Oct 14, 2017

Not Enough Resources: Episode 18 – Dark Souls and Cuphead, too many Loot Boxes, League of Legends Worlds

Hold on to your hype, it is time for the latest episode of Not Enough Resources!

Now Playing:
Dylan dives into some Playstation 4 games for the first time, and is immediately captivated by Dark Souls. On the opposite side of the brutal spectrum, Ryan explores the side scrolling goodness of Cuphead. Should games be this difficult?

Loot boxes have dominated the past few weeks of gaming news, thanks to big changes to Forza Motorsport 7 VIP pass, the ending being locked behind randomly generated Orc’s in Shadow of War, and abilities being tied to loot crates in Star Wars Battlefront II. What separates these games from purely cosmetic loot boxes like Overwatch? Does their inclusion in multiplayer heavy games like Battlefront II create an imbalanced multiplayer ecosystem like Ryan feared after playing the Battlefront II Beta?

Competitive Corner:
Dylan examines the history of the NA Curse following the lackluster debut of North American teams in the League of Legends Worlds Circuit. So far, the curse seems to be real. Ryan takes a look at some quantitative data from OmnicMeta and compares it to his own experiences in Competitive Overwatch to determine if Mercy is here to stay as a must pick for teams of all levels.

Follow us on Twitter @NERPodcast! You can subscribe to Not Enough Resources on iTunes or Google Play.

Oct 10, 2017

Star Wars Episode VIII The Last Jedi Trailer

Last night Disney debuted the new trailer for Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi.
This trailer looks to have all of the staples of the Star Wars Saga, with giant action pieces from starships to lightsaber battles and more. This will be the third Star Wars film released since Disney purchased Lucasfilm, following last year’s anthology film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is a return to the numbered films of the franchise, picking up where Star Wars: The Force Awakens left off. While most of the film focuses on Rey and her relationship with Luke, there is quite a bit to digest here from characters both new and old. Personally I am excited to see Captain Phasma and Finn meet each other in combat, as the tension between the two characters could be cut with a knife in The Force Awakens.

Given the ominous title of the movie, coupled with the above trailer, it seems that The Last Jedi is going to be much darker and dramatic in tone than The Force Awakens. It is nice to finally see Luke Skywalker back in action, but I wonder if he will end up dying only to be reborn as a Force Ghost. When Disney purchased Lucasfilm, they made the (wise) decision to purge the universe of all expanded canon, so it is unknown if the Grey Jedis, force wielders who walk the path between the traditional Jedi and the terrifying Sith, are even a thing anymore. I sincerely hope that the Greys will become canon under the tutelage of Rey. Regardless of the twists and turns that The Last Jedi is sure to take us on, December cannot get here soon enough.

The full theatrical poster was also revealed.
Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi releases world wide on December 15th. Tickets are on sale now.

This post originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.

Oct 9, 2017

Heroes Hype Schedule for this Week!

Star Wars Battlefront II – Beta Impressions

While Star Wars Battlefront II doesn’t release until November 17th, about a month before The Last Jedi is unleashed in theaters, this week EA held an open beta for players to get a taste of the multiplayer experience.

To start, the beta opened with a lengthy video narrated by John Boyega (who plays Finn) explaining how much content is included with Battlefront II. Compared to the thin offerings of Battlefront, released in 2015, it’s a lot. By far, the biggest addition that is driving the hype train is that Battlefront II will span across all three eras of Star Wars. Players step into the shoes of the Rebellion and Empire from Episodes IV – VI, the Resistance and First Order from Episodes VII-IX, and the Clone and Separatist armies from Episodes I – III.
These differences in army composition are purely aesthetic, with players picking between four classes, regardless of what side they are on. Assault Troopers have abilities that mirror a typical first person shooter experience, with Thermal Detonators replacing Frag Grenades. Heavy Troopers use laser miniguns and have a small personal shield to protect them. Officers carry deployable turrets and can buff nearby units, and the Specialists Trooper brings the Sniping experience to a galaxy far, far away.
As players complete various minor objectives throughout their matches, like playing as a team, killing opponents, or defending an objective, they start building a small cache of Command points. When a player respawns, if they have enough Command points, they can come back as powerful units like Rocket Troopers, spawn vehicles like the Naboo Starfighter, or even play as powerful heroes like Darth Maul and Rey. Like any good power-up, these temporary buffs are a great way to tip the scales if your team is in a tough spot. In the hands of a good player who rarely dies, they do make the game feel a bit unfair.

