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Friday, March 2, 2018

"iPhones cost a lot more than Android phones"

This is yet another myth that I wanted to tackle. most other myths...has some truth to it but is mostly false.

Let's take a look at T-Mobile's website for some phones they have for sale at the moment.

As of writing this, it is currently March 2, 2018 at 2:25 p.m. PST. Here is a screenshot from this moment from T-Mobile's website showing the most popular selection of phones.

Please disregard the smallest price values as those are not a true representation of the phone you are looking to purchase. This is dependent on the phone carrier you choose and will look differently for each one. We are focusing on the smaller number beside them, the full retail price of the phone.

There are some things we need to take note of before we directly compare prices.

The iPhone X was released on November 3, 2017. The iPhone 8 was released on September 22, 2017.

Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S9 will be released on March 11, 2018.

The dates are important due to how new a product is. If you have ever been to a car dealership, you may understand how this is similar. A 2017 model car will be cheaper than a 2018 model car, even if you compare the same car with the exact same features, color, and mileage all because of that date. You may even notice that a base model 2018 car may be more expensive than a fully loaded model car from the year before in some rare cases too. The same is true for phones in an even more drastic way.

The other thing we have to notice is the storage and other features. The best thing to do is to compare the base model of the phone. In the Samsung Galaxy S9's case, this would be the 64 GB option, which seems to be the only option for the Plus and regular S9. In the iPhone's case, we'll start with the X. We have two options, those being the 64 GB and the 256 GB option. And in the iPhone 8's case, for both the 8 and the 8 Plus, we have 64 and 256 GB options as well.

Given the different screen dimensions, it would be unfair to, say, compare the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus to that of the iPhone 8 or to compare the iPhone X 256 GB to the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus at 64 GB.

The most fair way to do this is to get similar dimensions and storage sizes. In this case, since the S9 only comes in 64 GB, we will have to compare the Samsung Galaxy S9 64 GB to the iPhone 8 64 GB and the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus 64 GB to the iPhone 8 Plus 64 GB. I know that Samsung does do promotions at times for a free 256 GB SD card and they do have an option for removable storage, but again, we are only comparing what is given to you at time of checkout without any added bonuses.

  • Samsung Galaxy S9 at 64 GB will start at $720.00 at 5.8 inch screen size.
  • iPhone 8 at 64 GB starts at $699.99 with a 4.7 inch screen size. On release, its full price was $700, according to Business Insider just before the actual release date.
Between these two, you can see that the Samsung Galaxy S9 is more expensive by about $20.01. You do need to take this at these being prices for my location and not including tax. Still, the prices will fluctuate around the same for anywhere else in the world and will have just as much of a difference with tax included.

  • Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus at 64 GB will start at $840.00 at 6.2 inch screen size.
  • iPhone 8 Plus at 64 GB starts at $799.99 with a 5.5 inch screen size. On release, its full price was $800, according to Business Insider just before the actual release date.
  • iPhone X at 64 GB starts at $999.99 with a 5.8 inch screen size.
Again, we see a similar pattern here. The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is more expensive than the iPhone 8 Plus by about $40.01.

However, there is an important piece to note in all of these comparisons which is the screen size. The iPhone X is at 5.8 inches in screen size which is much more comparable to the Samsung Galaxy S9 at 5.8 inches in screen size as well.

To be completely fair, it is best to judge these two prices since they are so very similar in just about every area. With that, we see a price difference of $279.99 where the iPhone X is the more expensive option.

It is very difficult to get a good idea of how to gauge this "Who is more expensive?" because of so many different features and differences that balance each other out. Where iPhone shines, Galaxy may not and where Galaxy shines, iPhone may not as well. And you do have overlap where each share equal shines in certain areas or have decreases in both. A lot of this is also relative, such as one person liking a bigger device whereas another person not liking a bigger device.

But back to the topic at hand, are iPhones more expensive than Android devices? As I said before, there is truth to this and there is a false part to it as well.

As we saw through our comparison, it looked as if Galaxy was more expensive than iPhone until we compared screen sizes and noticed that the one with the more comparable screen size was more expensive, that being the iPhone X even though it is considered a much higher end version than the 8 or 8 Plus. Through that, one could make the (not completely true) argument that iPhones are less expensive than Galaxy's.

