Action/Adventure

Updating My Life

Young Bob Dylan via AllMusic

Sooner, rather than later, life catches up to you and does a wonderful thing: create less time. Time is always moving forward and never backward. Sure, you have a past; look at it, your past brought you to where you are today. Thank it. Cherish it. Know you are doing something right which brought you to your future, your present time. As the great Bob Dylan said: “the times, they are a-changin’.”

Hello everyone, welcome to an update about my life.

My last post was on February 15, 2015. I was fortunate enough to interview the great Jim Guthrie to discuss his masterpiece, Sword and Sworcery LP – The Ballad of the Space Babies, and his newest collaboration album with Solid Mas, One of These Days I’ll Get It Right. While this was my first interview, I do have one more that I have been keeping under wraps. I was able to interview an indie video game writer who is currently writing the story to one of my most anticipated games to come out (vague sentence is vague). Not only that, but I have a two panels from PAX South that I would like to share with the world since I am not able to find them online.

Correct Translation via GBATemp

Let it be known that my goal is to start writing again; I miss it, I need it, I want it. My itch to write is like a mosquito bite (rhyming and stealing). I will be honest, part of my dilemma to start writing about video games again revolves around my new job. I cannot say much about what I do, but I am having a blast.

The past couple months have been a blast with booked weekends with the family, my birthday celebration, a new computer and new console. Not only that, but I was able to beat a number of games that I wish to discuss as well. Since I love organization, let me break everything down in a chronological timeline.

The Snow Storm

It’s Tricky! via Game Rant

Texas is not known for its snowy weather. My first day at my new job was closed! The streets were so bad that nearly all of North Texas closed down because of icy roads and tons of accidents. Before I even started my job, I had a day off.

During this time, I was at home without any of my consoles; such a tragedy. Luckily, I had one form of entertainment: my phone. I decided to finish up a mobile game called Duet. This was no ordinary action game for touchscreen devices; it required memorization and cat-like reflexes. The player controls two colored orbs through mind-bending obstacles. The orbs could move clockwise or counterclockwise depending on the players fingers. Simple enough, right? Wrong! If one orb perishes, then the player must start over.

Duet At Its Core by Duet

This cringe-worthy, rinse-and-repeat game left a huge impression on me. Not only was it difficult, but Duet’s ending felt like an accomplishment instead of a hassle like many free-to-play mobile games. Who knew that two different colored orbs could make a game rise to the top and look down upon so many bad mobile games.

Obsession for Perfection

Hitman Go logo via Hitman

Within the month of March, I was able to beat four different games. On March 1, 2015, I perfected Hitman Go, a turn-based puzzle game, and beat Shadow of Mordor. Both games exceeded my expectations. Hitman Go was an easy video game to pick-up and play. However, perfecting every level was exhausting. I was able to get Hitman Go from the Humble Bundle Mobile Bundle for an incredible price, but I do not own an Android phone. Luckily, a little application called Andy helped me through this predicament by emulating the game on my computer. The best time to play this game was between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. because it was relaxing even when it frustrated me.

Rayman Legends via We Got This Covered

During the same time, I was working on another game in which I wanted perfection; Rayman Legends. On March 9, 2015, I was able to conquer Rayman Legends, but decided to stray away from perfection. Reason being that there was too much content for me to handle. This game not only had its normal levels, but it also had boss levels, re-imagined boss levels, a completely separate game and daily, online challenges; the sheer amount of content puts most games to shame.

Rayman Legends was taking up so much of my time, that I thought it would be better to focus on other video games. It is one of my favorite platforms to come out in years, and will reign as the best free video game Xbox One has handed out. Maybe one day I will return, and aim for that 100% goal.

Final Fantasy XV

Rawr! via Gamespot

On March 21, 2015, I beat one of my most anticipated game demos (yes, a freaking demo): Final Fantasy XV: Episode Duscae. Wow, just, wow. It is hard to describe. This incredible demo made me “giddy like a little schoolboy.” I anticipate the game will be even better than this little sneak peek, and it was worth the $60 (I am working on Final Fantasy Type 0, I swear). I do not want to go too much into detail about the demo since I would like to share my thoughts on it in a separate post. This phenomenon deserves an Early Impression. Look for it in the future.

If You Build It, They Will Come

Field of Dreams of Course via Giphy

I have some big news: I built my own gaming rig! It was an informative experience. One of my good buddy’s helped me put it all together and all of my friends helped me choose the most perfect parts. If you would like to see my build, check it out here: PCPartPicker.

I was really nervous when creating this beautiful PC. Reasons? Well, it was expensive. I am not the cheapest person in the world, but I want to make sure I buy everything for the right price. Sure enough, I was able to get a lot of my parts on sale. The most notable purchase was my 240GB solid state drive that I payed $100 for (talk about a crazy good deal at the perfect time).