The beta only had four modes to try: Galactic Assault, Starfighter Assault, Strike Team and an Arcade mode. I found myself spending most of my time in the Galactic Assault mode, which is a giant 20v20 experience on consoles. The only map available during the beta was an assault on Theed, in which one team would spawn as Clone Troopers, trying to prevent Battle Droids from taking over Naboo Palace. This mode is fast and hectic. The first phase of the three-phase map incorporates everything from Troopers on the ground, to tanks and gunships in the air. This is the biggest and best experience Battlefront II has to offer.
Starfighter Assault is a purely space battle 12v12 mode, where players get to fly around as A-Wings, TIE Fighters and more. This mode shows a lot of promise, but the difficulty in controlling the fighters means it will have an incredibly high skill ceiling. The only map in the beta focused on the rebel assault of a Star Destroyer facility orbiting a planet. While it was cool getting to fly inside this massive superstructure, I hope the full game brings more classic Starfighter experiences, like assaulting the Death Star or dog fighting in an asteroid field.

Strike Team was the most basic experience in the beta, with players fighting over an artifact in Maz Kanata’s cantina on Takodana. The First Order is trying to steal the artifact, while the Resistance is aiming to keep it away from them. This mode is the most streamlined, but because of that, the least inspiring. Command Points can only be used on Rocket Troopers or Wookies, leaving the hero characters out of this mode completely. Aside from lasers flying everywhere, this mode could be dropped into Battlefield or Call of Duty without much fuss.

One of the biggest issues with Battlefront II stems directly from how the game is designed, though. Powerful abilities are locked behind loot boxes and a complicated crafting system. Passive Bonuses such as recovering health from melee kills and remaining invisible from radar are not for everyone to unlock, but left up to the roll of the dice. Further complicating matters, each ability locked behind a loot chest has one of four grades, with the highest grade version of that ability having stronger effects. There are some cosmetics thrown into the mix, but this power creep inside a chance box will most likely lead to balance problems for players not purchasing the game on release day.

While some betas are used for strictly balance options, this beta felt more like a strict server test than anything else. Some of my matches completely disappeared from my career panel, but my level gain remained. These errors should be easy to fix in the month before the full release, and the full game will also boast more modes and way more maps, not to mention a robust in-canon campaign mode following Empire Special Forces leader Iden Versio. On top of all of that, there will not be any paid DLC to further segment player bases, so expect Battlefront II to stay around for a long while.

Star Wars Battlefront II releases on November 17th for Xbox One, Playstation 4 and PC. If you pre-order the game between now and then you will receive Episode VIII skins for Kylo Ren and Rey.

This post originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.

Sep 30, 2017

Not Enough Resources: Episode 17 - Dungeon Fighter Online, Fortnite - Battle Royal, Assassin's Creed Origins, Toxicity in Overwatch

Hold on to your hype! It is time for the latest episode of Not Enough Resources!

Now Playing:
Dylan is loving the South Korean MMO Dungeon Fighter Online, a side scrolling beat-em-up in the vein of Battletoads and Final Fight but with way more classes. Ryan dives deep into Rise of the Tomb Raider. The puzzles are great, the combat is fun, but there is no way Lara isn't dying of hypothermia.

Is Fortnite - Battle Royal too much of a knock off of Playerunknown's Battleground? Or is this just a new subgenre being formed? Assassin's Creed Origin's DLC will include what is being called Discovery Tour, which both Dylan and Ryan love the idea of. More time for slower game experiences just gives you more time to appreciate the art of the game.

