Best Weapon in Star Wars Battlefront Is…

I’ve been doing some research online about the best weapon / blaster to use in Star Wars Battlefront and the problem with most articles you come by is that they’re from the beta stages of the game. However, since the game’s full release, a lot has changed when it comes to weapon stats and how good they are and I personally believe that all those articles are outdated. Plus, after several days of in-game time, I think I’ve made up my mind regarding the best weapon in Star Wars Battlefront and I am here to share that with you.

For a long time, I was silly enough to consider that a high damage weapon is everything I need – but high damage weapons are slow and they heat up very quickly so they are pretty much useless (not to mention the fact that enemies moving all the time make everything even more difficult as you only get to shoot once, you miss and you’re toast). Therefore, the best weapon in my opinion is that weapon that first has a good rate of fire, doesn’t heat up very fast and is great for medium range fire, as that’s the range that you’re usually going to fire from in the game.

So what’s that gun? The EE-3!

It is indeed a beautiful gun that can do a lot of damage and increase your kill count like a beast. It’s not the easiest gun to get used with because of the burst fire and the fact that it could overheat quite rapidly if you don’t watch that heating meter, but in most game modes and with the right type of cards, it is a beast. Give it a chance and learn how to use it, I guarantee you will replace the all time favorite DL-44 with it.

Picking the right cards makes it a lot more useful, so the must have is Cluster Shot with the Scout Trait. The first makes the weapon a lot more lethal, while the Scout Trait helps with the cooling problem if you manage to get to level 3. Personal Shield and Bowcaster are also good choices to complete the power of this weapon.

Do things change in tight, short combat areas? Even though you can still do a pretty decent job with the EE-3 in tight areas and low range fire once you learn how to use the weapon, you might have to switch – but just for close combat game modes – to the DL-44 which is indeed a beast when it comes to close-range combat.

But still, in my opinion, the best weapon in Star Wars Battlefront is the EE-3. Let me know what do you think below and especially what loadouts you use to get the most out of your weapon!

Top 5 Games That Will Make 2016 Sublime

A new year brings a new set of hotly anticipated games to look forward to. 2016 is already shaping up to be an exciting one with Sony and Microsoft continuing their fight for dominance as they pursuit to outdo one another. This along side Nintendo who will start to lift the lid on their latest console; The mysterious NX. All this with a heap of third-party and indie titles plus VR finally becoming a reality. So I think its fair to say its going to be one hell of a year.

Below I have brought together the five games I am most excited about for various reasons which I will go into. All you need to know is I realise there are many more games than whats on show however it’s impossible to talk about them all. The games need to at least look likely to release this year so sorry Last Guardian. Lastly its my own opinion so if you disagree that’s fine. Enjoy

 

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (Playstation 4)

Is this the end for Nathan Drake? Everyone’s favorite treasure hunter is coming out of retirement for one last adventure and oh boy does it look good. Destined to be the largest project undertaken by the much respected Naughty Dog, The winner of 25 E3 awards is easily Sony’s biggest release of the year. Can it match its predecessors though? Most importantly how will Nathan Drake’s story end? All I know is tears will flow.

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Cuphead (Xbox One)

This is the reason I play video games. Every once in a while something brilliant is shown from absolutely nowhere. Two Canadian brothers part of Studio MDHR have come together to make a platformer in the style of a 1930’s cartoon. Straight from announcement Cuphead stood out. It’s beautiful, It’s interesting, It’s new. What this industry demands more for is freshness and that is exactly what Cuphead is. Last year proved that indies can compete with triple A games, Cuphead looks to continue this trend.  A must for any Xbox One owners.

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Telltale Games: Batman (PC/MAC)

Now that Rocksteady have completed their take on the Dark Knight, Telltale are taking over the mantle to give their own take. Recently announced but promised for this year Telltale storytelling mechanic is one that may be wearing for some yet throw Batman in the mix and people perk up. Are we going to see more time spent with Bruce Wayne and detective work becoming a key part? Unlike Rocksteady’s version of the Bat it is more likely you will have to use your brains over brawn.

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Legend of Zelda Wii U (Nintendo Wii U)

Will we finally get a real open world experience set in the majestic world of Hyrule? With Nintendo in a period of transition, there’s reason for concern that their hottest property will enter a ‘Twilight Princess’ state being released on both the Wii U and NX. Whatever the outcome the newest Zelda looks to marvel surely set to take the gaming world by storm. That is if we can trust early footage.

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No Man’s Sky (Playstation 4)

Imagine having the opportunity to explore the entirety of the universe, well that’s what studio Hello Games are promising. Understandable if currently you are a bit pessimistic,  nevertheless if this is executed right it could become one of the greatest exploration video games ever. No pressure.

