This is the section of JoypadAndMe where our writers get to let loose with their thoughts and opinions. With a wide range of gaming interest amongst our team we cover a broad number of topics and we all have differing opinions on virtually every subject. If you don’t believe us then check out some of the discussions we have on the JoypadAndMe podcast! Below you will find articles and opinions ranging from thoughts on achievements and trophies to online communities and thoughts on different games, characters and many, many other thing s so please feel free to check out as many as you like. We would love to hear your comments as well so if you have a differing opinion on something we have said or agree with something then let us know in the comments sections below each article.
The 3rd through to the 6th of February saw Ubisoft launch their closed beta to selected gamers of their upcoming open world tactical shooter. The next installment of the Tom Clancy franchise, Ghost Recon Wildlands. A game I’ve personally been looking forward to getting my hands on. Would it live up to expectations? I jumped in to find out. Now this was a beta development release so it shouldn’t necessarily be looked on as the final version that will be released but bearing in mind that the release date is 7th March 2017 it would suggest that for the most part, this is a pretty accurate representation of what we can expect. Right out of the gate you can see many similarities with Ubisoft’s previous title, Tom Clancy’s The Division. A Game I’m pretty familiar with and will base some of my thoughts and comparisons against.
As many of you that listen to the podcast or have spent time gaming with me will know that I’m an avid driving game fan. The obsession goes way back to the beginning of my gaming life. I’ve played many different games on many different consoles and have found that there’s a huge difference in what I think are good and bad games. This is especially true when I’ve discussed it with friends. I thought that it would be interesting to discuss a few of the games that I count in my personal favorites of the driving genre. Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a list of the top racing games on all consoles. This is a personal list of one’s that rate highly for me. Some of these aren’t perfect, in fact a some will have some pretty impressive flaws I’m sure but I’m looking for the games that got me engaged and attached.
There’s a growing trend in the game collecting genre to keep games in their sealed state. Keeping them boxed and wrapped in plastic, never to see the light of day or more importantly, the cartridge slot or disk tray of their intended console. As a video game collector I find this one step too far. Set the games free and let them do what they were intended for, to be played. Now don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing wrong with collecting a series of games or consoles but I find it almost unthinkable that these products that were intended to be used and enjoyed and instead left stagnant on a shelf or worse still, boxed up and hidden away for years being little more than a tick in some collector’s inventory. I constantly use my collection. I play the games, I use all the consoles and more than that, I gain enjoyment from watching other people try the consoles and games.
You’ve seen the videos, you’ve read the reviews, you may have even dipped your toes in the proverbial water to see how the game feels. And, chances are, you felt like you were entering into a world of frenetic, overstimulating chaos. Perhaps you trudged onward, playing solo or with others, in hopes of figuring out the intricacies of Battleborn. If you feel like this game has too much going on for you to learn, here’s a guide to get you started. Feeling an awful lot like a Gearbox version of Aeon Flux, the animation video in the Battleborn prologue is an introduction to the characters, and if you have an idea of what’s going on, the story of the game itself.
With its worldwide May 3rd launch, Battleborn is dropping into the hands of eager players that have awaited the Gearbox Software FPS MOBA for months. Because of the release proximity to another hotly anticipated PvP, Overwatch, plenty of players are finding themselves standing on one of two sides: Battleborn or Overwatch. So, if you’re not sure which camp you’re in, let me first clarify that, while they’re both player versus player, class mix & match team play, the two games aren’t entirely alike. Battleborn, which also has a full story mode, as well as PvP, has all the ingredients to be a true MOBA, including escorting AI-controlled minions through various matches. While at a first glance these two games may appear to be similar, the comparisons end as soon as you scratch the surface of what these games really are.
We here at JoypadAndMe have always been a strong supporter of the cosplay scene, featuring many different cosplayers from around the world and some of their costumes and creations. An important aspect of any good cosplayer has to be the photographer they use for their shoots. Sometimes it seems, the photographers get forgotten about or their hard work is not brought to the forefront as often as maybe it should be and we feel that we can do something to rectify that. We have seen Nicole’s work on this website before in the form of Nikkie Lamb’s interview and cosplay gallery and we thought it was high time to have a chat to the woman behind the camera and get her views on cosplay, photography and the thought and process that goes into a cosplay shoot and the eventual final product.
