Red Bull’s 2015 Starcraft 2 BattleGrounds Grand Finals

Standard

2013, New York City. That is the last time, MC placed in a BattleGrounds tournament.

2014, Atlanta. This was Huk’s last time placing in BattleGrounds.

2015, Washington DC. This was the year that both MC and Huk would be crowned the champions of Red Bull’s BattleGrounds. Yes, you read that correctly, CHAMPIONS. This year’s RBBG was 2v2 in the new Legacy of the Void expansion, also known as Archon Mode. A game mode that pits, two teams of two players each controlling one army together in an attempt to dominate their enemy’s army.

21382551978_6c81f52fe9_o

MC and Huk vs. Bomber and MMA in the Grand Finals

And domination is actually what Huk and MC did this past weekend at BattleGrounds, only dropping a total of two out of 11 games.With those two games being in the first and last series against MMA and the returning champion, Bomber. Went into the event with the hopes that Bomber would take the win home again but after seeing how well Huk and MC were performing… I felt it in my body and soul, that they would be the victors of the 2015 Red Bull BattleGrounds.

red-bulls-2015-starcraft-2-battlegrounds-finals---archon-mode_21382574048_o

MC and Huk after winning 3-1 in the Grand Finals against Bomber and MMA.

It was great day, full of exciting action packed Starcraft 2 and a little bit of trash talking. Once again, congratulations to Huk and MC on becoming this year’s Red Bull BattleGrounds Archon champions. See you all again next year for more Starcraft from the nation’s capital!

Advertisements

DC Lan 15 @ Monster PC LAN Center

Standard

Yesterday, I attended my first DC Lan, though it was very small, it was fun, meet some great people and got some decent photos. I didn’t compete because I am ass at StarCraft 2 but after attending Red Bull BattleGrounds back in Sept and attending DC Lan 15, I definitely want to learn the art of StarCraft. After seeing the passion, hardwork, and the time that people put in to become good SC2 players, never ceases to amaze me.

DSCN0641

 

‘MyGrain’ during his second match against ‘EndOfLine’

 

Speaking of amazment, MyGrain of PSISTORM Gaming played amazingly well to win the whole LAN, with EndOfLine placing second and LuckyFool placing in third. Congratulations, you three!

DSCN0675

3 Winners of DC LAN – Left to Right: ‘EndOfLine’, ‘MyGrain’, ‘LuckyFool’

 

We also need to give a big shoutout to TheRealNanMan for casting the event. His casting and knowledge on the game was phenomenal.If you have yet to see this man cast head over to his youtube channel RIGHT NOW! He is also the host of StarCraft 2 Up & Coming podcast, so make sure check that as well.

DSCN0545

 

TheRealNanMan getting his shoutcast on.

Attending this LAN has shown me that I need to attend as many events and talk to has many people as possible. I love the energy and passion that each player and spectator shows at these events.Anyway this was just a small article to help me get back in my blogging, but I will definitely be blogging more as I attend events so watch for that. Below are more photos of DC LAN 15 and links:

DSCN0615 DSCN0572   DSCN0672    DSCN0645 DSCN0570 DSCN0568 DSCN0554  DSCN0544 DSCN0539    DSCN0670 DSCN0669  DSCN0637  DSCN0628 DSCN0623 DSCN0605 DSCN0603 DSCN0598 DSCN0573

 

[No Editing done on photos]

 

Links:

 

TheRealNanMan Twitter

TheRealNanMan Youtube

TheRealNanMan Twitch

PSISTORM Gaming

Monster PC LAN Center

Also huge for big thanks to those donated to the prize pool!

Assassin’s Creed Unity Review

Standard

As an avid fan Assassin’s Creed, I must say I am highly disappointed with Assassin’s Creed Unity. There are so many new elements and features, some that could have made the game great, if they worked and others that just kept the game from being great. Now don’t get me wrong,  Unity has a beautiful love-revenge story and great mechanic concepts but  there are too many broken elements. A lot of the issues that occur are blatantly obvious and occur repeatedly, it’s shocking how many of these of these problems made it through the QA testing. Before I get into the detailed ugliness of the game, let’s talk about the good.