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So there you have five sublime games to look forward to this year. What video games are you most looking forward to? Leave us a comment below to tell us why.

5 Missing Smash Bros Elements

It’s been a smashing time. Sadly, all great things must come to a close. Pulling in characters from Nintendo, Capcom, Sega, Namco and Square Enix we have a roster like no other. Combining this with the most balanced gameplay to date, Masahiro Sakurai and his team have not only created the essential Smash Bros, but they have managed to make one of the greatest fighting games of all time.

Like the greedy children we are, there is always more content we would love to have included. Even at 58 characters, everyone still has a favorite that has yet to join. That list, however, is for another day. Instead I have brought together the 5 missing elements from Super Smash Bros 3DS/Wii U that would truly complete this entry. Please don’t misunderstand me, I am so grateful for the work already done. I just think there are a few minor cracks that could be filled in to turn the game from incredible to perfect. Anyway, let’s get this started:

 

Offline Tourneys

Tournaments may have returned in the form of online, they’re now subsequently absent from offline. For myself and friends, we have found this to be one of the most disappointing factors. We loved having random tourneys to experience characters you would never normally pick. All this with some competition thrown in was magnificent. We can still hope they may be resurrected one day.

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More Stages

While new characters are fantastic, there is more vocal demand for stages to actually fight on. This is something I was surprised at with the Smash Bros December Direct. An easy choice would be to transfer all the 3DS stages to the Wii U and vice versa. I realize that’s easier said than done, but still would have thought it was the obvious step. If not this, then how about bringing back some classic stages from Brawl? Pirate Ship made the cut, so why should it be singled out? An upgrade to HD is a quick win to please all fans.

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Break the Targets

Mini-games this time round received an overall, such as changing the much loved “Break the Targets” into a bad Angry Birds rip-off. The simple game of destroying all the targets was changed into a disappointing mobile game. I understand changes are necessary, but sometimes a fresh coat of paint will suffice. Bring back the classic version. Whilst you’re at it, a “Board the Platforms” return would be great.

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Alternative Costumes

Now this may shock some; I don’t like clones. Whether it’s Wolf, Pichu or Attack of the Clones, it’s not for me. In my mind they need their own move-set to justify a position on the roster. Alternative costumes always seem an oversight as Lucina, Dr Mario and Dark Pit to name a few could all fit into this category. There is also room to include more like Shadow with Sonic, Kranky Kong with Donkey Kong or even Cat Mario with Mario. Anything is possible.

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Adventure Mode 

Not since the days of Melee has there been an adventure mode worthy of the series. The Subspace Emissary was cool, especially the cut scenes. Still the gameplay itself was never that grabbing. Next time round, give us something new, unexpected and simply smash. If anyone can do this, it’s Mr Sakurai.

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So there you have the five missing Smash Bros elements that I would love to have implemented. What content would you like to see added to the already packed series? Leave us a comment below to tell us why. Finally, I would like to take this moment to personally say thanks to Mr Sakurai for his continued outstanding work on a masterpiece of a series. Thank you Mr Sakurai.

The Next Step for Animal Crossing

Describing Animal Crossing can be difficult. What do you do? You dig up fossils, weed the ground, decorate your house, pay off a loan, fish and catch bugs. To some this sounds dull and lifeless. From description i’m inclined to agree however having now racked up well over 200 hours on Animal Crossing: New Leaf I think it’s fair to say i’m addicted.

Since it’s arrival on the N64 back in 2001 the series has made baby steps improving the overall dynamic. From adding a town centre with bustling shops to a remote island filled with mini-games, your little village has certainly expanded. The question now begs what’s the next for Animal Crossing?

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A great feature in New Leaf was making you the town Mayor. With this authority you could build projects and set ordinances for residents to adhere to. With Happy Home Designer instead of decorating your own home you were designing residents. The next entry needs to think about combining the assets from Happy Home Designer to bring this feature to the core series. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if neighbors wanted you to help decorate their homes along with yours. Pulling in the mechanics used in Happy Home Designer would broaden this task. More than ever we need more control over the area that surrounds us. The next ability I believe that should be granted is being able to place furniture anywhere you please. Think now instead of your house you have the whole village to play with. If not this then add a garden feature where you can place exterior items. Slides, barbecue sets and pools could all be used to create your dream garden.

