Thoughts On: Injustice 2

Thoughts On: Injustice 2

Hi to whoever found this. Recently I’ve been playing a lot of video games lately and I want to give my thoughts on them. The first one is Injustice 2.

A New Coat of Paint

So Injustice 2 is the sequel to Netherrealm Studio’s Injustice: Gods Among Us, and it’s a fighting game with characters from the DC Universe. You got Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Supergirl, they show up in this game to beat the living Jesus out of each other. I played a lot of Injustice: Gods Among Us and I really enjoyed it. How does Injustice 2 stack up with the old?

Story

The story mode is a staple with Netherrealm fighting games starting with Mortal Kombat 9. It revolutionized fighting game stories with a blend of cutscenes and actual gameplay. The trend I’ve seen recently with every iteration of Netherrealm games, is that the story mode gets shorter and shorter with each entry. MK9’s story was extremely long, where one chapter of the game can last an hour and the overall completion can be 12 hours. Injustice: Gods Among Us had a story mode of around 8 hours, while the Mortal Kombat X had a story of about 6. Injustice 2 has a story mode of 4 hours on medium difficulty.

While the story of Injustice 2 is solid, it falls flat to the previous game. It takes place while after the events of Gods Among Us and continues the conflicts between Batman and Superman. When Braniac shows up, they band together to stop them. The cutscenes are expertly crafted while the facial animations can range from fantastic to downright scary.

The biggest problem with Injustice 2’s story is the depth. Out of the 29 character roster, it focuses mainly on 8 eight of them; with the rest being background. One faction of characters, known as the Society, is completely wasted as they show up for their introductions and then disband shortly when Braniac arrives (which is very early on in the game). Characters like Swampthing, Deadshot, Blue Beetle, and Joker have no time to shine in this campaign. Instead it leans on Batman, Superman, and Supergirl to carry the story. There are 29 characters and frankly a majority of them are wasted potential.

Gameplay

The gameplay is very similar to Injustice: Gods Among Us. It’s tight and fastpaced with a hint of when to strike and when to block. It’s a game that is easy to pick up but hard to master. The newest addition to Injustice 2 is the gear system. Where characters can unlock certain pieces of gear (a helmet, a cape, gauntlets, etc.) during fighting or Mother Boxes. Each piece of gear may or may not have stats and have a different appearance. It’s fine and works but there is a level limit and sense of RNG when unlocking gear, where you could be using Green Lantern and end up getting gear for Captain Cold. There is a way to turn of the RNG and I recommend doing so.

The online network has been vastly improved from Mortal Kombat X and every fight is smooth and quick. You get fights very quickly and they don’t disconnect. And if you’ve played Mortal Kombat or Injustice: Gods Among Us, you know that the net code was not good.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Injustice 2 is a fantastic game with a good loot system and awesome characters. The downside is that of a shorter story mode and underwhelming story that doesn’t live up Gods Among Us. I’d say this is a game you should try if you’re into fighting games or DC Comics.

Thanks for reading my thoughts on Injustice 2. Next I’m talking about the sci-fi horror game, Prey.

Have a good day.

-Andrew 🙂

Thoughts On: Battlefield 1

Thoughts On: Battlefield 1

Hi everyone! So Battlefield 1 has been out for a while if you had EA/Origin Access. But for myself, I bought it yesterday and had the 9 P.M. release yesterday. After finishing the story mode and playing some of the multiplayer, I think it’s time to give my thoughts on it.

War Unlike Any Other

This is the first Battlefield I’ve played since Battlefield 3. After hearing about the terrible launch of Battlefield 4 I thought that this one will be no different. And I’m big enough to say that I was wrong. Battlefield 1 is a refreshing addition to the series and perhaps the best Battlefield since Bad Company 2.

Note on Multiplayer: If you are into the Battlefield multiplayer you’ll feel right at home. Simple as that. Now onto what I really want to talk about.

The thing that really stood out for me was the story mode. Like Valiant Hearts, the story focuses on different people and what happened to them during the Great War. I loved the variety of characters and how their specialty also reflected what type of missions you’ll be playing. As an example, there is a character who specializes in driving and it’s his job to drive a tank. So some of his missions will involve driving a tank through war. Each character has their special job that makes their story very memorable.