Unity tells an amazing tale of revenge while at the same time telling a beautiful love story between Arno Dorian and Elise De La Serre. The story starts with a young Arno losing his father and being adopted by Francois De La Serre, Elise’s father. The game then jumps to the early stages of Arno’s adulthood, where he finds himself framed for a murder of a very important person and then thrown in jail for 2 months. During these two months, Arno is trained by an assassin, Pierre Bellec, who offers Arno an opportunity to join the assassin brotherhood. Arno accepts his offer with the intent of avenging his deceased friend and clearing his name. While on his journey to avenge his friend and clear his name, Arno uncovers a much larger templar plot behind the murder of his friend. Although Arno knows the templar’s plot is are bigger than him, he uses what he has learned  about the templar’s plan to his advantage to further his manhunt. Even while Arno is hunting down templars , he is trying protect and maintain his relationship with Elise. Honestly, the story of Arno doesn’t feel like it has much to do with him embracing the creed but more of the creed conflicting with his own personal morals.

Unity is a beautiful game but does have many visual issues. The recreation of the late 1700s Paris is remarkably vast and decently appealing.  The environment is vast with plenty of shanty homes, mansions, and catacombs to explore.  The environmental NPCs are beautiful but very repetitive , making loses their appeal after a few encounters with them. I am still in awe by the number of NPCs that manage to operate in one area at the same, even though this is amazing to see, it does come with major downfalls.  The biggest issue was the occasional frame rate drop but this doesn’t only occur when there a large number of NPCs on the screen, it occurs randomly.  So the player could be scaling a building or in a sword fight and the frames could drop, interesting enough the frame rates never dropped during any cutscenes. The cutscenes were done well enough to hold my attention, but the present day cutscenes bored me and didn’t add much to the story but nonetheless, they were still done well. The game also has an issue with spawning NPCs. NPCs randomly spawn around the player, this can be frustrating when running from guards because sometimes the AI doesn’t move once it spawns, it just freezes.  Aside from that those visuals issues, the game is beauty to watch when the frames aren’t dropping. Others will probably say that the visuals are ass and it should have been at 60 fps but honestly there is nothing with the way this game looks but the general picky fucking public will state otherwise.

Escaping guards through underground pathways, fighting Patriots in the kitchen of a random civilian’s home, and most importantly having the ability to crouch made it feel I like was playing something other than Assassin’s Creed. Unity has so many features, that would be amazing… if they fucking worked. The new  free- run mechanics are a big improvement, compared to the previous games but it’s still clunky. Thankfully the movement doesn’t feel as heavy when scaling a building but it is still frustrating when the character doesn’t climb through a window, that’s directly above or jumps off the building entirely . Yes, it’s faster to get down or over obstacles by I’d much rather have control of the character then to move faster. This has also caused me to miss climbable obstacles, which breaks flow of the game and I can’t have random s%^t breaking my assassination flow, nah I mean? The stealth mechanic works surprisingly well and is enjoyable to use when assassinating from behind a corner. This was a mechanic that was much needed from the start of the series but its better late than never. The economics system in Unity is really focused on to the multiplayer missions and the Ubisoft estore. The multiplayer missions can be done alone, though some are more difficult than others, they are a great source for income and fun to do with friends. The estore on the other hand….. isn’t appealing at all. Even though Assassin’s Creed has never been about grinding to get money, adding the estore makes it feel that way. I’ve already purchased the game, I don’t want to spend more money on in-game credits for items that should be easily accessible. I know they want me to buy the season pass but I can’t buy the season if I spend all my money trying to purchase the improved armors and weapons.

The treasure chest aren’t as useful as they were before because so much is required to open a large number of them. White chest can be open with no requirements, Red chest must be open through picklocks, Gold chest require a certain Assassin’s Creed Initiates level, and Blue chest require the Assassin’s Creed companion app. Having to picklock chests isn’t the annoying  part, its having to go outside of the game’s world to be able to open something in the game’s world. Many of the gold chest are still unavailable because completing objectives in Unity don’t count toward your Initiates level… yet. Ubisoft, please explain to me, why you would add this feature if it wasn’t ready? Then we have the Nomad (blue) chest, first you must download the Assassin’s Creed Unity which no one wants to do cause it’s just another app that they are going to forget about after thirty days. Once you have the app, you’re given little to instructions on how to unlock outfits and chest. After about ten minutes of trying to figure out how to unlock the Altair’s outfit, I said fuk it and uninstalled the app, it was not worth the confusion and frustration. Honestly, the best way to earn money seems to be through multiplayer missions with friends.