Accidents happen. This is a fact of life and there’s not much we can do about that. Accidents with technology are the modern-day bane of many of us. Broken phones, cracked laptop screens and a whole myriad of other tech related problems happen to many of us over the course of each year. So what do we do about all this broken tech. Unfortunately a lot of it is left in a drawer or thrown in the corner of a room never to be used again but some get the chance to be repaired and brought back to life. There are many places to get items repaired. Your mate with the screwdriver set for Christmas and access to YouTube videos is one option but frankly not always the safest option. Another is to go on one of those ‘off street’ repair shops that seem to pop up for a while and then disappear without trace. These might repair your tech fine, they might also close down and disappear while your tech is with them and you will never see your unrepaired item again. The safest option is usually to go to a well-known repair outlet that you know will be around for a long time, provides guarantees for repairs and has around big corporate reputation. One such place like this is PC World and their KnowHow repair team.
Having already had The Assassin’s Creed Unity Arno Coat on my wish-list when writing This Geek’s Ce Chic: Musterbrand Vs Insert Coin, I was ecstatic to see a cheap bundle featuring the Guillotine scarf and Arno Coat together for basically £10 more than the Arno on its own. So I dipped into my savings to buy it and braved the hottest day in July for 10 years to get some interesting photos. Officially licensed by Ubisoft Assassins Creed: Unity Arno Coat and Guillotine scarf form the Phantom Set, which was ordered online from Musterbrand.com and delivered by courier in a brown box, with both items packaged separately in their own clear plastic wallets. I couldn’t wait to get them unpacked and try them on for size.
After applying for a place in the partially-closed beta a few months ago, me and my cabal of renegades, or “friends” if you’re boring like that, finally had a chance to play SMITE, a MOBA from Hi-Rez Studios. More than that though, it was a chance to actually play a “proper” MOBA, and get an idea of what the term actually friggin’ meant. Apparently seizing random passers-by and blurting “MOBA!” in their faces yields very little in the way of answers. As it turns out, MOBA actually stands for Multiplayer Online Battle Arena, and it’s a genre based around online multiplayer matches in a battle arena… Well that was easy! Specifically an off-shoot of the RTS genre.
E3 is on the horizon and we are fully expecting to hear something about Street Fighter V, Capcom’s latest iteration of the world’s most iconic and most sequel filled fighting game. A fighting game is nothing without a rogue’s gallery of pugilists to pummel into the pavement. Or get pummelled by, depending on your skill level. With so many titles and additions to the Street Fighter franchise, we have seen many a combatant pass over our screens. More than any one title can handle so some of them have fallen by the wayside at times. Here are a bunch of scrappers that our resident freaky fighting fanatic would like to see make an appearance in Street Fighter V. Maybe you agree, maybe you don’t, but it’ll be a journey nonetheless. Come join us, won’t you?
The world of video games has changed since it’s infancy. No longer do we see pixelated images or blocky characters. Today what we see on our screens can sometimes be mistaken for real life. In most cases though it is a sensationalised version of the developers imagination and the consumers desire. This has lead to many an argument in the press and other forms of media. Too much violence being the main call. Ashley has another take on a gaming situation arising, Over sexualised characters. His focus is on fighting games and in particular the DOA titles. Scantily clad women with oversized assets. In todays gaming, when has it become too much and why has it become too much? Ashley picks up the discussion.
As many of you know, we here at JoypadAndMe love video gaming in all its forms both current and retro. Over the past couple of years or so one team member in particular has been falling deeper into the love affair with retro gaming and thought it would be a good time to chat some about retro gaming love. Anyone that has listened to our podcast here at JoypadAndMe will have heard about Jedi Junkie aka Graham’s retro gaming antics including his compulsion to buy consoles and games (some great classics, some not so much). This is not something that he had intended on getting into with his gaming but somehow it kind of happened. Graham explains just how this addiction came to be and how it grew in this first part of his tale of retro.
