Overwatch Art Book and Comic Anthology Releasing in October

The award winning online Multiplayer first-person shooter video game Overwatch has enjoyed MASSIVE success since it was released in May, 2016. Across the Windows, Playstation 4 and Xbox One platforms, over 30 million registered gamers have flocked in droves to enjoy the intense, team work based action game play and from the looks of it, there seems to be no sign of it slowing down.

Apart from the great gameplay Overwatch has to offer, the unique setting, the mythology and detailed world building that developer Blizzard has created alongside, it is immensely
detailed and interesting, causing many a fan to obsess over and discuss with other players.

There is little doubt that this uniquely crafted detail has contributed to the longevity of Overwatch. To top things off, Blizzard is getting Overwatch fans excited all over again by setting themselves up to deliver two absolute treats to them this October.

Up first is The Art Of Overwatch, a 368-page hardcover, coffee table sized art book. The hardback is set to contain a whole slew of never before seen artwork based on the world of Overwatch, plus thoughts and commentary from key development members of Blizzard. This book will surely be a “must-buy” purchase for fans.

The art book will be available in two separate editions, the standard hardcover edition (book only) which will set you back $50, and a deluxe limited edition which comes packaged in a collectors clamshell box, complete with variant cover of Overwatch’s most popular hero, Tracer, and featuring three unique prints from the Overwatch team unique to this collection. This superb deluxe edition will cost $100.

Another thing to note is that Blizzard are well known for hiding riddles, secrets and info on upcoming developments in their extended media. Fans would no doubt remember Riddler’s mind worm mount quest from World Of Warcraft with fondness, so there are sure to be more than a few little tidbits about possible future playable heroes or upcoming maps spread throughout the art book for keen eyed readers to pick up on.

Also slated for release in October is a special collector’s anthology of the Overwatch comic book series. Created by a world class team of writers and illustrators, the comics depict the interesting and unique back story of each hero in the Overwatch universe. Ever wonder how Bastion became a team member? Why Ana mysteriously disappeared? How Tracer came up with her awesome catchphrase? The answers are all contained within this essential companion to the Overwatch universe.This hardcover book will collect all of the currently released Overwatch comic books from Dark Horse Books, fans will most likely have read all 12 issues already on the Overwatch website, but for $20, the Anthology is an absolute must buy.

With the game’s one year anniversary coming up in just over a week, and a special event planned with plenty of skins, emotes, sprays and a multitude of highlight intros to be unlocked for all of the heroes, it looks like Overwatch fans are going to be quite satisfied with Blizzard’s continuing resplendent output for them over the next few months at the very least.

And, as always, please feel free to head over to Boostards if you’re ever in need of any kind of Overwatch boosting service, or Overwatch coaching!

Diluvion: The Good, The Bad, and the Oh So Pretty

I had been watching this crowd-funded indie game for a long time, eagerly awaiting its release. Well, that release finally happened, and now that I’ve finally had a chance to play it I thought now would be a good time to do a review and see if the game truly lived up to its promises. In many ways the game met my expectations spectacularly, but unfortunately there were a few technical shortfalls that make me hesitant to give Diluvion a solid recommendation.

To give you guys a quick refresher: Diluvion is an open world survival/exploration game set in a universe where some unknown cataclysm has frozen the surface of Earth’s oceans and forced all of humanity underwater. Now, everyone survives amongst the decaying ruins of their once-great civilization, huddled in cramped pressure capsules struggling to survive on scant resources. In this world submarines are the only practical form of shipping and transportation, and submarine crews are busy either trading, raiding, or scavenging the ruins for valuable salvage to keep themselves and the rest of humanity alive. While all of this day-to-day bustle is going on, sub captains and their crews daydream about being the ones to find an arcane mythical artifact in the deepest parts of the ocean, which legends say was left by a goddess to help usher humanity back up to the surface.

Before going any further, I’d like to admit I have a few biases going in to this game – I’m a big fan of submarines in general, and a lover of Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea), which Diluvion is allegedly inspired by. Further, I’m also a big supporter of slower paced games that emphasize exploration over excessive action. Both those things helped paint Diluvion in a far better light when it came to forming my personal opinion.