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Housing locations must be tackled too.  I can’t express how frustrating it is when a villager picks your favorite spot to put their house. As mayor I would much prefer the home owner (or Tom Nook) to come seek my permission on where the new house can be developed. The irritation could then be easily avoided. Mail is another little feature I wish would be extended. As I previously stated I have well spent over 200 hours on New Leaf. So has my girlfriend as it’s very much a game we play together. One thing that we both wish is that being able to send furniture and other items through the mail service. Royal Mail accept packages so why can’t the Pelican sisters? Instead we have to open the gates, catch a train and come through to one another’s town just to drop off something simple like a chair.

The folk of Animal Crossing are so cheery it’s hard to get annoyed with them. Though after playing fifty hours worth it does get quite tedious that every single time you walk into a shop you get a greeting. On top of that when you leave a goodbye message is shown too. It’s polite and cute but just so unnecessary. Please Nintendo cut down on this. The game will flow smoother making more overall enjoyment.

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The series like your town has slowly grown adding more interesting elements. This now needs to built upon more than ever creating new grabbing aspects to differentiate from previous entries. New Leaf seems the perfect version so to stand out, Nintendo have to go bold. These above amendments along with something completely brand new is how the series must progress.

What do you think is the next step for Animal Crossing? What new features would you like to see added? Leave us a comment below to tell us why

Why Battlefront Is The Biggest Disappointment Of 2015

I am a massive Star Wars fan. To say that I was excited for Battlefront would be a colossal understatement. At first glance, I arrogantly cast aside all of the pre-release criticism, chocking it up to people being nefarious fanboys with nostalgia goggles thicker than their quarter scale Boba Fett figurines.

Secretly, however, I kept thinking to myself that maybe all of these complaints have merit. Maybe this game wasn’t going to be the magnum opus I expected. Maybe, it’d be a broken mess, churned out only for profit by one of the most ludicrously greedy publishers in gaming.

To my dismay, the suspicions I shared with those of whom I doubted, ended up being almost entirely correct. There are several key issues that hold Battlefront back from being the game it should’ve been.

But before I delve into what exactly disappoints me ever so much about Battlefront, I must mention that I do not deny that DICE tried. Their love for Star Wars is clear, and the attention to even the tiniest of details in Battlefront is amazing.

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This Isn’t An Arcade

Something that I tried to ignore during the beta was the token system. I had hoped that it’d be at least slightly altered upon retail release, but that hope died as fast as the hype for this game has.

In Battlefront, your only means of becoming a hero character or using one of the few vehicles and ships that the game offers is to grab these small tokens that periodically appear around the map.

If you want to fly an X-Wing, you have to wander around the map or camp the spawns waiting to find a token. Once that token drops, you have to run as fast as you can to claim it before another teammate gets his filthy hands on it. You then have to activate the token that causes your character to kneel while an arbitrary meter fills up, leaving you defenseless and unable to move.

This is a tedious and random process, but it is further amplified by the fact that the enemy team will often block your access. And despite what you may think, this isn’t a deliberate action like spawn-trapping in Battlefield or Call of Duty, rather, the game forces it as players stumble across the map. It means that you will not only have to rush through a horde of enemies and turrets – even worse if you’re a rebel – to grab your token but, if you are lucky enough to survive, you still have to deal with the aforementioned metre and all of the woes that follow. If you die while using your token? Well, it just vanishes, and the entire team loses it for 30 seconds.

If I didn’t despise all of this enough, it is all made even worse by the fact that these tokens punish dogfighting. Sometimes you’re actually able to get into an X-Wing, just to find that there is nothing to kill because your team has unintentionally blocked the enemy team from accessing their well-earned ship tokens. Why couldn’t we prevent them access with skill and teamwork via deliberate spawn-trapping or soaring through the skies as a skilled pilot? Why must everything be such a chaotic mess? You can still shoot at infantry units and hope they’re not all equipped with a lock-on missile, but part of the thrill of Star Wars is the crazy dogfighting, not taking random potshots at the ground hoping that a few Storm Troopers will get damaged by the blast radius.

This system is in my humble opinion, an unmitigated failure.

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I Can Take On The Whole Empire Myself

One of the fantastic things about the older Battlefront and even Battlefield games for that matter is that they heavily encourage and reward team play. You are given squads to party up with friends and clans, and you are given classes or specific jobs to compliment your squad and team in a way that suits you best.

In Battlefront, however, the entire system has been streamlined to a point where you feel as if you’re just a random soldier running around on a battlefield without any sense of strategy. You technically have a ‘partner’, but you can’t do anything to help them other than following them as they run around the map like a headless chicken, cleaning up after them.

What’s more, there are no class items or classes at all for that matter. You can unlock various cards that give you either weapons or temporary abilities, but nothing provokes any sense of team play or unity. There are no medkits, no ammo resupply kits, no perks that can give you and your partner bonuses, it’s all just personal stuff that really doesn’t have much impact on the game. Sure, there are some neat weapons like the Bowcaster, but why not make that an actual weapon and leave cards to be team items?