Another important point to make here is that you cannot go based on numbers given by the manufacturer. In this case, we are dealing with an iPhone 8 and iPhone X (pronounced 10) and a Galaxy S9. Some people would say it is unfair because it is one number behind, but in actuality, this is what is the generation. We are comparing phones from the same generation and Samsung and Apple do not share the same time frame for generations so it makes this comparison a little more complicated, hence why I added the link citing how much the iPhones were when released almost 6 months ago.

To be truthful, it's not so black and white and it is clear why that is based on what I have written above.

Another thing to note is that this is just one Android device and there are many more out there. But I chose Galaxy S9 because it is what is known as a flagship phone just like the iPhones are. Flagship models are basically the luxury brand of the cell phone market.

It would be like comparing a Lamborghini to a Ferrari. We all know this is a comparable scenario for most of their vehicles due to similar pricing and performance. Whereas we would consider a comparison between a Ford Fiesta and a Ferrari California to be ludicrous.

Most Android phones sold on the market are not flagship phones. But if you get the average of all Android phones out there and compare it to the average price of all available iPhone models, you would see iPhone being more expensive because you are lumping in lower end phones that can sometimes cost between $20 and $150 to devices that cost almost $1,000.

The conclusion of all this is that there are situations where iPhones can be more expensive than Android devices but there are also Android devices that are more expensive than iPhones and it's a very complicated matter that cannot be boiled down to a single sentence.

Do I have to pay for apps, games, and music on an iPhone?

There's a fairly popular myth that I hear from a lot of people with regards to iPhones.

Lots of people ask me

Doesn't everything cost money on an iPhone?

The short answer to this question is, no. Most things you do on an iPhone will not cost you money.

Pretty much anything you do on an Android phone (HTC, Samsung, etc.), is the same thing you can do on an iPhone at the same price. All those popular apps and games from Facebook to Instagram, from Snapchat to Twitter, and Spotify to YouTube, do not cost anything to download. You do have some apps and games that have premium features built into the app that cost money such as Spotify and YouTube, but to download these apps is free regardless whether it is an iPhone or an Android device.

The same is true for apps and games that cost money. Minecraft, for instance, costs money regardless whether it's on iPhone or on Android.

Now, when you get to music, this is where it differs a little bit.

The short answer, again, is that, no, it does not always have to cost you money to get music onto your iPhone. No more money than it would for an Android phone. However, it can be a bit more time consuming.

Lots of people I know have downloaded some type of app that allows them to download music for free. Usually, these apps are illegally downloading music and this is not the way you want to go if you want to support your favorite artist. You can buy music in the Google Play Store, the same place where you can download and purchase various games and apps. Once you purchase a song or album through the store, this song or album is available to you no matter what device you have. They are also available to you on iPhones with the Google Play Music app.

You can also do it the older way where you physically link your Android phone to your computer. Now, lots of people don't have computers because they do everything with their phone. But if you do happen to have a computer, you can still transfer music the old fashioned way by using a USB cable and connecting it to your computer and dragging and dropping music files onto your SD card or into the phone's internal memory. This would be preferable for people who have purchased music through Amazon or iTunes and want to transfer that music over to their Android device very easily. Or if you have CD's and you want to transfer those mp3 files to the SD card or the phone's internal memory. could illegally download music to your PC and share it to your phone that same way.

With iPhones, not all of these methods exist. The easiest method, and the one that Apple would probably recommend, is for you to purchase music through their iTunes Store music app on your iPhone. Much like the Google Play Store, once you have purchased the song or album here, it is now available on any of your other iDevices such as an iPad or iPod Touch and it is also available to you in iTunes where you have linked your iCloud account. However, as of this moment, I am not aware of any way where you can easily transfer music you have purchased through iTunes Store app to an Android phone without going through a computer, so there is a drawback there for people who may switch sometime in the future but want to keep their music as easily as Google has made it. You can still retrieve your songs through iTunes on a computer and move them over to an Android phone if the Android phone is compatible with that music file.

But with iPhones, Apple has locked down the device for its own protection which greatly limits the ease of using a third party app to download free songs directly to your iPhone. The only methods as of now are to jailbreak or sideload an app onto your iPhone. If you don't know what either of those terms mean, this won't be a route for you. The reason for this is that Apple wants to make sure that iPhones have as little of a chance at being exploited as possible.