Out of the five stories you will experience, my personal favorite is one called “Friends in High Places.” In this story you experience WWI through the eyes of a guy named Blackburn who volunteers to be a fighter pilot. I felt his story was the most interesting and his setpieces give way to some of the most visually stunning places I’ve seen in a video game. As for the other stories, they are equally good and well made except for one story regarding an Italian heavy armored fighter. This story felt the weakest out of all of them and was in turn the shortest. I’m going to keep spoilers out of this, so this excerpt is gonna be short.

The biggest gripe I have with the War Stories is that they are all short (each one being at least 2 and at the most 4 chapters). If each story was longer I’d be more engrossed in the stories and felt even more attached to the characters.

Now aside from the great story mode, the stand-out thing for me is the score. From sneaking behind enemy lines, to shooting down a zeppelin, the music was absolutely perfect. I want the soundtrack right now (and at the time of writing has not been released). My favorite track has to be during “Friends in High Places,” where Blackburn is soaring through the sky fighting German planes and the score turns heroic as the classic Battlefield melody follows the amazing score.

Final Thoughts

So overall, Battlefield 1 is a return to form for the shooter. The WWI setting is refreshing and the war stories are memorable (aside from armor guy). The multiplayer is the same thing it’s always been. So if you like Battlefield and its multiplayer, I strongly recommend playing Battlefield 1.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time.

-Andrew 🙂

Thoughts On: The Turing Test

Thoughts On: The Turing Test

Hi everyone! The Turing Test has been out for two months now. If you were on the fence or never heard about this game, feel free to stick around as I give you my thoughts about this game.

A Pleasant and Thought-Provoking Surprise

Honestly, I didn’t expect much out of The Turing Test. I didn’t even know this game existed. It wasn’t until I saw it appear on the Xbox store and Steam that I thought about picking it up. As I read the description about it, I thought to myself, “Puzzles? Philosophy? Sure I’ll give it a shot.” In a nutshell, The Turing Test is a first-person puzzle game set on Europa as a woman named Ava Turing is sent to deal with something through puzzles only meant to be solved by humans. That’s pretty much all I’m telling about the story.

The first thing that really popped out of the game is the soundtrack. The score by Sam Houghton and Yakobo is a masterpiece in of itself. My favorite track thus far has to be “Crews Quarters.” The solemn piano track that builds up until more instruments come in absolutely gives me chills every time. The soundtrack is available now and is a must-buy.

Next I’ll talk about the meat of The Turing Test, and that is the puzzles itself. Each one is carefully crafted and challenging. The gameplay is reminiscent of the Portal games and Talos Principle. As the game progresses, there will be optional puzzles that can be solve for additional story content and achievements. After solving a room, I immediately felt like I accomplished something. And when that lightbulb lights up in your head on how to actually solve the puzzle is absolutely gratifying.

What really surprised me about the game was its dilemma. There is a moral compass that floats around in the game as the A.I. companion TOM speaks to you about what is happening. He speaks about humans and machines where you actually say, “He’s actually right.” To have a game that walks on a moral gray area where both Ava and TOM are right about both ideals. This game is extremely though-provoking and sheds light on a tough subject. The double meaning of the title “The Turing Test,” is that it involves the real Turing Test (by Alan Turing) and the main character Ava Turing. The real Turing test determines if a machine can behave and solve problems just as good as a human (don’t quote me on this). Whereas the other meaning is of Ava Turing, where this is her test to find out what happened on Europa; because TOM is unable to solve the puzzles.

To wrap up my thoughts, The Turing Test is a sleeper hit for 2016. It’s challenging, thought-provoking, and a great puzzle game. Where the end of the game puts a moral weight on your shoulders. This along with Unravel, hold a place in my heart as personal favorite games of 2016. If you haven’t played this game, I strongly urge you to play it. For only $20, this game is worth the price.

That’s all my thoughts for The Turing Test. If you liked what you read, I have my thoughts on the puzzle game Unravel, music in video games, and my series Road to Publication. Have a good night or good morning and I will talk to you later.