Furthermore, all vehicles and ships you can access are for one person only. The T-47 Airspeeder is known to have two seats for two people, and, I distinctly remember seeing two seats in the AT-ATs and AT-STs, yet only one can access it at a time.

Speaking of two people. It would’ve been nice if DICE had implemented matchmaking for the co-op modes, as finding even one friend who wanted to drop $70 on a skeleton of a game is more challenging than the mode itself when done solo.

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Is That All You’ve Got?

Battlefront has been criticised for its lack of content in general, and all of the criticism is, unfortunately, true. It’s almost shocking that we can have these big triple-A releases that have less content than a one-man indie game made in Unity.

There is no campaign to start things off. Star Wars is one of the richest most accessible universes in all fiction, and we couldn’t even have a four-hour campaign? In a Star Wars game? Really? DICE tries to patch things up by claiming that the co-op mode is their campaign substitute, but the four maps for Survival with minimal replayability offer nothing but more disappointment.

There are only six heroes in the game to boot, despite Star Wars having about five billion characters to choose from. Where is Lando Calrissian? Chewbacca? IG-88 perhaps? The truth is, they will just be implemented later when you’re asked to pay another 70 dollars (CAD) to buy the Season Pass. The get-out-of-jail-free card that EA loves using when every game that they release comes broken or severely lacking content.

To top it off, here are only a few ships to pilot with even fewer vehicles. For ships, you have the T-47, X-Wing, TIE Interceptor, TIE Fighter, A-Wing, and the Millenium Falcon and Slave I (only one mode). For ground vehicles, you have the AT-AT, AT-ST, and the Speeder Bike (on one map).  There are many other ground vehicles and ships in the Star Wars universe and even obvious ones like Tauntauns or Luke’s Land Speeder that are stupidly absent from Hoth and Tatooine respectively.

And this one map, one mode idea that I mentioned in parentheses is something Battlefront is full of. There are four planets, and each planet has three maps to choose from. This wouldn’t be such a problem if you could access all of the maps in every game mode, like Battlefield or practically any other shooter in this era does. But Battlefront instead insists on gating your pitiful amount of content behind arbitrary walls. My favourite mode, Walker Assault, launched with four maps, and while they are the highlight of this game, they wear thin quickly enough.

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Do Or Do Not, There Is No Try

While this might not be the biggest or best point to end on, I am so personally disappointed by the Fighter Squadron game mode that I can’t write up such a piece without mentioning it.

We all expected that we’d have those amazing battles from Battlefront 1 and 2, where you’d jump from ship to ship, shooting pilots and taking objectives. Instead, what we received was Fighter Squadron, Battlefield‘s ‘Air Superiority’ mode reskinned. You fly around shooting at AI and enemy-controller ships with the six ships I listed above. Lazy objectives like ‘kill the cruiser before it escapes’ sometimes happen, but they’re simply facades to distract you from the fact that this game mode offers nothing.

In the end, I can only hope that the Season Pass will redeem this disaster of a reboot, but it will need to do something unique to convince me to buy it.

 

The Top Five Best Video Games Of 2015

2015 has been a bittersweet year for gaming. We’ve seen countless sequels, an overabundance of open-world games, the usual triple-A shooters, tons of Steam Greenlight asset flips, and even a few new IPs to polish off the list. While almost too many games found their way into our consoles and virtual libraries, only a few conquered my heart in any long-lasting way.

While this list is in no way a definitive list of the absolute best video games, I’ve painstakingly plucked five fantastic games from the herd that I sincerely believe deserve the highest of praise.

This list is in no particular order apart from the final pick; let’s begin.

Rise of the Tomb Raider Lara

Rise of the Tomb Raider

Rise of the Tomb Raider is the only game on this list that I haven’t completed, and yet in the time I have spent with Lara, I am utterly enamoured by the incredible job Crystal Dynamics did with this sequel.

Tomb Raider got a lot of things right as a reboot, but it also had its set of flaws that held it back. Rise impressively fixed and improved upon every single aspect of the original reboot in such a way that it has become almost an instant Game Of The Year contender for me. I’ve done almost nothing other than play this game this past week.

From sprawling landscapes filled with relevant items to collect, to the treks through rich and detailed environments that feel as if they exist in a real place – rather than constructed stages for the player to trudge through without real context -, Rise offers nothing but joy throughout.