With the disclaimers out of the way, let’s take a look at some of Diluvion’s strong points. For starters, the game does a great job of conveying the “feel” of traveling and exploring a deep ocean. By that I mean the environment is fairly restricted in its visibility, and that only gets worse the deeper down you go. In fact, at especially deep depths you’ll likely find yourself unable to freely navigate at all, instead having to rely on regular ping bursts from your sonar in order to see where you’re going. Your ship is also deliberately slow even at full throttle, which helps give the impression you’re traversing vast distances. While many gamers are going to find this frustrating, I loved that restricted visibility and it greatly increased the immersion factor for me.

Anybody who’s used to contemporary “party” based RPG mechanics will also appreciate Diluvion’s crew-management approach to managing your stats. Put simply, your ship has several discrete departments on board such as your helm, sonar, and gunner stations. Each department can be manned by one or more crew members to strengthen or weaken its respective stats. Crew members can be hired at many of the inhabited settlements you dock with or rescued from various derelicts and wrecks you find during your exploration. Further, each individual crew member has his/her own stats that can be trained up with the use of medallions, which you can salvage from the depths or buy from local merchants.

While the game environment and the basic mechanics are solid, Diluvion does have some pretty serious drawbacks. The most glaring issue is the developer’s insane choice of control mechanics. Take for example the basic piloting of your ship – in most games when you’re presented with a vehicle such as a plane, spaceship, or submarine the W and S keys control your pitch (meaning, whether you dive or climb), while the A and D keys control your lateral steering. Not so with Diluvion – for some reason the default controls are mapped so that W and D control your throttle, while dive/climb controls are pushed off un-intuitively to the Q and E keys. This has come back to bite me several times when I’ve been in the heat of battle trying to take evasive action and instead accidentally ordered my ship to a dead stop. While it’s true I can simply remap the keys I still find it frustrating that they’re arranged this way by default.

Diluvion also suffers from some bad game balance issues. While you’re out at sea your ship has to manage several critical resources, such as food and your supply of air. Both of these resources get consumed incredibly fast, especially when you’re maintaining a large crew (which increases the consumption rate). While air will get automatically refilled for free any time you dock with a structure, food much be purchased at an exorbitant price or, if you’re extremely lucky, you might find a few scraps of it in a wreck.

There were other detractors too that I don’t have room to go in to in this article, such as the overabundance of ocean currents on the game map and the confounding decision to rely on old-school save points in order to store your game progress. Suffice it to say the general mechanics of this game need a lot of polish.

I do want to end this review on a high note, however, and point out that this game is just plain PRETTY. Diluvion uses a unique visual style wherein exterior environments are rendered in 3D while interiors switch to a flat “cartoony” aesthetic. While I’m not a big fan of the style they chose for those 2D shots, the 3D environment is simply breathtaking. The undersea landscape is surprisingly varied thanks to brightly lit flora, epic-scale ancient ruins, and the hodgepodge cobbled-together look of the steel pressure capsules that now house the human race. All of this works brilliantly with Diluvion’s Verne-esque aesthetic and makes a visually compelling masterpiece of game art.

Long story short – There’s a lot of promise to Diluvion, especially if you’re already a fan of that particular visual or gameplay style. However shoddy gameplay mechanics and other annoying issues very seriously detract from even the most easy-going gamer’s enjoyment. Ultimately I’d say IF you like slow-paced exploration games and/or steampunk, then keep an eye for when Diluvion goes on sale. If, however, you’re a more mainstream gamer then you may, unfortunately, want to go ahead and sail past this one.

CounterStrike: Global Offensive for Beginners

Many gamers have been a part of the CounterStrike community since the franchise’s very first installment all the way back in 1999. These veteran players may be a bit intimidating to newcomers, especially if they’re new to the competitive team shooter genre as a whole. While the curve can be steep learning the basics isn’t too hard, and with a few pointers even a fresh player can hope to be competitive.