The multiplayer is very different from what it has been in the past games, no more cat and mouse game types. The multiplayer has a variety of missions ranging from heist to assassination missions. Yes, that’s right Unity got heist before GTA, suck it nerds!!! Okay, sorry about that back to the review. Players can complete missions using two styles of combat, stealth or run & stab (equivalent to run and gun.) Sticking to the roots of a true assassin and using stealth during co-op missions can be quite difficult , partly because of the number of enemies you have to deal with but mainly because of the lag. The lag can cause players to see other players assassinate the same target as them, it also delays interactions with objectives. The worst part of the lag is that players can die from invisible bullets and swords, causing players to waste medicine and have to purchase more with the little to  no money they have. Aside from the lag, the multiplayer is extremely entertaining and at times really amusing. The variety of missions are decent at the moment, but hope to see more missions added later. If they do add more multiplayer missions it will probably be DLC so it would probably be beneficial to get the season pass but we have to wait and see. The classic cat and mouse matches would also be great DLC content to the season pass. The multiplayer needs a bit of work to fix the lag and AI issues but even with these bugs the multiplayer is still enjoyable, even though the flow of the game may be broken, you can’t help but to laugh at it.

Overall, Unity is a good game that is a disappointment because it could have been great if the simple things could have been fixed. Anro’s assassin storyline is well done but it lacked emotions, his love story on the other hand… I need more of that shit. His love story was the emotion I was looking for in the game and it would be exciting to see some DLC to learn more about Arno and Elise. The visuals, aside from the bugs, are beautiful and very subtle. Many will be displeased with the visuals but honestly… they aren’t bad at all. So STOP FUKING COMPLAINING! The movement mechanics still need improvement because the added mechanics didn’t really fix the movement issues from the previous installments. A majority of the new features are buggy or add no overall value to the game. Honestly we could have done without Estore, but what do I know? I’m just a consumer… Kappa. It’s good to finally see co-op multiplayer instead of the cat & mouse games  that AC fans are used too. The multiplayer is excellent fun and it’s so dope to watch enemies to taken down by allies who are stalking them from above. It would also be nice to see some more multiplayer missions added later down the line but for now, we wait and see. Unity isn’t a must buy of the Assassin’s Creed series but I would recommend Unity to newcomers of the Assassin’s Creed series or to those four friends who need something new to play together so they can take a break from playing Left 4 Dead. Every game can’t be a hit but this isn’t the Ubisoft we know, they’re better than this, so show us that you care.

Chaos City Reborn, Happy 10th Birthday San Andreas!

Standard

After 10 years, Grove St. is back and looking better than ever… or so you would think. Rockstar has re-released an HD version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for the Xbox 360, honor of the game’s 10th year anniversary. With the re-release comes 720p resolution, enhance draw distance, and 33 achievements to unlock at the price point of $3.74, which is a awesome price for such a great lengthy game. This deal is great for avid GTA fans and for new GTA fans who have yet to experience the original Los Santos.

*Note: $3.74 may be temporary price for 10th anniversary.

The story has not been altered, so we are delivered the same phenomenal story exactly how it was  told 10 years ago. Carl ‘CJ’ Johnson makes his return to Los Santos after a death occurs in the family. Upon his return, he is instantly thrown back into his old life of gang violence and dealing with crooked cops.  Getting involved with these criminals again, puts CJ into some dangerous and ridiculous situations across Los Santos, San Fierro, Las Venturas,  the open country wilderness, and everything in between. Players will spend many hours getting lost and side tracked by the large cities, just as they did ten years ago.  Though the gameplay and story have not changed, there were supposed to be updated visuals graphics.

images

                The biggest issues with this “re-mastered” version of San Andreas are the visuals. During my time with game, I encountered character and  building models fading in and out as well becoming see through. Though the object was faded or had disappeared, the object(s) walls were still in place, making the have invisible walls. When this model glitch occurred it would usually cause a mirrored reflection of the game at the top of the screen.  The only way I was able to solve this issue was by go to the dashboard and restarting the game. This never occurred during the cutscenes  only during actual gameplay, but cutscenes did have their own issues. Cutscene audio would occasionally cut out, it would randomly and didn’t even occur constantly. There were a number of times when I the audio would cut out but if I replayed the scene the second time around the audio was fine.

Another visual was with character model lighting and disfiguration, these minor visual bugs didn’t affect gameplay but definitely stood out during cutscenes and character close ups. During cutscenes with certain characters, their neck would be a lighter skin tone than their face or the rest of their body. This bug also would cause some of the character’s necks to look stretched and disfigured. This disfigured effect would also occur to CJ’s torso in cutscenes or when he is changing clothes. These are two of the smaller visuals bugs that will occur doing play time.