It’s also worth noting that Crystal Dynamics deserves praise for their take on open-worlds, as this world felt worth exploring amongst dozens of boring, dull worlds to grind through endlessly.
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Life Is Strange

I paid no attention to Life Is Strange at first. I had no interest in playing it and I assumed it’d be some weird Telltale clone. After my friend had spent hours talking about how excellent it was, I decided to buy it one night on a whim, hoping that this wasn’t just some hype.

It wasn’t. In fact, Life Is Strange ripped my heart from my chest and spat all over it, and I loved every moment.

The main draw to this story is that the characters are so incredibly well written. Every single person, minor or major, feels like a real person. They have distinctive personalities and characteristics that make them stand out in a sea of copy-paste characters. I remember everyone, even if some of them are a bit cliched, and that is rare indeed.

Chloe and Max have a deep, and complicated relationship and Max receiving her powers puts such a strain on not only her but everyone around her. The dialogue in the game is sometimes a bit silly but, for the most part, it is engaging and feels like you’re watching some indie flick.

The plot starts off very simple but soon delves into something bigger than you could expect. The whole time you’re sitting there questioning what is happening, only to get a sucker punch to the gut when the game reveals that you are in fact clueless about what is really going on behind the curtains.

It is all backed up by good voice acting, solid pacing, memorable moments and excellent music. A very attentive eye to even the smallest of details and countless references to pop-culture and even the state of Oregon leaves this game nearly oozing character.

Play it, but don’t read anything else about it.

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StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void

I remember trying out StarCraft when I was in public school. I hardly knew how to play, but I adored the atmosphere and interesting mechanics. Fast forward to now and StarCraft is amongst my favourite franchises of all time.

Legacy of the Void is a perfect culmination of what the fans wanted and what Blizzard learned over the past several years making RTS games. They put a ridiculous amount of effort into this game, making sure that the story goes out with the biggest bang ever. From the brand new co-op mode to the epic campaign filled with varied missions and interesting characters, Legacy of the Void is not only the best entry in the StarCraft series overall but reminds everyone that the RTS genre can still be a heavy hitter.

But it doesn’t end there, as the biggest change to the franchise is how improved the multiplayer is.

Gone are the slow starts. Gone are the ultra-cheesy Protoss openers, and gone are the slow economic macro games. Blizzard has tried its absolute damnedest to make LOTV as fast paced as possible, and it’s almost too much to handle. Every second there are 50 things happening on screen, and you have to physically train yourself to adapt to it. The incredibly delicate balance of constructing buildings while simultaneously collecting resources, scouting your opponent to react to their next moves before they execute them, building an army, pushing your units into dangerous territory to keep the enemy suppressed and afraid, expanding your economy into new frontiers to reap new mineral patches, and using your mind to psyche out your opponent in a variety of devious ways all attribute to your success, and everything is now way faster.

The new units don’t help either, as they are game changers themselves. Protoss now have their form of a Baneling, yet regenerates itself upon destruction. Zerg has its trusty Lurker that hides beneath the ground, thrusting its spikes into the bodies of anyone standing in their vicinity. The Ravager launches deadly attacks into the sky, obliterating anything that stands in the way. Terran possesses the Liberator, a siege tank that flies and holds down a position like the beaches of Normandy, and the Cyclone that laughs in the face of cheesy Protoss that want to drop an Oracle at your main base three minutes into the game.

This multiplayer can be talked about endlessly, and that is all thanks to you, Blizzard. Legacy of the Void is a monumental achievement and the absolute best way to end your long-running story. I’ll be spending the next year or more playing this legacy, watching the Korean players with their 700 APM.

Ori and the blind forest

Ori and the Blind Forest

I haven’t cried during the opening sequence of a video game since The Last Of Us; until Ori came along and stomped on my heart, that is.

This breathtaking masterpiece transcends the medium and offers one of the best pieces of evidence towards the ‘games as art’ debate. The beautifully vibrant hand-drawn Pixar art, the varied, colourful, dramatic soundtrack that offers nearly every emotion on the spectrum. Or how about the terrific story or the old-school gameplay that shows Metroid and Castlevania how it is done? What about the nearly flawless platforming segments and unique take on 2D combat?

Everything about this game is memorable and inspired, and it is not only one of the best games this year but one of the best pieces of art I’ve ever experienced. It has an emotional weight to it that many games fail to have and it is a game that will make you think about it well after it is done.

Ori has that power over us all.

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Bloodborne

Bloodborne is a part of the long-running franchise that is the Souls series. Though it differs in name and mechanics, it is still very much a Souls game. As a spiritual successor to Demon’s Souls, one of the best games ever created, it had everything to live up to. It nailed nearly everything.