With our continuing look at the world of the console in a bid to find the fans favourite, we find ourselves moving on from Nintendo and Sega and onto Sony’s PlayStation series of consoles. Hailed in the beginning as the young upstarts pushing in on the big two mainstays of home gaming consoles, Sony launched their brand with all the flair that the 90’s could handle. Consoles popped up in unlikely places such as pubs, raves and over as much tv as they could possibly handle. Sony were serious about making this new arm of their global empire a success. 20 years on, the brand has become a household name. With a series of consoles under their belt including some record breakers that its competitors could only dream of having along with a console lifespan that is hard to believe.
It’s Nintendo’s turn to be put under the spotlight. We want to know who and what will be crowned as the King Of Consoles. We will be letting our viewers and listeners decide just which manufacturer and which console will be crowned. We aren’t looking for the console that sold the most or which one was technically more superior, no, we want to know which console is the one that everyone holds dear to their hearts. Which one was the most fun to own and play. We will be pitting the consoles from each manufacturer against themselves and then against the winners of the other main manufacturers to see which one stands on top. Nintendo. A name synonymous with video gaming. Parents, children, even grandparents have known the Nintendo brand and played at least one or two games from their vast catalogue of titles.
Here at JoypadAndMe we want to set up and decide one of the biggest battles in the video gaming world. We want to know who and what will be crowned as the King Of Consoles. We will be letting our viewers and listeners decide just which manufacturer and which console will be crowned. We aren’t looking for the console that sold the most or which one was technically more superior, no, we want to know which console is the one that everyone holds dear to their hearts. Which one was the most fun to own and play. We will be pitting the consoles from each manufacturer against themselves and then against the winners of the other main manufacturers to see which one stands on top. This time round we take a look at the gaming behemoth that is Sega.
Video games have always had their heroes. The men and women that put their lives on the line when it counts for our digital entertainment. Mario saving the princess, Drake searching for that elusive treasure, Ezio keeping the illuminati at bay, and Master Chief being a god damn fucking badass. The list could go on and on. One franchise that has always stood out above the crowd has been the Metal Gear series. With a Storyline that could baffle the greatest of minds and back stories that put Shakespearian tales to shame and let’s not forget, a creator that is widely considered to be a video gaming hero in his own right. Few could say they have had more influence and direction in a game than the man himself, Hideo Kojima. The name Kojima has always gone hand in hand with Metal Gear Solid.
Being well into my Year of Shame Challenge I thought it was time to reward myself for not only getting through Xmas and January Sales without purchasing any games but also because I stopped smoking two months ago. This has meant I had some spare cash that I could use to top up money from Xmas money and finally refresh my dog-eared and ill fitting wardrobe with some new threads. I’d noticed that both Insert Coin and Musterbrand had January sales on. So I thought I’d do some virtual window shopping, and after discussing my purchases on The Year of Shame 3 Challenge Podcast Episode 1 I decided it might make an interesting write up.
I think that to truly understand how excited I was to play Evolve you need a little background. Being what some people would call an Elitist and what other, less kind people would call an obsessive perfectionist, when the rare event happens that I find a game I really enjoy, I tend to lose huge chunks of my life to it. So when I saw there was a new game in the pipeline “from the makers of Left 4 Dead,” one of my all-time favourite games ever (my friends call me Coach) you can imagine I was understandably intrigued. Further investigation revealed a rough idea of the content of the game and some teaser trailers which only fed my interest and backed up the growing sense that this was going to be the next Left 4 Dead. So, was I excited to play Evolve? Maybe a little.
I’d decided a few months ago to just try and tot up my number of games that I have in my back catalogue. The number is over 100 covering the three current PlayStation platforms. Including games that I’ve always wanted to play, as well as a quite a few I’ve always intended to go back and gain the shiny Platinum Trophy. The constant release of new games has kept giving me a reason to put it off but enough is enough. As I’d previously mentioned that in December I’m going to have the scary pleasure of becoming a father for the first time. As I understand, babies are damn expensive so I need to curb my spending. As my untouched games list has been getting out of control due to my subscription to PlayStation Plus, I feel it’s time to stop the rot. There are also so many games that I own and want to play for the first time or revisit to 100%.
