Video Games

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Late Gamer Plays Shadow Of Modor

A Review By Hidai Moya

I didn’t mind that this blatantly imitates ‘Assassin’s Creed’ & “Arkham”, after all if the mechanics work why change them?
However what’s not imitated is their creativity in making a satisfying open world & encountering meaningful quests.
For a game based on the imagination of Tolkien it has a lot to live up to & honestly its few redeeming quality were its Orcs & Uruks who have terrific dialogue & are vividly ugly & the voice acting of “Talion” & “Celebrimbor”.

Mordor itself fails at feeling like an organic open world. Instead it feels like an open air jungle gym. The side quests are easy & you become very overpowered very quickly robbing you the feeling of a real challenge.
The story is meager & though the fight animations are good, especially when decapitating.
However, it doesn’t add too much of a satisfying experience.
Grade B-

Late Gamer Plays Batman Arkham Knight

A Review From Hidai Moya

In many ways this is the mother of all Batman games. As the Scarecrow & the Arkham Knight practically obliterate Gotham Batman must suit up one last time to stop them.
From the map size to its bombastic end game story & grandiose set pieces this game really pulls out all of the stops. And let me just say for the record I thoroughly loved its implementation of the Batmobile. It totally fulfilled my childhood dreams about driving it & this gave that to me in droves, it was everything I ever wanted.
Gotham has never looked this amazing before with its varied districts & towering skyline & I loved flying over & driving through it. It wasn’t until the finale though that I felt somewhat let down.
The Arkham Knight deserved far more exposition than he got & leaving him at the point where the game did felt undeveloped. I also didn’t appreciate the teaser nature of the finale. Either be a conclusive end or don’t be. Also for an epic open world game of this nature I actually thought it was too short as well.
I could’ve easily spent more time in Gotham.
Grade B+

Late Gamer Plays Star Wars: Jedi – Fallen Order

A Review From Hidai Moya

This is just the Star Wars version of Uncharted/Dark Souls & its all the better for it.
Though the story can be curt, I loved the main duo of Cal & his droid BD-1 & the beautiful planets they explore together. Kashyyyk is my favorite planet in all of SW so I had a great time exploring its jungle among the tree tops to the undergrowth, its all very beautiful.
The creature design is fantastically disgusting, from giant slugs to spiders & ugly toad reptiles, it’s a lot of fun fighting them off.
The lightsaber boss fights in particular are challenging & quite satisfying especially when you unlock more skills. I also appreciated how it implemented Clone Wars lore into its story.
I think it captures that Lucas Arts magic that has been missing in Star Wars games for a while now & it gets a lot right.
A must play for any Star Wars fan.
Grade A-

Late Gamer Plays Assassins’ Creed Rogue

A Review From Hidai Moya

This is perhaps the most underrated & unappreciated entry of the entire series. Rogue is the connective tissue binding together the story & characters of ACIII, ACIV, & Unity.
Its story is also the most unique premise of the franchise as you play as a former Assassin turned Templar. Using the engine from ACIVI I was quite impressed with unique direction this game took & the way it implemented historical events to tell its adventure.
The North American wilderness during the French & Indian War is the backdrop for some really fun & varied side missions & level design. For the first time in a AC naval game, enemies can board your ship & you get to stop assassinations instead of committing them. Shay is a memorable character you can empathize with so when he turned Templar I felt that I understood his reasons why.
The only sin this game commits may be that the campaign is quite short, but there is loads of side content to do I didn’t mind. Others have critiqued this game for not being long enough, meaningful enough, and having an empty open world. I completely & totally disagree with those bad critiques.
If you are a hardcore AC fan like me I think you will really enjoy this entry. Not only is there tons to do but story is one of the most substantial of the series.
Grade A-

Video Game Awards 2019 Recap

Recap By Stephen Clark

The annual Video Game Awards streamed across the internet Thursday, December 12th. The event was curiously devoid of any massive brand partnership like 2016’s Schick Hydrobot, may he rest in peace. Just the same, it was a good event overall, featuring some great reveals and much deserved awards. 