One such way is to prevent people from downloading files, such as music mp3 files, from any website on the internet and moving them to the phone. While this doesn't always happen, there are some websites that will insert malicious code into certain files to hopefully gain control of the system. Apple has decided that this is just too great of a risk and has made it near impossible to do this on iPhones.

To get music you want onto your iPhone that is free, you would have to go through iTunes on your computer. This is about the only way to do this for the average iPhone user. But with this method, you can sync just about any song that you want to your iPhone. It does not have to have been purchased through iTunes to be transferred to your iPhone in this method. Most of my own music has been from CD's I have bought over the years and have transferred to my iPhone. I also have friends who still use torrents to illegally download music and transfer them to their iPhone using iTunes.

So the bottom line is that, no, again, you do not have to buy music to put on your iPhone.

The conclusion for this myth is that it is simply not true. 99% of the free apps and games that you get on your Android phone that are available on iPhone as well are also free for iPhones. The same is true for music as well, it will just be a little bit more tedious of a process to get that free music onto your iPhone.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

What I Demand from Destiny 2

Alright so I'm going to address the title of this right off the bat before this gets posted around and people start calling me a whiny bitch or something. Although please post this around. I like money and getting more views gets me more money.
'Demand' is not a word I use lightly. If I'm demanding something it means I expect it. I don't demand to be happy but I demand the ability to go out and find my own happiness. I don't demand to be able to play video games but I demand the right to be able to move around my schedule as it pleases me so I can do stupid stuff like how last night I stayed up until 5 a.m. playing games.
I did actually play Destiny and god it was not my type of game. Don't get me wrong the gameplay is fine but there's so few choices and the ceiling for new players to enter the game isn't really great. Each game should be taken as if it were someone's first. Ideally, an optional tutorial to give the player the basics on how the game works. You'd be surprised at how many games fail to do this. The information about a game, its world and the people that populate it should be easy to access should the player choose to do so. The story was... nonexistant. I can't even say the story was bad because, lets be honest, there wasn't one. Sure there was the semblance of one but it was really a bunch of flimsy tape connecting various enemies and bosses together to give the player some semblance of context.
But this post isn't (not entirely at least) solely to gripe on the first game. I was completely against getting this game until I saw some more information on the game. First its coming to PC which is really really smart. The gameplay trailer looked really cool and the developers 'seem' to be a lot more open to the ins and outs of the game, at least pertaining to "Did you hate [small minor inconvenience]? Well now it's gone!"

1. An actual story.
Though I may love open ended games and the games that allow me to ignore all the story, I kind of need it every once and a while. At least like a pallet cleanser. Skyrim all the time is great and I love the game but its a completely different beast than The Last of Us. Story should add to the overall aspect of a game. And, yes, not every game has to have one but if I'm shelling out 60 bucks for this then ya put a story in. Indie games can get away with it since most of them are either coming from a standpoint of making it as close to an old school arcade game as possible or they had a budget close to what it would cost to have a light afternoon lunch. When you pour millions of dollars into something at least make an attempt at a story. So far they seem to be going in that direction for 2 but this is a blanket idea for the game and all its expansions. Taken King had a great story and literally none of the other expansions really had anything other than the aforementioned flimsy tape. I demand a passable story because you can't base a lot of a game around a certain thing and not deliver.

2. Fix the fucking multiplayer.
I am absolutely the last person who enjoys death matches in games. In fact I genuinely loathe them. Though that more or less has to do with just about every single company having no clue as to how to make multiplayer enjoyable for everyone. Players should be matched based on their skill and level. If I want to just dick around in some sort of a death match for the first time I shouldn't be matched with the player that has a standard fifteen kill streak per match. Put me in a lobby with players near to my skill but also allow me to queue up for those ultra pro matches.
Destiny had a pretty decent idea to have players drop in and out of your game. You could be fighting a random enemy and another player could pop in randomly. That's... good. In some ways. First off I think its safe to say that Destiny is its own breed of MMO. So you can't have a full server constantly in one area for various reasons. However, on some missions its absolutely necessary to have other people with you. My suggestion is instances. Its essentially saying that certain areas allow you to queue up, randomly or selectively, with other players. As a somewhat antisocial person who doesn't have a lot of friends who play games this works well not only for me but everyone else.
Same for raids. Destiny FORCED you to create a party for raids. And I'm not just talking in terms of survivability rather to simply queue up to get into a raid you required a party. I get that to some extent but getting a party together was not fun in the slightest. You either found a few people but not enough or you found the right party but then some asshole kicked you out because you didn't have the right gear or etc. Effectively these things were closed off to a good portion of players so they could never get the loot to get stronger so they could go into stronger raids. You see how messed up that is?