JoypadAndMe are lucky enough to have our very own indie games developer on our team. Paul Hayden aka Zeronidus has written an article that might peek the interest of all you aspiring developers out there. He states: “I’ve mentioned on my profile I’m an Indie Games Developer and today I’m going to be talking a little bit about the different roles in game’s development. Also I’ll give you a little insight into what you’ll need to get there and hopefully bust some myths along the way.” The first question on everyone’s mind is which would you rather work on, graphics or programming? This is a bad question because, regardless of which route you choose, you will encounter the other at some point without fail.
Any eSports fan will have heard of League of Legends and you’ll take to it like marmite. Some of you will love it. Some of you will hate it. Some of you will eat it even if you don’t like it because there’s a $1,000,000 prize up for grabs in the World Championships! Our in house E sports aficionado chatted to Wayne Fellows from The City of Liverpool College. Wayne Hosts the League Of Legends Tournaments including the upcoming 5v5 tournament in May that is sponsored by Alex Foden Photography, Richer Sounds, The Hanover Hotel and Gaming accessories giant, Razer. Check out the article and interview and maybe get in the mood to do some competitive gaming yourselves.
MBA was formed in 2011 as part of Gamerbase Manchester by Esmond’s friend Ying Kit Ma. As the Gamerbase scene began to decline, it was a disheartening blow to the Manchester gaming community. It was during this time that control of MBA was passed on to Esmond. MBA’s first major event was and is the Warriors Return. It was held in a venue called The Den above Sankeys. Esmond pulled all the strings he could to get local businesses and top UK players to attend the event. Bare in mind at this point everything was done from the ground up. The tables, consoles, monitors, games. Everything to create the event came from Esmond and Ying’s pockets with no government grants or loans. Hard work and passion paid for the event.
Before I discovered e-sports I sort of knew there were tournaments held around the world, never anything like a world tournament but maybe indie tournaments. I’m a massive Soul Calibur fan and good at it too so tt university I would host a few of tournaments for my friends and I. Nothing big, just £2 in and winner takes all. Of course, I wasn’t allowed to compete in my own tournament, wouldn’t want them to think I was hustling them now would I? I considered myself a competitive gamer because I used to play Call of Duty and fighting games religiously. The first time I discovered pro e-sports I was playing Starcraft II even though I despise RTS games! It’s nothing to do with the games themselves, I’m just really bad at them!
It’s a very scenic view as you drive from Hull through Otley, West Yorkshire to get to Just Add Water Ltd, with the sun shining off the yellow bicycles lining the upcoming route of the Yorkshire section of the Tour De France. Greeted by Stewart Gilray CEO wearing a Batman T-Shirt, who asked how my journey had been and mentioned the cycle race would be passing their office. I was taken past various boards displaying numerous pieces of concept art for previous Oddworld games and in to their boardroom. A whiteboard on the back wall showing details of the development of Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty! most of which have been struck through which I inferred would indicated I was likely to be playing a fair close to final build of the game.
Firstly I should mention that this demo appears to be alpha code of the game, is running on six separate PlayStation 4 demonstration units. The demo is locked down to a small area of Seattle starting you at a military style checkpoint, I know because I tried to leave the area. This sets up a new game mechanic as you’re required to use the Touchpad on the DualShock4 to access the area as it simulates moving your finger over a Conduit Detection System. Obviously as Delsin is a “Conduit” all hell breaks loose, as alarms sounds and guards with guns turn up. If like myself you’re familiar with the inFAMOUS controls it’s basically the same. If not here’s a run down for you. The power Delsin starts with in the demo is smoke which you can aim with L2 and fire with R2.