Bloodborne is easily recognizable with its exceptionally stylized, painstakingly well-crafted world. It takes gothic architecture and runs with it to a degree that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before in any video game. Winding roads of cobblestone covered in blood and disguised by fog, twisting corridors filled with tattered garb and signs of a once thriving society. Endless swamps and caverns and castles, all with their mysteries and shocking imagery to behold.

It utilizes Lovecraftian themes and puts the Miyazaki twist on them with the story-telling style of previous Souls games. It tells you to part ways with your best friend, the shield, and instead pick up one of the several firearms as you adapt to the new, visceral combat that is, even more unforgiving than previous games. It offers you ‘trick weapons’, transformable weapons that each require careful strategy to fully utilize.

The game has incredible creature design, with horrific foes you can only imagine in your worst nightmares. The world has a foreboding atmosphere so thick that you can taste it. The hair on your arms will stand up, your skin will crawl and turn to goosebumps, and your heart will pound so hard you think you are in need of medical assistance.

This game gives you emotional responses that not even some extreme sports could offer. It is a one of a kind experience and one of the best, industry defining video games ever to grace any of our consoles. It will be forever remembered and forever praised as it sits at the top of the tallest pedestal amongst the best classics we’ve ever had.

And yet, with all of that said, I was only referring to the original game. The Old Hunters expansion improved the game significantly, correcting nearly all of the biggest complaints fans had with Bloodborne.

Vicar Amelia
Before we say goodbye to 2015, I’d like to quickly drop a few honourable mentions that unfortunately missed the top five.

Splatoon – A fantastic and creative spin on the first person shooter. Full of character and interesting mechanics.
Yoshi’s Woolly World – The most adorable, happy and all around silly platformer this year. Maybe a bit easy, but infinitely fun.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – The best open-world game I think I’ve ever played. I didn’t play enough to feel good about placing it on my list.
Xenoblade Chronicles 3D – One of the better JRPGs in recent memory.
Shovel Knight – An impeccable throwback to retro gaming. Only missed the list because it first released out in 2014.

 

Six Wonderful Winter Levels

It’s that beautifully chilly time of year where you can’t go anywhere without a jacket. Winter, love it or hate it there are some superb winter themed levels that have been created over the years. These levels are so cold they make you reach for the heating switch and make a cup of cocoa.

Gathered from all generations of consoles here are what I believe to be the best winter levels available today. These can be iconic levels that have stood the test of time or new additions to the winter wonderland catalog that will surely be around for years to come. There may be some cold feet, but I promise there is no need for concern. So without further ado let’s begin.

 

Hoth – Star Wars: Battlefront

Still fresh in our minds. This year EA Dice manged to recreate the universe of Star Wars in glorious HD. Regardless what you think of the actual game itself, it’s impossible to admire how the planet look. None is more mesmerizing than Hoth. The snow drenched world is a marvel to behold throwing in a battle against AT-AT Walkers rockets this encounter to a whole new level.

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Cool Cool Mountain – Super Mario 64

Ice slides, Penguin racing and red coin collecting. What’s not to like? It’s rare to find a level that excesses so much fun. Cool Cool Mountain was one of the top stand-out levels from Mario’s first 3D outing. Nearly twenty years later the level still shines just as much.

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Mountaineering – Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

Uncharted is known for it’s Hollywood-esque show pieces, yet Nathan Drake’s scouring of an icy mountain in Nepal is magnificent to say the least. Fondly remembered by fans of the series this “mountaineering” expedition brought something new to the series changing what the word exploration means. Horror elements were all of a sudden critical to this stage as tension rises the more you climb. The arctic chill is a new presence never fully being realised until now.  This all leading up to the impact of a moving shadow and the reveal of an ancient beast ready to tear Drake limb from limb…Tenzin the Sherpa is pretty awesome too.

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Freezeflame Galaxy – Super Mario Galaxy 

So yes this could be considered slightly cheating, but you cannot deny how beautifully tranquil this galaxy is. The combination of ice and fire creates something that had not been seen before. Skating round the molten core, Leaping through the air lets Mario twirl acrobatically showing his graceful side. One of the most stunning galaxies in the game and one of the most unexpected.

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Freezeaky Peak – Banjo-Kazooie

Christmas trees with singing lights, A fifty foot snowman, present greedy cubs and an absent father all make up this one of a kind level. Rare delivered a 3D outing still fondly remembered today, so there is no shock that Freezeaky Peak makes this list and there should be no doubt that it will continue to appear on lists like this for decades to come.

