Friday, October 11, 2019

Not Again!

Well the Ghost Recon Breakpoint reviews are in and, even though it's an overall better game than Wildland, it average 60% on metacritics and am I ever disappointed!

This is Wildlands reviews all over again. Wildlands was a fantastic entry into the Ghost Recon franchise that was panned by critics for be so different than its predecessor. Different isn't always bad ... the game still stood out because it wasn't a call of duty clone and I loved it for that.

Fast forward 2 years and you have the same situation with Breakpoint. A great game that reviews have basically panned and, for some of those, I feel they panned it for the wrong reasons. Especially when it comes to the following points:
  • Micro-transactions - Many reviews have said that Breakpoint had too many micro-transactions and it was possible to by-pass everything in the game with actual money. I don't understand this one since the item you buy will be scaled to the current level.There's actually no point in buying those item blueprints and cosmetics.
  • Graphics - Both the Xbox One X and PS4 Pro have 2 graphical mode and I think the reviewers have been using the wrong one. One of the mode is of a lower resolution but with more detailed assets up close. The other mode is for a higher resolution experience - this can be change when ever you want and there's a big difference between the 2.
  • No A.I. Ally - In Wildlands, you had 3 A.I. allies following you around. It was neat but they were dumb as heck and the things you could do with them was quite limited. Sure, Breakpoint doesn't have that but what exactly are we missing out on? 2-3 commands and that's pretty much it. This game begs to be played co-op.
  • Half Baked Systems - The survival elements have been panned for feeling like they were just second thought items. You can beat the game without them but he added bonuses are definitely beneficial and felt during fights.
  • "Typical Ubisoft Game" - Here is one that gets me. Some reviewers have bashed the game because it borrows too heavily on other successful games from Ubisoft. There are some elements from the likes of Assassin Creed Odyssey, The Division and the like but why is that a bad thing? Both those franchises are awesome and they simply took what worked and added it here!

Everybody is entitled to their opinion. I'm having a blast with Breakpoint hence why I'm feeling that the reviewers are just not understanding what was given to us here. This isn't a COD, or even a proper "Ghost Recon" game, but what was given is still wonderful. Let's not compare it with the past and enjoy it with what it is.
I hate the fact that so many people hated it because it means that we're going to see less of it... and that would just be a shame. My advice to you is to try it out and make your own opinion of it.

Friday, October 4, 2019

Was Ghost Recon Wildlands an Experiment?

I've been playing Ghost Recon Breakpoint during the Beta and Early Access and I've been blown away at just how better it is compared to Ghost Recon Wildlands. Every idea that was introduce in Wildlands is improved here which begs the question - was Ghost Recon Wildlands just an "experiment"? Was the game released before it was properly "cooked"? One thing is for sure, Wildlands feels like a shell of a game now that I've played Breakpoint.

The Improvements:
  • Collectibles - In Wildlands, collectibles were used to inflate the time it took to complete the game 100%. It had very little purpose beside "collecting". In Breakpoint every collectible has a purpose. In-fact, you need to find specific collectibles in order to complete missions. Some are "clues" that you need to advance a mission.
  • Hunting - While Wildlands had animals, it wasn't possible to kill them with vehicles and there wasn't any real purpose in doing so. Killing them in Breakpoint gives you "meat/protein" that you can use in your cooking skills.
  • Sealth - In Wildlands, once someone saw you - it was over. There was nothing you could do to "hide" from the enemies unless you left the base entirely and came back. In Breakpoint, it's possible to move around and hide, even after you've been found out, as long as nobody saw your new hiding spot.
  • Locations - One of the biggest selling point of Wildlands was how big the map was. Once you've experience the map though you realize that it was basically a big empty space with a lot of the same buildings. This is, thankfully, fixed in Breakpoint. Now all bases look and feel different making exploration interesting.
  • Climbing/Fall - The mechanics for climbing the uneven terrain has been improve as well as it's now possible to fall down if you go down a steep hill. It adds a bit of realism to moving around on foot.
  • Craft- Crafting mechanics are introduce in Breakpoint. It is now possible to destroy items and make new ones as well as pick up items from the world in order to brew some medicine or food. This adds realism to the "survival" element of the game.
  • Other - There are many other small tweaks (sound, controls...) from Breakpoint that make it stand apart from Wildlands.
Breakpoint isn't a perfect game but its a hell of a lot better than its predecessor. While the 2 are different genre (Wildland is an FPS and Breakpoint is more of an RPG) Breakpoint still makes Wildlands feels like a shell of a game. Many ideas that were introduce in Breakpoint feels like it was overdue or should of been introduced in Wildlands.

If you're like me and enjoyed Wildlands then you'll likely enjoy Breakpoint. It is, in many ways, what Wildlands should of been.

Friday, September 27, 2019

I Want Nintendo To Fail

Nintendo is an amazing company but in recent years they seem to want a bigger presence in the phone app market. Mario, Pokemon and the soon to be release Mario Kart Tour have all made their way on the phone market with fairly positive reception but none of it has resonated with me like the games, of the same names, on Nintendo's native platform.

My biggest problem is that gaming on a phone is just plan awkward. Game companies have done their best to mitigate this issue by adapting the controls but all it really does is cheapen the overall experience.
In Mario Run, all you do is press the screen whenever you want Mario to jump. In Pokemon Go, you catch Pokemons but you can't really do much with them afterwards. Since Mario Kart Tour hasn't been release yet we don't really know how it will play out but my guess is that the controls will consist either of "tilt" like motions or some on-screen buttons... I mean, what else could it be?

Based on sales figures, Nintedo's new endeavor is a home run. I believe that part of that success is due to brand recognition more so than what is included in the game. One thing is for sure, however, is that Nintendo has no reasons to stop because most people love what they've accomplished on the phone market. Sadly, I'm part of a minority that prefer full fledged games with proper controls...

What's your preference?