San_andreas_4

                Many have claimed that this “re-mastered” San Andreas is just a port of the mobile iOS, and I can see this being more than true. With the visual bugs and the menu/map selection layout, it is easy to see how this would just be a port of the mobile version. This isn’t a bad thing but makes the game feel a bit weird and clunky. Overall, the game is still enjoyable, ridiculous, and wild as it was ten years ago. If you can tolerate the visual bugs, this without a doubt you grab this game while it’s still on sale. But if you know the visual bugs will be a massive issue then I recommend purchasing the original xbox copy and playing without the achievements. Though San Andreas was extremely controversial at its time, that didn’t change how great the game was and still is today. Every busta needs to experience the original chaos of Los Santos , its characters and its surrounding cities.

Evolve Alpha/Preview

Standard

FOUR VERSUS ONE, HOLY F#%KING SHIT! Only time(s) I have experienced this much fun and chaos is when I play Super Smash Brothers, and honestly I didn’t think the game would be as fun as it is. For those of you who don’t know, Evolve is a game that pits four players against an evolving monster, hence the damn name of the game. Any who, the team of four players play as four different classes which are The Trapper, The Medic, The Support, and The Assault whose objective is to kill the monster. Then you have the monster player who must either kill the hunters or destroy the objective to win the match. The game is easy to learn but it does take teamwork, no one man can do it alone… Well except for the monster.

Each match starts with a four man team dropping into the map in search of the monster. The four man team has one of each hunter class. The trapper’s job is to TRAP the monster in a temporary   arena, forcing the monster to either fight or hide from the hunters until the arena expires. The trapper also has harpoon traps which will hold the monster in place when it gets too close. The trapper has a companion named Daisy who will track the monster, she will also revive any down allies. The trapper class is a great supporting class that helps the team find and temporarily contain the monster. Basically the trapper’s job is to trap, if you can’t figure that out then…go back to playing Call of Duty ples.

The medic class could be considered the most important class because of how useful it is. The medic’s main focus is to heal and revive their teammates but the medic can also help damage the monster, as well as contain it. The Medic’s primary weapon is a sniper which marks the monster with areas for teammates to target to cause more damage. The medic’s secondary weapon is a tranquilizer gun which causes the monster to be slowed, it also highlights the monster with a yellow outline for a short period of time. When it comes to staying to alive and working as a team, you want to keep your medic alive because they will be providing more support than you think.

Next, we have the assault class. Just like the rest of the classes, this one is self-explanatory as well. The main job of the assault hunter is too put out as much damage as possible. Whether it be to the monster or to the environment hazards. I didn’t get to much of the assault class, it seemed to always be taken except in when one match when all my teammates quit on me. Even then I only got to play assault for  no more than 12 seconds before people rejoined the and I was revert backed to my original class. The assault hunter that I did get to play had a an electric rifle which shot a flow of electricity causing a decent amount of damage to targets. The assault class also has mine trap, lightening gun which will shock enemies, and a defensive shield, those three abilities I didn’t get to try out. If I can get into the beta I will give more detail on the assault class, but as for now that’s all you get… so piss off!

Last and doing the least is, the support class. The support class doesn’t feel like a support, he feel like an extra body with a gun. The support’s primary weapon is a mini gun, sounds hardcore right? Well when you see the little amount of damage that you do, you’ll wish it was more hardcore than it sounds. The support also has a cloaking ability which he can either make himself go invisible or one of his teammates. This ability isn’t that useful unless someone is trying to escape because if they shoot or take damage, it breaks the cloak. If the medic is healing someone the heal  trail would be giving away the teammate’s position, making the cloak pointless for dying teammates. The next ability the support has is the mortar drop. The mortar drop is useful (on certain maps) when the monster is trying to destroy your relay point. Unless your timing is always on point or the monster is stationary then more than likely you’re going to miss your target. The last ability that the support class has is a shield. The shield is more than likely the most useful ability that the support has, so the support could shield the medic while healing the assault or  trapper. Uhmm, I guess… the support is useful aside from the cloak, well then I guess that makes me liar.