I decided to go with a GeForce GTX 960 graphics card because I liked the price for its quality. I did a lot of research at Tom’s Hardware, Amazon reviews, Newegg reviews, and other benchmark websites to help me choose my incredible graphics card. I have never seen video games look this good before! My last computer was a MacMini (running Windows most of the time), so this was a huge upgrade.

If you would like to add me on Steam, my username is Lucky Lightford. I love to play Indies the most on my machine and will buy Grand Theft Auto V really soon.

A New Console

N64 Kid via Youtube

Not only did I build a computer, but on March 28, 2015, I decided to purchase a Playstation 4. Why would I do such a thing if I own too many consoles and a new computer? Well, the price. It was during a GameStop promotion where I was able to turn in my old Playstation 3 for a good amount of credit. My final price for the Playstation 4 was $142.14.

I will explain how it was possible in another post since it was a fascinating savings adventure. If you would like to add me on Playstation Network, my ID is Lucky_Lightford (I really hate the fact that I cannot have an actual space).

Thank You, Gosling via Teen

The Current

Currently, I am working 40 hours a week (unless you count the 48 hours I put in two weeks ago), playing tons of Bloodborne, watching an wonky show called iZombie, loving every second of Game of Thrones and living life to the fullest.

My dream is to write more on here, but I cannot keep those promises for the time being. My job is quite stressful and I will be moving out of my apartment in a month or so. However, I can promise that I will keep on gaming and think of more ideas for my blog. Let me leave you with this, a little of me playing Bloodborne.

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Conquered Games of 2014

Video Game Accomplishments via MRWGifs

Backlog, I hate the word. I choose not to put any of my games in that list. Instead, each individual game I conquer goes into a cleaner, better list. A list that shows the date and name of each game I beat. I started this list back in 2013 and will continue to make a list each year. The reason why I love this list is because it shows my gaming habits and brings back memories of games that I might have forgotten. One thing worries me each time I look at this list: it looks like I game less and less each year. Am I losing interest in video games? Do I focus too heavily on certain video games? Maybe, just maybe, my life is becoming more important than video games?

Stacks on Stacks of Games by Pioneer Project

Enough speculation; here is my list:

January

  • 01/01/14 – Dead Rising 3*
  • 01/02/14 – Dead Rising 3 Overtime Mode
  • 01/10/14 – Papers, Please (2 different endings)
  • 01/14/14 – Need for Speed Rivals (Racer mode)*
  • 01/19/14 – Rogue Legacy*

February

  • 02/07/14 – To The Moon
  • 02/08/14 – Do You Remember My Lullaby (interactive movie/game from the “To The Moon” creator)
  • 02/15/14 – Poker Night 2 (Tournament’s Won = 1)

March

  • 03/18/14 – Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes

April

  • 04/11/14 – Cool Pizza
  • 04/20/14 – Rayman: Jungle Run (100%)*
  • 04/22/14 – Trials: Fusion

May

  • 05/03/14 – Metroid: Fusion (3:47 with 46%)
  • 05/26/14 – Super Time Force

June

  • 06/06/14 – Mario Kart 8 (50cc)
  • 06/14/14 – Mario Kart 8 (100cc)
  • 06/14/14 – Wolfenstein: A New Order
  • 06/27/14 – New Super Mario Bros. U

July

  • 07/04/14 – 140
  • 07/04/14 – Shovel Knight
  • 07/13/14 – Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag

August

  • 08/03/14 – Final Fantasy X
  • 08/03/14 – Final Fantasy X Eternal Calm (interactive movie/game)
  • 08/24/14 – The Banner Saga
  • 08/30/14 – Finding Teddy

September

  • 09/01/14 – Invisible, Inc. (Early Access)
  • 09/21/14 – Kingdom Rush*
  • 09/21/14 – 10000000*

November

  • 11/28/14 – Kalimba (Beta)

Please Note: The games with a * were started in 2013.

Conquering 29 games is pretty successful, especially when you consider three time-consuming games I did not put on this list: Titanfall, Destiny, and Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U.

Titanfall’s Shot Put via Reddit

Titans Can’t Fall

Titanfall is a game that is meant to be played online. The story is insignificant and, possibly, pointless. If you wanted to beat the “story mode,” you had to join matches in progress and hope to play two different sides of the story. I did complete both factions, but the game does not end there. I do not want my story for a shooter to consist of playing online matches. The only way I would consider Titanfall fully “complete,” is by completing 100% of the achievements (which is nearly impossible). The only achievement that is next to impossible is “I Killed Them All” achievement.