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Mario Kart: Double Dash – Sherbet Land 

What can I say, Nintendo do Winter best. Straight out of Mario Kart: Double Dash we have the the fantastically frozen Sherbet Land. Encountering Shy Guys skating on a frozen lake peppered with potholes before driving down an igloo tunnel makes this course one of the most re-playable. Oh and how could I forget the catchy soundtrack that mimics exactly what the track represents. No wonder it was revitalized for the Wii version.

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So there you have six wonderful winter levels to get your teeth into over the holiday season. What winter levels do you think are great? Leave us a comment below to tell us why. Anyway you better get inside before you catch a chill.

Happy Holidays from Vgamerz.com

 

Five Fallout Starter Tips

With a world so vast to explore it can be quite daunting being dropped into the post-apocalyptic nightmare. With a 360 degree choice of direction, a fully personalised avatar and a rich leveling system it can all seem a bit much. Having already spent a good thirty hours exploring what Fallout has to offer here are what I believe to be vital tops that I wish I knew before starting this monumental video game.

Note: No specific cheats are in this list as this takes away from the experience that is on offer. These tips are only my personal opinion and are conjured up from my initial ten hours. Also there may be minor spoilers from the first ten hours. You have been warned. Enjoy.

 

Study The SPECIAL'(s)

Loading the game up you are immediately given an introduction in a style of seven classic films. These mini-movies go through the seven SPECIAL abilities you can use to improve your player. From strength to luck the decision is vitally important impacting your experience throughout. This important choice is given to you after five minutes of gameplay. Initially I viewed the mini-movies not really taking in what was on offer; boy did I regret this. Thankfully though you are given a second chance around twenty minutes later where you can tweak your original choices. Take this second chance seriously as from here on outs you are stuck. Really think from the outset what would benefit you most. Also if you bought a physical copy you receive a poster detailing the enhancement system. Study this well.

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So Much Junk, So Little Time

So you’ve become a hoarder. Collecting every single piece of junk you can get your nuclear-ridden hands on. What do I do with it all though? Where do I store it? Well this is really your choice because you can store any items you pick up any settlement or location you discover. These are normally sets of draws or tool benches. Personally i’d recommend keeping everything at Sanctuary Hills as you continuously return. Now you have the choice of what to do with all this rubbish. You can improve life for your settlement by giving them food, water and electricity. Or you can upgrade your weapons however to get the most out of this you will need a high intelligence level. Strength is another perk to consider as the higher it is, the more junk you can carry. Something to think about as you won’t need to return to base as often. Helping the settlers is a smart start as you can gain both more missions and experience.

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Explore ASAP

The greatest aspect of Fallout is the sweet sense of discovery that is available from the first hour. Left, right, forwards, backwards ahhhh I don’t where to begin. Well it doesn’t really matter as long as you can explore immediately. It can be so easy to get tangled up in the story so at every given opportunity you want to be wandering to see what you can be find. I tremendously benefited from this. Not just from seeing what is on offer, but the enhancements it made to my character. Later on in the story I ended up fighting a giant abomination of a creature; The Queen Mirlurk. Thankfully on my travels I came across a laser rifle that does double damage to Mirlurks. Without this I have no idea how I would have defeated the deformed Kingler.

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Preparation Is Key

The world can be a horrible place. Filled with deadly, disgusting creatures ready to tear you limb from limb. Stocking up with plenty of stimpacks and other healing remedies you can make missions much more achievable. Trash Can Carla normally makes her way to your location once in a while so it’s worth using this opportunity to fill your boots. True you do find lots of health perks but you never want to get to the stage where your entirely dependent on finding one. Risky times.

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Company Is Bliss

They say Dog is Man’s best friend. Me on the other hand found that a 210 year old robot can do the job just as well. Picking the right companion can help make the adventure more completable especially when you are taking on armies of enemies, it’s nice to know you’ve got someone by your side. Each one has individual assets that can benefit you. You can however choose none and go rogue. I’ve found having someone else you can give junk to and can fight whilst you reload handy or should I say Mister Handy. In all seriousness though I chose Codsworth because I enjoyed his company most. His commentary while in battle has made me smile on several occasions. Most importantly Codsworth is the closest to any sort of family you have left and for that reason I feel he is integral to seeing this out to the end with me.

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So there you have five Fallout tips to make sure you start your journey on the right foot. What tips would you recommend when starting out? Leave us a comment below to tell us why.

 

Why it’s Great to be a Gamer Right Now

Christmas may still be a few weeks away, but for gamers everywhere it has certainly arrived early. Assuming you have one of the two leading consoles or PC your blessed this winter with a stunning line up of mainly third-party titles. There is so much on offer currently that it’s hard to find the time to enjoy them all.