It may sound obvious, but you need to start by learning how to shoot. Your bullets don’t simply run in a straight line towards your targeting reticule – instead, they’re going to spread out much like they would with a real gun. It’s impossible to get rid of this spread completely, but there are some steps you can take to minimize their effects. Bullet spread is severely impacted by your gun’s recoil, so shooting in short bursts to allow your aim to “reset” will improve your aim considerably. Also be aware that spread gets considerably worse when you’re moving, so you might want to consider standing still when shooting (at least until you’re more comfortable with the game). As you gain experience you’ll learn other little tricks to help counteract the spray effect, such as taking advantage of the perfect accuracy that exists in the split second when you change strafing directions.

Once you know how to aim, the next important step is to know WHERE to aim. You might find yourself saying “aim at the other team, obviously” but it’s not always as simple as that. Players move around the game map at a pretty rapid clip, so pointing your reticule directly at their face usually won’t do much. Instead, you need to learn to lead your shots – to anticipate where a player is going to be a split second from now and aiming at that point instead. What’s more, experienced players have learned how to camp around corners and other hiding places in the environment so that they can pick you and your team-mates off as you walk in to your line of sight. Once you’ve familiarized yourself with the game’s various maps you’ll be able to anticipate this and mitigate their attack by aiming and firing as you strafe around the corner.

Speaking of maps, one of the most important skills a new player will need to learn is how to navigate a map smartly. Make an effort to learn each map in detail, taking special note of its critical points as well as areas where enemies might hide or try to get the jump on you. The maps are one of CounterStrike’s most defining features, each one lovingly crafted to be a strategist’s wet dream. If you don’t take advantage of their individual characteristics your opponents definitely will.

Along with managing the map, you need to learn to manage yourself. What I mean by that is, you need to learn when to be sneaky and when to use brute force. For example, crouching down and “sneaking” is a great way to keep your character quiet and avoid detection, but it will also make you much slower and a potentially more enticing target. On the other hand, attacking the enemy head-on is suicide when the opposing team is well entrenched in an easily secured area. On a related note, don’t forget that ANY noise you make could tip off nearby assailants, even the simple action of reloading your weapon.

Weapons, by the way, are another hallmark of the franchise. CounterStrike has a rather unique mechanic for obtaining guns – you earn money during each round of play, and in between rounds you’re able to purchase guns, armor, and other equipment. This mechanic might seem pretty straightforward but actually has an entire strategy all its own. Most teams will try to conserve their collective money and forego buying excessive equipment for several rounds until they have enough cash to seriously load up. If you see members of your team calling for an “eco round” or simply “eco”, it means that they’re short on money ($4,000 is a good rule of thumb) and is requesting such a forbearance. The key here is communication – don’t go rogue and buy equipment willy nilly – coordinate with your team so that you can make a harmonized attack against your opponents.

And that is the single most important lesson for a beginner to learn – talk to your team as much as possible. CounterStrike is not a solo game – you MUST work well as a team if you’re to have any hope of victory. Communicate as much as you possibly plan and follow your team’s general strategy and you’ll find yourself being a useful contributing player in no time flat.

Dota 2’s Winter Pass 2017 Edition

The new arrival of the world renown Dota 2 winter 2017 Battle Pass compendium has had a wonderful response on its recent worldwide release and the prize pool has yet to reach its end.

The Battle Pass offers many new immortal items and other visual effects ranging from the map itself, to character skins, couriers, taunts and many other effects too numerous to mention.

It is advisable that anyone considering the following information before making the credit card purchase of this Steam and Dota 2 product. The adverts lead its players and potential buyers to believe that the visual effects and item sets of each playable hero are won off as a complete “Set” which generally includes 6 separate items to form a set. The items are sold at a specific price separately in any normal instance however with the battle pass the prizes are not sets including all 6 items. Only a single item is awarded which is not told to the public.

To add, there is also an issue on the leveling up of this Battle Pass product because unlike a normal Profile “level increment” which is based on winning and losing matches; the Battle Pass levels are based on bets dependent on the wagered coins, completion of daily quests and the participation and completion of specifically chosen quest-lines. Once a player has used up their pool of wagered points, which totals strictly one thousand a week and has completed the 3 active quest-lines entirely the player is then left with the single option to generate leveling experience which amounts to playing a specific hero and winning. Other than this option, players are almost forced to having to spend actual money to generate further experience points so that they may actually achieve the Battle Pass levels ranging from 1 to over 900. Currently, I am at level 20 and am nearing the completion of what I mentioned above. I’m guessing I would probably reach level 40 once completing all quest-lines and a few wagers.

