Halo Infinite Downfall?

Back in November, we were finally given 3 long-running franchise games, Call of Duty: Vanguard, Battlefield 2042, and Halo Infinite. Of the 3 games, only 1 reigned supreme; for a time. Here we are 6 months later, and there is something seriously wrong with Halo Infinite. As a game, it works, but as a live service game, it is definitely lacking, coming from a developer like 343 Industries, who knows Halo, it makes you wonder what is going on over there. It is disappointing since Halo Infinite started out so well for a couple of months and it was a quick turnaround to mediocre. A general lack of a road map is crucial for any live service game, for season 1 it was basically non-existent and for Season 2 it is even more infuriating. These days in 2022, a season should never last 6 months, Warzone and Apex have the sweet spot, with 2 to 2.5 months per season. Having a season that is 6 months with only basic cosmetics is incredibly underwhelming and downright sad, with no new maps and no new weapons. Things and features that were promised for Season 1 have been pushed back into Season 2, with Cooperative Campaign being a highlight of this. Cooperative Campaign was promised to release in May 2022 and now it is late August 2022, a whole 10 months after Halo Infinite’s release date. Not even Forge mode is in Halo Infinite yet, a staple of Halo for years. It’s no wonder why Halo Infinite player count has been on a steep decline, for console and PC. It is becoming very clear that Halo Infinite may have needed another year, to plan out the way the Live Service should be and the Campaign itself. Rushing a Live Service game is never a good idea, even with the name Halo attached to it. The reality is that even with another year of development, mostly for the campaign shows that Halo Infinite was not well planned out and was hoping that the name itself would be enough but with this lack of content, lack of community engagement, why would anyone stay and play Halo Infinite. Maybe the best course of action should have been to give the multiplayer and the Live Service game to a different developer, a developer with a good history in multiplayer or Live Service Games. If 343 Industries continues to release Seasons that are 6 months long, it won’t be long until the game is inevitably forgotten. There are several free Live Service games that are performing exponentially well to fall back. Halo Infinite, Microsoft, and 343 Infinite need a restructure if it hopes to compete in this market.

Article by: ShadowAlchemistX

Shadow Warrior 2 Review

For a long time, I have wanted to play Shadow Warrior 2, and it did not disappoint, just know the kind of game you’ll be playing. What intrigued me the most from the game was the melee and gunfights in first person, haven’t seen a game that can do both and do it so well. The story of Shadow Warrior 2, sees you in the eyes of the protagonist Lo Wang, an expert assassin for hire. What makes Lo Wang a fun protagonist is that he says what’s on his mind at all times, with dozens of one-liners and even more insults to your enemies. This is reinforced with Shadow Warrior 2 gameplay, a first-person action shooter. It may feel a bit weird, how a game at 30fps can play so smoothly but it works just fine. Sound design is lacking here, from explosions to even your weapon sounds, they should sound powerful but they did. There are a few music tracks that hit at the right moments, otherwise, it is completely forgettable. Luckily the game is fun to play, it even has a 4 player coop option for those who are interested in playing as a team together. As long as you’re not expecting a Doom-like game and story I would this is worth checking out. Especially if you have Xbox Game Pass, for now, it is available through this service, otherwise, I would wait for a deep sale on this one. It isn’t worth putting in the full amount for it. 

Unsung Gamers Score – 6

Reviewed by: ShadowAlchemistX

Back 4 Blood Review

From the creators of the Left 4 Dead comes Turtle Rock Studios return to a zombie game, but not what we expected. The game starts with a clean cutscene introducing some of the playable characters, zombies and what the world has become. Even with it’s introduction, it’s very hard to care about the world or what’s even at stake. Clearly Back 4 Blood’s main goal is it’s gameplay and it nails it’s for the most part. Yes, at launch it was riddled with bugs, glitches and downright disconnections from the servers. Most have been addressed but you’ll still find a bug here and there. Gameplay is focused in first person, similar to it’s predecessor Left 4 Dead, but with very limited customization options. What I mean by limited is that you are unable to detach and attach certain upgrades to your weapons. Once an attachment is on your gun it’s on there for good, until you find a replacement for it. It’s good and bad at the same time, pushing you to explore and use all the weapons in the game but at the same time limiting what you can do with said weapon. The game is best played with a team and much preferably a team of your own. The game provides matchmaking lobbies to use but most of the ransoms you’ll be teamed up with, will not cooperate with you on the game, basically a free for all, in a cooperative game. When you want to see and explore the levels, you’re unable to when your team is rushing through it. With your own team at least there is constant communication and teamwork there, and that’s where the game shines at its best. Unfortunately after you’ve completed the annoyingly short game, there isn’t much to it after that. Just difficulty options through the same levels you’ve already played through, which can be fun but only with a team of your own. While there is an option to play offline with AI, it is a bland game from that standpoint and I don’t recommend this. All in all Back 4 Blood tries to recapture what it once had and it delivers, only in certain perspectives, your own cooperative team. Back 4 Blood is at a playable state where you can have fun with it, under certain circumstances. At full price I cannot recommend this game, especially when it’ll only take you 6-8 hours to finish, and with no end game option. Pick it up at a sale price, the cheaper the better of course. It’s worth checking out if you have GamePass through Xbox. And I cannot stress this enough the game can be fun fun with the game with my friends and family, but not offline mode, it just isn’t a viable reason to pick this game up.

