The Best and Worst of E3 2019

E3 2019 took place this week in Los Angelas, California and there were many big announcements that were made during the four day show. Many press conferences surprised the live audience and viewers around the world, while some have been a snooze fest. E3 for the last few years has been trying to get back to their roots especially with last year’s show that disappointed many. Has E3 2019 rised from the ashes of last year’s letdown, we shall see as I rank them from the best to the worst.

EA Play

Last year’s show of EA at E3 was a huge disaster. It felt like an investor meeting more than a presentation show. This year, was a change of pacde for the better as Greg Miller to take the stage to introduce the developers of Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order along with a long trailer and gameplay video which surprised the fans as nobody thought that we would see gameplay from it this year. The game was recieved very well from the live audience and the viewers at home and knowing EA’s track record of the Star Wars franchise, many were spectable if they could actually deliver this time and so far, it seems like they are since this is a single player game. This game reminded me of The Force Unleashed games from a decade ago. Other games that were shown was new content for Apex Legends, Battlefield V, and The Sims 4 along with new footage of Madden NFL 20 and Fifa 20. This was a huge improvememnt of last year’s show as EA realized their mistakes from last year’s show and did not want to repeat them. Every game that was showcased from EA including for its EA Originals program felt like it mattered to the casual viewer and it was all about the games this year instead of the microtransactions, loot boxes, etc.

Final Grade: B

Bethesda

I have no idea if Bethesda paid the entire audience to clap at every announcement it sure looked like it did. With the way Fallout 76 was handled last fall along with the disatrous pre order bonuses that did not come as advertised, you would think that the crowd would have not give them a warm reception but they did when it was announced that a battle royal mode will be coming to Fallout 76 along with more DLC. But besides that, The Elder Scross were showcased which included DLC for Elder Scrolls Online, Blades, and Legends and more trailers for Wolfenstein: Cyberpilot, Wolfenstein Youngblood, Doom Eternal, and Ghostwire Tokyo. All of these trailers look great, but we did not see any gameplay from any of them. There were also some cringe moments during the conference as well, but not to the level of Ubisoft. Good conference, but I felt very underwhelmed with no major announcements from Bethesda.

Final Grade: C+

XBOX

Mocrosoft on Sunday saved the show so far especially after that miserable PC Gaming Show that felt longer than WrestleMania with Phantasy Star Online 2 finally coming to the west for the first time ever, Borderlands 3, Lego Star Wars: The Skywalker Saga, Blair Witch, a new Battletoads game which surprised me, Minecraft Dungeons, and even an updated version of the Elite controller. I must say, XBOX’s controllers always felt great to use so I am for this decision to give it a complete overhaul. The bigger games that were showcased were Gears 5 (which was announced last year, but we finally know the release date), and Cyberpunk 2077 with Keanu Reeves making an appearence at the show to present the release date. The fans at the show ate this up as everyone cheered for him as he appeared. The biggest announcement is that the successor of Xbox One titled “Project Scarlett” will be coming in the fall of 2020 and we got little details of what the console will bring once it is in our hands. Also, Halo Infinite will be the launch title of this console just like the very first Halo was for the first Xbox 18 years ago. This presentation saved the show so far at this point even though we did not get any gameplay videos. But this presentation proved that Microsoft has come a long way since the ridicilous E3 2013 conference. They turned everything around year after year and their support from gamers has grown back to where it was before the Xbox One was first announced.

Final Grade: A-

Square Enix

Of all the conferences, Square Enix had the best presentation from the visuals, the announced games, and how they transitioned from one announcement to another. It was announced by different pictures on the wall of the screen each with the camera paning to the next game. It was an interesting idea and change and I think that it worked very well. Final Fantasy 7 Remake finally has a release date and it was showcased with a few cutscenes and the gameplay at Midgar. All of the characters looked very impressive and more brought to life than ever. However, this game will be episodic and Square Enix confirmed that they will release the first part of the game (Which is Midgar) at a full price and have the rest of the game released as different standalone games down the line. This has spawned a mixed reaction from the fanbase. The other announcements we have gotten was Life is Strange 2, Final Fantasy 8 Remaster, Dragon Quest XI, DLC for Kingdom Hearts 3, a new expansion to Final Fantasy XIV, and Marvel’s Avengers. The Avengers game does not look up to today’s gaming standards of visuals and graphics so I hope that it is changed from now until the release date. With those points aside, I enjoyed this conference more than any of the others at the entire E3 week and Square Enix delivered a conference that will be remembered for years.

Final Grade: A+

Ubisoft

I still do not know why in 2019 Just Dance is coming out for the Nintendo Wii. Yes, you just read that because that was part of this presentation. A dance off performance that we did not need just to announce the game. But the most interesting title is Watch Dogs Legion as this time around, you are also able to play as the NPC’s and I think that is an interesting twist in a video game I have not seen done before. Eqach NPC has different skillsets as well. We even seen Jon Bernthal present Ghost Recon Breakpoint as it is the newest entry of the series. That was a great way to introduce the game and to see him on stage with the dog. More announcements came to play as we were shown Rainbow Six Quarantine, Roller Champions which is a roller derby inspired video game and it is supposed to be in the same league as Rocket League. DLC was also announced for The Division 2 which will be released in the summer and fall of this year. The announcememnt of a subscription service called UPlay has spawned a mixed reception from the fans as we do not need another subscription servive on top of ones we are already paying for. Good conference, with more questions raised. But at least we got gameplay from most of the announcements.