On a plus note, the Battle Pass offers a vibrant assortment of visual effects tied to this compendium which cannot be obtained anywhere else, to add the price of getting this is incredibly cheap as-well so the common worker could easily purchase it without a problem and parents could easily buy it for their children as the price would, in no way have any real impact on their money. Also, updates are done daily, so ensure you have a good internet limit but they are updates that help the game have no bugs or glitches. Personally, I have not seen any since having joined in 2013

To conclude, it is worth buying if you are either a new or seasoned Dota 2 player as it adds a new perspective on online gaming as a community because as no doubt many will agree, the game is incredibly addictive, enticing as well as infuriating at times but without a doubt, no matter how many times you walk away from the game in anger I would bet that you would have a desire to play more in a hours time!

What is Overwatch Boosting?

If you’re a regular reader of my blog, you’ll have noticed that I occasionally do posts about Overwatch, whether it’s about their PTR changes or Doomfist release rumours, I actually enjoy playing this game, so I tend to make more articles about it. You’ll also notice that sometimes I will publicly endorse the services provided by Boostards, and today I want to talk about this service specifically!

Boosting in Overwatch

Overwatch Boosting has been growing really fast due to the competitive nature of the game as Overwatch can be quite a tough hurdle to vault if you lack a good team. After all, it is a team dependent game and if you are regularly stuck with terrible teammates who constantly hold you back or find yourself not performing up to par. This can be frustrating and demoralizing.

Therefore, you may find yourself in need of some additional assistance from competent players to aid you with your quest to reach Top 500. Boosting is a service offered by companies of your choice to help you reach any rank in the game, either by letting them “pilot” your account or grouping up with them while you play on your own account. They would then do their utmost to carry your account, or yourself, during the competitive matches, to great victory!

A number of websites have started to appear since this service’s inception and Overwatch boosting just seems to appear to start getting quite competitive itself. Some of these sites charge a hefty price tag that can go into the range of hundreds of dollars, but it seems that with how competitive the game itself is, and how much money people are spending online these days, boosting in Overwatch won’t be going away anytime soon.

However, one needs to be more careful with the malicious security risks of granting an unknown person unrestricted access to your account. They may charge your account with hefty in-game purchases, and in the worst case scenario, they might delete it completely. This is why I would recommend doing your research and making sure you are certain that the boosting company you have selected is trustworthy before giving them your account details.

This is why I would recommend doing your research and making sure you are certain that the boosting company you have selected is trustworthy before giving them your account details. Either that or you can opt to go with the “duo queue” option which is exactly what I did when I purchased my Overwatch boost from these guys.

Furthermore, boosting is not restricted to only PC players. Xbox One and PlayStation 4 players are also offered the service by most of the sites providing this service.

The History of Nintendo Consoles

I’ve always been a big fan of Nintendo consoles. In fact, my very first console was the SNES, and I will never forget playing Power Rangers and Donkey Kong on it back when I was 11 years old. It’s amazing how time flies, huh?

Nintendo has been around 27 years now. It’s a great company, and their products were very popular before we had Microsoft and Sony. So today, I want to look at how Nintendo has progressed, from when it was opened on 23 September 1889 to our present day.

Before you get started on this read, you might want to check out my other article on the epic battle between the PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS!

First, the evolution of their consoles. Their first home console was the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). It is an 8-bit system that introduced Nintendo’s most popular franchises, like The Legend of Zelda, Kirby’s Adventure and Super Mario Bros. This console’s successor was the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). It was released 5 years after the (NES). It’s a 16-bit system and was a global success. This introduced more popular franchises, like StarFox and Mega Man.

The SNES was followed by the Nintendo 64, which was released along with Super Mario 64 and Pilotwings 64. Then, Nintendo released a system similar to the Xbox, the Nintendo Gamecube. This system was the first to use discs, unlike its predecessors which used cartridges. But, the Gamecube wasn’t able to sell as much as the SNES, or the Nintendo 64. Although, its successor is the most successful home console of all time – the Wii.

