Saturday, 26 October 2013

Which games to play and which to stick with? The big MMO dillema

Hello all! (some off-topic ranting as well)

So I was going through my list of games and my gaming news and I noticed something very hard for me to decide had surfaced. I have played a bunch of MMOs: World of Warcraft, Final Fantasy XIV: ARR, Rift, DC Universe Online, Aion, Guild Wars 2, SWTOR, Tera. As you can see, I have dipped my toes in many mmorpg games. The dilemma now is when I went onto my computer and tried to see what games I can play, to my surprise, I have quite a bit of selection. But MMORPGs are not like your normal games, the world evolves and changes when you are not logged into the game. Lots of things change when you are not online and especially when you have not logged on for a long period of time, big evolutions to the world had happened.

To me, I feel this is the sad part about playing MMOs where if I do not log in during this patch cycle, for the next patch cycle it will have new contents and it will be much harder for me to catch up with everyone else I know. As an avid World of Warcraft player, when I went to play Final Fantasy XIV when it was re-released for a month or two then come back to WoW I felt that I had fell behind all the people I know since I was not there to play constantly. This stays very true to other MMOs that I have played. I always feel like even if I have not logged on for a few days, I will be more behind than other players.

Specifically for WoW, once I missed a raid night because I had to be somewhere else during that time and when I logged back on after 2 days, my raiding group had downed the final boss. That was a major bummer in my time when I was pretty much hardcore raiding. The addition of LFR-Looking for Raid is a great asset for the game as people of all skill sets can jump in and get together and play. The downside of LFR is the bad behaviour of other players so many veteran players avoid it, this is where the newest change to WoW comes into play- the Flex raiding. It is one of the best features in the game as you can group up with people to raid and not be bound to a 10 or 25 man limit, this offers people who have not always had a full raid group to jump in and still down their favourite bosses. Oh shoot sorry for the off-topic rant...

So this is my dilemma as I do not know which MMO to keep playing and sticking with it. I am always a WoW follower so that game has etched a part in my heart but for me to stay with WoW I have a constant fear of not being able to be at a good pace if I decide to try out another game. But I am always tempted when other games get large exciting patches that I switch over into that game for some time then jump back to WoW. But I think I will stay with WoW for the moment. I do not have enough time to spread out my games too much so I can only focus on 2 games at one point any time. (1 MMO and 1 other non-MMO game)

So how do you keep playing an MMO without having the fear of getting behind on content and fun? Do you stick with your choice for a long time after you start investing time into that MMO?

Keep on gaming!
Avid Vancouverite Gamer

Friday, 25 October 2013

Been a long week... Must...Get...Back...To...Gaming...Now!

Hey all!

It has been almost a week since I have posted here. Been a pretty busy week for me so I will the pleasantries and get right to the Video Game related rantS! I will be posting back to back these few days for some insanely good opinions coming out of me!

In my WoW news and updates, I have almost gotten the Venomhide Ravasaur mount, just need to wait for my auctioned leather to get here but seriously why is that stuff so expensive? 56Gold?! Though I would say it is long overdue...haha

But in all seriousness, I really need to finish levelling my character but tis still a long ways off. It definitely gets tedious the more you level. I have levelled so many that I feel not interested in the quests anymore. (Sorry if that sounds a bit like bashing but I really love WoW therefore I want to point out the repetition of levelling to 90 gets slower each time) I have quested all over Azeroth and read each line and followed many different story paths but it would be great if there was a level squeeze in addition to many other things they can change and help progress the game.

A big shoutout to Trion Worlds for helping out us gamers for the Extra-Life Marathon!

A very big Thank You from us in Vancouver! The marathon is not far away so everyone that has a chance, please help us by donating or participating in the 25 hour gaming marathon!
My team page-

Best Regards
The Vancouverite
Rama Tulo

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Pokemon X and Y Review- The comeback of the series!

Hello there! Everyone!

It is time for the Pokemon X and Y Review!
This is my first review of a game ever! So hopefully you all like it and please give me any feedback you would like for me to improve upon! Thank you!
Though I must say I have only played Pokemon Y but both versions are incredibly similar other than a few parts.

I must remark that this Pokemon game is one of the best iterations of the series up till now. It has such a solid foundation on having years and years of experience from the older Pokemon games. There have been much improvements but as with improvements there are also bad qualities to the game that are quite noticeable. There are some new features that are new to the game but I will not go into detail about the some so I will list them here: 3D Gameplay, Roller-Skating, Riding Pokemon, Moving diagonally, Player Search System, Pokemon-Amie, Sky Battles, Horde Encounters, Super EV Training, Fairy Type Pokemon, Trainer Customization, and Mega Evolution.