Final Grade: C

Nintendo

Last but not least, Nintendo at E3 with their Nintendo Direct. It started with a new character announcement for Super Smash Bros. Ultimate as The Hero from Dragon Quest was revealed. I never thought that anything from that series would make its way to Smash Bros. The different costumes of The Hero represent another game he has appeared in. We follow that up with Luigi’s Mansion 3, new footage of Link’s Awakening HD, The Witcher 3 coming to Switch as nobody seen this coming, Fire Emblem: Three Houses, Contra: Rogue Corps, Resident Evil 5 and 6, Mario and Sonic at the Tokyo Olympic Games, and Daemon X Machina. All of these announcements were absolutely great plus the others I have not mentioned. The biggest aqnnouncements were that Animal Crossing: New Horizons will be delayed (May I mention that you can finally sit down in the game!). Another great announcement is that Banjo Kazooie will be a DLC character in Smash Ultimate. This has been long awaited for many years now and I am happy to see it finally happen! Before the presentation finished, We got a glimpse of the sequel of The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and I am totally looking forward to that. Nintendo usually goes all out for their E3 presentations on their Direct showcases. This was a must watch in my eyes.

Final Grade: A+

E3 this year was far much better than last year’s and 2017’s. It really felt like it was for the fans and gamers this time instead of investors and money.

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New Death Stranding Trailer Reveals The Release Date

The release date of the most anticipated video game title to come from Metal Gear series creator Hideo Kojima has now finally revealed its release date. Death Stranding will be released on the Playstation 4 on November 8th, 2019.

That was not the only piece of news that we have gotten today as a brand new trailer was revealed as well today showcasing the gameplay and new story scenes and the entire english cast of the game. Known to have already be casted is Norman Reedus, Guillermo del Toro, and Lea Seydoux. In the new trailer, the announcements of Troy Baker, Margaret Qualley, Emily O’ Brien, and much more.

Last month at the the Tribeca Film Festival, Hideo Kojima and Norman Reedus shared new details of the game at their panel and so far, what they have said matches the trailer. The open world action game has had more questions than answers in recent years and it is great to finally know that the game is coming sooner rather than later.

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Hidden Character Clues of the First Two Mortal Kombat Games Analysis

The Mortal Kombat video game series has had its fair share of hidden secrets within their games. They range from hidden characters that you have to fight, arcade games of the past such as Pong and Galaga, Fatalities and much more. These were great to see in the game, but how you had to trigger them was the question everyone asked in schools or near the arcade machine. There was no internet browsers to search for the answers of these clues at the time so you have to either figure it out, or take the words from other players with a grain of salt. Today, I will give an analysis of the secret characters of Mortal Kombat and Mortal Kombat 2 and how you will fight them.

Starting with Mortal Kombat, there was only one hidden character and it is the fan favorite Reptile. There were even rumors that Ermac was the second secret character as well, but it got debunked. But I will circle back to that with the Mortal Kombat 2 secret characters. During the fights you will have to endure to face Shang Tsung as the final boss, Reptile will appear on the screen to give you a clue on how to fight him. These clues happen rarely so you will have to keep fighting to see all of the clues. Here are the list of clues that you will have to take a note of.

“I AM REPTILE, FIND ME!”

“YOU MUST FIND ME TO BEAT ME”

“10,000,000 POINTS IF YOU DESTROY ME”

“YOU CANNOT MATCH MY SPEED”

“ALONE IS HOW TO FIND ME”

“PERFECTION IS THE KEY”

“FATALITY IS THE KEY”

“BLOCKING WILL GET YOU NOWHERE”

“LOOK TO LA LUNA”

“TIP EHT FO MOTTOB”

Have you figured out how to fight Reptile yet? If you have not, here is how you do it. You have to win on The Pit stage with two Flawless Victories (meaning not get damaged once) and also, a shadow figure muat be shown over the moon on that same stage as well. And final note, You must perform a fatality at the end of a the fight and you cannot block at all. When you perform a fatality, it cannot be the stage fatality as well. Now that you now know how to trigger the fight, lets look at the list of the clues. The first three are straight forward, the fourth is letting you know that he is faster than Sub-Zero and Scorpion. The fifth clue says that you only have to do this on one player mode. The sixth one is letting you know the that you cannot take any damage. The seventh one is the fatality command. The eighth one tells you to pay attention to the moon during the fight, and the final one is “BOTTOM OF THE PIT” backwards which tells you where the fight will turn take place. If you beat Reptile, you will get the 10 million points!

Mortal Kombat 2 has three hidden characters that you will have to find. But only two of them will give you hints in between battles and the rates of these happening are much more rarer than the first game. Also to note, Mortal Kombat 2 is my personal favorite of the entire series. Now for the first character Jade, I will list all of her clues and what you will have to do to fight her.

“I AM CALLED JADE”

“I WILL MEET YOU IN GORO’S LAIR”

“ONE DAY, WE WILL FIGHT”

“I AM ONE OF THREE”

“ERMAC WHO?”