3. Make loot better. In general.
So you finished that tough raid after spending literally hours to convince someone that "No I'm actually a good player. Come on, please I just want some better gear from this raid." And hey, you actually got some good stuff!.. I think? Destiny had this stupid idea of making it so that you had to go to a guy to see what items you got after the mission was over. While this isn't... the worst thing, they did it in such a bad way. You could get some rare engram that ended up being some shit you didn't need. Simply making the drops coded to a specific slot would work wonders. At the very least you know that ultra rare engram will be either a weapon, armor or something else. The system can still work but a slot machine isn't the right way to dole out gear. Its fine, and I actually like that you just get random loot, and the system kind of works. I've had a lot of people bitch about the rewards they get after a fight immediately in the chat or get angry because another person got what they were going for.
Also nerfing gear for the next set of DLC is really shitty. Gear is gear. You get better gear for the new content rather than fucking over all your other stuff. At least make it so that you can maybe do something with that gear other than destroying or selling it.

4. Destiny 2 is the end.
So this might be a little weird to say, but Destiny 2 should be the stop of it, at least for a time. I don't understand games that release a whole bunch of content and then like a year later release an entirely new game. Especially when it comes to online games. It takes upkeep and money to keep those servers going. So the original Destiny servers will not stay around forever. You've essentially paid around 120 bucks and now that just goes away forever. I'm not saying you can never have another Destiny but considering its a game that demands you sink a significant amount of time, money and energy into it you can't expect people to just drop it for the new one. At the very least, have the ability to carry over some stuff from the previous game. You can't tell me the hundreds of hours I've poured into a game will simply vanish. If it does then I want that to be my choice.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

"The 3 Month Period"

