The Cloverfield Paradox – Monolithic in the Face of Mediocrity

The Cloverfield Paradox is a movie that emphasized the historic nature of Superbowl Sunday, not because of quality, but rather an immensely novel handling of a Netflix exclusive release.

The cryptic trailer for the third installment in the Cloverfield series released during the game and, while as frenetically stitched together as prior installments, sought a much loftier benchmark for its typical flash bang marketing.

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Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – Worth Buying?

If the Wii U was a showstopper in any sort of commercial sense, it was by way of selling a paltry amount of units in comparison to other successful video game consoles.

Latest public reports suggest that it never sold anymore than 13 million units during its entire lifespan.

So it’s not hard to imagine a world where tens of millions of gamers didn’t experience some of the best exclusive games on the Wii U such as Mario Kart 8. And this is why Nintendo has been taking such big strides towards making its best Wii U titles available on the Switch.

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, the Switch’s counterpart to the vanilla Mario Kart 8, is one shining example.

An entire generation devoid of a Mario Kart game? This is the reality for many Nintendo fans, and if you’re a new Switch owner, you might be wondering, “Should I buy Mario Kart 8 Deluxe?” or “Is it worth it?”.

Continue reading for our take on whether or not Mario Kart 8 Deluxe is the right call for your next Nintendo Switch pick up.

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The Gunplay Conundrum

master chief and cortana halo 3

To this day, I still remember my experiences with Halo 2 and Halo 3 online multiplayer due to the veracity of Bungie’s execution of gunplay, ranking systems, ease of playing with others, and some truly unforgettable maps.

It’s no surprise considering my relationship with the series, especially when hurled into the online era, bordered on addiction, both when hopelessly enthralled while playing and consumed with thoughts about the game when sitting idly.

2007 was the perfect storm as far as myself and untamed, nearly compulsory, gaming hedonism is concerned. I was 16 at the time and Xbox Live was growing into a monstrosity of a social phenomenon.

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Reshaping Destiny 2

Since its inception, the development of the Destiny franchise has been a paragon of insanity. The tumultuous timeline has been a perfect, and unfortunate, collage of reboots, half measured steps towards no destination, and the deafening sound of indifference.

As of right now, Destiny 2 is in a place where player reception is at an all time low and overall quality lost in the void. The sci-fi/fantasy FPS mashup has lost millions in active players since launch, and still, thousands feverishly voice their concerns and wishes on sites like Reddit, in hopes of a better, far less abusive game.

But we’ve been here before and, sad as it may be, we’ll be here again as the next peak and golden era of Destiny collapses in on itself.

Last Friday, Bungie finally broke their silence regarding the war torn state of Destiny 2, and laid bare what we can expect from the team over the coming year.

It’s obvious that they want to appease the playerbase and instill hope through concrete plans of action, but Bungie has a history of inflationary talk, and it’s going to take a bit more than written word to win back many at this point.

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5 Switch Games to Induce a Zen State of Mind

zen temple in nature

The tumultuous thrill of chasing Grandmaster in Overwatch or Grand Champion in Rocket League cannot be matched when you’re in the mood for that type of experience, but sometimes a player just wants a serene and relaxing game to sit back and sink into.

The beauty of video games is the established spectrum between highly competitive and lackadaisical, something that accounts for any particular mood that strikes.

And truth be told, some of the best games are relaxing and chilled by their nature, and luckily freneticism and laser like focus aren’t prerequisites for a good game.

In this article we’ll cover the best relaxing and chill games for the Nintendo Switch to help you achieve a tranquil state of mind and melt away the non sequiturs of daily life.

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5 PS4 Games with High Flying Boss Battles

While boss battles aren’t strictly an action RPG affair, the genre is rife with many examples of games that excel at offering narrative, gameplay, and questing that is interwoven with treks towards the proverbial summit of bosses.

No game should discount the importance of the moment to moment combat loop of conflicts with standard or mob type enemies, but that doesn’t mean that peak levels of excitement should be shaved away from an unmistakable and, often seemingly immovable, boss.

A good boss battle should offer a player the unique resolve of simultaneous confidence and doubt. A  good fight is nothing without its resulting peaks and valleys, on a turbulent landscape of thrills, brought by design and difficulty.

And the PS4 is one of the best places to find a quality boss battle now that the library has matured since its initial release in 2014. Continue reading for 6 games on the PS4 with the best boss battles.

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The Start of Blade Runner 2049’s Second Wind

Blade Runner 2049, a sequel the sci fi cult classic that’s over 30 years old at this point, is one of the few staggered sequels to actually do the original justice – and it bombed spectacularly.

And for all of the money that flows towards unnecessary hands in Hollywood, it really is a shame that Blade Runner 2049 didn’t make as much of a financial mark as it could have.

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4 Best PS4 Games with DLC on Disc

With the recent repealment of net neutrality by the FCC and millions of Americans already subjected to the archaic whims of data caps, now is the golden age of savoring every last gigabyte of bandwidth.

internet speed 6 megabits per second
Held hostage by your ISP with slow speeds and data caps? That’s where physical games shine.