“CHUN WHO?“

“ALONE IS HOW YOU WILL FIND ME”

“RESTRICT YOURSELF’

“BEFORE THE ?”

“BRING ON KANO AND SONYA”

Have you figured it out yet? These clues are much harder than the previous game because some of them will throw you off thinking that it is an actual clue. Before I analyze the clues, here is how you can fight her. Before the ? box on the tower, defeat the fighter with only kicks. How were you supposed to know that? Well, the first clue tells you her name, the second tells you where the fight will take place, the third is self explanatory, and the forth one tells you that there are two other hidden characters. The fifth one responds to the rumors that Ermac was in Mortal Kombat 1, the sixth one references Chun Lee from Street Fighter in which you have to use kicks since she does kicks. The seventh tells you that you have to do this in one player mode, the eighth tells you to restrict yourself to only use one attack button, the ninth one tells you that the fight takes place before the ? box, and the final one throws you off making you think that you have to do something on Shao Khan’s stage since Kano and Sonya are captured on this game.

As for the fight itself, Jade in this game before she got her own moves in the future games is extremely fast and has all of Kitana and Mileena’s moves and projectiles will not even work on her at all. Try to defeat her because she is tough.

Smoke is the second character that you have to find. Of the three secret characters, I actually like this guy the most. He has smoke coming out of his body despite being a ninja and his moveset is exactly a copy of Scorpion. Here are his clues in order to fight him.

“I AM CALLED SMOKE”

“ERMAC WHO?”

“YOU CAN START FINDING ME”

“I AM ONE OF THREE”

“YOU CANNOT DEFEAT ME”

“I WILL MEET YOU IN GORO’S LAIR”

“PROVE YOURSELF”

“MORTAL KOMBAT ONE”

“PORTAL”

“TOASTY”

Confused yet? I bet you are. In order to fight him, you have to be on the Portal stage and keep uppercutting your opponent until the “toasty” line appears on the bottom of the screen. The moment you hear that, press Down and Start and your fight with Smoke will begin. Now that I explained how to do this, time to examine the clues.

The first one tells you who he is, the second is also a response to Ermac as Jade said the same thing as well. The third one can not be taken seriously at first. But when you look closely at that clue, the word “Start” is there so you will have to pay attention to that. The fourth, fifth, and sixth clues are straight forward, the seventh one tells you to prove yourself that you can trigger the fight, the eighth one you also might not take seriously as well until you realize that the value of the number of the game is down so you will have to press down. The ninth one tells you which stage you have to perform the actions, and the tenth one tells you that you have to use the upper cut action. Now that is hard to figure out!

The final secret character is Noob Saibot. If you are playing on multiplayer, the player needs to win 50 straight fights. That will take a very long time and a great winning streak to pull this off. His moves are both Scorpion and Sub-Zero’s moves. On the Sega Genesi version of the game, you only needed 25 wins.

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Mortal Kombat 11 Review on Nintendo Switch

Mortal Kombat 11 has been anticipatted for some time now by fans ever since the announcemnet has been made last year. It was also a shock when the announcement that this game would be ported for Nintendo Switch as well. With the first new Mortal Kombat title to hit shelves for a Nintendo console since 2006’s Mortal Kombat Armageddon, has the new title delivered a flawless victory on the Switch, or a Fatality that it cannot recover from. Here is my review of the Nintendo Switch port of Mortal Kombat 11.

First, I would like to mention that Shiver Entertainment has developed this version of the game. Although comparing the other console versions to the Switch version’s visuals is noticeably different, the game plays the same way as I did not noticed any slowdowns or lagging. The biggest difference visually is the draw distance from The Switch compared to the other versions. With that said, the game is still stunning to look at and at 60fps with no slowdowns, I am so far impressed. I am also impressed with the way the fatalities are performed and these are some of the most gruesome fatalities I have ever seen in the game.

This game reworks the X-Ray moves from the previous two games as they are now known as Krushing Blows as they can happen at any time during a fighting sequence. Seeing the skull and bones crack during those scenes in glorious HD is awesome to look at. The fatal Blows are activated once your health is very low and they function the same way like the Super Moves if you have played the Injustice series. Those move sequences will take a chunk off the health bar of up to 35% and I recommend to use it if you need it because you only get that ability once per round. The character selection is bigger than the last game. You can choose classic characters such as Scorpion, Sub-Zero, Liu Kang, Kitana, Baraka and much more along with returning characters from MKX and new characters Cetrrion, Geras, and Kollector. Every character in this game has something unique about them just like previous titles of the game. One could be your favorite character within the first few seconds of playing and I always felt that way when I first choose a fighter in the Mortal Kombat series. What baffled me is that Shang Tsung and Shao Khan are DLC characters and They should have been in the main game. Also, where is Reptile?????

The modes of this game include customizing a character in which you can customize the asthetics of every character whether if it is the color, the type of clothing, and weapon. There are a variety of choices, but many of which are locked and it is a hard learning grind to unlock all of the customizing options in the game. Hopefully this is patched very soon. The Klassic Towers return in which you fight against a tower of characters like you would in the classic games. There are five towers in total and each tower, you can change the difficulty and there is also an endless tower mode as well.

