s and you will get joy from getting a good gun and beating all hell out of those respawns until they get a level boost and you go back to rage. The game with out the DLC has more then enough content to keep you busy for week but add in all the DLC and you have a game that has more content then you will know what to do with.