The Wii brought a whole new experience to video games with its controllers that can detect motion in three dimensions. The drawback of the Wii is that, unlike the other consoles in its generation, it can only achieve 480p, while the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 can achieve 1080p. In 2012, the Wii U was released. Although a good console, it didn’t sell the way Nintendo wanted it too. The system brought a new controller, the Gamepad. The Gamepad is a tablet-like device with two joysticks, the four buttons which are the same as the buttons on the 3DS. Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, Splatoon, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Super Mario Maker were all games that boosted the sales of the console.

As well as Nintendo’s home consoles, they manufactured portable consoles as well. The Game and Watch was the first system. It used two screens and had two buttons; Button A and Button B. Only one game was able to be played, so you’d have to buy different systems for games, for example, you could buy a Game and Watch with Donkey Kong 2, then another with Zelda.

This was followed by the Game Boy, which was a best-seller in its day. They were also able to release the Game Boy Color, which was the same as the Game Boy, but the games had color, and the Game Boy Advance, which shares a similar design to the Wii U Gamepad. The Virtual Boy was the first console to display true 3D graphics, but it was discontinued a few months after its release. The Nintendo DS, released in 2004, gets its design from the Game and Watch, but the lower screen is touchscreen.

The system also has a built-in microphone, a stylus (a pen for the lower screen) and WiFi. Other consoles in the DS franchise were the DSi and the DSi XL. The latest portable console is the 3DS, which is the same as the DSi, but it has autostereoscopic 3D effects. Autostereoscopy is a process that sends different images to the left and right eyes to enable the viewer to view the screen in 3D “without the need for special glasses”. (A good scientific fact!) Other systems in the 3DS franchise are the 3DS XL and the 2DS.

Hopefully, you picked up some information and you can now go to your other friends who like Nintendo as much as you and show them how much more you know about Nintendo’s long-standing history than them!

For Honor is Finally Here!

For those of you who have been following my blog, you’ll know that I have included For Honor in a number of my past articles like here and here. You know just how much I have been waiting and looking forward to getting my hands on this game, and now IT’S FINALLY HERE! 

This new title from Ubisoft will blow your mind away with its amazing attention to detail and an awesome gameplay with superb graphics all rolled into one! For Honor is the game you have always wanted to play but never could because there wasn’t anything like it. It is a brutal melee fighting game that offers a lot of action to the player and engages the player in a storyline that runs along deep inside the game. It looks like an ordinary action game on the exterior but it is really a complex fighting game once you start exploring it. Since it is built on a flexible melee fighting system which is also technically very competent, For Honor offers you an amazing experience playing it.

Ubisoft is using their existing fighting system “The Art of Battle” to run the game which makes it more of a traditional fighting game over a mindless killing game. If you lock on to an opponent, the game immediately goes into “Duel Mode” which enables you to find out which direction your opponent is guarding and attack them in a vulnerable place to defeat them. Winning a fight without making some heads roll is next to impossible, that’s how much the game has an eye for detail!

Even though the game may seem simple with just a couple of moves, it is so much more complex with a variety of attacks like combos, parries, guardbreaks, dodges, feints, recoveries, stuns and the ever popular grisly executions. All these moves are distributed among the heroes of the three factions. The three factions are the Knights, Vikings and the Samurai. Each faction has four main heroes. The heroes include a Vanguard who is the all-purpose hero, a Heavy which is a slow warrior but hits hard, an Assassin who is a deadly warrior but too fragile and a Hybrid who has access to a lot of long range weapons with high utility. Personally, I think the Heavier warriors make for a more exciting experience as they cannot be defeated easily and can still inflict tons of damage.

That said, all of the heroes feel pretty well balanced and you can find comfort with any of them. They all have certain strengths and some weaknesses which make them all equal when it comes to melee attacks which earn you the same amount of kill points. Since this variety is spread out among the heroes, you can always choose a hero you feel comfortable with and increase your game playing pleasure.

Apart from the engaging multiplayer levels, For Honor also has a dedicated single player campaign. It is divided across the three factions with six missions in each chapter thereby clocking up a total runtime of 6-8 hours which is fulfilling, to say the least.