The story mode has its great moments just like any Mortal Kombat game and it follows up from the last game. I will not spoil too much of the story, but there are three different endings. Outside of that, it is enjoyable and seeing how the characters interract with eachother with good or cheesy dialouge is worth watching. The most enjoyable character I have watched during my playthrough is Johnny Cage and Sub-Zero. WWE Superstar and UFC Hall of Fame inductee Ronda Rousey voices Sonya Blade and I must say, her scenes felt very uninspiring and not motivated when I watched them. I like Rousey, but I wish she put more effort into her lines.

There is a Krypt mode that has been a staple of Mortal Kombat since Deadtly Alliance where you spend in game currency for unlockables. Here is where you unlock customization parts, costumes, fatalities and much more. There has been recent controversy over microtransactions on the other console and PC versions of the game. I have always stood away from microtranactions in video games because they are ridicilous.

Despite it’s nitpicks, Mortal Kombat 11 definitely delievers a flawless victory as one of the best fighting games of the year. If you have a Nintendo Switch, I recommend you to pick this up for that console as it is equally great as the other console versions.

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Master Thief Card Game Review

Julian is back here for another card game review of the month and this time, It is Master Thief by SPARR GAMES and published by Breaking Games.

To give a short background, this game began as a kickstarter and within time, over 1000 backers pledged this game for it to be developed with a total amount of $47,321 making it one of the fastest growing kickstarters for a card game of all time.

This game can be played between 3-6 players and it comes with 112 cards, 1 instruction sheet, and room for expansion booster packs which you can bus seperatly. The object of the game is to try to steal the highest valuable items from the museum and at the same time, you can try to sabotage your opponents from doing the same thing that you are. You have to escape without getting caught and while I was playing this with a few friends, I noticed the tension rising as we were near the point of getting caught.

I would also like to bring up that I like the design of the cards and the artwork. Especially the Museum cards with the colorful holographic effects. The Thief Cards (white) are actions, the Museum Cards (black) are treasures and some of them are security cards, and the Calling Cards (grey) are objective cards for the player to reach a goal.

To begin, you have to shuffle and scatter the Museum Cards face-down in a pile at the middle of tyhe table or playing area. The Thief Cards are in a deck to draw format next to the museum. The Calling Cards are also placed face down in a deck draw format as well next to the museum. Each player draws 4 Thief Cards and one Calling Card. Be sure to not show the cards to your opponent since your moves should catch them off guard. When the game begins, a “heist” starts as all players steal one card from the Museum pile at the same timne and then place the card that they stolen face up infront of them. Every player has to do this when their turn begins also while the game goes on. If a security card is drawn, you will have to go straight to immediate action and the player’s turn ends (also to note, if this type of card is drawn during the “heist”, your turn will not end). The action to prevent the Security Card’s effect is that going counterclockwise from the player who pulled the card, the next player will have to give up one of their treasures and after that, the Security Card and the item will go back into the pile. You are also allowed to play as many Thief Cards as you like per turn, as long as it is not more of the same titled thief card. Also, you are only allowed 4 Thief Cards in your hand per turn and you have a carrying limit of four items as well.

There are a few ways for the game to end. If the Thief Card deck has run out of cards to draw, the game ends. Escaping the museum is another way to end the game as you can actually do that at any end of the turn by revealing your Calling Card and if that sucessfully works, all of your Carried and Stashed items will count towards your final Black Market Credits total score. If your opponents do not stop you from escaping, then you are free to go with your items. But keep your score a secret until the game has fully ended. Also, if you are the final player inside the museum, you must escape after your final turn. One final way the game can end is that you accumulate 3 Security Strikes and when this happens, anyone still in play drops all of their carried items back to the Museum pile since they have failed to escape the Museum. When the players have been caught or escaped, everyone counts up their individual totals and the player with the most BMC points wins the game. If there is a tie, the thieves will have to return to the Museum for one final steal and the highest value of points wins.

This card game is very fun to play. It will take a few tries to fully learn the mechanics, but it is not overwhelmingly hard at all. I played this with five people with four games total. The game could end quick or long depends on how long it will take for everyone to get either caught or escape the museum. You will feel like you are on a spy mission while you are playing this game and I recommend this game for any party gathering as you can try to steal from a museum without leaving your house!

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New Death Stranding Details Emerge At The Tribeca Film Festival

Legendary video game developer Hideo Kojima and “The Walking Dead” star Norman Reedus attended the Tribeca Film Festival today to talk about the upcoming video game Death Stranding at one of the Tribeca Talks events here in the theater of BMCC. The fans waited all day in anticipation of this event since little is known about the mysterious game outside of the trailers.

During the panel that was moderated by Geoff Keighley, Hideo and Norman talked about the development of the game, what we could expect from the characters, how Hideo came up with the idea of the game, the way Hideo Kojima pitched the game to Norman, and much more.

One of the news that came out of the panel is that the name of Norman Reedus’ character of Death Stranding is Sam. Norman also says that much of himself as a person is implemented to Sam. Kojima also stated that it is an open-world action game and that he wants the player to freely make decisions for the character when it comes to actions, story, and traveling. This is similar to Venom Snake in Metal Gear Solid V:The Phantom Pain where you make your own decisions of how you want to complete a mission.