A Sony Fanboy Trying To Change His Ways….With A Little Help From His Friends. Written By Troy Starrett
For as long as I can remember I have been a gamer, and for the last four generations of video game systems my platform of choice has been the Sony PlayStation brand. I have owned two of each of the original PlayStation, PS2, PS3, and PSP. I also own a PS4 and a PSVita. There has just always been a comfort and familiarity for me, and I am very resistant to change. I have been a Sony fanboy by the purest definition. For almost the entire lifespan of the original Xbox and Xbox 360, I had no interest in even trying to game on the Microsoft platforms. Had no draw to the Halos, or the Gears of War.
Once again we are greeted with a new cod and new things thrown in our faces and to be honest it’s getting less enjoyable each time. Mainly because the campaign has lost its excitement the multiplayer is so repetitive I just don’t feel like im getting my moneys worth anymore and at £55 it seems like im losing a lot. I will start with the campaign due to it not following on from any other game I thought that might be a good thing but once that I was a few missions in that all started to change. Now of course the graphics and animations are superb but character wise I couldn’t connect to a single one like I have in the past. To me the campaign story didn’t seem to have just that little spark that could have set it off.
There were a good crowd of people gathered outside Game in St. Stephens shopping mall in Hull city centre, all with one thing on their mind, getting hands on with PlayStation 4. The door opened at 7pm and people flocked to the 6 demo machines being used for the event, all had two DualShock4‘s, HD monitors, PS4 Cameras and an actual PS4 front and centre. Dual Shock 4 Impressions: Wow, what an improvement over the DS3, it feels slightly heavier but this could be due to the security cord/USB charging cable. It feels well balanced in the hands and the Touchpad / button was incredibly responsive. The Bottom shoulder buttons are loads smaller and have little concave flaps like my plastic triggers I added to my DS3.
It is done. I made it. I hear “Eye of the Tiger” playing in my head as I look at my 100th Platinum, it being The Walking Dead on PS Vita. Now the question, what to do next? I don’t quite remember the first trophies that I earned. I can vaguely remember hearing about them in SuperStardust HD, which was the first game to have trophies. First I thought that might be fun to see what it was all about. Got the game, patched it, played for a while, then I got my first trophy. The classic “Bling” sound that would eventually come into my dreams. I felt a of accomplishment. I then went on to collect more trophies. Got a couple of more then the excitement faded. The high was gone.
Recently I’ve been looking at my groaning shelves and thinking I’ve got a fair amount of games, I have access to twice (since being provided as part of PlayStation Plus). Once via shiny disc or diddy carts in plastics boxes with cover art and also sat on my PlayStation Network Download list. As a games collector I personally prefer physical media for a couple of reasons. I only have a 320gb HDD in my PS3 and a 16gb PS Vita memory card, so having discs and cards means I don’t have to sacrifice digital space if I fancy playing something. My Internet connection is also not the quickest of data pipes, so if I did just fancy a quick blast on something, I can simply pop the disc in the drive and I’m gaming.
Playstation Plus: Or How I Stopped Worrying And Learnt To Love The Download. Written by Darren McCarthy
First things first, this isn’t a piece about “how awesome PlayStation Plus is”, that’s already a given. PS+ was started in late June back in 2010. The subscription-based service offered PS3 and PSP gamers access to a selection of “free” games and content each month for a fee based on how long you wish to subscribe for, being it 90 days or a whole year. Later Sony added the PSVita to the service and the upcoming PS4 will require it for online multiplayer. Now I use quotations on free because obviously you need to pay up front but after you download and play a big title that’s worth “£40” in a brick and mortar store, all games after that could be considered free.
From time to time, great video games are released that no matter how highly praised by gamers and critics alike, just don’t seem to sell. After a bit of thought and research I’ve come up with a list of games from this generation that I thought were fantastic, yet couldn’t shift a million copies if they had an army of marketers plugging them left right and centre. A few of these games you have probably heard of or may even have stashed somewhere in your back catalogue of games that are desperately waiting to be played but have little chance of actually happening. Some you may never have heard of which is a shame and should be rectified when possible as there are some hidden gems hidden amongst the games that nobody bought.