So this is something I've been mulling over for a few days. Actually if I'm being completely honest this is something that I've been thinking about since I was first really getting into gaming. I was on and off again all throughout grade school but I started getting serious in high school. Coincidentally that's about the same time my family had a stable internet connection.
Anyways, before it was just me going to the nearest gaming store whenever I had the chance to do because that was about ten miles away. And I was not going to walk that far nor was I allowed to. But anyways I would save up what little money I earned and get what I could. The first game I ever remember buying was The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind. Which was also my first RPG so it was kind of a milestone. And it was at EB Games no less so pretty much a blast from the past kind of deal...
My point is, back then I wasn't waiting for games. I just saw a thing I liked and hoped it would be good. My family wasn't super rich and my parents rarely would buy me a game outside of holidays and birthdays so it was kind of significant. However, when I was older it became something different. Now I had more money, a more definite understanding of what my personal tastes were as well as the internet to see what new games were coming out. Not to mention ease of transportation so I wasn't limited with just going to the EB Games a few miles away or waiting for someone to take me. One of the most frustrating things I've ever encountered was games being announced for a release that would be around almost a year. And its only gotten worse.
Part of the reason I switched from Xbox to PlayStation recently is because of this trend in fact. Remember Scalebound? Ya, there's some bad memories there. But cancelling games is one thing. What they're doing with Crackdown? That's a whole different beast. Its been almost three years since they talked about Crackdown 3. I'm not even sure they gave it a release date when it was first announced. Regardless the wait is still excruciating. But it really shouldn't be.
The general rule of thumb is that at some point the player base for every single game will drop to zero. Generally there's various factors that come with this. If a game is bad it will be forgotten almost immediately. Going to either end of the spectrum will increase its life cycle, especially now that the internet exists to essentially remind us of our pasts. YouTubers will play really old games, often times to simply say "Wow, this game sucks." But at the very least that game is being played. Making a true video game classic is almost impossible but it can, and has, been done. These games could potentially last forever. I recently just downloaded Morrowind and the original Deus Ex games on Steam. I never really gave them the proper amount of gameplay, mostly because they were before my time and most of them are pretty archaic by today's standards. Still a classic is a classic.
There's actually another way that games fall off the map other than being cancelled or terrible and its something I'm surprised game companies aren't already aware of. Apart from the general idea that a game could be cancelled mid development revealing a game far too early is actually a worse killer in some ways. See if you show off a game or even just acknowledge its existence with a trailer or some kind of press conference you're essentially blowing your biggest opportunity to release the game at a sensible time and, hopefully, in working order. Lets take two games that were both announced fairly recently: Code Vein and Shadow of War. Right off the bat these two games are near polar opposites in most every way. Different genres, different graphics, art style, gameplay, studios. I get it. Code Vein was actually announced earlier by Bandai Namco. They teased the hell out of this game on their Facebook page. They even had a countdown for about a solid week until the trailer would release. Aaaaaaand it comes out next year... On the other hand, Shadow of War was announced back like a month or two ago. They showed off a nice cinematic trailer and, best of all, announced it would be releasing in just a few months.
See the closer you reveal your game to the release date often time has people more likely to buy it. Its kind of like a sugar high. The closer you were to when you had all that sugar the more energy you have. But the catch is the more time you spend the less of that energy you're going to retain. Games are like that as well. When Bethesda releases a trailer for their new game people blow off. They think of all the awesome things they're going to do in this new world, go off on speculating what the story will be, what era you'll be in etc. The further the release is from the game reveal gets more people less hyped. They start noticing the cracks here and there. Start realizing the trailer wasn't in the game's engine and was prerendered. Pretty soon what people were excited for just gets cut pretty significantly. The opposite is also true. If you release a game on the same day you announced it a lot of people are wary of it. Is it a bad game? Why is it coming out so soon? I would have bought it but I need to pay rent/bills/etc this month. Had they told me prior I would have saved some money.
The 3 month period is really the sweet spot. For a person with a pretty standard job in those three months I have six pay periods. That's six chances until the release to scrape together the cash to set aside. If it releases when I'm not ready I may never get it at all. More things will pile up and the excitement of getting it will have died down. A lot of DLC goes by this model, though within a shorter time span. Nioh recently had some DLC drop and it was announced like a week ago. This is because the people who already have the game can just sit back and wait. Anyone who doesn't have the game now probably won't get it but its a decent amount of time for them to opt in if they wish to do so.
I don't know. Just thought it was an interesting thing. Anyways, thanks for reading.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Mass Effect Andromeda - Technical Difficulties

With the new Mass Effect game set to release within a few hours, depending upon what time zone you live in, I thought I'd put in my own personal word about how everyone is responding to the game. In case you've been living under a rock with internet on par with DSL, Mass Effect is a series about space, killing stuff in space and having sex in space. I know Bioware and EA will frown upon the sex part of that but its probably why most people keep coming back to the series... no pun intended. The previous titles have all scored around the 90 percent on Metacritic, even the bad ones, which is still a feat in and of itself. I personally had a lot of fun with the first game despite its short comings and the second game was the best by far. And I don't feel like talking about the third.
However, the newest title, Andromeda, has been getting poor responses from critics so far and what little the public has seen has been mocked at best and outright despised at worst. Since I don't have a review copy of the game all I can do is read what they've written and form my own theory as to why these things don't work. The biggest two I can find are the AI being near brain dead and of course the 'horrendous' animations. I thought I might shed some light from a technical standpoint.
First off every single one of these things can be corrected at a later date via patches. And this is very standard as far as games come. Every single game we have coming out and within a certain time frame has had patches. These are fixes made by the developer via an internet connection that allow the game to run smoother, fix things in the code or just simply to remove some things. The AI could be a problem that wasn't fully realized by EA/Bioware when the game was being tested. Its not a super common problem and it isn't unfixable. Though it may take some time and work, this can be fixed and patched in a later date.
The biggest thing that has people worried... or laughing, is the animations. You can find multiple videos, gifs and pictures online of these mishaps but for now I'm just going to say, again, these can be fixed. Personally I find them funny at least but I can see how it could either be distracting or even ruining a person's immersion of the game. I would say this would be the least of their concerns as long as the game actually functions properly.
All this being said I want to add a final afterthought. This really speaks volumes to how the game was made. It doesn't really seem like, to me anyways, that EA put enough testing in to ensure the game was perfect at launch. Following the game from when it was first announced, a lot of people who worked on the original game began to drop off like flies which really should have been the first indication or warning about this game. This, combined with the fact that they are also using a new engine for the game leads me to believe that the team they hired weren't well versed with using the new engine or just simply weren't very qualified to handle the game. I personally would have liked it if the game was delayed by a few months to iron out the problems seeing as how there really doesn't seem to be a way for them to get over what will most likely be a financial hurdle as most people have already decided whether or not they're going to buy it based on what little they've seen. So one of my favorite series will take a significant hit for minor problems, depending on how you see these things.
My job isn't to tell you whether or not to buy something. I just want to inform you on how I see things. Buy it if you want. If you don't I would consider buying Nier: Automata. Its not really the same type of game but you'll probably get some fun out of it.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Ghost Recon: Wildlands PS4 Review - 6/10