The main theme of the game that is widely discussed about is connection as Hideo Kojima intends the player to connect with other players and characters in the game along with the world. We got a few glimpses of that during the previous trailers. Speaking of trailers, the first trailer of Death Stranding only took two days for Kojima to produce the trailer and Norman Reedus had to get his body rescanned when he got new tattoos and Hideo even joked that he will add tattoos to Reedus’ body on future patches.

There were also pictures shown on the screen for everyone to see what was behind the scenes during the development.

Although there was no trailer, The last and the biggest news of the panel is that next month, we will get new footage of the game. Also, a fan asked if there will be a PC version of the game and Hideo stated that there will not be a PC version.

Although no footage was allowed to be streamed or recorded, I did recorded the audio which you can check below.

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The Hardest Spirit Battles in Super Smash Bros Ultimate

It has been one month since the release of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and the game has met universally critical acclaim from many outlets as it is the best reviewed Smash Bros. game of all time. What is also featured in the game is the spirits that allows you to modify a character with different abilities and stats. To find these spirits, you would either have to find them at the World of Light adventure mode, or the Spirit Board in which you can acquire them much quickly. Of the spirit battles, there are very hard ones that will take more than one attempt to win and there are some that will most likely make you rage quit before you even hit the blast zone of the stage. Today, I will count down the hardest spirit battles in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate.


Golden Dash Mushroom
Origin: Mario Kart 64

Fighter: Mii Brawler

The only spirit battle on this list that is from the weekly events, only a small number of players acquired this spirit and based on the conditions of the battle listed, It is no walk in a park. The Mii Brawler is giant and can barely even be flinched or launched. It makes it worse that the speed is at maximum on this battle for the Mii Brawler and This is the only one on this list that I have not beaten at all.

The Boss
Origin: Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater

Fighter: Zero Suit Samus

This battle mimics the final battle of Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater as it is a timed and stamina battle against Zero Suit Samus equipped with the spirit of The Boss. As she would have said in the original game, it is time to prove yourself to see if you can take her title. The floor is also poisonous which means you will have to equip a support spirit that makes your fighter immune to poison. Other than that tip, Samus is very fast and uses mostly kicks and if you do not defeat her before the time runs out, then it is game over for you.

Rayman
Origin: Rayman

Fighter: Sonic and Sukapon Assist Trophy

This battle is ridiculously annoying due to the fact that the Sukapon Assist Trophy is in the way for most of the fight. He could be knocked out, but you have to do it and he cannot be killed if he is knocked off or falls off the stage. This is also a stamina battle and Sukapon will deal the most damage with his attacks. Sonic’s attack power increases during the battle and he starts with more stamina HP than you do. Even turning the difficulty easy will not change the battle outcome since it takes very long to take down both of them.



Funky Kong

Origin: Donkey Kong Country

Fighters: Captain Falcon, Donkey Kong, Diddy Kong

Get ready for this battle because all three of the fighters will always try to head for the Bullet Bill items to use against you. If you do not equip a support spirit that allows items to get pulled towards you, Then you are out of luck. Even with that support spirit, this battle can end in less than a minute due to the spamming of the Bullet Bills and those things shoot like cannon balls. My best advice,



Shine Sprite

Origin: Super Mario Sunshine

Fighter: Rosalina and three Kirbys

Taking out the three Kirbys can be easy, but taking out Rosalina with the added effects of her Final Smash happening at any time will be a brutal task to endure. Not only the fact that her Final Smash could happen at any time, she can be invincible at any time during the fight as well which will give any player a headache since the three Kirbys will rapidly attack you while this is happening. I finally won the battle after my 20th try. What could make this battle a little less hard is if you grab and throw your opponents towards the Launch Star item while they are at 60% damage or more as it will launch them to the direction of the blast zone (depending on where did you set the item.

Pauline

Origin: Donkey Kong (Arcade)

Fighters: Peach, Giant DK, Mario

I have not encountered this spirit yet, but others have and even the most skilled players had a hard time trying to get this spirit. Your jump distance is heavily reduced so you will have to climb the ladders on this stage and what makes this worse is that you will have to KO Peach to get this spirit but she is on the farthest end of the stage. When Mario is summoned to the battle, he will already have the Hammer in use and when Giant Donkey Kong is summoned, he has a strength buff that can KO you within seconds. Also, whenever you try to target Peach for an attack in close range, she will avoid you. Best bet is to equip the shooting staff and shoot away as the battle begins but the distance is what could make you miss your shot.

Baby Bowser

Origin: Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island

Fighters: Small Bowser and Giant Bowser

The floor is lava during this battle so it is best to equip a support spirit that prevents you from being damaged by lava. This is also a stamina battle and you have to battle both of the Bowsers one by one starting with the small one which is easy to KO. But then, the giant one comes into play and your stamina will not reset at all. The giant Bowser is very hard to flinch or to even get him off the stage and his attacks take up for most of the stage. Be prepared good when you encounter this spirit battle.