We now stand on the threshold of the 8th generation of home video game consoles, in a matter of months of writing this, our living rooms, bedrooms and gaming rooms will have a new centrepiece, either a PS4 or Xbox One. Now one could argue that we’re already in the eighth generation seeing as we already have the Nintendo WiiU, PSVita and 3DS, but to me it’s not yet complete without the front runners, the titans sent out by Sony and Microsoft to do battle over your wallet. Recently I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the upcoming generation, as I’m sure a lot of people have, but more importantly the dying generation we’re still in. It’s both nostalgic and somewhat depressing that I can still clearly remember the day I got my very first PS3 as if it was yesterday.
Now this may be one of the hardest articles I will ever have to write. There are so many characters in gaming that I just love from Ezio from the Assassins Creed series to Johnny Gat from the Saints Row series. I have opted to go for a very strong and inspirational character and that man is….. Captain Price. Now what can I say about Captain Price? We first meet him in Call Of Duty 4 and when I first met him I thought oh here we go another arsehole Captain who I can never please. But soon after he warmed to my heart especially when you must run off the ship after its been bombed. The second I started slipping from the chopper you don’t know how many buttons I mashed to try to pull myself up. But there he was in the right place and the right time to pull me up.
After the announcement of the PlayStation 4, everyone has wanted the chance to get their hands on the console, the controller and more importantly some of the games that will be out at launch. Connor got the opportunity to see a couple of the games in question, notably Assassins Creed Black Flag and the highly anticipated Watch Dogs, both by Ubisoft. Connor went along to an after hours event at Game to see just what we have in store for ourselves in the coming months. Well, that was the plan anyway. As you will read in the article, it wasn’t quite as simple as a hands on event, more of a case of hands off and stare event.
Gamers, like everyone else are merely human, we never stay young forever. With age comes responsibility, jobs, partners, mortgage’s and then the inevitable kids. Yes, kids. The chirpy little rug rats that want to take over every spare minute of your waking days and most of your sleepless nights. So how does a dedicated gamer get his time in when there are kids about? There are ways and one of our team wants to share his experience’s with you. Jason describes how he gets his gaming time in while still being a responsible father. Its not easy but it can be done. Are there any particular types of game that benefit the gaming parent, lets find out.
So the story goes that in the late 60’s a hotel bellboy delivered vintage champagne to one of the rooms. As a topless George Best opened the door the bellboy saw the scantily clad current Miss Universe winner lying on a bed surrounded by £20,000 in cash, the evening’s casino winnings. Upon seeing this bellboy famously commented “So George, where did it all go wrong?” Fast forward fifty years and EA’s FIFA franchise finds itself drawing parallels with this scenario. FIFA 13 has sold a total of 14.5 million units to date, it is the most profitable sporting series in history, the popular Ultimate Team gaming option has proved to be a license to print money and furthermore Konami’s Professional Evolution Soccer (PES) series seemingly have forgotten how to be competitive in the market. “So FIFA, where did it all go wrong”
“Nobody cares, Trophies are meaningless” These are the blunt words someone expressed to me on Twitter. This annoyed me. Sure there are tons of people out there who couldn’t care less about those little things that pop up once you do something, go somewhere or collect an item. But they mean something to me, to quote the wrestling fan video on YouTube – “It’s still real to me, dammit!” I could easily argue that the real trophies that football teams win also mean nothing outside of their game. Is a Premier League trophy anything other than something to just display? Is an Olympic medal nothing more than just a metal circle that represents something that happened? They’re just objects that represents an accomplishment, the same as PSN Trophies and XBL Achievements.
When we start off, we do what nearly every zombie player does, keep the pistol till you run out of ammo and let the zombies tear off every single barrier in sight and wait till the end of the round to start repairing them. Don’t forget the parts that are scattered around the first zone. Now most people would open the stairs to buy the PDW-57. But we found a way to get down the stairs without spending our money. The next time you open the first set of doors and at the end of the hall there seems to be a drop (also where the zombies jump down to). To get down to the other part of the map you must slowly edge yourself off. Doing this too quick can result in you missing the ledge and falling to your death, if you look to try out this method I recommend you doing this with a friend so they can revive you.