-Andrew 🙂

Thoughts On: Music in Video Games

Thoughts On: Music in Video Games

Beauty to the Ears

Let’s say you just picked up a game, and once you’ve installed it and booted it up. You hear it. The main menu music that stops you in your tracks and you sit there and listen to it. For a long time, video game music usually consisted of synthesizers and other means because of limitations. But now, there could be large orchestras or intimate players that bring about emotion through one thing: music.

For a long time, I have loved video game music. So today, I want to give my thoughts on the music of video games.

Music in video games can draw so many emotions. It can get you excited for the next fight, make you teary eyed when something sad happens, or it can make you a badass soldier saving the universe. There is just so much that music can do.

There is something different about video game music than the average run of the mill music. It’s something I’d never heard of before. And for the most part, I’d consider it art itself. I know this isn’t the most consistent post I’ve put on here, but it’s something that I wanted to talk about. I guess this is just an open letter to the game composers that have impacted my love of video games even further.

So for those composers that have impacted my life, Martin O’Donnell, Gareth Coker, Jonathan Morali, Frida Johansson, Henrik Oja, Jeremy Soule, Inon Zur, Kazuma Jinnouchi, and Petri Alanko, thank you for your hardwork for making the music for my favorite video games of all time.

-Andrew 🙂

Thoughts On: Unravel

Thoughts On: Unravel

Unravel Into Beauty

Good evening! So today I thought I’d give my thoughts on the game Unravel by Coldwood Studios.

So in case you don’t know, Unravel is a platforming game made by Coldwood Studios and published by EA (yes, that sounds bad, but keep reading). The story focuses on a little red devil made of yarn named Yarny. And his goal is to reconnect loved ones and family together through old pictures in an album. There is something strange with games released in the first quarter of the year. Because this is my favorite game of the year.

Starting off with the gameplay, it is challenging as it is enjoyable. Yarny starts his adventures in a house, and ventures out into the world through pictures scattered throughout. Each chapter is varied and comes with its own challenges. In one chapter, Yarny has to navigate his way through a beautifully rendered Swedish country-side, and in another he has to carefully venture his way through a radioactive infested dump. The biggest challenge is to make sure that Yarny has enough yarn to make it through to the end of the chapter with out unraveling or dying. And in that challenge, there are many different obstacles that stand in your way, like a ravenous gopher or the swarm of crows trying to take Yarny away.

Next off is the graphics. Unravel is by far the most beautiful game I have ever seen. All the enviroments are beautifully detailed and photo realistic views of Sweden. There is just so much detail put into all the enviroments and you could stand up to the TV, and count the individual blades of grass. Everything about the graphics and the visuals is absolutely beautiful.

If you didn’t read any of the top, the bottom is what you need to read.

What I love most about Unravel, is the story. The main focus is about Yarny reconnecting loved ones together through a photo album and little patches of art made of yarn. In the ensuing chapters, you will come across random echoes of memory. That will form a picture of various things, ranging from friends playing in the grass, to a family hiking near a lake. Most of the memories are happy and cheerful. But they can also be saddening. Yarny ventures throughout life. Finding the things that make us smile or frown. And it is Yarny’s ambition to love and adventure that brings back the tidings of a family. I remember fondly, of a memory echo of a little girl sitting on a tree branch with a smile on her face. It’s those little memories and snippits of life that we cling onto as life continues. As the memory went away, I had a tearful eye and a smile on my face, as I continued playing.

Something else that should be comended for, is the music. Just like the graphics, the music is a beautiful as it is calming. To this day, I listen to the music as I do my homework and when I write my novel. It is that good. The calming guitar strums and soothing music makes me just close my eyes and picture the beautiful scenery of Sweden. If the soundtrack was released on iTunes, I would buy it in a heartbeat. The music greatly reflects what is happening on the screen and makes the emotional scenes even more emotional.

So to wrap things up, Unravel is a heartwarming, challenging, and beautiful game that I had the most pleasure of playing. I will absolutely keep this game and Yarny close to my heat. If you own a PC, Xbox One, or PS4, I strongly encourage you to pick up this game. If you were to play just one game in your life, it has to be Unravel. This is the definition of art in a video game form.