If you've seen the review score above then you know this game is not good. I will admit the Ghost Recon series is not for me. The last game I played in the series (which had a name so generic I can't even remember or be bothered to look it up) was far too hard with many many game over screens. My brother bought it thinking it would be a good game and disliked it. Then he roped me into doing co-op with him and we both liked it even less. But even still, regardless if you like a series or not the game itself can be good or not.

The Good:
If there's one thing in this game I can give no backhanded praise to its the ability to essentially forgo the entire plot and just pick up everything. Yes, the plot of the game is flimsy at best and kind of boring. Imagine my happiness when I realized that all I had to do was ignore it. You can go literally anywhere on the map and kill stuff as well as take the weapons and attachments therein. In fact this is what my brother and I have been doing exclusively our entire play time. Sure occasionally an awesome weapon or a useful attachment just happens to be near a story mission objective and we complete it because, eh? Why not. You can also choose to go to any region, start fighting virtually anyone and essentially make your own fun by not participating in the game's story.
The map is certainly... big. If it sounds like I'm reaching for stuff its because I am. But I will say that a large map is something I do look forward to in an open world game. Granted only a few areas really stand out but its large enough that I can go around and do what I like within reason.

The Bad:
Alright so this game is glitchy as fuck. Personally I don't mind glitches all that much. Some are funny and horrifying like the Assassin's Creed Unity face glitch... which coincidentally is a Ubisoft game as well. Or character model tearing where they essentially stretch across the screen and objects in horrifying ways... which has also happened in this game. But what I cannot condone is the game breaking glitches, of which this game has several. I've just finished playing a session with my brother not but an hour ago of me writing this and so far we've been met with the glitch that takes away your binoculars and drone (oh by the way that means we can't use them period for no reason and with no prompt and they will return at an undisclosed time of their choosing), a new glitch where the game decided I couldn't use my controller anymore (which was no a malfunction of the controller, it just wouldn't let me do any prompts in game to get me back to the game but I could go to the home screen and everything worked just fine) and the game had to be restarted. Oh and there was this one glitch where the game just crashed. No reason. Just crashed. That happened twice, by he way. Not to mention the horrible lag times, general screwiness of the game deciding if it should or shouldn't put an event on the map (mini or otherwise) and much much MUCH more. Oh and by the way: My brother and I were playing on the exact. Same. Network. The. Entire. Time. Yes, good old Ubisoft decided that their servers needed to be accessed first and then we have to piggy back using a combination of their servers in conjunction with our own internet. Sure, this is a pretty standard thing. But generally game companies tend to ensure that the servers actually function properly. See, Ubisoft is under the delusion that EVERYONE wants to use their UPlay service! Its too bad this service is absolute shit. If I can offer a word of warning: never buy a Ubisoft game on PC. First off they force you to use their UPlay service regardless. So if you buy it on Steam or Origin you've essentially created a shortcut file which, instead of opening the game, opens UPlay which THEN opens the game. Not only does this use up even more processing power causing your game to chug when it otherwise wouldn't but it also has more fucked up effects. For instance I straight up just can't use Black Flag anymore. Ubisoft is still the only person who thought that DRM was totally cool and they're totally going to keep it going. So since I don't have this code for the game (which by the way I used the first time I began playing the game) and I no longer have my original UPlay account then I just can't play this game anymore. So in general I would stay away from Ubisoft indefinitely and regardless of the platform. Just... just don't.
The enemy AI is just about as fucked as the rest of the game. They can teleport sometimes, have the ability to shoot through a fence 100% of the time when you get about 5% of your shots through, sometimes just gain the Spider Sense of Spider-Man and just know when something is wrong and go on alert, often times will shrug off an attack that would have killed them in favor or just being able to shoot you instead as well as being able to call in support when they're already dead. JOY. This game doesn't even follow its own fucking logic.