Unsung Gamers Score – 6 out of 10

Reviewed by: ShadowAlchemistX

Rainbow Six Extraction Review

Rainbow Six Extraction Review

Back in 2018, Rainbow Six Siege had a free event called Outbreak. It was received rather well, an infectious outbreak that Team Rainbow Six must quarantine and eliminate. Since then, fans have wanted another Outbreak event, and sadly it never came, until now, and that’s not a good thing. Rainbow Six Extraction starts of well, with a beautifully designed and animated beginning cutscene depicting the oncoming threat. Things quickly go downhill from there, and I couldn’t help but feel let down. Extraction takes place in an alternate timeline away from Siege but using the operators from said game. Once you get your hands on an operator it feels welcoming, precise gameplay found in Siege is here with Extraction. Even with the precision of siege playing Extraction made me realize just how bland the rest of the game is. You’re given a tutorial to introduce you to the mission layout you’ll be playing. Every single level has a different layout but it all plays the same, same objectives and same enemies. The objectives are not hard to do, pick up this item, save this person, pick up this other item, that’s it. Other games have done this and have done it better. You can challenge yourself with harder difficulties with different risks but you must unlock those difficulties in order to play them, which can take an annoying amount of hours. The objectives are easy to get through and the game doesn’t become a cohesive game until you unlock those difficulties. Having said that, you’re still playing the same objectives but now you can’t run and gun. It’s barebones mindless gameplay, instead of 3 objectives , it’s now 9 objectives, back to back, on the same 3 maps, all while the game decides to throw waves of enemies at you. To add insult to injury, the harder difficulties doesn’t reward you with a stronger attachment or weapon for your arsenal, no, you get a hat/helmet, or maybe a shirt. The customization for your weapons and Operators are still here but serve very little purpose. As long as you have a gun, you’ll be fine, wave after wave of enemies, in a game that was not built for such gameplay. After putting in hours and hours of game time into the game, I cannot recommend this title, even at its discounted price of $40. Playing through the same maps with the same repetitive objectives does not justify its development. Ubisoft could’ve put there resources into something else for Siege, Extraction is not the game we were waiting to play. A testament to lazy and bland design cannot make for a good PvE game, that was a recycled season event. To quote a fellow gamer The Escapist, “A Bland Game is worse than a Bad Game”. Rainbow Six Extraction is a perfect example of this. The game is solid, it works, Day 1, very little bugs at launch but this cannot excuse the pure blandness that is brought to the table. I cannot say go out and buy this game, not even at a discount. If you have Xbox GamePass, it might be worth checking out but for everyone else, you’re better off skipping Rainbow Six Extraction.

Unsung Gamers Score – 5

Reviewed by ShadowAlchemistX

The Deconstruction of Triple A Games.

The Deconstruction of Triple A Games.

It may be age or maybe it’s how Triple A games are developed, but we as consumers should no longer consider this normal or acceptable. What I mean, is the developer/publisher mentality of “Release now and Patch Layer.” It’s becoming more and more clear that a lot of big name games such as, Battlefield 2042, Ghost Recon Breakpoint, and Anthem, just to name a few.

I’m not discrediting smaller developers or indie games, their budget and much smaller teams are a major reason for a buggy game. Having said that, they at least have the option to delay their game until it is ready for release. When a Triple A game has that same option and doesn’t delay the game, they can’t blame the consumers for being upset with the product. Bombarding said games with negative reviews, voicing their opinions in news articles, and just downright not playing it, is all a consumer can do to let the developer and, more importantly, the publisher know how they feel about the product.