The “I Killed Them All” achievement consists of killing all the enemy pilots during the evacuation phase, single-handedly. That means when your team wins, the losing team has a chance to escape by boarding an evacuation ship. First of all, if you are on the winning team, there is a good chance that your team members will attack and kill any enemy pilots who are making their way to the ship. If, somehow, all the pilots get inside the ship without being killed by your team members, you must be the one to destroy the ship before it departs. However, since everyone will be shooting at the ship, it is nearly impossible to be the one that gets the final shot off. This achievement is nearly impossible, and I know I will never achieve it with the diminished number of people who play now.

The Never Ending Game via TFJ

Destiny’s “Endgame”

Destiny never ends. I have completed all of the story missions (including the new Dark Below expansion), but that does not feel like I beat the game. I almost wanted to consider beating the raids on their hardest difficulty was “beating the game,” but I just cannot do that. I continue playing the raids over and over again to get better gear or upgrade my current gear. It never stops and it almost seems pointless at times.  It feels as if there is no ending to this game since there are continuous updates, expansions, and possibly hundreds of hours of gameplay.

Sleeping Soundly via Mii Gamer

Super S-“Meh” Bros.

Surprisingly, the newest Smash Bros. is not all it is cracked up to be. I love the game, it is polished and well balanced, but something is missing from my experience. The main reason it feels “meh” to me is because my friends have lives of their own and cannot usually come over to play this party game, so I have no one to look at my awesome kills, swift dodging or bat-swinging madness. Playing this party game solo is not quite as thrilling as it is with a group of friends, but I have beaten the single-player mode with seven or so characters, and I own two amiibos (Little Mac and Fox). It is a fun game to pick-up and play, but only for a few minutes. I have not tried to play online much since it is not the same as having the person next to you and talking trash. Players can complete this entire game by either collecting all of the trophies or unlocking every challenge. Since this can take nearly 120 hours to complete, and since I have lost motivation to play, there should be no surprise as to why I haven’t been able to add Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U to my list.

Conclusions

I have no idea where I will end up this year with video games. I beat two games already this year, but continue to play Destiny more than ever. I want to work on all the games I received during Christmas and try to get away from Destiny. I do not believe I am losing too much interest in video games, I just have other priorities that are more important. Video games are not a lifestyle, it is a hobby. I would rather look at my accomplishments in video games, and be impressed rather than force myself to play every video game on the planet. Luckily, I have tons of video games that I am looking forward to playing in 2015.

Scott Pilgrim Always Continues via The AWL

Another Year, Another Game

The Very Best via shawnblanc

2014 is over. There is only one way to start off 2015, and that is with my Game of the Year (GOTY). My GOTY is not an easy choice to make. I believe my GOTY will surprise many, and video game websites and magazines will probably not even give my game a mention. Instead of picking one game to talk about, I picked three. All three of the games on my list were very close, but there can be only one.

Shovel Knight

Shovel Knight Camping Out by Yacht Club

The moment I saw Shovel Knight in 2013, I knew this game would be great. Shovel Knight is no ordinary game, it is the Kickstarter game. I was one of the early backers before every gaming website and editorial wrote about it. When the media basically made it a must-have in 2013, everything changed. The Kickstarter page blew up with more goals, promises, and backers than anyone could have imagined. Shovel Knight’s Kickstarter goal was only $75,000, but it raised over $310,000 instead. That is an incredible feat.

I backed Shovel Knight on April 13, 2013. The game was set to release in September 2013, but with more and more support, new stretch goals appeared. In their fourth update, stretch goals introduced achievements, new music, genderswap, battle mode and much more. While the new additions sounded nice, it only meant that the game would most likely not release on time. At first, I was a little upset since I am impatient when it comes to video games, but once Shovel Knight released on June 26, 2014, my entire view of on the game changed.

Shovel Knight Stretch Goals via Kickstarter

I remember the first level like it was yesterday. The game looked flawless and everything felt right. The controls were spot on with simple to use jumping mechanics (inspired from the greatness of Scrooge McDuck from DuckTales) and the simplicity of its attack/spells system (heavily inspired from Castlevania and even Zelda II). The puzzles were not mind numbingly hard, the characters/villains were all hilarious, and the music was phenomenal. Without a doubt, Shovel Knight was better than most platformers I have played in recent years. The worst part about Shovel Knight was the ending; only because I did not want this game to ever end.

Comedy At Its Best by IGN

Shovel Knight will go down to be one of my favorite Indie Games of all time. If you have not played it for yourself, what are you doing reading this? Go play Shovel Knight, right now!

Destiny

Squat Like A Guardian via Verge

If you have been reading my blog, you noticed the large number of Destiny articles. Yes, the game is very addicting and I am still going to write about it. However, it is not my GOTY.

Instead of stating reasons why this game should/could be my GOTY, I would rather make a list of concerns.

