Ten After Ten: 4/30/19-5/09/19

Diesel_product_shakedown-hawaii_home_sh_protagonists-1920x1080-d85821325ea50e9533e8768b98d929c875555deb.png

Three Game/Movie Releases

Descenders

Descenders is a third-person sports game about biking down a hill at fast speeds, doing tricks and whatnot the whole way down. This game has had my interest for a little while in early access for its procedurally-generated tracks and the fact that it is a biking game. The game has now just come out of early access, and now I am interested in the game yet again. I haven’t really tried out a sports game with an emphasis on tricks like the Tony Hawk or Skate games, but I think this game will be a great entry into those kind of games.

Pandemic Express

Pandemic Express takes a bit of a spotlight in this Ten After Ten, with a mention of it in a blog as well as at the end of this blog. It is a multiplayer FPS that involves thirty players fighting against zombies, or being the zombie once dead and trying to add more to your counts. The game is based off of a popular zombie mod on Counter Strike. Despite its bugs and lacking features, I love this game. The core concept of this game solid, and the various mechanics are fun to master. The game is in early access and it shows, but it is also a lot of fun. You can go to the bottom of this blog to read some more about this game.

Shakedown Hawaii

Shakedown Hawaii is retro top-down successor to Retro City Rampage that has you essentially living the Grand Theft Auto lifestyle, but in Hawaii. The game emphasizes buying up property and running a business (which is always my cup of tea), but this game is all about leaving a trail of bodies behind you. I have been meaning to try out Retro City Rampage, so I think that plus the Hawaii setting and business aspect is a great place to start trying out these games. On top of that, I could do with some new games on the Switch, and I can’t think of a better place to play this game.

Three News Stories

Video Game Movies

Sonic took the world by storm…in the worst way possible with a new trailer to his own movie. The trailer took a lot of criticism (and deservedly so) for a variety of issues. Some have issues that the film doesn’t quite know who its target audience is, while others think “Gangsta’s Paradise” by Coolio isn’t a good song choice for the trailer. The most universal outcry, however, is the look of Sonic, with Keith Stuart of the Guardian describing Sonic as “a cheap knock-off Sonic toy your child might win at a fairground stand and then be terrified of.” The look of Sonic (and is teeth, apparently) disgusted so many people, director James Fowler came out on Twitter and said that the blue hedgehog is getting a redesign. I am sure this won’t be the end of it for the Sonic film, but as it stands the film is going to have to go through hell to get to its release date.

Sonic isn’t the only video game character making news on the big screen however. Even though the release date for the film is on the tenth (making it viable for the next Ten After Ten), the reviews for Detective Pikachu have started to release. As of this writing, the critic score on Rotten Tomatoes for this film is in the mid-60s, making it one of the highest reviewed movies based on a video game property.

There were some video game movie announcements as well, with Straight Outta Compton director Gary Gray announcing that he is directing a Saints Row film, according to a Deadline article. What is more exciting to me from this article is a smaller announcement of a film based on Echo, with the same director and John Wick writer Derek Kolstad. The chances of these films actually hitting theaters feels minuscule, but an Echo movie does sound pretty neat.

Borderlands 3 and the Endless Pitchford Fiasco

The beginning of May saw the gameplay reveal of Borderlands 3, a game a lot of people have been waiting a long time for. If this was any other developer, this announcement would not have been much news, but leave it to Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford to make things exciting.

It starts with a Game Informer article saying despite Randy denying microtransactions on-stage, the game will feature cosmetic purchases. When Randy said microtransactions, he meant loot boxes in particular, but he still said microtransaction nonetheless. What was an honest mistake that could’ve been easily fixed with a tweet clarifying things turned into a twitter tirade, including an eighteen-part twitter thread.

To make things even worse, people noticed that the voice of one the characters, Claptrap, is different from the original voice actor. Eventually, original voice actor David Eddings came out on twitter to talk about why he turned down the offer. He talked about how he was assaulted by Pitchford in 2017 as well as the shady things he did while working there. He also talks about Randy’s formal scandal involving siphoning twelve million dollars from the company, and during this time he was also accused of having underage porn. It is still unknown whether any of it is true or not, but one thing is for sure: Randy Pitchford is in some serious hot water right now, and the more that comes out about him, the more damning his image becomes.

Epic Games Acquires Psyonix

Rocket League developer Psyonix has been bought out by Epic. Epic has been making moves against Steam by making exclusivity deals with various developers to ship their game exclusively on the Epic store, but this is the biggest move yet. There is still a good deal of information unknown about the merger (like whether the game will remain on Steam once it hits the Epic store), but as it stands the merger will not change things up that much. It seems like Psyonix is using the merger as a way to expand the game’s esports community, and they say the Steam version of the game will still get the same support before and after the game’s arrival on the Epic store. Bigger changes may happen in the future, but only time will tell.

Three Blogs

The first blog in this Ten After Ten is my monthly anticipated games of the month list, looking into the coming month and what video game releases it holds. Some months are better than others, with some overflowing with good games and others being forced to choose something for the sake of getting five games on a list. May 2019 is a pretty solid month, with a couple of games I have been waiting a while for (A Plague Tale: Innocence and Rage 2), and new releases I am just learning about that I am excited to play (American Fugitive). I also already have my hands on one of the games on the list (Pandemic Express), and the remaining one (Close to the Sun) not doing so well on reviews. I also mentioned some other May releases that didn’t make the cut for various reasons. These games include Shakedown Hawaii, Yakuza Kiwami 2, Observation, and others. May is a pretty strong month for releases, so let’s hope whatever releases are left at this point release strong.

My Thoughts on Shockrods

Even though I feel like I am losing brain cells every time I pick up a beta key to a mediocre multiplayer game, I still pick them up and write about them anyways. This time around, the game is Shockrods, which is essentially an arena shooter but with cars. This game is as dull as dull gets, playing like any other arena shooter but slower. The game is so dull, I could only find myself putting in roughly an hour into the game. The blog is so short, it is honestly not even worth reading. Just stick to this paragraph, and I’ll end it by simply saying this game isn’t worth your time.

Ranking of Assassin’s Creed Part 11: Assassin’s Creed Chronicles: China

The latest blog is another edition into my never-ending Assassin’s Creed rank. This time around, I get into the first of three Chronicles games, a 2d spinoff of the main games. Even though it isn’t a 3d game with an open world, I still enjoyed playing this game because it feels like a nice break from the formula. Ever since Assassin’s Creed 2, the world and level design hasn’t changed all that much, even with the sailing games so doing something different for once is nice. On top of that, some of the mechanics in this game, like whistle strength and vision cones, show that a platformer can still be a viable stealth game just like its 3d counterpart. I didn’t rank it that high considering it is a spinoff title, but it is above all of the other smaller titles.

sc605t.jpg

One Game I am Playing

Pandemic Express

Coming out in early access on the 2nd (even though the date now says something different), Pandemic Express is a multiplayer first-person shooter about either fighting off zombies or killing humans as a zombie. The game takes place in an open world, and the humans try to get on a train and defend it as it gets to the station while zombies try to kill them all. The game is out in early access, and it shows. The balancing is off, there are some bugs and crashes, and it lacks a lot of features even after the few patches and updates that have happened. Despite all of that, I am in love with this game. The concept of this game is solid, and being one of the last few humans fighting off the horde is exhilarating. The game also has a unique art style I am in love with and traversal mechanics that prove to be really useful and a lot of fun to master. I don’t know if I will do a write-up on this game or not; but if I do, then I will at most write about my impressions on the game in the near future.