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Showing posts from 2016

Final Fantasy XV Review

This is a game I never planned on buying.

I saw it being demoed at E3 a few times. The more recent demos they had were a bit glitchy, and the premise wasn't too clear. I only tried that one demo they had, the Platinum demo, and it completely turned me off on buying this game. 
I've been burned before by Final Fantasy. Full disclosure, Final Fantasy VI and VII are some of my favorite games of-all-time. From that point onwards, the series has been having a steep decline in terms of relevance. At some point the games just become way too Japanese in their strangeness and it can be hard to relate with a few of the later titles.
Yeah, I even gave Final Fantasy XIII a shot. I never finished it because it just didn't pull me in. At that point, I realized that maybe Final Fantasy can never realize its past glory. It just didn't have that shot of inspiration which the older Final Fantasy games had. The series was just behind in terms of technology, storytelling and gameplay when…

Titanfall 2 Review

"Press LB to time travel".

I'll never forget seeing that on my screen the first time. I was half expecting the usual FPS level (abandoned science lab....search for ancient artifact...). But I didn't see enough previews of Titanfall 2 to even expect THAT from the game when i was playing it.

Titanfall 2. Where to begin. I don't really have a great relationship with this particular game in the beginning. The developers of the game, Respawn Entertainment, had conducted a 'tech test' a few months back. While I enjoyed the first game, Titanfall 1....trying out the tech test had given me immense doubts on whether the developers understand what made the first game so good.

A few days after T2 got released, there was a lot of buzz on the internet about its campaign and its multiplayer mode. Initially I brushed these off as the usual paid shills on the internet doing marketing for the game....but eventually the opportunity arose to try it again, and I don't reg…

Forza Horizon 3 Review

As a father of two who has to balance spending time with the family and also occasionally gaming, Forza Horizon 3 really fits the bill by respecting your time, letting you enjoy its various systems at your own pace. You can customize various aspects of your experience such as the driving difficulty, AI difficulty, etc, so you will have an experience that fits your skill level.

There's also a lot of diversity in the environments. The game features Australia, which has a wide variety of locales like beaches, deserts and rainforests. It almost feels like an old Sega arcade racing game at times with all the amazing scenery you'd be whizzing past in whichever fantastic sports car you can pick from over 350 in the available stable. 
Eventually you will complete the game but even the ending acknowledges that there's really no end to it....the game is meant to be enjoyed just like that. Feel like a quick race or two? Fire it up and just spend 30 minutes or so on a leisurely drive,…

Gears of War 4: Review

Hard to write a new review when busy with work. Nonetheless I'll be reviewing this game and Forza Horizon 3 at a later time. For now here's what i thought about Gears 4 after completing it within 3 days (a few hours a day so i think that adds up to about 10-15 hours of campaign play and a few hours of versus mode play).

I'm reviewing it without having played Horde yet. Yep, it's hard to find time to play games when you got a job and two kids!

Here we go:

For the campaign the one thing that stood out for me was the AI. I was playing the game at HARDCORE difficulty, and the AI was doing some interesting tactics where they'll rush at you, they'll grab you from cover if you're nearby, they'll flush you out with grenades and more. Interestingly enough the AI of your squadmates is also pretty good and they'll do their best to help you when you're down.

There was one act in the game with a major boss fight where I took a few tries to beat the level. It…

The Replay: Halo - Reach (via Xbox One Backward Compatibility)

So there I was, staring in awe at the latest footage for Call of Duty Infinite Warfare out of E3. In the scene they had, the player would ride a spacecraft, fight through waves of enemies and capital ships, and eventually board one, switching from fighter ship controls to first person shooter in just a few steps.

When I was watching this, I thought it was an innovative scene and something that I haven't experienced before....so it seemed interesting to me.

Then a few weeks after Activision had shown COD:IW, I had installed Halo Reach on my Xbox One. I had finished this game years back and already forgot about most of its campaign missions.

Then I arrive at one mission in the game which was about the same in concept as what COD:IW had shown at E3 2016. Of course, Activision's version was newer and shinier, but Bungie had already pulled off something similar years back, with hardware running on 512MB of RAM (now tiny by today's standards).

Replaying Halo Reach, I realized th…

My Prediction for What's Coming for Xbox One This Year

There's lots of talk about the announcements Microsoft made a few weeks back. Summing these up:

1) Essentially their goal is to make every Xbox One exclusive a Windows 10 exclusive also.

2) The Xbox One will eventually be an 'upgradable' console.

My reaction to #1 - It's a damn shame that Microsoft doesn't want to sell its Xbox One console as hard as it should be. As an international user, the marketing is pretty abysmal for Xbox One, particularly here in the Philippines which is now pretty much Playstation dominated. Dropping exclusive games for Xbox One is great news for PC users, but it really doesn't encourage Xbox One gamers to keep their machines.

I mean, you already get a lot of pressure from outlets like Digital Foundry saying the Xbox One is inferior to the PS4 (even if, to be honest, the difference in performance is so small to even be worthy of discussion). This does not help sell the console at all, and is just a strange move from MS. The only reaso…

Street Fighter 5 - REALLY disappointing, but let's try to salvage it a bit (for single-player warriors)

Tip for people who bought the horrifically disappointing Street Fighter 5.

1) Go to Training Mode
2) Pick the character you want to get good as.
3) Pick an unfamiliar opponent, like Nash or something.
4) Make sure your network settings are set to find a ranked match or casual match.
5) Now when training mode starts, pause the game. Look for the menu page where you set the gauges (the V Trigger, EX meter, life bar, etc). Set all these to NORMAL.
6) Look for the menu page where you set the Player 2 behavior. Set it to CPU, and set the AI level to 8.

For some reason, the AI of the game at level 8 is incredible. It's loads better than Ultra SF's and is a good way to see some strategies usually employed by human players. I'm no super fighting game player, but i think its good enough, at least, for an average fighter to enjoy, since there's no arcade mode at all.

1) You can get 'knocked out', then the training mode resets the match (without reloading the entire game …

Is Microsoft destroying the XBOX One by sending its exclusive games to Windows PC?

First and foremost we all know that Microsoft is a software company.  For the past few years, its primary bread and butter, Windows has lagged.  The world began to shift towards mobile devices and began to leave the PC behind.   They can bank on corporate solutions but even that isn't enough to keep them relevant in the minds of regular consumers.  What is relevant now to regular folks (not really the MIS team in your office) are Google and Apple.  Microsoft is beginning to be a thing of the past...
The truth of that matter was that the fault lay squarely on Microsoft's shoulders.  Before Google or Apple, MS had already dabbled into mobile and consumer devices.   While Redmond had a vision for the future, it is unfortunate that the rest of Microsoft (it's regional offices and whatnot) resisted the consumer centric platform and focus more on corporate sales. 
No demand, they say. 
Too small of the market, they say. 
Not worth the effort to talk to an individual and get …