Graphics- The graphics have been switched over to 3D based engine which is quite similar to the Black and White engines. But the highest improvement is the 3D based battles in the game which gives the whole game another level of immersion. I cannot begin to commend Game Freak on switching the Pokemon battles over to 3D character models because it is just too eye-tearing to see my favourite Pokemon in 3D. Though everything else seems just as good and pretty much what one would expect from a polished game series. One major "irk" I have with the game is that the 3D component of the 3DS system does not come in handy. Pokemon X and Y only have some cutscenes and some battles in glass-free 3D and others, like roaming around and just chilling in the region of Kalos, are just presented without utilizing the glass-free 3D option. So instead of you turning on and off what you want to see in 3D, the game kind of gives you the shackles on what you can see in 3D already. That is a bummer since they could have better utilized the effect for the whole game.

Gameplay- Gameplay is what you would expect from Pokemon. It is fun to capture, nurture and battle in Pokemon. But it is basically the same formula from when the series was first released.They did include a few other quirks into Pokemon X and Y: one is the Pokemon-Amie. It lets you play with your Pokemon and basically go Nintendogs all out with your Pokemon. It is fun but does not offer any incredible depth for my liking.
A major issue that I had was that frame rate was dropping like crazy during some battles. At first I thought it was turning on the 3D component of the 3DS but later I noticed it dropped frame rates even in 2D setting. This is something I find very troubling as it can take the player out of the intense immersive setting they were in. Many times I was in the heat of the battle and the frame rates just dropped and I was saying to myself - "Oh gosh, no way!"

Another issue I have is the newly released Mega Evolution. It is basically unleashing your Pokemon's hidden strength in one battle. It seemed like a great idea and it does have really cool evolutions for the Pokemon that can do a Mega Evolution but I feel it is too much of an overpowered tool. When I had my Venasaur or Blaziken Mega Evolve, I felt they were basically invincible and they can almost one shot any opponent. That was not something I expected. Even though you can only do that for one Pokemon per battle, it is powerful enough to throw the balance of online Pokemon battles.

Story- The story in Pokemon has always been quite predictable. It has always followed the same formula but I will keep it spoiler free in this review. The story at the end does provide a better conclusion than many of the entries in the past. Though I find it frustrating that the enemies always voice the item you need to advance to the next part of the layer. They tell you where they drop something, what the password to a door is. I feel that it would be great if players themselves were given the experience to find and discover those things themselves.

Sound- The sound for the game is spectacular! It still has that reminiscent music from the older games but Game Freak added a new modern tune to keep them more up to date. Many of the soundtracks have been updated with modern tempos and tunes.

Customization- The game has much better customizations compared to all the games before it. You can now select your player's race(kind of, just skin colour) and change how they are dressed. But other than those, you cannot do anything else that makes the customization feel interesting. This part of the game is fairly boring as not much of it feels alive while customizing your character.

Conclusion- I must say that even though the game has its downs, it's positive points way overshadows the negative parts of Pokemon. It has taken the years long experience of making these games and condensed all the good parts into one heck of a good looking game. It is by far one of the best Pokemon games up to date. I recommend everyone to try to play the game whether you are new or veteran to the series. It has given player more customization and better control but I think it is still not completely there yet. By having all the older generation Pokemon included in the region, it is a great starter game into the series.

I give this game a 4.2 out of 5

Graphics- 4.5/5
Sound- 5/5
Customization- 3.5/5


Avid Vancouverite Gamer

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Pokemon X and Y...I choose Pikachu!

Hey all!

So I just got Pokemon Y for my 3DS and it feels like an amazing breath of fresh air!
I felt that the whole world seemed more livelier and with 4 other companions now(at least where I got to)!
I have only gotten a few hours into the game and it stills feels exciting running into bushes to see what Pokemon will pop up next. This iteration has many of the past generations of Pokemon all scattered around and Yes I got myself a Pikachu!
Though as with all the Pokemon games, I do not have such a high expectation for a Mass Effect or Last of Us storyline but I definitely would love to see the game move towards the epic storytelling that is so crucial to many games. But the main entree in Pokemon is catching and finding new Pokemon and is that not a treat! I have played all the iterations of Pokemon and it still manages to hook me away into this fantastical world! The world in 3D looks gorgeous and all the Pokemon I have encountered are just as beautifully rendered as they would be in the Gamecube and Wii Pokemon games(Pokemon XD Gale, etc.).

But for a game that is so polished a few minor quirks was more noticeable. The camera is still going in a weird position as it forces you to see in a perspective that is either good or incredibly irritating. That had been going on from Black and White but that was another whole issue for that generation.
Last of all, the no-glass 3D effect from the 3DS was utilized well in this generation of Pokemon but you cannot permanently see the game in 3D as it automatically turns itself off while not in battle or a cutscene. While it is turned on in battles, the frame rates dip and the battle turns sluggish; it also makes some abilities that Pokemon use look awfully dizzy for me.