Thus far there have only been two monsters announced, The Goliath and The Kraken. I did not unlock the Kraken in the alpha so I will not be speaking on Kraken gameplay. But I did get to play the badass Goliath. Just like the hunters, the Goliath has four skills; fire breath, rock throw, a charge, and a leap smash. These skills are useful no matter what play style the player has. I’m an AOE kind of guy, so I make sure I max fire breath, that way if any hunters get too close they know they’re going to get fuked up! Overall though the Goliath’s skill set is put together quite well, the skills are great whether you’re trying to evade the hunters or planning to strike. The evolution aspect of the monster is also enjoyable because it adds a rush of adrenaline to the matches. While you’re trying to evade the hunters, you’re also trying to level up and become stronk enough to kill the hunters or destroy their power relay.  I can guarantee  that if the evolution feature was not in the game, it would get really fuking boring, really fuking quick.  Evolving does take some time, so even if you’ve put your evolution points into a skill, you may still be required to wait a short time for the evolution to finish. Other than that, the monster is very enjoyable to play and as well has easy to learn. Don’t worry, if you thought being the 1 of 4 v 1 would be difficult, it is but this doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance to win. No matter if you’re the 4 or 1, you have an equal chance of winning.

The gameplay of Evolve is solid as hell. During my play time, I didn’t encounter many in-game issues, it seemed flawless.  The key bindings are well placed, making it so that I never to stretch my fingers to press a key. Though I wish the game was flawless, it wasn’t. The sprint mechanic stuck out a as problem. When I wasn’t holding the shift key to sprint, the hunter would perform a little job but the moment  I held the sprint key this son of a bish, kept jogging.  This actually caused me to die a few times. Yes, I know I’m not going to be able outrun the monster but I would love to feel as if I’m actually running, not jogging. The mechanics of each hunter and monster fit perfectly with any play style. Other than that, I will need to play more to find bugs or unbalanced mechanics.

Overall, my Evolve alpha experience was magnificent,  Not to say it was that way for everyone because an alpha experience is different for every player. The only issue that I had during the game, was in some of the  game lobbies. The game every player would load and would it wouldn’t allow us to ready up. This could have been during the stress testing but none the less it was an issue that caused me to be unable to play the game. Aside from connectivity issues, the graphics are pleasing and the gameplay is enjoyable enough to keep me coming back. I will definitely be purchasing Evolve on February 15th as should you, this game will be the new favorite co-op multiplayer to play with your friends. See you in the hunt!

Sunset Overdrive Pre-Game

Standard

I will be purchasing the Sunset Overdrive bundle this Saturday, which comes with a white Xbone and a copy of Insomniac’s Sunset Overdrive. I have not played an Insomniac game since Spyro the Dragon back on the Playstation one, I’m not exactly sure what to expect from Sunset. Insomniac has some of the most outrageous games on the market but when I played Spyro it didn’t seem to outrageous aside from a talking purple dragon. Then again I was like six years old when I played Spyro, I probably missed or didn’t understand the craziness of the game. Now that I am older hopefully I will be able to understand the chaotic minds of Insomniac.

Sunset Overdrive appealed  to me because of its bright lively colors because that have not been many, if any games lately with so many bright fucking colors. The game reminds me of Future Jet Set Radio, now just because it looks like FJSR doesn’t mean it will play like it. Yes, both games focus on being stylish and using the environment to from point A to point B. These games are always filled with massive amounts of fun and a great way to waste time. That’s kind of what I’m hoping for with Sunset, I want to be so immersed  into the game that I spend hour on in killing OD. Sunset could definitely be the game that rekindles my love for console games.

The gameplay looks solid and even with so much going on around the player, it doesn’t seem to mess up the smoothness and flow of the gameplay. I don’t see the story being very strong and holding my attention very long, so I am relying on the gameplay and mechanics to keep me in engulfed. If the story turns out to be interesting ,that’s even better but I don’t see Sunset being a compelling story but rather a comedic one.  Even a comedic story should be able to get keep me locked in for a while. Is it possible for Sunset to a game with so many fun aspects but  also have at least a decently appealing story? That question will be on Saturday, at least it will be for me.

The colors, the craziness, and the gameplay, seems like the perfect combination I need for my first game on Xbone. I don’t see Sunset Overdrive being a letdown on any scale, from the gameplay that was released after E3 2014 until its release date, have all seemed to be solid and entertaining. Saturday will be the last day people see me, because I will be locked in my room with a Xbox One controller glued to my hands. If granted I will do a Sunset Overdrive review for those of you wondering if it is worth the purchase or not. Wish me luck and hopefully I Sunset doesn’t burn my eyes out with colorful madness.