Despite having to live up to some crazy expectations, For Honor carries it off pretty well and is quite engaging. The flaws such as the snowballing victories in team mode pale in comparison to the actual gameplay of this amazing game. After all, Ubisoft’s Art Of Battle is second to none. Once you start playing For Honor, it is very hard to stop which shows how exciting the game is.

Here’s a short gameplay video that shows some players pulling off some nice clutch plays. Enjoy!

5 More of My Most Anticipated Games of 2017

2016 was a great year for us with lots of amazing releases. However, 2017, new year new me right? Here are 5 more of 2017’s tiles that I’m really looking forward to playing, and why. These are different titles that I posted in my previous “Top Games” article, so please give it a read!

1. Legend of Zelda remains (RPG)

There are currently over 40 Nintendo switch games confirmed for release in 2017. However, the Legend of Zelda remains. This game was expected in 2016, but it was pushed back and will now be released in 2017, with the developers already picking March 3 as its launch date. The game will also be released alongside the Nintendo switch, making it available for both the Wii U and the switch platform. This game contains some peculiar game mechanics with a cooking link, sliding down on his shield and many other quirky stuff. This game promises to be the best Zelda game ever.

2. Batallion 1944 (FPS, Multiplayer)

The battlefield 1 came with a lot of thrill, but all focus has shifted to Battalion 1994 on its announcement, because of the back to basics feel of a World War II shooter it gives. From the preview, the game has a beautiful outlook; it will also be multiplayer ONLY and will be available for PS4, XBOX and PC. You can definitely look forward to this title if you’re an FPS buff.

3. Nioh (Action RPG)

Personally, I am a huge fan of samurais, and Nioh promises to be another great one from the team ninja, the RPG game is expected to be available by February and we can’t wait to get our hands on it. From its demo, it is garnered that you will play the role of a western samurai who would attempt to slay all enemies (both humans and supernatural) in a typical ancient Japanese setting. The game is quite dark in nature but full of excitement. I’m definitely looking forward to role-playing a western samurai.

4. Shenmue 3 (Action Adventure)

This game was expected in 2016, but it is now set to be released in 2017. It is a continuation of the Hazuki story of the Shenmue 2, with Lan Di and a new antagonist featuring as well. The game created a record on Kickstarter after it reached an initial target of $2 million under 8 hours.

5. Vampyr (RPG)

Vampyr is yet another great game from Dontnod, it involves a vampire doctor who struggles to fight his vampire condition. He tries to abide to the Hippocratic Oath despite the thirst for blood. The game is a set in 1918 during a flu pandemic in London, and Dontnod has noted that it is possible to complete the entire game without spilling a drop of blood. This game is a master piece that vampire fans can’t wait to start playing.

These are 5 titles that I’m looking forward to playing in Q1 of 2017. I know there are a bunch of other game titles that I’ve missed out here, but that just proves how amazing of a year 2017 will be for gamers worldwide. Looking forward to it!

Overwatch: The Ultimate Doomfist Pre-Release Guide

Blizzard has always been keen on dropping hints about upcoming content through immersive storytelling. By paying attention to the lore, especially the stories that are told through out-of-game cinematics and events, the possibility of Doomfist as an upcoming release is more than just a tease. While his character traits and release date still lay in the land of speculation, there is plenty that can be extracted about this upcoming hero’s skill set, play style, and lore contribution.

How Doomfist Will Play

Doomfist as a character has been present in the Overwatch universe since the very first cinematic release. In the now-famous animated short, Doomfist’s powerful gauntlet is seen in one of the museum’s exhibits. After being given a short backstory by the younger brother, it is then used as a weapon of defense to take down Widowmaker and aid the members of Overwatch in a small victory.

With the iron gauntlet as the leading piece of imagery for the original cinematic, it is clear that this will play the most major role in determining Doomfist’s hero abilities. We can glean that Doomfist will likely be a melee-heavy character with the potential to do some real damage while staying heavily armored for defense. He will likely be labeled as a tank, although his ultimate has a possibility of being one of the highest-damage dealing attacks in the entire game. His fist has been reported to “level skyscrapers”, which is something that players will definitely have to look out for.

