Quick Review – Rocket League

rocket league

Today, lets sit down and talk about Rocket League. I’m going to change the format of my review for this one as, honestly, there’s no story to write about and that’s about half of my review length anyway.

Rocket League is published and developed by “Psyonix“, and I have to say this game is probably the most popular game they’ve released by far (skimming their previous releases, “Unreal Tournament 2004” is the only other game I recognize).

Now, I imagine you already know what this game is since it has become a bit of a cult classic already. If you don’t, it can be described as such – a game where you play soccer (or football for our European friends) with rocket-powered cars.

Now, I don’t generally play sports games, they’re just not my cup of tea. But the description of this game had my 8-year-old self jumping in anticipation. Honestly, who has never wanted to score a goal with a rocket car? People with no imagination, that’s who.

The game has a few ways to play – Exhibition, Season, and Online. Exhibition matches are simply a single match of the game, which are 5 minutes in length. You can play with a computer team with adjustable difficulties, or you can play split-screen with up to 4 players. The Season option is simply a series of ranked games with computer controlled teams (and you can play cooperatively in split screen in this option as well). The top 4 teams at the end of the season are in the play-offs, and you receive a trophy if you win! Online is pretty self-explanatory, you can play casual or ranked matches with other online players. Once again, you can play cooperatively in local split-screen as long as one of you has PS Plus or XBOX Live (or free, on the PC).

There’s a Training option as well, so you don’t have to just dive in and hope for the best. My favorite option, however, has to be the Garage where you can totally customize your vehicle. Body types, decals, colours, tires/rims, exhaust, antennas, and hats. Yes, you can give your cars hats, like crowns or sombreros.

Rocket League is definitely one of those games where you have to keep playing to get any good at it. I still suck, but I can still pull off a cool move every now and then.

leaguegif

My only complaint so far is with the online servers. There’s a lot of lag right now on that end, but Psyonix seems to be working hard to fix it.

Final Rating

Seriously, you should try it out. Before it sky-rockets in price.

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I Wish I Knew How To Quit You

Everyone has parts of their lives they want to keep secret. There are always dark recesses where strange things lie in wait. Maybe you did something embarrassing that would make you a laughing stock, or perhaps you have a bad habit that you can’t leave alone. Or maybe you killed a man. Whatever, I don’t judge.

Me? I have an addiction. I thought I had beat it, I hadn’t thought of it in a long time. And then Blizzard goes ahead and releases this:

wow

I haven’t given World of Warcraft a second though since the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. But seriously, this is unfair.

Instead of rehashing old content (Cataclysm, WoD), there’s a new continent called the Broken Isles.
A new class, Demon Hunter. You’re telling me I can basically play as Illidan? Do you care about my well-being at all?!
Class-specific Order Halls and a follower system? Fighting an entire army of demons as the leader of my Order?

When this comes out, you may not hear from me for awhile.

quityou

Please send help.

Couch Review – Citizens of Earth

Citizens of Earth
Citizens of Earth

Today, we’re going to be reviewing Citizens of Earth, an RPG by developer “Eden Industries” and publisher “ATLUS”. This game was released January 20th, 2015 and I’m excited to get started.

Story
Green - Pass

Lets start with the story, shall we? Considering Citizens of Earth is an RPG, this is one of the most important factors. It seems to take inspiration from many older RPGs, and I find a lot of “Earthbound” in this game.

You are the Vice President of the World. You recently got elected, and after one day of mildly difficult work you had to take a vacation. The game starts on your first day back, and there’s a rally against you in your hometown! Without getting into too many details, this is the most normal situation you are going to encounter in this game and events escalate quickly.

As the Vice President, you don’t fight. You recruit your constituents to fight for you, like any normal politician. There are 40 party members to recruit in total, each leveling separately and having their own special attacks and strengths/weaknesses. As a note, there are only certain characters you have no choice of recruiting, many others can be bypassed altogether. On my playthrough, I had less than half upon completion.

The storyline itself is nothing we haven’t seen before, but with every bit of dialogue they’re attempting to get a giggle out of you, and puns are everywhere. Books titled “Be Your Own Co-Pilot, written by Pilot”, or attacks by enemies such as “Protester hurts you deep inside with scathing ridicule”. One of my personal favorites was “Spiteful youth seen beating crows with cracked bat, apprehend at once!” seen on a police computer, an obvious shout-out to Earthbound. The game also lets you name all the characters you recruit. I named my Mom, “Dad”. Bringing the system down one step at a time.