Dr. Wily

Origin: Mega Man 1

Fighters: Dr. Mario, 8 Metal Mega Man

This battle looks easy on paper, but when it begins, it will drain you fast. You first fight the metal Mega Man and they will spawn two at a time and 8 of the Mega Man fighters will deal damage from their blaster even at a distance. If you are lucky enough to fight Dr. Mario at the end, you will be satisfied. But to get to him, will be a grind so dodge quickly and use your shield wisely.

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The Worst of Video Gaming in 2018

This year in the world of video gaming, we have had many widespread acclaim of great games such as Red Dead Redemption 2, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate, Spider-Man for PS4, Monster Hunter World, God of War, and Dead Cells. When you think of the positive of gaming in 2018, Those games come to mind first on the top of my head. Even some of the major gaming headlines made the news around the net as we found out in reveal trailers that The Elder Scrolls VI is in development, along with Doom Eternal, and The Last of Us 2. And we were even shown gameplay of Cyberpunk 2077 and Death Stranding which has been anticipated for some time now which made the gaming community happy.

In between the great releases and great news that shocked the industry, there has been bad news and disappointing games that has been released to the public and the reception ranged from negative, to downright universally panned by not only the gaming community, but also by the major outlets that covered the news. The news did not sit well with the developers and studios that were producing the games and their damage control of these situations were met with an even bigger backlash than it originally started. Today, I give you the worst in gaming of 2018 and I shall begin with the handling of the Playstation Classic.

In 2016, Nintendo released the NES Classic Mini which featured the best games of that console at the time. I remember trying to buy one, but they were sold out everywhere and the lines to get one at various stores were endless. Nintendo also released the Super Nintendo Classic in 2017 and even though they produced more of the consoles, the same effect happened as they were sold out everywhere. I did eventually got one a few months later and I am satisfied. Trying to follow suit, Sony announced in the fall that they would release the Playstation Classic in December. I loved the Playstation and I was excited for this. This was until we found out that many games such as Crash, Spyro, and more would not be included in the game roster that was already lackluster. The bigger news is that many games that were included in the console were not the American versions of the games as they were the PAL versions of the games and the PAL versions were notorious for not running in full speed when you play them. Sony has had potential with this console, but it has flopped and the sales of the PlayStation Classic has been much lower than the Nintendo counterparts to the point that many retailers are putting it on sale now.

One of the biggest news stories in the fall is the major news of TellTale Games studious is shutting down. This news broke shortly after the release of the second episode of The Walking Dead: The Final Season as it came out of nowhere to the public as this studio has made great games from the IP’s of The Walking Dead, Batman, Game of Thrones, and much more. About 90% of the staff were let go without warning and only kept a number of them to finish a Netflix series. The rest of the former staff got picked up from different gaming developers since the public outcry and I have interviewed one of them about the situation a few days after the news. Skybound eventually announced that they plan to finish the final season of the game and although that is great news, the damage has been done already. There were more stories that came out about the company, but not to the level of how Konami treated their staff before Metal Gear Solid V was finished.

Bethesda could not escape bad news ever since the reveal of Fallout 76 has made it to light. A few months before its release, The developers stated in many interviews of what features would be in the game and what could players expect differently in this game than the last game and boy oh boy did almost none of it matched up to the final product. What we got, was a product that was a buggy, unplayable mess that angered the players and the fans of the series. It is so bad, that the guys at GiantBomb refused to finish the game to review it since it was frustrating for any of their staff members to play it all the way through. The fact that the developers has taken out NCP’s in this game which was needed in the first place can tell you how out of touch they are with their fans. But it does not end there.

The Pre-order bonuses included a high quality duffel bag if you bought the Power Armor edition of the game. The picture of what was ad is completely different from what the customers got when it arrived to them and it was not good at all. The closest that anyone has received great quality duffel bags was at a press gaming event where they were given out for free. Bethesda originally did not accept refunds at all, but they offered affected customers that bought the edition of the game an in-game currency that is worth only $5.00 and that did not sit well along with the data breach that happened a few days later. What a crappy year for Bethesda overall.

As i quote the former WCW Champion and current member of the WWE Hall of Fame Goldberg, “Who’s Next? Blizzard, You’re Next”. At BlizzCon, Blizzard held a showcase for their upcoming titles and many fans speculated that the fourth installment of Diablo would be announced. But that did not happen as we got an announcement of a mobile game Diablo Immortal. With the age of micro-transactions and lootcrates are here today in mobile and console gaming, the fans reacted negatively to this announcement because of those possible factors and due to the fact that this announcement was made at the near end of the conference. They even held a Q and A afterwards and one person asked them if this was an April Fool’s joke which gained a huge laughter from the audience. Another question that was asked is if the game would be released on PC and when the developer answered that there would be no plans for a PC release, the audience booed even louder. You would think that it is Roman Reigns out there during the height of his main event status in WWE talking on the microphone with the way the crowd responded. It was that bad.