  1. My total play time is currently 334 hours.
  2. I am stuck at level 31 since I do not have enough Radiant Shards (a new currency which came out with the new Dark Below expansion).
  3. I have three different characters.
  4. I play at least 1 to 2 hours a day.
  5. Changing the volume in the game’s option menu is impossible.
  6. I lose heavy ammo when I die, everytime.
  7. The Iron Banner is not a constant thing.
  8. I have lost a lot of interest in Player vs. Player (PvP).
  9. Random Number Generators (RNG) is the worst.
  10. The story is hidden in the grimoire cards.

Y U DO THIS via Troll.Me

Again, these are just concerns, not complaints. I want to state one thing though: the Destiny Raid’s are the absolute best part about Destiny. It would make too much sense to put Destiny as my GOTY with all the time I spend with it, but it did not change anything. It is a Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) game with lots of potential. I believe future installments in the Destiny world could change my opinion about the game, but it is not my GOTY.

Titanfall

Titanfall = GOTY via WCCF

I bet you did not see that coming. Titanfall is my GOTY. After talking to myself on numerous occasions, I picked this game because it reminded me of how good PvP can be. I do not care that Titanfall has no story (it was there, somewhere), I do not care that I always had to be online, and I do not care what people say about my decision. This game was the multiplayer experience I have been waiting for after all these years.

It is worth noting that my favorite multiplayer experiences are from Call of Duty 4 and Gears of War. Both of these games showed me what PvP was all about. I found many of my current friends online with these two games. I have never played anything remotely close to these two games that resembled an excellent multiplayer experience, until Titanfall came along.

Titanfall was a breath of fresh air (or exhaust from the Titans). It gave me the first-person shooting (FPS) aspect I like with Mirror’s Edge mixed in; the wall-running and platform climbing changed everything. Titanfall is a fast-paced game with mechs thrown in for fun. The maps are are easy to remember and strategic on their own with numerous game type. A huge plus was that I played/met tons of great people because of this game.

I do not play Titanfall much anymore, but overall, it was a phenomenal trip (all 107 hours of it). This game gave me hope that PvP can change, and will change with time. Call of Duty: Advance Warfare and the next Halo game took a page out of Titanfall with their increasing speeds and unique futuristic equipment. The FPS experience is changing for the better.

Even though the community may be dead for Titanfall, I know I can still go back with a group of friends and have fun. The updates they provided are some of the best in the industry. We have seen tons of new game modes, new and improved burn cards (these give your character boosts with their equipment, Titans or extra experience), and even emblems.  I am very surprised by how far Titanfall has came and will continue to watch it close; I am definitely looking forward to the next Titanfall.

Conclusion

I use the term “Game of the Year” cautiously and believe my opinions are probably not ideal. I am not handing this prestigious award to just any game, but I hope that Titanfall can/will change the FPS experience. I would be surprised if someone agrees that Titanfall is the GOTY, since there are so many strong games that came out this year. I have yet to play Far Cry 4, Shadow of Mordor and other indie titles, but will eventually. My opinion could change down the road, but I hope we all can agree that 2014 was one of the best years for video game enthusiasts everywhere.

Destiny’s Vault of Glass: Hard Mode

The Vault of Glass via Destiny News

When entering the Raid on Hard Mode for the first time, my mind raced with the expression: “Eyes up, Guardian.” By the time my group and I finished it, all I could think was: “Head down, Guardian.”

This post consists of my ongoings before and after the Raid. Before I entered the Raid on Hard Mode, I made sure I was level 30 (the recommended level when completing the Raid on that difficulty); let me explain what I had to go through to obtain a level 30 guardian.

Randoms The Name

Destiny is a game based on a Random Number Generator (RNG). The equation is massive and the unknown is heavy with emotions. I feel as if each item dropped is more than luck, it is a gift. People like to joke that they pray to RNGesus to get the one item to add to their arsenal, and I must say that it is no joke. Obtaining level 30 in Destiny is one of the most difficult and cringeworthy things I accomplished after nearly two months of searching for the right items.

RIP Loot Cave by NowGamer

RNG is a ravage beast towards my main character, a Warlock. RNG is not my friend and it showed while being stuck at level 28 for weeks. I completed the Raid on Normal Mode every week, hoping to obtain pieces of armor that would boost me up to level 30 and only ever received the chest armor and nothing else. To level up to 30, I had to obtain armor with “light” attached to it. Through a careful analysis, I had to own at least three pieces of Raid armor and one piece of exotic armor (they are yellow and shiny) to reach my goal of level 30. I thought I was doomed to stay at level 28 forever until Bungie announced that the Iron Banner would be back, with a vengeance.