Streaming movies and shows on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu chews through bandwidth like no other, especially with the advent of 4k content, and games themselves have risen in size to 30 gigabytes or more with many new releases.

GTA V has a whopping install size of over 50 GB on PS4. Many other console games are also climbing in size.

And so it makes sense that PS4 gamers would want to seek out complete and Game of the Year editions of PS4 games that offer all of their DLC on disc. Having to download an entire game in addition to any expansions or downloadable content off of PSN adds up on one’s monthly bandwidth quota really fast.

Below is a list of some of the best PS4 games that offer all of their downloadable content on disc so that you can avoid annoyance of slow internet speeds and bandwidth caps (almost) entirely.

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Burnout Paradise Could Be Coming To The Switch

burnout paradise cover

A couple days ago news broke about a rumor that Burnout Paradise, the bombastic open world racer from last gen, would be releasing in remastered form for the Xbox One and PS4.

Now, it seems, that Burnout Paradise Remastered has been rated for the Nintendo Switch in Brazil. While still a rumor, many times when ratings leaks like this happen an official announcement is inevitable.

And as a new owner of the Switch I would be ecstatic to be able to experience an open world racer in handheld form. Burnout Paradise, while not my favorite racer, still offered tons of cheap thrills when I played it on the Xbox 360.

Once I found out about this possibly coming to the Switch I just had to look up some gameplay and vicariously relive the glory days of the original release. Burnout Paradise never attempted to shoot for realism like Gran Turismo or Forza but it sure was fun.

Playing this undocked on the Switch would be incredibly and, with the recent third party releases on the Switch like Doom and Skyrim, I hope this potential release keeps the ball rolling.

You won’t get the frame rates, resolution, or asset quality that you’d get on the Xbox One or PS4 with the Switch, but nothing beats the freedom offered by the hybrid nature of the system.

Sea of Thieves – The Driving Impetus aka Progression

sea of thieves

Sea of Thieves, the upcoming pirate themed coop game from Rare, has always looked to be an intriguing take online cooperative gameplay, and with each subsequent developer update, has started to take the form of something rather substantial.

Releasing March 20, 2018, Sea of Thieves allows an adventurer or a crew of pirates to take to the seas in search of exploration, loot, PVE combat, and of course, PVP combat through the form of melee weapons, guns, and even illustrious ships.

The latest developer update by Rare has outlined the progression systems of Sea of Thieves which has finally revealed their hand as far as the driving impetus of the game is concerned.

With this dev update it’s becoming clear what will make Sea of Thieves more than a pirate themed sandbox and how it will entice players to dig their teeth into the world.

Progress Among Pirates

One thing that Rare makes very clear about its progression systems is that they want players to be able to play together no matter the level of disparity between ranks.

voyages sea of thieves
Voyages, or quests, are represented through physical scrolls

For instance, the quests in Sea of Thieves, called voyages, are dispersed by entities called trading companies. If you’ve ever played a game like Destiny these are essentially factions.

By completing voyages for trading companies you will increase your rank tied to them. What happens if you are 5 ranks higher for a particular trading company than your pirate crew?

As per Rare’s agenda, everyone in your crew will still be able to take part in whatever quest you have obtained from a faction.

Much like coop loot based games like Destiny or MMO’s in general, Rare’s goal is to allow for tangible progression through use of items that facilitate customization.

sea of thieves cosmetic customization
Progress through the ranks and tailor your pirate to your own liking through cosmetics

This includes the obvious such as cosmetics (peg leg, gear, facial hair, hairstyle, and so on) but also secondary progression tracks like ranks and pirate titles.

The main mover, the penultimate goal, is to become Pirate Legend and it’s the biggest carrot on the stick.

Variety comes into play when you account for the motives of the various trading company. Each faction has a different philosophy and motivation with each of their voyages guiding you along a path that furthers their objectives.

The 3 trading companies revealed thus far include the Order of Souls, Merchant Alliance, and Gold Hoarders. The Gold Hoarders, as you might expect, will have you hunting for gold, the Merchant Alliance will have you scavenging for resources and animals, and the Order of Souls will have you seek out magical souls in a world event/raid type activity.

But what would a shared world/MMO-lite game be without end game content?

Becoming Pirate Legend precedes the Golden Age of Piracy which is what I presume to be the end game content of Sea of Thieves. Rare hasn’t explicitly said this, so take it with a grain of salt, but I would bet this is essentially the end game content.

What they have said is that the Golden Age of Piracy is yet to come and will serve as the jumping off point for players. Rare has also stated that they plan to flesh the game out over time with the help of player feedback and, most likely, insight gathered through player behavior.

All of this speaks positive volumes about the future potential of Sea of Thieves as progression is something that really hasn’t been touched on as of yet. The “Why play?” of Rare’s ambitious new title was a deafening silence for a while there.

Hopefully this connects with players  and critics when it releases for the Xbox One and PC in 2018 because Microsoft could really use a standout IP other than the undying triangle of Forza, Halo, and Gears.

I don’t own an Xbox One myself but I truly do hope Sea of Thieves pans out. It’s a game that has been teeming with potential from the start and a good game is a win no matter the platform.