Posts filed under Video Games

On the Front Lines with the Star Wars Battlefront Beta

Somehow amid the craziness of multiple deadlines, I made a point to at least get an hour or two in with the Star Wars Battlefront beta this week. Apparently I wasn't the only one as EA is reporting nine million people helped them stress test their latest creation over the past several days. And the end result was a whole lot of fun. 

I remember picking up Battlefront II for my PSP several years ago and thinking how much promise it had but how little it delivered on. The control was clunky, the AI was terrible, and the graphics were akin to the Nintendo 64. Fast-forward to this week where a slick graphics package that's incredibly well-designed (but still has some control issues) presents itself and the potential has finally been achieved. Though only two maps and two gameplay modes were available in the beta, it did a great job of demonstrating just how the game can be different from its Call of Duty/Halo/Titanfall competition. Strategic missions with Star Wars flare is really where the game will shine as the AT-AT attack mode showed. 

The downside? Battlefront's competition still outshines it in terms of the dynamics of gameplay. Titanfall and CoD: Advanced Warfare really got me used to being able to be nimble, constantly on the move, and being able to dodge, slide, roll, even parkour my way out of sticky situations. Unfortunately, Battlefront still relies on a little clunkier of a control system where, at least for the beta, your movement is limited to walk, run, crouch, and jump around like an idiot. Granted, I didn't level up to the point where I could outfit my character with one of the jet packs, so maybe having that strapped to your back at least gains you the advantage of a good double-jump as a last evasive maneuver. But there were several instances where I found myself wishing I was playing Call of Duty or Titanfall with a Battlefront skin.

The two opportunities that I had to pilot a vehicle I found myself a little underwhelmed. Vehicles are also a little clunky from the moment you access them - wouldn't it have been great to have a Warhawk or Titanfall method of hopping into an X-Wing or a TIE Fighter docked in a launch bay? Instead, your character walks over a token, kneels down, then radios for air support, and suddenly you're in a TIE Fighter. Oh well. Control of the vehicles is going to take some serious getting used to as both opportunities I had to fly overhead, I crashed myself into an obstacle like a 14-year old driving in a parking lot.

The good news is that with a little bit of practice, a little bit of seasoning, and perhaps some of the advancements and improvements to the game that will come out of the beta test, it's going to be a whole lot of fun. And really time consuming come November.

Even if I end up being the Dak of every match I'm in.

Posted on October 13, 2015 and filed under Video Games.

New Live-Action Destiny Trailer from Joe Kosinski Teases Launch

Get ready to become a legend with Destiny, releasing September 9th on PS4 and Xbox One.

Bungie and Activision have released an all-new trailer today to get people hyped for the Destiny's release next week. It's a live-action trailer highlighting the different locales throughout the game, also focusing on the co-op nature of the game itself. 

The trailer is directed by Joseph Kosinski, director of Tron Legacy and Oblivion and adding to the excitement of the trailer are the voice of Peter Dinklage as Ghost and several as-of-yet unidentified actors which I'll update once they have been confirmed. 

Check it out, what do you think? Personally, I think that the trailer captures the look and feel of the previous animated marketing but knowing that it is the work of Kosinski, and being a huge fan of his, it feels like it's missing just that extra bit of his trademark style and flair. Regardless, it's a fun quick tease that only makes the wait until Amazon delivers my copy to my door that much longer.

Destiny Retail Release Will Scrap Your Beta Characters

Check out Star-Lord there... he's a Warlock, you know?

At a certain point into playing the Destiny Beta a few weeks ago, I decided to stop playing - automatically assuming that both my progress and my character/XP wouldn't carry over to the September release of the actual game. 

Bungie has indeed confirmed that the characters that players ran through the trials of the Beta will not carry over to the retail release of the game and everyone will be starting over from the ground up. Not a big surprise, but glad that I didn't spend that much time leveling up and equipping my character.

According to the IGN article, Bungie attempted to transfer player's hard-earned Beta characters over to the full version of the game but the result ended up a buggy mess that wouldn't have been fulfilling.

Will you guys be playing when the full version is released in September? And secondary question, which console will you be using?

Posted on August 11, 2014 and filed under Video Games.

San Diego Comic-Con 2014... From Afar This Year

Today marks the first "preview" day of the annual San Diego Comic-Con, which runs through this weekend. And it also marks the first time in a long while that I won't be down in the midst of it all. Over the past few years, the convention has exploded to ridiculous proportions. Wall-to-wall people jockey for position on roads and sidewalks, stand in lines that make Disneyland look like a fast food drive-thru, and literally scratch and claw each other for in-demand exclusives that are near impossible to get because of the sheer amount of people.

On top of all that, SDCC has become the go-to venue for film, television, and other mainstream media to flaunt their latest wares. It's not entirely clear what a movie like Let's Be Cops has to do with comic books or any of the genres that are indigenous to conventions, but someone somewhere decided, "Hey - 13-year old and college-aged boys like comics and stuff. We've gotta get them aware of this movie!"

Which is what a lot of SDCC boils down to now: that screaming and shouting in a crowd of thousands to be noticed, to be heard, to get someone's attention just long enough to sell them a ticket and hope that they'll tell twenty or thirty of their friends. But that doesn't explain why Variety is touting Fifty Shades of Grey as a potential surprise for Comic-Con. The audience down there isn't exactly your target demographic, but hey -- hordes of people! Quick, scream and try to get everyone's attention!

The San Diego Comic-Con is about as much about comics, sci-fi and pop culture as Sundance is about independent films being screened for a niche audience. It's all become this giant-sized circus that amounts to a lot of chaos rather than the personal individualized feel that it used to have. Nothing makes introverted, socially awkward nerds more comfortable than being surrounded by masses of people that are all demanding your attention and putting you on the spot every five seconds. It's the equivalent of walking through the school halls in junior high on an inflated scale now. Surely the bubble will burst soon?

At any rate, I'm actually looking forward to observing this SDCC from a distance. In terms of the Con experience, it seems like all of the big reveals and breaks are immediately (if not before-hand) on the internet. I'm able to interact with my favorite artists and writers on Twitter and purchase prints from them online now, which gives me the same experience as meeting them at their booth in Artist's Alley and gives me the time to admire their work in detail without being jostled by those damn giant WB bags every fifteen seconds. I'm also not really one for parties unless it involves getting to go into a replica of Flynn's Arcade and getting to play classic arcade games (again... see earlier comments about social anxieties). Though I enjoyed the couple that I've been to over the years, it's not high up on the priority list.

Despite the cynicism and grimness of the above (sorry about that), I'll be covering the things that excite me coming out of San Diego this year here on SPT. All you have to do is check back here frequently or hit up the tag SDCC on SPT down at the bottom of this page to travel through the rabbit hole of SDCC goodness as it progresses.