The Nextbox

The biggest reveal of the night was Microsoft’s Xbox Series X. In the week leading up to the VGAs, Microsoft had stated publicly that the name of the next Xbox would be specifically related to what it does and, with the name of the system revealed and the look of the box itself, it would appear that Microsoft is leaning into the iPhone structure of upgrades and generations inside of generations even more than it has already. Whether the boxy case is indicative of modular internal components or just a design choice is yet to be seen. However, we do have this recently published breakdown of the system’s capabilities:

•12 teraflop GPU (twice as much as in the current console leader, the One X)

•4 times the CPU speed of the One X

•Full backwards compatibility

•The ability to pause and resume multiple games simultaneously

Other Xbox news of the week also confirmed that Xbox was still pushing forward it’s internal initiative to have a more “cost effective” console under the codename “Lockhart”. While this was a pretty big announcement, the internet buzz then and now haven’t lingered on it much at all.

Good Riddance

While there were some stand out appearances and announcements, the biggest miss of the night would seem to be the new music performed by one of the night’s guests, Green Day. Their appearance was paired with a Green Day music pack for Beat Saber and the first 360 levels on PSVR and even that couldn’t save my personal excitement for their time on stage. 

Watch for yourself, if you dare:

Trailers and More

The night was packed with trailers that made for a much better pre-show than in years past and carried throughout the entire event. My personal favorites were those for the upcoming No More Heroes: Travis Strikes Back. The trailer began under the guise of a fake game called GODDAMN SUPERHERO that I think I would genuinely play if it were real.

Ninja Theory brought an announcement video for the next Hellblade game, Hellblade 2: Senua’s Saga. This was the biggest moment of the night for me. The first game always had my attention but I never dove in and actually purchased it. This new trailer takes Senua, formerly at the mercy of her personal demons, to being the leader/aggressor in some sort of ritual with an acting performance and music that gave me chills. The motion capture actress has certainly earned the award she got last year for her performance as Senua.

While Square did bring a new Final Fantasy VII Remake trailer to the show and the release is early next year, this one felt like more of the same. Cloud fights, characters talk a bit and things are generally gorgeous. We all want to play the game already.

Other notable trailers: Ghosts of Tsushima, Maneater, Godfall from Gearbox, Bravely Default II, the release of a new Warframe expansion, a new unnamed Playerunknown game, Sons of the Forest, Ruined King: A League of Legends Story, Dungeons & Dragons: Dark Alliance, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Untitled Beaker Game, Weird West, Magic Legends, Path of the Warrior for Occulus Quest, Gears Tactics, Naraka Bladepoint, NIne to Five.

And The Award Goes To

The Game of the Year award went to Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice. Nominated against Control, Death Stranding, Smash Brothers and The Out Worlds, it was really anyone’s chance to win. Seeing a Souls-like get the award is interesting and nice. It’s not a genre known for broad appeal because of its punishing gameplay.

Other awards of the night:

Best Game Direction

Control

Death Stranding-WINNER

Resident Evil 2

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Outer Wilds

Best Narrative

A Plague Tale: Innocence

Control

Death Stranding

Disco Elysium-WINNER

The Outer Worlds

Best Art Direction

Control-WINNER

Death Stranding

Gris

Sayonara Wild Hearts

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

Best Audio Design

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare-WINNER

Control

Death Stranding

Gears 5

Resident Evil 2

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice

Best Score/Music

Cadence of Hyrule

Death Stranding-WINNER

Devil May Cry 5

Kingdom Hearts III

Sayonara Wild Hearts

Best Performance

Ashly Burch as Parvati Holcomb – The Outer Worlds

Courtney Hope as Jesse Faden – Control

Laura Bailey as Kait Diaz – Gears 5

Mads Mikkelsen as Cliff – Death Stranding-WINNER

Norman Reedus as Sam Porter Bridges – Death Stranding

Matthew Porretta as Dr. Casper Darling – Control

Best Ongoing Game

Apex Legends

Final Fantasy XIV

Destiny 2

Fortnite-WINNER

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

Best Community Support

Apex Legends

Destiny 2-WINNER

Final Fantasy XIV

Fortnite

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege

Games for Impact

Concrete Genie

Gris-WINNER

Kind Words

Life is Strange 2

Sea of Solitude

Best Independent Game

Baba Is You

Disco Elysium-WINNER

Katana ZERO

Outer Wilds

Untitled Goose Game

Best Mobile Game

Call of Duty: Mobile-WINNER

GRINDSTONE

Sayonara Wild Hearts

Sky: Children of Light

What the Golf?