Competitive Corner:
Dylan is losing lots of sleep watching the League of Legends Worlds in China, but there are a lot of teams competing that normally don't get featured. Meanwhile, toxicity is holding back features from being developed by Blizzard, so much so that Jeff Kaplan had to issue a statement to the greater Overwatch community.

As always, be kind to your fellow gamers.

Follow us on Twitter @NERPodcast! You can subscribe to Not Enough Resources on iTunes or Google Play.

Sep 25, 2017

HeroesHype Tempo Storm Series 3 Week 4

Live stream edit.

Heroes Hype Schedule for this Week!

Happy 10th Anniversary, Halo 3

Today is the 10th Anniversary of Halo 3, one of the most revered titles in console gaming. Halo is probably one of the most important gaming franchises in the world to me, even though for a lot of people it has fallen off the radar ever since Bungie handed the keys to the car to 343 Industries. This is not because Halo is a great franchise with addictive gameplay, but because it helped my two brothers and I become closer than ever. All of this is attributed to one game in the franchise: Halo 3.

Halo 3 came out in 2007, during my first year away from home after high school. My younger brother Brett was living away from home chasing construction jobs. My youngest brother Craig was finishing up high school, still stuck at home. It was the first time we had all been scattered to the winds, and we had honestly grown apart thanks to our newfound individual freedoms. It was more detrimental to our relationships than any of us could have imagined. And then, in the middle of a lonely and chaotic September, we all found ourselves purchasing Halo 3.
That night, through the power of Xbox Live, we plowed through the co-op campaign together. We were all excited to jump back into the universe we all loved for different reasons, but slowly found ourselves not talking about the game at all. Instead of calling out flanks and power weapons, we started connecting again about where our lives were at now that we were all separated by distance. Craig was having girl issues, Brett was overworked and I was in my first serious relationship. It took three nights in a row for the three of us to clear through the campaign mode (on Heroic), but it felt like it was months. We were all of a sudden thrust into each others' lives again.

But then we went back to our own lives. The ride was over, and I personally felt a hole in my life that I didn't realize was being filled by contact my brothers. I was playing Halo 3 here and there with my roommate and college buddies, but it honestly wasn't the same. After a frustrating online loss, I picked up my old Nokia phone and T9'd an invite to my brother to play some Halo the next night. Both my brothers said they would love to, so the next night we started a weekly ritual that lasted for months.

The three of us, plus usually a family friend, would jump into Team Skirmish or Team Slayer. On Thursday nights, the Holt Brothers took Xbox Live by storm. We laughed, made crazy clips of each other, got frustrated, and pulled off unlikely wins together. It was familial bliss.
After about a month of reconnecting, and getting really good at playing together as a team — something we had never managed before — there was a flyer that went up in one of the dorm halls on campus: Halo 3 Slayer Tournament, $10 entry, Full Teams Only. The tournament was three weeks away, and the following Thursday I pitched the tournament to my brothers. The next three weeks were a blur; we practiced every night, sometimes with only two of us because our life schedules were getting in the way.

This tournament would be the first time we would all see each other since I left for college and Brett left home, but that was just an afterthought for us. We were out for blood, and wanted to win.

As the day of the tournament approached, I was not expecting the waves of emotion at seeing my brothers in the flesh. I didn't realize how much I had missed them, and the tournament just felt like an afterthought once we all met in the parking lot of the gaming center hosting the tournament. We ended up taking 2nd place, after a blistering 2-point Slayer match on Narrows. It was fine, though; we won $70, and we immediately spent it all at the pizza joint across the street. We had so much fun together, my brothers ended up extending their weekend, crashing on my couches in my tiny first apartment.

Halo is more to me than a badass in cyber armor stomping through Grunts and Elites. It isn't heated FFA Sniper matches on Narrows. It is my brothers and I coming together, on our own without our mother or father telling us to call one another. It reminded us all what it meant to be family, and now, it means nearly everything to me. Bungie crafted a world that brought all three of us together, after our family naturally fractured. Halo will always be important to us as a family, but Halo 3 forged us into brothers.

This post originally appeared on RoguesPortal.com.