The Iron Banner is a Player vs. Player (PvP) arena, just like the Crucible, except that my armor and weapons mattered. Basically, the higher my level was compared to others meant that I could easily destroy them. If a level 20 approached me in the Iron Banner, he/she was mincemeat. My gun would tear them to shreds and they would barely scratch me. The reason why the Iron Banner was so important though was the fact that its vendor would be selling armor that could boost me to level 30.

Iron Regalia Gloves for Warlock from Iron Banner by Gamezone

I worked my ass off in the Iron Banner for the one week it was open. I played everyday to ensure that I could build up enough reputation with the vendor to buy the armor I needed. There were some good moments and some bad ones, but overall, it was fun and challenging. Below are some highlights from my Iron Banner experience. Once it was over, I could finally be the guardian I always wanted to be.

The Very First Time

Now that I was level 30, it was time to do the Raid on Hard Mode. My group and I consisted of four level 30s and two level 29s. It seemed manageable at first, but the further we went into the Raid, the more difficult it became. The only difference between Hard Mode and Normal Mode was the fact that if I died in Hard Mode, I could not be revived until we get a checkpoint. Luckily, my Warlock could self-revive at least once (depending on if my Super move was ready to use), but even then, I knew this would be challenging.

The Entrance Into The Raid by Attack of the Fanboy

One part of the Raid involved us protecting a group of Confluxes, which were large pillars where the Vex (an antient cyborg species) could sacrifice itself. If enough Vex were sacrificed, our entire team would wipe (or die).

First, we set up in our positions and defended the back most Conflux. A hoard of enemies tried to kills us after the first Conflux, but we all went to hide in the “hidey-hole” (a room where we cannot be damaged by Vex). Once that was over and the Conflux disappeared, and two new Confluxes would pop up on the left and right; the challenge intensified here.

With the two Confluxes open to vex sacrifices, it was our goal to protect them, but we failed every single time. There were hoards of enemies overwhelming us; it was a pain in the ass. There are two reasons why this was happening: A) not enough high level guardians and B) not enough maxed-out weapons among the group. One guardian would die and we try to fend off the rest of the Vex, but we always wiped.

Dinkle Bot Found A Conflux via IGN

Frustrations were building and one of my buddies was fed up. He went to Destiny Looking for Group website to try and find a checkpoint at the next part of the Raid. Thankfully, my friend found a group of guys with the next checkpoint. This part of the Raid is much easier as many would agree that the protecting of Confluxes was the hardest part in the entire Raid.

We went to the next checkpoint, skipping the entire hard part of the Raid, and emotions were calm. Our next task was to destroy a number of Oracles (giant balls of light) before they disappeared. Each Oracle has a unique spawning point, so we had to position ourselves in the right places to hit each one with ease. The platform at which we stood on was high enough not to be damaged by other Vex and the guardians could focus solely on the Oracles. One person was on the ground level while five of us would stay at the very top and shoot the Oracles from there. By far, this is the easiest part of the Raid.

The Templar via Digital Trends

Finally, the Templar, a giant boss who shoots crazy amounts of light rockets at us, was next. Before Bungie updated the game, guardians could knock the Templar off the map with well-thrown grenades. We decided to kill him this way since it would be the fastest method and time was not on our side (it was nearly midnight by this point). We wiped a few times, but it was done in less than 20 minutes. We were almost to the end of this chaos-filled adventure.

The Gatekeepers

The next section of the Raid consists of destroying two large Gatekeepers (basically, a smaller Templar). First, we had to teleport to another planet to find one of the Gatekeepers, kill it and pick up a relic (think Highlander but with a shield) before getting to the final boss. This part took a long time, but after we got into a rhythm, and discovered how/who could destroy the Gatekeepers the fastest, all was well for our group of six. It was time to face our Destiny.

The All Mighty Relic via Destinypedia

The Final Fight

Atheon, the final boss in the Vault of Glass. He is a giant Vex lord that no one know the origin about (unless you read vague cards given to us as backstory in Destiny). His firepower can kill a level 30 guardian in two shots. Even though he is standing in the open, we cannot attack him head on when he appears. Instead, three of us must be teleported first. Once three are teleported to another planet, the three guardians left behind must open the teleport, defend themselves against the monstrous Harpies (which are basically suicide bombers), and stay alive long enough until the other three return. The team that was teleported to another planet must kill Vex, hold onto a relic like before while cleansing the other two teammates (it gets dark, fast inside their) and destroy a group of Oracles that spawn in the air. Once the three guardians come back from the other planet, everyone jumps on a platform in the middle where everyone unloads all that is holy onto Atheon. The reason we have to go through this whole process is because a damage boost called Time’s Vengeance will be activated, which lets us do catastrophic damage to the Vex lord. After the Time’s Vengeance expires (all 30 seconds of it), we must run away and do the same thing over again until Atheon is dead.