But this is definitely one of the best games to come out for the 3DS since its launch. All gamers should get this game regardless if you are new to the series or a veteran(I presume you are playing it as you read this)

Avid Pokemon Vancouverite Gamer
Rama Tulo

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Extra Life Marathon Set-up!

Hello All!

I have finished setting up my Extra Life Marathon team page!
This is the page for my team- called The Vancouverites(fittingly):
I hope everyone who set eyes on my team page will help spread the word and if you are feeling generous, donating some funds to the hospital I am fundraising for. Maybe even join my team!

The hospital I am helping to fundraise is the BC Children's Hospital!
My current goal is $400 for the team and $250 for my personal goal. I am very much looking forward to raising as much funding for the hospitals as possible!

With a heart filled with Thank You-s!

Happy Gamer
Avid Vancouverite Gamer

LFM! Get family and friends to play games with you?

Here comes my age old question: How to get family and friends to play video games with you?

So getting people who are not interested in playing games with you is always so hard. I have tried and tried to get my friends to play through different strategies but ultimate struck a Game Over.

Though there is one way I was able to grab their attention for a few times; a group setting. I have always found that when I put my friends in the living room, it was easier for many of them to start trying out games albeit multiplayer games. They were playing Little Big Planet, Fighting games and getting excited about finishing a level or getting a type of move complete. It was such a good feeling but sadly that only lasted for about a few hours. As Playstation 4 and Xbox One are headed for release in the coming month, I want to see if I can try to get them to order one of the two consoles before holidays strike in. I feel that if playing a great video game, you should always try to share it with the people you care about even if they do not like playing. "Forceful much?"

Anyway are there any good ways to have families and friends start playing video games?
If so, I would love to hear some ideas and put them to the test with my friends!

Happiness Amiss
Avid Vancouverite Gamer

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Beyond: Two Souls...The Hype That Destroyed

Hey All!

Beyond: Two Souls was such a hyped game up until its upcoming release that I think it might have more negativity done to it rather than positive reinforcement to help its release. Never have I seen so much hype focusing on the story and its "would-be" breakthrough crumble on the day of the review releases.

But rest assured, with such a disparity between the awesome reviews and the painful critiques. I believe that this game is really an entry in the games' list that everyone should try to get their own review. If the studio did Heavy Rain in such an fantastical fashion, they can make this game work. So always, try out the games you want and like but also be aware of the reviews as they are good guides to buying good or bad games. But take it with a grain of salt

As such, I will be trying the game out in the following weeks after I get my Final Fantasy XIV review out into the world and definitely some Pokemon this week when it is released!

Hype up
Avid Vancouverite Gamer

Friday, 4 October 2013

Extra Life 25 Hour Charity Gaming Marathon!

Hey all!

The date is slowly approaching for the Extra Life 25 hours Charity Gaming Marathon!
The exact date is November 2nd, 2014.
You will be able to raise money by playing games ranging from Facebook games to console and pc games.

In light of this, depending on my schedule I believe I will be participating in this event with a few of my friends! I will be streaming on my twitch account while we are playing the games if all goes as planned. I think this is an awesome way to show your local hospital your support regardless of whether you are a gamer or just donating.

After I confirm everything, I will be posting my information for the Extra Life team page and twitch page at a later date. Hope everyone can come and take a peek at the marathon!

Everyone who have the time to join in on the fun should definitely come participate! You do not need to play 25 hours straight since you can split it amongst a few hour sessions(so don't strain your body out!)

Avid Vancouverite Gamer

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Opps, I did it again... Have been too busy to update

Hi all!

It has been a REALLY long time since I have updated my blog.
Been too pre-occupied with a new MMO or otherwise a revised MMO called Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn!
My faith in this game is also Reborn... haha...

How can this game be so attention grabbing for all the reviewers and gamers out there?
I personally feel this game is very well crafted and revised considering the lagging mess it was during its debut from a couple of years ago. The story is a fun interaction with the world of NPCs. I feel it is keeping the core value of story that is in the history of Final Fantasy sagas. Even though the combat and dungeon system are all very similar to other large MMOs out there. As a World of Warcraft player and fan, the system is very similar but I felt playing through was like I am playing a whole different game. I think the graphics do help a lot as it look much more appealing when unleashing attacks yet it can get a bit hectic with different graphics showing up at same time. These are just the tip of what I like about the game.
This game is very faithful in its namesake of Final Fantasy saga. I had a feeling that I have not felt since first starting to explore the face of Azeroth. It really is a must see and play through even just through the first month. I truly believe you will subscribe.

I will have a more in-depth review at a later date with a review, hopefully, of the first major patch incoming soon.

Hope to see you in-game!

Rama Tulo