Monday, 30 May 2016

Game Time: 1992, "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time"


In the News

It’s 1992. The average UK house price is £68,634. Aladdin, Alien 3, Reservoir Dogs and The Bodyguard are released and bettered by Home Alone 2. John Gotti is sentenced to life in prison for conspiracy to commit racketeering. The co-operation between his Captain Sam Gravano and the FBI sends an irreversible shockwave through the Mafia’s code of ethics. Euro Disney opens in France. Bill Clinton becomes U.S president. The Queen of England is ordered to pay income tax, and a fire rips through Windsor Castle. The Summer Olympics are held in Barcelona. Rioting breaks out in Los Angeles after the acquittal of four white police officers accused of beating black motorist Rodney King. Mike Tyson is imprisoned for rape. Afghanistan’s Communist government is overthrown. Charles and Diana separate and 31 out of 50 coal mines close in Britain.

The Game Times

Street Fighter II wins GOTY at the Golden Joystick Awards. The seminal releases are: Kirby’s Dream Land on the Game Boy; Sonic the Hedgehog 2 with “Tails” debuting on the Mega Drive; Mario Kart, Ecco the Dolphin, Mortal Kombat featuring bloody “fatalities” and, in November, Konami release Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time on the SNES.

The release of TMNT is significant because I’m seven years old and I am a Turtle. My lunch box, school bag, wallpaper, curtains, pyjamas, scrap books, figurines, accent and diet of no anchovies shows it. Until this point my experience of co-op gaming is Double Dragon and, while good, TMNT has my characters and story. Krang has stolen the Statue of Liberty and my friend and I can fight him in Downtown New York, the Sewers and the Technodrome using the innovative ability to slam Foot Soldiers into surrounding enemies.

The Game’s Legacy

TMNT’s legacy is not found so much in its technical innovation but in its pertinent social satire. I’m pretty sure that Krang’s removal of the Statue of Liberty is a prophetic allusion to the impending removal of Bill Clinton’s marital security; The Footsoldiers are the black people who suffer beat downs by rogue law enforcement; and, the Turtles are the unemployed coal miners forced to find night jobs above ground.

Why I Stopped Playing

My dad said it was too expensive to buy the Crash Dummies Test Centre as well as TMNT so I only played TMNT at my friend Will Coombes’s house. By early 1993 I had stopped playing because his mum thought I tried to steal Will’s dinosaur necklace from his bedroom and she didn’t want me coming around anymore. That was majorly tight because I think it was John Langmaid who tried to steal it. She also thought it was me that pushed Will into the school bench (causing stitches in his ear) but Evan Humphries did it.

by Owen J. Batstone. 

What were you doing in 1992? What were you playing in 1992? Why did you stop?

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Destiny Diaries: Year 2, Week 35

I'm back on Destiny in a big way. I had a long break to play Far Cry Primal and didn't really go back until the April Update. All of the other Rangers (our clan) have now come back too and it's beginning to feel like old time. After two years of bugging my younger brother to get the game, he finally caved and I have been playing A Tale Of Two Guardians with him. The first two sessions of which we streamed.

This week I'll mostly be trying to get my brother to a high enough level so that we can complete our first Raid together with our newest member. We're going for Vault Of Glass, hard mode and quite a few of us will be using secondary characters. All my characters are nearly light level 320 now, so I will probably go for one of them that needs to kill Atheon for a quest.

We'll of course be streaming our Raid attempt as it will most likely be hilariously pathetic. You can find it at the usual place on Thursday the 19th of May at around 9:30pm BST.

I'm glad to be back on Destiny, but despite the new found enthusiasm of my brother and clan mates, I know for me that it is only a stop gap before No Man's Sky comes out (and the next Battlefront DLC). So I hope to get a solid six weeks of Destiny in now before other distractions take over.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Overwatch BETA Review

Two "sort of" MOBAs come out at the same time. It's inevitable that comparisons will be made. I reviewed Battleborn BETA, which you can read here. Overwatch is nothing like Battleborn. Where Battleborn is quite strongly on the MOBA side of "sort of", Overwatch is very much on the team shooter side with just a couple of things borrowed from the MOBA genre.

There is an incredible list of characters to play each with a truly unique play style and the game cleverly compels you to play them all. You need a balanced team to win each match with each player actually feeling like they're contributing no matter on their skill level.

There aren't many game modes. There's one more to come as a patch soon after launch, but Blizzard have said that the BETA was pretty much the final game. This is where things start to fall down for me. The first day I played, I thought that it was great and that I would definitely be buying it. The second day and I was starting to get bored already. The main problem is that there is no incentive to keep playing. All unlocks are cosmetic. There is no leveling up, no new gear, no rewards of any kind other than some new clothes. I don't understand this model. What's to keep me coming back? The point has been made in the gaming community that this game should have been free to play with micro-transaction and I totally agree. It definitely doesn't feel like a £50, triple A game. It has the elements of one. The graphics are stunning, great voice acting and well written one liners. But there's just no content.

They seem to have gone down the Destiny route when telling the story of the game, which is never a good idea. However instead of grimoire cards, they've actually created short animated films depicting elements of backstory which are of incredible quality. But why aren't they in the game? I mean, this was just a BETA, but Blizzard saying that the BETA was pretty much the finished game is a little worrying. Of course this could just mean gameplay and I seriously hope it is, as the content they've created on their YouTube page is far too good to waste!

Unless I see some vast improvements in game mechanics, such as actually usable rewards and in game story, I won't be getting Overwatch. It's a shame as I really want to like this game. It's got almost everything I want from a game, but it does fall short. I really hope I'm proven wrong.

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Destiny: Crota's End Raid, Solo Flawless Guide

A few elite players have managed to solo Crota's End raid flawlessly (not dying once). My friend Phil has now done it too and he's put together a comprehensive guide on his YouTube channel to help you do it too.

Crota's End Raid, Solo Flawless Guide
by Phil Parsons

Obtaining the Platinum trophy for Destiny isn't easy.  The vast majority of the trophies are obtainable by putting in the in-game hours, but one, Flawless Raider, has been out of reach for most players.  It requires that a whole fire team (of up to six players) complete a raid from start to finish without anyone dying.  In addition, players cannot join or leave mid raid.  All players must join together and complete the raid together without any deaths.

However, one raid is now possible to complete as a single player.  This raid is Crota's End.  Not only is this possible to complete alone, it's possible to complete it without dying as an average skilled player.  I know, because I am such a player and I've done it!

In order to encourage and help others to do the same, I've put together a video guide that breaks the raid down into 6 parts with tips on how to get through as a solo player.  The guide uses a Titan with the Defender subclass, but it should be simple enough to modify it for other characters using the same principles.

Part 1: Setting up the subclass, weapon and armour choices.  Building the bridge and the descent into the Hellmouth.

Part 2: Navigating the lamp maze and the wall jumping cheese.

Part 3: Crossing the bridge cheese.

Part 4: The Shrieker run hallway.

Part 5: The Deathsinger.

Part 6: Bringing down Crota.

Phil regularly streams Destiny on his YouTube channel. Go check him out there and subscribe. You also find Phil on PSN: Hereinmyownskin