The Vex Lord, Atheon via MP

The final battle took forever; we failed numerous times. Our team spent maybe one or two hours trying to defeat Atheon. The more we wiped, the angier we got. The frustrations were building and we could not do anything about it unless we quit.

On our last try, Atheon was nearly dead. Our team made a final push to try and finish him off. Everyone unloaded their clips of ammo into Atheon, but we came up short. Two guardians died and the ones left alive thought it was over. It is funny how that is not the worst part though.  Atheon teleported two guardians, me being one of them, and left two outside fending for themselves. Luckily, my team was smart enough to remind me about the glitch that occurred. Whenever Atheon teleports two guardians instead of three, we can run out of the teleport (if the gate is open) and not die in the process.

My buddy who was with me yelled at me to run toward the gate. I had the relic in hand. I noticed that another guardian died outside, but the gate was still opening. The guardian who opened the gate was trying to kill Atheon by himself, but failed to finish him off. The gate was open and we ran through. My buddy with me tried shooting Atheon with everything he had, but perished from the on-going assault of Harpies. I dropped the relic, which I knew would surely end the raid, but had to at least try and take down Atheon. With one of my last rockets left, I shot Atheon, dead-center, and I died… but not before Atheon.

Triumph Turns To Misery

Sad Guardian via Kotaku

We did it! I could not believe my eyes, but we destroyed Atheon! We were yelling with excitement; laughing and hollering at the top of our lungs. I looked to my right, where the rewards would pop up and with a heavy sigh, could not believe the crap I was given. I saved the Raid and was awarded nothing spectacular, nothing that would help me in the future, it was utter defeat after defeating the greatest foe in the game. I was heart broken.

The Next Week

Last week, I decided to try the Raid on Hard Mode one more time. We had some difficulties again, but found some randoms with the Gatekeepers checkpoint. We decided to hop in their game, and formulate a new plan since they were not used to our methods.

We changed up tactics, wiped a few times, and just when we were about to finish the Gatekeepers section, people started dying. We were down to three guardians when we opened the second portal and teleport to another planet. We needed to grab one more relic before we can get to Atheon. My buddy with his relic had to come with me and cleanse me since I would not be able to see for long. I destroyed the Gatekeeper with the last of my rockets and sniper rifle as fast as I could. However, we had one guardian watching the portal outside, and I knew he would not last much longer.

One Of The Gatekeepers via Beyond Entertainment

After the Gatekeeper fell, and ran as fast as I could to grab the relic. Right before I was about to grab it, I died, but luckily could self-revive. I yell to my friend in the portal with me to run outside and protect the Conflux. It is worth noting that once the Gatekeepers are destroyed, our team must protect the Conflux in the middle from an on-coming traffic of destruction; giant Minotaurs who do massive amounts of damage.

It was my buddy and I with relics, doing everything we could to protect the Conflux. Our teammates were cheering us on, helping us locate the next enemy on our right, left, behind us; they were everywhere. When they started sacrificing themselves to the Conflux, we tried to destroy them quickly. After destroying Minotaur after Minotaur, the Conflux disappears, my relic is gone and I die by a Minotaur. We all yelled at the last guardian to stay alive. We did it. Two people defended a Conflux that is usually defened by six guardians. It was incredible, exhilarating and one of the best moments I have experienced with Destiny. Watch the way it played out below:

ERROR, ERROR

Finally, it was time to battle Atheon once again. We had a hard time since our group of guardians consisted of three level 29s and three level 30s. The two randoms my group joined had very weak weapons and I thought we would never succeed. We died over and over again, getting no where.

Then came the final run. I was tired, and a little upset that we had not finished it yet. Our team was doing brilliant. I made sure to kill all of the suicide Harpies so my other teammates could damage Atheon; I was not going to let anyone kill my teammates. I asked how much health was left, and they said about a quarter or so. I was excited. I thought, “Finally, we are almost done!” Then the worst thing happened… an error code.

The Worst Timing Ever via Gamepur

Right before three of my teammates were teleporting to another planet, I was kicked from the game and sent back to the main menu. I received a stupid error. My heart sank with dread. I did not want us to lose because of a faulty glitch. I knew I could no longer help my team, but rushed back to join them and start over again. I apologized profusely, but what I came back to surprised me. I heard my group yelling that they almost have Atheon. Before I completely joined the fight, my fellow guardians did it; they defeated Atheon with five guardians! I was ecstatic, and extremely lucky to receive any rewards. Thankfully, I joined my group in time to get something for my efforts, but one glitch almost doomed us again.