The Meh:
So the story is just... there? The one thing I remember is there's this massive dude who's tattooed and some lady told him in a dream that it'd be a super cool idea to own a country and use their main source of wealth as cocaine. Cool... Maybe don't take drugs before bed. Or maybe all of that ink has seeped into your brain. Thankfully you can ignore it completely. That is if you don't want to actually finish the game.

Honestly I would sell this game right now if it wasn't for the fact that my brother bought it for me. However, since he seems to be equally as annoyed maybe we'll sell it together and get something better.
Don't buy this game. Don't buy anything from Ubisoft. Its a terrible game and they're a terrible company.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Nioh PS4 Review - 10/10

Oh. You thought that "Dear Xbox" post was a joke? Nah, nah. Real. Alright. All jokes aside I was planning to get a PS4 from the get go but I pissed that away on an Xbox One and then I found a really cool guy to trade with me. As luck would have it the games he gave me, plus the Xbox One games I forgot to mention I had to the guy so I just kept them, as well as an amazing move from my past self putting some money on my GameStop card I had enough to buy this game. And let me tell you this game was totally worth an entire console and about five games. I was actually really looking forward to this and it was one of the main reasons I decided to get a PS4... apart from all the other sensible reasons. Well, I can't throw shade at Microsoft for this entire review... or can I? Ah well I guess I'll just get to the review.