And finally, I have saved the best for last and that is EA Games. That is right, EA all year has been in the gaming news for bad reasons and it was also ranked number five of the most hated companies in America this year. The year started off with them with the continued controversy of the way Star Wars Battlefront 2 was handled with their micro-transactions (which was eventually fixed, but the damage has been done). And it reached to a point where the federal government had to come in and investigate their practices. There were also rumors about Disney parting ways with EA to look for another developer to make their Star Wars games. In the early spring of the news of EA, the first trailer of Battlefield V was released and the reception to that trailer was mixed to negative due to EA and DICE changing too much historical content of World War II along with a long, dragged out press conference that did not showcase more than a few minutes of game play at all. The news got worse for them a few weeks later when they started to sell DLC’s for their DLC’s in The Sims 4. Pretty weird if you ask me why they did that, but the fans were not happy about that at all. The only good thing that came out of EA this year is A Way Out, but even that great game could not save what was going on with the slaughter of news out of EA because time and time again, they proved to have learned nothing from their mistakes and that was on full display at E3 this year when EA had their conference. They announced a streaming game cloud subscription along with a subscription to get some of their games on the PC. That did not stop at all as there was also an announcement of another Star Wars game. The way this was done was that Vince Zampella was sitting in the crowd as one of the correspondents talked to him and then and right there, he made the announcement just like that without any details and without a trailer, or even a logo or promotional art. That was one of the blandest video game announcements I have ever seen in my life and it was also funny to see the non-existing crowd reaction to the news as well. How is it that the CEO was out there saying that the conference was all about saying that the company has changed and then proceeded to talk about money and subscriptions with their out of touch agenda. How is it that years ago, EA used to be a great developer but just like Konami, they turned to the dark and greedy side. I wish I can finish what I am saying about the crappy year of EA, but I just come to find out that I cannot since the rest of my thoughts are locked away in a paid micro-transaction lootcrate.

In all seriousness, there is more gaming headlines and disappointments that made the news such as Metal Gear Survive, the lack of the news of the Final Fantasy 7 Remake, the introduction of the Event Pass of PUBG, and much more. But these headlines takes the cake for me since this is what I think about first in an awful year of headlines in the gaming industry.

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WWE 2K19 Review

 

It is that time of the year again as WWE 2K19 is now in our hands. I got a review copy of the PS4 version of the game a few weeks ago, and now it is time for me to share my thoughts on this year’s installment of the game.

The cover star this year is the current WWE Champion AJ Styles as this year alone, he has proven to be “the face that runs the place” on the Smackdown brand. If you were to ask me 10 years ago when he was still wrestling for TNA if he would be on the cover, I would have said “not in a million years” but it happened this year as he is the MVP of Smackdown.

The roster this year is almost the same as last year with new additions to the 200 playable character roster such as The Undisputed Era (Adam Cole, Kyle O’ Riley, and Bobby Fish), Andrade “Cien” Almas, The AOP, Bianca Belair, Riccochet, EC3, Tyler Bate, Pete Dunn, Lio Rush, Ronda Rousey, and Velveteen Dream. You can mix and match the current stars of today and from previous years in many matches to your desire. With the stacked roster this high, there is no reason for Tommaso Ciampa to be cut from the in game roster this year especially since he is the current NXT Champion.

This year, we got the return of 2K Showcase which was missing from the last two entries. 2K Showcase tells the story of the rise of Daniel Bryan in WWE. In between the matches, we are shown a video package along with narration of Daniel Bryan himself setting up what was going on storyline wise at the time before the match loaded up. It begins way back to his match with John Cena at Velocity from early 2003, all the way to his Wrestlemania return match from this year teaming with Shane McMahon going against Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn. All of those matches were great to play and I would have wished that we would have gotten to revisit the CM Punk/Daniel Bryan/Aj Lee love triangle and matches from 2012 but I understood why they could not do it. My only other gripe with this mode is that many of the matches can last up to 30 minutes due to the objectives that you have to do during the match.

For the first time, MyCareer mode plays like a WWE storymode from the past games. You start off in an independent promotion and then work your way up to the WWE Performance Center and from there, it is NXT and then the main roster of Raw and Smackdown. I love that this time, the WWE Superstars and even your own character is voice acted during the scenes. In fact, the scenes with “Woken” Matt Hardy during this mode is quite funny but you will have to see that for yourself. The learning curve during this mode can be frustrating at times due to you starting with a very low set of moves and abilities and most of them you will have to unlock via randomized lootcrates and even those are very expensive when you purchase them by in game currency so it is good that there are no paid micro-transactions, but this system needs to go in the next game for good.

The gameplay is much more solid than the last two entries as I rarely encountered glitches or bugs even when there were 8 men in the ring during a Ladder Match. The Cage Match has been reworked so you can escape easier along with fighting on the top edge of the cage. I wanted this feature for many years since it adds more drama to the match itself. The custom match creator this year can be saved in the option that you create it even in Universe Mode. The lightning and the entrances are on point and the presentation looks like if you are watching it on TV. The commentary has improved a slight bit, but at times I can hear repeated words during matches.

Speaking of Universe Mode, this year, you can finally assign managers to any superstar on your Universe Mode roster. You can also have up to 6 championships per show now which is great news for anyone that wants to have two mid-card championships on each show. On this mode now as well is the ability to choose who will be the Money In The Bank holder and which championship that either he or she will target. I wanted this feature way back in Smackdown vs Raw 2011 and it is great to finally see it being used in this game. Also, you can finally pick who wins simulated matches in case if you do not want to play the match and that lifted a huge weight off my shoulder. Universe Mode always needed adjustments since it was first introduced 8 years ago, but I felt that this year the developers made more effort to tweak it than any other game.