Conclusion

My feelings towards Raids on Hard Mode is peculiar. I love the challenge, but with all its abundance of problems and the fact that it is really hard to find players who are on par with my friends and I, it may not be worth the stress. It is a waste of time to die over and over again while getting the crappiest rewards. Bungie stated that they are fixing the Raid rewards system. Bungie stated that they are working on fixing the glitches. Bungie stated that they are listening. In all honesty, I do not know nor understand what Bungie is doing. I have never played a game like this before; something always evolving and changing. I want to be the best at Destiny and do everything it has to offer. Maybe that is the reason I continue to play it. Hopefully, the next Raid will be challenging, memorable and less glitchy than the Vault of Glass.

A Mixed Bag Of Emotions via Reddit

Time Is Money

Wario with Money while Ben Franklin sits idly by, from Minutebuzz

“Time is money.” Benjamin Franklin used this phrase in Advice to a Young Tradesman, Written by an Old One. This phrase rings true for everyone with or without jobs. People who work full- and part-time positions truly know the meaning of this phrase. No matter our hourly wage, we are doing one thing: using our valuable time to earn money. However, this phrase can also relate to video games purchases. It sounds improbable, but our time spent playing a video game is worth a significant part of our money. I want to show everyone how it is possible to budget video games with my equation: “Playtime is Money.”

The Equation

Purchase Price ÷ Hours of Game Content = Hourly Cost of Game

When you purchase a video game, do you ever think about how many hours of playtime you accumulate? For example, one of your favorite video games comes out and you purchase it the day it is released. The video game is priced at $60. You realize that it is within your budget and decide to purchase it. But, if you play your favorite video game for only 4 hours, was it worth it? In reality, you spent $15 per hour of playtime which sounds like you wasted a lot of your money for no playtime.

If you are wondering where all of the hours compiled for each video game come from, you can visit HowLongToBeat.com to search for the average playtime for all of your favorite games.

How It Work by HowLongToBeat.com

How It Work by HowLongToBeat.com

What if you knew the game was only 4 hours, would you have rented it instead? There are many questions that warrant you to either buy a video game or rent one. In some cases, it may be more fiscally responsible to rent a video game, but your options are limited. There are only a few renters currently, which include Gamefly and Redbox. Instead of buying a $60 video game, you could use a subscription service like Gamefly and spend $16 a month and save $44 with how much time you spent playing your favorite video game in the scenario above. You need to know that not every video game warrants a purchase. I want to break down a few different types of video games to show you how to estimate a fair price for a video game.

Action/Adventure

The Action/Adventure video game genre is very popular today. You may find that the story in these games are unpredictable when it pertains to how many hours it takes to beat one. However, many Action/Adventure video games encourage you to explore and collect an absurd amount of items that can greatly extend your playtime.

For example, The Legend of Zelda for the NES takes roughly 10 hours to complete. It is currently $5 on the Wii U eShop. If you were to play the game for 10 hours, you are paying $0.50 per hour of playtime. That is a great deal for this classic game. How about The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time? Ocarina of Time is priced at $10 on the Wii U and roughly $35 on the 3DS. Both games take around 30 hours to beat, but the difference in price is substantial. Would you rather spend $0.34 an hour for the Wii U version or $1.17 an hour for the 3DS version?

The Legend of Zelda Series by CT

Another video game we can  look at is the new Tomb Raider that was released for all platforms. The main game plus side missions takes roughly 15 hours to complete. If you want to do everything in this game, like find the collectibles and complete every side mission, then it can take nearly 20 hours. The PC version of Tomb Raider goes on sale all the time and is currently $7.50. The main game plus side missions would cost you $0.50 per hour while completing every task would cost you $0.38 per hour of playtime. Those are incredible deals when you look at it from the perspective of the “Playtime is Money” equation.

The last game under Action/Adventure video games that we should examine is Watch Dogs. Currently, the game costs around $50 for both the PS4 and Xbox One. Watch Dogs can take around 18 hours to complete without touching any of the side quests. However, if you played the main game and completed the side quests, it could take up to 32 hours to complete. For only the main game, you are spending $2.78 per hour while doing many of the side missions will cost you $1.56. This game leans more toward renting for me since I am not into free-roaming worlds as massive as this.

First-Person Shooters

The next type of video game, and personally one of my favorites, is the First-Person Shooter (FPS). Many of the single-player campaigns in FPS video games feel like blatant copies of each other with different stories painted over them; your missions is this, you must accept, go kill this person/alien/terrorist/zombie/gangster/Nazi, now escape, rinse and repeat. I realize some people enjoy playing the single-player campaign more than the online multiplayer, but I am not one of them. The “Playtime is Money” equation can illuminate a massive difference in the worth of a game if you only play the single-player campaign compared to someone playing the virtually endless competitive multiplayer.