The Good:
God where do I start? First off the graphics are really good and I don't just mean from a "Ya this game makes the rest of the games I've played until now look like total crap." I'm a man of substance and what I want is art and style. And this game has it in spades. First off its not content JUST to look real good but also make the game look interesting and unique. Keep in mind I just have a standard PS4 so I have no idea what those PS4 Pro people are seeing. There's a lot of small and minute details that I'm not really going to get into. Just think the particles, the graphics, the character designs, monster designs, areas, visuals and really anything that has to do with the eyes hits really well. I will say there is a nice juxtaposition between the 'mortal' and 'immortal' stuff in the game. If that sounds weird just think of it as all of the normal stuff, while it has its own style unto itself, is very basic across the board in the sense that it makes sense and has a baseline you can track pretty well. Basically human characters all look similar yet unique unto themselves. However, the monsters are amazing. They all have their own unique design which fits well into Japanese mythology and that's not even mentioning the bosses or the spirits you can have throughout the game. You know that whole 'Ubisoft Effect' where a game looks noticeably worse from the trailer to release? Well that really isn't the case here and I'm super glad about it.
A lot of people will compare this to Dark Souls but I honestly think its better in every way. The story is... well there actually is a story. Combat is deeper and varied with great levels. Every single enemy is a challenge even until you max out your character so every encounter is a life and death matter even when you can one shot them if you forget to use all of the mechanics properly or effectively. The bosses themselves are challenging, rewarding and just the right amount of bullshit to piss you off enough to take them out in the most badass way possible.
One of the biggest problems I have with Dark Souls in general is the player interactions. Most times I would just be going through a level and have some random asshole stop me in my tracks to either kill me or cut down my healing items right before a boss fight. While they've said the game will have PvP in the future the way that coop works right now is amazing. First off you never have to worry about bs like summoning a person only to have them immediately leave because they were waiting for a friend or some other stupid reason. In any given stage, provided they have a shrine to use, you can summon a random player who will assist you using a consumable item. Sure this person could leave but so far I've never had a person do that. You also can only summon a person who's already beaten the level you're on so there's this idea of an experienced person helping you with your fight rather than some idiot who wants to put their sign down to use you as a test to gauge how strong the fight will be. Players who want to coop with others can do so via a sort of hub world. You can randomly match yourself or specifically choose which mission to fight in. There's also another mode where you and another player can go side by side in a mission together and fight for the same goal. If one player dies you lose a bit of a shared life bar that when depleted means both players lose. You can also revive each other or yourselves in this mode so its not a one hit type deal. When I found myself stuck on a certain level or needing more level up material I'd do this missions and then keep doing them over and over again because they were just so damn fun to play.
In Dark Souls you have a set amount of equipment. The sword you pick up from a fallen enemy will always be the same sword another player could pick up. Which is fine but Nioh does it a whole lot better. When you kill most enemies they will drop equipment, ranging from general items to unique armor and weapons. You can increase the likely hood of dropped items through various ways and also increase the possibility of finding rarer items. In one mission you get this really powerful katana that does lightning damage. If you stack up enough lightning damage on an opponent they can actually be slowed for a while, so its a great item to get your hands on, especially for how early on in the game it comes. However, if you do the mission again you will get another sword with the same lightning damage but a few extra and possibly better stats. You can also randomly change the stats using an in game blacksmith so if you got a rare weapon or piece of armor but don't like one or more of the stats you can change them with a bit of money. There's also no upgrading weapons outside of getting better ones and sacrificing them to make your weapon stronger. So you could literally start the game out with a level 1 weapon and take it all the way into the final boss and even the New Game Plus and still have it do a lot of damage, however I wouldn't recommend this but to each his own. You have to actively find better weapons do to this too so you can't just farm the first level endlessly and expect to get much of anywhere.
Unlike in Dark Souls 3, every single build you could possibly make can be viable. While you unfortunately can't be a pure magic caster (though I would love to see that) you can specialize in a lot of areas. My first build revolved around using a single blade. Then I found out how awesome using two blades was and started going for that. After seeing a build video online I respeced my character and turned him into a more magic focused character. Since essentially every single player can act the same role it becomes more of a support role if you like magic or ninjutsu and an attacker if you just want to smash things with a massive hammer/axe, sweep with a spear or dice with swords. There was a lot of moments in Dark Souls where I was with a magic focused character and once their magic ran out they were about as useless as a wet napkin with about the same amount of durability as one as well. However, in this game I let my attacker take the initiative while I pop a few buffs, throw some spells at my opponent to give them a quick status reduction (making the fight easier for both of us) then rush in when I see they're taking some heat and dish out my own. See the skills in this game don't keep you from doing stuff they just make you better at it. In Dark Souls if you had a low strength stat you just couldn't use a lot of weapons. In this game you need those stats to unlock the traits of weapons and armor. My magic character can't have all the nice special effects that my strength armor requires but I can still wear it and get the defense I need for a fight. My weapon still does about 300+ damage even if I'm not getting the extra bits from the stats so I do a nice amount of damage so I don't hinder my partner or myself through the game. I personally like it because its not a detractor. "You don't have enough strength? Shame. Guess you won't get that extra damage/defense boost. But hey, the armor looks cool and still works!" If you're especially good at the game you can go completely barehanded and steal other people's weapons to use against them. I'm not good at this but I'm sure someone is doing it and looking insanely badass.

The Meh:
If I had to pick one thing I wasn't too happy about its the fact you can't really make your own character. The main character is William. An insanely handsome Irish pirate who looks a lot like Geralt of Rivia. Eventually you can change your hairstyle in like three different ways, as well as your beard and eventually have the ability to transmogrify yourself into a few of the in game characters. So if you didn't like his look then you just have to play around twenty hours into the game just to gain this ability! Also kill a whole bunch of dudes but you're in twenty hours so I already presumed you did.

At the end of it this is a finely crafted masterpiece. Every time I hit a wall and thought about stopping there was something that helped me along. Whether it was the idea that I had an amazing game on my hands or just the various avenues to go forward I really couldn't say. Its just a shame this game isn't on PC because I really want to play this game forever and I hope a lot more people feel the same way twenty years from now. But then again Demon's Souls still has active players even to this day so, who knows? Maybe my wish will come true.