Back during the days of old, when a game was released there was no way to patch a game; it had to be completely done with development. But it seems those days are almost gone, with only a few 3rd party developers and 1st party games still practicing delaying a game. I for one am totally ok with a delayed game, even by months or maybe even a year. That tells me that the team has a passion for the game being developed and they want that game to be everything we want it to be. Halo Infinite, God of War Ragnarök, Dying Light 2 are great examples of that, with Halo Infinite being praised for taking its time and releasing an incredible game.

From what I can tell, most if not all the blame should be going to the publisher for having an unreasonable deadline. Their business practices are finally making it to the light for us to see. Crunch time, no overtime pay, overworked employees, harassment, sexual harassment just to name a few. These are major reasons for a games’ release being what it is. It starts from the top and needs to be addressed.

As we step forward into 2022, we all need to let gaming publishers know when their product is not what was promised and should be held accountable for it. No longer should we say “oh it’s fine, it’ll be patched up in the next few months and then it’ll be a fun game”. We need to let game developers know we’re ok with the game being delayed if it means they are given proper time to actually make it and not make a deadline for the publisher they already don’t like working for. Again I’m not at all blaming said game developers, they’re under an immense amount of stress, especially here in the present. They are trying to make a game for the consumer/gamer, a game they’ll love.

Article by: ShadowAlchemistX

Continue reading “The Deconstruction of Triple A Games.”

Mega Man NES Version Why I love to Hate it!

Mega Man Bosses

Mega man! I can still hear the theme song from the 90s TV series, and yes I am that old. I decided to play the ole’ NES version of Mega Man a.k.a. “Rockman” (the first one). I recall talking to my fellow gamer Johnny5Arcade about how I miss the simplicity of the game. Just you, a blaster, and the jump button. Moving through the levels and maneuvering all the obstacles just to get to, what I consider the fun part, the boss battle. It really brought back the nostalgia of when I owned a orignail NES and the struggle of getting through the levels. Luckily this time I am able to save the game when I get tired or need a break.

I did recall there was an order to fight the bosses to use their own power vs the others. This was the order I went through them, using my Pokemon knowledge of element weaknesses: Bombman, Gutsman, Cutman, Elecman, Iceman, Fireman, and now to the final boss Dr. Wily. Currently that is where I left off at, and should be able to beat here soon, however like I said getting to him will be the ultimate gauntlet getting through the final level to get to him. I love the game, I love the play, and even love how you have to use some logistics to get past some of the level play (guessing patterns, and such), but man it takes like 2-3 continues to figure it out lol. I hate that it takes me longer and find it more difficult to get to the boss than the boss battle itself lol. That’s when I need to take a break from the game and then get back and apply what I learned from my mistakes I made.

But rest assured even after this game, I plan on playing the other Mega Man games all the way to the X and XZ series. I just forgot how much I enjoyed the game, and happy I have my arcade to do so.

Far Cry 3: Classic Edition Review 8 Years Later

By: Nando

It’s been quite a while since I last played Far Cry 3 on the PlayStation 3, not since it’s initial release 8 years ago. So what’s new in this version of Far Cry 3? A little more and a little less actually, a bit disappointed in that sense. While it’s version of the game is essentially just the PC version, the graphics were given a small upgrade from the console version. That’s not all bad, the story, in my opinion, still hold up and is better than what was featured in the 4th and 5th installments. Most of that credit can be given to an antagonist by the name of Vaas. Vaas is arguably the star of the show, the second he shows up, you know he is not to be crossed, ever. Having kidnapped the protagonist Jason Brody’s friend and brother, is all the motivation you’ll need to rescue them and get off the island. You’re not alone in this fight for survival, you’ll come across friendly allies with similar goal in mind to help you out on your journey. Gameplay still hold up for the most part but definitely shows it age in combat and minuscule platform sections. Shakey camera while in combat proves to be more a nuisance than fun but can still be competent. The open world is also a lot of fun to explore, especially considering you’ll need to hunt down the island’s wildlife to upgrade your inventory space, gun holster, ammo packs and etc, just watch out for Vaas’s men who are out looking for you. All in all the game holds up rather well but is still a toned down version of the game, Multiplayer and Co-Op were removed from this version of the game. Having said that the game should still be played but not at a full retail price.

My rating

7/10

An 8 year old competent shooter, while only featuring the single player component, is still worth your time for the right price.