The first game I want to review is Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. This was one of the last FPS video games that had a decent story. I believe this game helped start a trend of online competitive multiplayer video games that others have copied extensively (as well as copy itself with Call of Duty games releasing every year). Players could finish the single-player campaign in 7 hours. If you were to buy this game at launch, it would have cost you $60 which would set you back $8.57 per hour on gameplay; that sounds like a rentable title to me. However, this video game’s competitive multiplayer was very addicting, and many players put hundreds of hours into it. On average, some players played 30 hours online while other went upwards to 100 hours. Based on those numbers, if you put at least 37 hours into the game, it cost you $1.62 per hour of playtime while 100 hours cost you $0.60. I know I had over 100 hours in multiplayer alone, so this game was well worth the purchase.

Call of Duty 4 Sniper by Coolchaser

Titanfall is a new, online-only multiplayer game for the PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. If you do your research, you can buy this game for $40. Amazon has it listed for $39.96 and Xbox Gold digital deals had it listed for $39.99 last week. I have put over 80 hours into this game and I bought Titanfall for $60. In other words, I spent $1.34 per hour of playtime which has been worth every penny. I continue playing this game and will most likely not stop until the next big FPS video game comes out.

Role-Playing Games

Finally, the last type of video game that deserves mentioning is the infamous Role-Playing Game (RPG). RPGs are relentlessly long. They need to focus on their story and most of the gameplay takes time to master. Another reason for their length is that, oftentimes, there are RPGs that demand that you grind through character levels and go on ridiculous quests, while some have mini-games thrown in so you can earn special items and awards.

The first RPG I want to dive into is one of my favorites of all time, Final Fantasy VII. This game is massive and since the turn-based combat takes time, the game lasts for hours on end. The main story will take you roughly 39 to 40 hours to complete, but if you want to complete the entire game 100%, it could take upwards to nearly 100 hours. At the time of its release (1997), the game was around $40. If you bought the game at this price, completing only the main story would cost you around $1 per hour of playtime, while completing all the content it has to offer would cost you $0.40. In my opinion, this game is worth the expensive purchase. Luckily, you can go buy it on Steam for $12 or even less when they have it on sale.

The next RPG that deserves a mention is the entire Mass Effect franchise. There are three games within this expansive franchise. Each game was longer than the last and, in my opinion, better. The entire Mass Effect franchise can take you nearly 65 hours to beat. The good thing about these games were the side missions and multiplayer mode in Mass Effect 3 which could extend the playtime. If each game cost $60, you would shell out $180 for an entire franchise. Without the extra content, this franchise would cost you around $2.77 per hour of playtime. That seems like a reasonable deal to me.

Mass Effect Trilogy by The Classic Gamer

Rent or Buy?

There are tons of games out there that would be worth renting, especially with the newer generation of games. For example, the main story for Ryse on the Xbox One can take you 6 hours to beat. Is it worth paying $60 though? You are paying $10 per hour of playtime. Instead, you could rent this game and save nearly $50.

Another game that comes to mind is Murdered: Soul Suspect. This game received mixed reviews and was released on every console imaginable. The worst part thing about this game is its length. It takes roughly 6 and a half hours to beat the main story. The game was released at $60 and has now dropped to $15 through the Humble Store promotion that Humble Bundle is running from July 28 – August 1 on different Square Enix video games. Instead of wasting the same amount as Ryse, $10 per hour of playtime and $60 total, it would only be feasible to rent Murdered: Soul Suspect, or at least wait and buy it at a greatly discounted rate.

Humble Bundle featuring Square Enix video games by GameZone

Wait For It

When using this equation, ask yourself some questions:

  1. Do I need to own this game right now?
  2. Should I consider renting this instead since everyone is saying how short it is?
  3. Will it go on sale in a few months?
  4. Does it have multiplayer?
  5. Is it worth it?

There are too many video games on the market. Unless all you do is sit in front of your television or computer screen and play every video game ever released, it is pointless to justify buying a multitude of games. Instead, budget accordingly and base it on the time you have available to spend on gaming. If you work 40 hours a week, is it worth buying every game that comes out in the next few months?

There are 8 games that I want to play by the end of this year that are releasing too closely together. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on games I do not have time to play, I asked myself the questions above to help save me money. I wanted to purchase Alien: Isolation for the Xbox One, but it sounds like it will A.) be too short, B.) go on sale within a month or two and C.) release too close to other games I find more important like Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Sunset Overdrive and Destiny.

Your time is a valuable commodity; do not take it for granted. When looking at the “Playtime is Money” equation, be careful when budgeting. You do not want to be overburdened with video games, unable to complete any of them, while exciting new games are scheduled to be released right around the corner. Instead, rent a video game every now and then, wait for that single player game you want so bad to go on sale, and consider how much money you are really spending on video games.

Stacks on Stacks on Stacks by Supernova125