Best Mobile Game

Call of Duty: Mobile-WINNER

GRINDSTONE

Sayonara Wild Hearts

Sky: Children of Light

What the Golf?

Best VR/AR Game

Asgard’s Wrath

Blood & Truth

Beat Saber-WINNER

No Man’s Sky

Trover Saves the Universe

Best Action Game

Apex Legends

Astral Chain

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Devil May Cry 5-WINNER

Gears 5

Metro Exodus

Best Action/Adventure Game

Borderlands 3

Control

Death Stranding

Resident Evil 2

The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice-WINNER

Best RPG

Disco Elysium-WINNER

Final Fantasy XIV

Kingdom Hearts III

Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

The Outer Worlds

Best Fighting Game

Dead or Alive 6

Jump Force

Mortal Kombat 11

Samurai Showdown

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate-WINNER

Best Family Game

Luigi’s Mansion 3-WINNER

Ring Fit Adventure

Super Mario Maker 2

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Yoshi’s Crafted World

Best Strategy Game

Age of Wonders: Planetfall

Anno 1800

Fire Emblem: Three Houses-WINNER

Total War: Three Kingdoms

Tropico 6

Wargroove

Best Sports/Racing Game

Crash Team Racing Nitro-Fueled-WINNER

DiRT Rally 2.0

eFootball Pro Evolution Soccer 2020

F1 2019

FIFA 20

Best Multiplayer Game

Apex Legends-WINNER

Borderlands 3

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare

Tetris 99

Tom Clancy’s The Division 2

Fresh Indie Game

ZA/UM for Disco Elysium-WINNER

Nomada Studio for Gris

DeadToast Entertainment for My Friend Pedro

Mobius Digital for Outer Wilds

Mega Crit for Slay the Spire

House House for Untitled Goose Game

Content Creator of the Year

Jack “Courage” Dunlop

Benjamin “Dr. Lupo” Lupo

Soleil “Ewok” Wheeler

David “Grefg” Martínez

Michael “Shroud” Grzesiek-WINNER

Best Esports Game

Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (Valve)

DOTA2 (Valve)

Fortnite (Epic Games)

League of Legends (Riot Games)-WINNER

Overwatch (Blizzard)

Best Esports Player

Kyle “Bugha” Giersdorf (Immortals, Fortnite)-WINNER

Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok (SK Telecom, League of Legends)

Luka “Perkz” Perkovic (G2 Esports, League of Legends)

Oleksandr “S1mple” Kostyliev (Natus Vincere, CSGO)

Jay “Sinatraa” Won (SF Shock, Overwatch)

Best Esports Team

Astralis (CS:GO)

G2 Esports (LOL)-WINNER

OG (DOTA2)

San Francisco Shock (OWL)

Team Liquid (CS:GO)

Best Esports Event

2019 Overwatch League Grand Finals

EVO 2019

Fortnite World Cup

IEM Katowice 2019

League of Legends World Championship 2019-WINNER

The International 2019

Best Esports Host

Eefje “Sjokz” Depoortere-WINNER

Alex “Machine” Richardson

Paul “Redeye” Chaloner

Alex “Goldenboy” Mendez

Duan “Candice” Yu-Shuang

Best Esports Coach

Eric ‘adreN’ Hoag – (Team Liquid, CS:GO)

Nu-ri ‘Cain’ Jang – (Team Liquid, LOL)

Fabian ‘GrabbZ’ Lohmann  – (G2 Esports, LOL)

Kim ‘Kkoma’ Jeong-gyun  – (SK Telecom T1, LOL)

Titouan ‘Sockshka’ Merloz –  (OG, DOTA2)

Danny ‘Zonic’ Sørensen  – (Astralis, CSGO)-WINNER

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We are joined by #StarWars expert Diana of @HEAMCast in our new Mini Episode to discuss #RiseofSkywalker and... Yeah, there's SPOILERS, but it's also been a month!

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