Starting off in early September we had the mammoth 200 hour plus Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. A solid outing for Snake receiving all around praise from critics and fans of the series. Then at the end of October Xbox owners finally got their hands on Master Chief’s latest adventure with Halo 5: Guardians. This time questioning the hero for his actions giving this exclusive a nice edge. Then on top of the story you have the multiplayer aspect which will merge your days into weeks making you lose track of time altogether.
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Start on November rolled around bringing plenty of presents including Bethesda’s latest entry into the Fallout series which dropped another 200 plus hour campaign into the mix. On the same date the follow up to 2013’s Tomb Raider was released for Xbox One. Two highly anticipated titles leading into the third week in November. Come the nineteenth we had EA’s Star Wars Battlefront. Whatever your opinion no one can doubt that the Star Wars universe has never looked so glorious. Planets like Hoth and Endor now look so immersive that it’s impossible not to appreciate them. With multiple updates coming in the near future, this is something we could all be playing for a crazy amount of time.

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Nintendo’s Wii U on the other hand has a tremendous library of games available for anyone purchasing the console this holiday season, however for those of us that bought the console earlier in its life cycle there is little to shout about. Yes 2016 seem’s to be growing with games but their ending to this year is nothing short of disappointing. At the start of the year we had a Zelda and Star Fox lined up, now we have a Mario Tennis and Animal Crossing: Amiibo Festival. Saying all this we have the much requested Super Mario Maker which can easily keep owners occupied until the new year. Creating and crafting levels until your heart contents is something that gamers have been dreaming of since the original Super Mario Bros. Now a reality its hard to put it down.

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These are just a handful of the stand out titles this winter so how is anyone suppose to enjoy all these? Normally we are treated to one or two major releases that stand apart from the crown, but this year it’s looking more like half a dozen. Unless your lucky enough to own all platforms and have the time to sink hours upon hours into all of these releases then sadly not every game can be played. This case is never-ending though as there is always another game to play. All these anticipated new games combined with every previously released title begs the question how we manage to say “I have nothing to play”. I’m not condemning others as I myself am guilty of this because when you sit down and think about it there basically an endless amount of video games to fall in love with. This is truly a gift and a curse.

Why a Single Player in Battlefront Would Have Been Spectacular

The new Battlefront is finally out. Every lucky Star Wars fan has grabbed a copy. Never before has the Star Wars universe looked so real. In beautiful high definition we have planets like Hoth, Endor and Tatooine for us to enjoy and explore. Well explore whilst avoiding heavy gun fire from the Empire. As realistic as these planets look there is a part of me that wishes I could recreate famous scenes over and over again. A single player campaign could have lifted this title from dazzling paper weight into a contender for game of the year and here’s why.

Starting off we’ll go with the obvious. Simply working off the original trilogy the whole story could have had a fresh lick of paint bringing the much loved trilogy into the twenty-first century. These new visuals could fully immerse players in the Star Wars experience. Starting off with Luke as a young lad on Tatooine you could progress through the many trials him and co go through to bring peace to the galaxy. There is not one fan who wasn’t disappointed to learn there would be no single player. An absence of this size is sadly becoming more common with developers opting for multiplayer only games, but for a timeless saga like this something magical could be made that would live on in fans hearts for years to come just as the films did in the cinematic world and will continue to do so.

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The hard work is done; This is the depressing truth. The groundwork for the premise of a single player mode is all laid out and ready to go, yet all this work was merely for an online shooter. Maybe that’s a bit harsh as the gameplay is exciting especially when you throw in X-wings and AT-AT Walkers. I just feel there was so much potential that was untouched. Some minor updates could enhance the package even more. An exploration feature where instead of having to be in a match to view the planets you could examine at your on leisure. The incredible amount of detail is so easy to miss and could be appreciated more so with this easy to add feature. Adding this at the least would give the player a little single player playtime as well as boosting up the amount of content on the game which would be welcomed all around.

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There are no fans more devoted than Star Wars. There allegiance to the films is second to none. Being one of them I know that the abillity to jump into the Millennium Falcon and go head to head with the Empire is something dreams are made of. Now that we have a version of this, it doesn’t feel as grand when you have a ten year old shouting profanities at you every second. I would much prefer a single player game with no multiplayer at all then the latter however I can appreciate what EA have made. In my mind they just could have done something different that would be that Star Wars game we have always wanted.

There is no doubt that the Star Wars universe has never looked greater. The developers at EA Dice have done a stupendous job creating this labor of love however for the credentials of this video game to reach true height a single player aspect is a must. You want it, I want it but for the time being this is nothing but a pipe dream. At least the Battle of Hoth is pretty cool.

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What do you think of Star Wars: Battlefront? Does the game need a single player campaign? Leave us a comment below to tell us why