Visual/Audio
Green - Pass

The graphics aren’t the draw of this game, but they do their job. They give the game the feeling it may take place in a Saturday morning cartoon, and the character models are each widely different (they’ve obviously not cloned different characters). 

As above, you can tell effort was really put in to the audio effects and music as well. Characters are almost all fully voiced, and the music sounds like a mix of something you’d hear in a cartoon, an older RPG, and an early 90’s music video. If the original music isn’t retro enough for you, there’s a setting for that as well. I did find that some of the sound clips got repetitive, but once you get into the groove, you don’t notice it as much. You’re obviously not getting blockbuster sound and music, but for this developer’s modest budget they did a great job.


Pacing/Game Length
Green - Pass

The game is split into chapters, and each one plays almost like an episode of a TV show. I beat the game in about 14 hours and in that time, I recruited less then half of the total characters, but I also explored every nook and cranny of each area (I’m an item hoarder, I have a problem). I would say you could probably beat this game in 8-10 hours if you were determined and only recruited the minimum amount of characters. Alternatively, you could probably get up to 20 hours of gameplay if you attempted a 100% playthrough.

I would say this gameplay length is about perfect. This game definitely plays like an older RPG, but it can get repetitive fast – especially the combat. The funny dialogue is nice, but I don’t think I could sit through a traditional RPG’s worth (30-40 hours minimum).


Game Mechanics
Green - Pass

Combat certainly takes many cues from Earthbound and older RPGs. Encounters aren’t generated randomly, but when you make contact with an enemy on the map while exploring. Depending on how many enemies are around, you can expect to fight 1 to 4 at once. You can have as many as three active characters fight for you, and combat is turn-based. Attacks either use energy or generate energy, and this is the basis of combat as well as buffs and debuffs. As said above, each character levels independently and have their own special attacks. One of my personal favorites is Conspiracy Guy, who can accuse enemies of covering up government secrets, confuse them by explaining one of his many theories, apply truth serum, or attack with a cattle prod.

Enemies of course have strengths and weaknesses, which help you decide which characters to use in each area. This is one of the reasons to recruit as many characters as you can. Health only recovers when you rest or level up, so make sure to always have health generation items, or a healer in your active party.

Certain maps can have tons of enemies and you can over-level fairly quickly. This can get a bit repetitive, but on the plus side if you can manage to “Charge” behind an enemy, and you’re a high enough level above them, you can instantly win the battle.

Recruitment can be tedious or fun, depending on the character. Some may have you going across the world to find items, others may just want you to collect an item, help them with something, or beat a minigame.


Replay Value
Red - Fail

Once you beat the game’s main story, you can keep playing to get the rest of the characters. Because of this, I would say this game has little to no replay value, unless you come back to the game years later.


Final Rating Maybe
Even though I gave the game Greens almost all the way through, I can’t give it more then a Maybe for a final score. Depending on the gamer, they may love this game or absolutely hate it.

– If you’re in the mood for a light-hearted, quick RPG with references to all sorts of older RPGs and pop culture, then give this game a try. It was only $15 when I bought it, and I found it well worth the purchase.

– If you don’t like turn-based RPGs, are looking for a more serious storyline, and get bored of repetitive game mechanics quickly, I would pass.

Enter Player One!

I love video games, I always have.

I remember my cousin buying an NES, and inviting me over all summer to try and beat Duck Hunt. I remember buying my first SNES when I was a little older, playing Donkey Kong and Super Mario until the system just fell apart.

Sega Genesis, Sega Saturn, N64, Gameboy, Gamecube, Nintendo DS, Wii, Wii U, Playstation, Playstation 2, Playstation 3, PSP, Vita, XBOX, XBOX 360,  and most recently PC and PS4. I’ve owned them all, and loved them all for different reasons. I’m almost positive I’ve spent more money on video games then I have on food and shelter combined. I’ve been pretending to be an Italian plumber with a major turtle problem for as long as I’ve been able to hold a controller. And yet after all this time…

I still suck, pretty bad.

I’m your average gamer. I’m never going to be ranked in League of Legends, I’ll never pass rank 20 in Hearthstone, and don’t get me started on my kill/death ratio in shooters like Call of Duty. I prefer the story in video games and becoming the (anti)hero, smiting evil or sometimes creating it. And that’s what the reviews on this blog will focus on – story. Graphics, gameplay, multiplayer, bugs/glitches and game length will also factor in, of course, but story is the yes-or-no factor for me, as it is for quite a few others.

Being average has its perks, though. I’m hoping my reviews will speak to a wider audience then some others. I also hope I can attract a user-base of like-minded, average, story-driven gamers like myself.

My name is Alan, thanks for reading. Now lets hit the couch!