The Creation Suite’s features can have you there for hours doing customized things such as Create A Superstar, Arena, and Entrance but also for the first time this year, you can create a MITB briefcase with your own design as you please and use it on Universe Mode. You can also create block versions of WWE superstars or your own characters as well.

There is also an towers mode where you can face different superstars in different match situations. It starts off easy, but it gets hard with each match that progresses. It is like WWE’s version of Mortal Kombat or Street Fighter with their towers mode.

This year’s game has been a massive improvement from the last two games. The last overall game that I loved was WWE 2k14 and every year since then, it has not matched up to how fun a WWE video game is supposed to be and I can say that the fun factor has returned in this game. It is so fun, that they even added (by Xavior Wood’s request) a big head mode. I have not used this yet, but I know it was added in for nostalgia of silliness of 90’s games. Despite the hard learning curve of MyCareer mode and their lootcrate system, I fully recommend this game to pick up.

My score is a 8.9/10

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EXCLUSIVE: Former Developers of Telltale Games Breaks Their Silence on the Layoffs

The news broke out Friday that Telltale Games has laid off over 250 members of their staff and only kept 25 members of the staff to complete the Minecraft Story Mode for Netflix. This is the same company that has produced many hit titles such as The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, Batman, Game of Thrones, and Tales of Borderlands and their upcoming titles included a sequel to Game of Thrones, and The Wolf Among Us and an upcoming Stranger Things title. The news came out of nowhere and those titles were canceled. The biggest hit from the titles is The Walking Dead as their final season of the game just started over a month ago and after the second episode which will release this Tuesday, we will not get the rest of the planned episodes. This caused a huge uproar online due to the fact that many people has paid for season passes for the game and they cannot give out refunds to the people who has purchased the game expecting a full season.

Since then, the hashtag of #TellTaleJobs started trending and major gaming studios started to pick up on this and it shows a good sign that they want to hire many of the former developers. Of the many developers, I have interviewed one of them and his name is Johnathan Straw of Telltale Games and this is what he had to say of the situation:

Hey Jonathan. Thank you for taking the time for this interview. I appreciate it very much. What can you tell me about the situation at Telltale and did you have any indicator that this was going to happen on Friday?

Jonathan: “Here’s my side of things. I was actually on PTO on Friday, and noticed something was up as I was waiting for my flight at SFO. I noticed rumblings through our Slack channels, and saw an all hands company meeting appear on the calendar. Shortly after I saw a cryptic condolences message on Slack and began asking for clarification on what had happened. While waiting for a response, my company email account force signed off. Then peers started alerting me through Slack that the company had been closed and everyone had half an hour to vacate, then return on Monday to gather belongings. There was no indication that this was going to happen. In fact, just within the last week or two, we had made new hires, and one of my supervisors had just returned from intern recruitment outreach in Florida. I had a meeting on Thursday right before the closure concerning training plans for transitioning the studio to Unity, and even had a candid conversation about converting my employment status from project hire to permanent hire. Both of my immediate supervisors were enthusiastic about advocating for my conversion. My team had a major project review that is typical and routine to our development process still on the calendar as the employees were being ushered out of the building. All I can really say is that everything was running as normal until suddenly it wasn’t.”

Yikes! This is crazy. So of the 25 that stayed, were they alerted also, or they found out as it happened. And there is a load of rumor and innuendo going on with the last few episodes of the game including the talked about situation of the way they will be released and that the CEO’s only focused on gathering as many IP’s as possible. Would you like say your input about it here?

Jonathan: “I don’t even know who the 25 retained employees are. I won’t comment about rumor and innuendo. The official statements from Pete Hawley and Telltale official social channels are as much as I know about project and IP status. I hadn’t gotten to a point in my employment to begin exploring our IP library, as I was primarily focused with getting The Walking Dead: The Final Season out the door. Even if I knew what else we were exploring, I wouldn’t be able to reveal them if they hadn’t already been announced by the company.”

Interesting. My final question is, since a number of former employees were let go while their health benefits were cut, did that happen to you as well? And do you feel that there was an over saturation with the amount of people that were hired through them? I would also would like to add in that there will be a class action lawsuit (which just came out today) against Telltale. Would you like to comment on that?

Jonathan: “All my benefits were rescinded immediately just like everyone else’s. I didn’t feel there was an over-saturation of hires. I was hired after the November layoffs, and it was a bit sad to see a quarter of the building empty where there were previously desks and people when I first interviewed. The teams I saw there were adequately streamlined, and in general we were all working under better creative conditions both from my observations based on my previous employment at Telltale Games (2010 – 2012) and from sentiments among my peers. I am following the class action lawsuit. We have all been discussing the legality of the lay-offs, but none of us are lawyers. I suppose it was only a matter of time until this all caught the attention of lawyers. If it gets me and my peers the severance we all deserve, then I am all for it. Fortunately, I have been in this kind of situation before. I am prepared with alternate sources of income, independent game projects of my own making, and a healthy network of friends in the industry.”

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