Clues at Numbani

In the new release of the Numbani map, there is a clear display of Doomfist’s history along one of the corridors. A series of three posters labels three different individuals who have hailed the title of “Doomfist”, making it similar to the title of Green Lantern. The newest Doomfist, also known as “The Successor”, is drawn with backwards-facing legs. This implies that he may be partially or wholly robotic, hinting at a possible Omnic threat. The fact that his gauntlet is electrically-charged drops heavy hints that the character will use a mix of physical and electrical powers. This leaves a heavy amount of ambiguity over whether or not Doomfist is posed to be a hero or a villain.

Furthermore, now that Overwatch fans have learned about the three historical Doomfist wielders, there is a distinct possibility that the player will have the option to choose between three different types of gauntlets. This implies a large amount of versatility within the character, opening the door of possibility for Doomfist as a support or even as a ranged hero.

As Blizzard continues to release more information about Doomfist, and as we draw nearer and nearer to an expected hero release date, more will be made clear about the playability and overall potential of heroes like Doomfist and beyond.

While we’re looking forward to Doomfist’s potential release. We’re also nearing the end of Season 3!! If you haven’t already had a chance to get to your competitve rank goal, you might want to consider getting some professional Overwatch boosting help. I’ve personally used Boostards for duo queue services in the past, and they were incredibly friendly and polite. I told them I run a blog and I would recommend them to my readers so feel free to let them know I sent you if you ever decide to try their services!

Why Playstation Vita Lost to Nintendo 3DS?

In the past few months, there had been a growing rumor that the Playstation Vita will soon be discontinued by Sony. There had been many reports of a steady decline of Vita’s hardware and game availability from numerous retail stores in North America. On the other hand, its rival the Nintendo 3DS, still continues to steadily make a good number of sales. So what caused the downfall of the Vita?

Since the early days of the “Console Wars”, Sony has always relied on the superiority of their hardware to promote their products – better graphics, faster processors. While this is still true today on their handheld devices, it is somehow no longer significant to the consumers as reflected in the market figures. The initial reception for the Playstation Vita was quite good with combined sales of more than 500,000 units in North America and Japan! From there however, figures had a general decline in the succeeding years. Here are some of the factors that may have contributed to the downfall of the Vita:

Emergence of Mobile Games

Mobile phones are considered to be one of most essential devices of this generation. Its emergence heralded the demise of many technologies in the past – pagers, FM radios, digital cameras and PDAs, among others. This also poses a threat to handheld consoles now that the market for mobile games rises in popularity not only for casual gamers but to hardcore ones as well. Many consumers would rather purchase a phone with tons of practical uses that one that is designed specifically for games. Titles like Mobile Strike and Clash Royale are the favoured on-the-go games for many gamers.

Game Titles

Let’s face it. When people hear the word Nintendo, a face of Mario instantly pops out of their minds. One of the strongest reasons why Nintendo kept a tight grip on the handheld market was their own set of exclusive titles. The Pokemon video game franchise alone has sold about 279 million games worldwide as of February 2016. This together with Monster Hunter, Super Mario, Super Smash Brothers and The Legend of Zelda, among others ensure that a steady number of fans will support their devices. Sony might also have notable exclusives under their name, but numbers prove that it is not enough to keep them afloat in the market.

Game Production

Apparently, hardware superiority is also one of the downfalls of the Vita. Its advanced specifications made it harder for developers to create games. They find it harder to utilize some of the PS Vita’s features. It also poses a great risk for game developers to produce a high budget title given the uncertainty of Vita’s consumer base. This is possibly one of the reasons why Nintendo chose to produce cheaper consoles and focused their strength more on innovative ideas.

 

Overwatch PTR Changes!

Season 3 is coming to an end! For those of you who are stuck at a shitty tier rating, fear not, you can make use of Boostards’ Overwatch boosting services to get out of your rut before the season ends. In other news, everyone’s favourite robot is getting a huge rework in the coming weeks!

There are few heroes in Overwatch that can annoy you as much as Bastion. Sure, Sombra comes out of nowhere, Reinhardt can be tough and Genji can is an annoying double jumping cyborg ninja. Bastion will simply enter sentry mode and spray the living daylights out of everyone. If you’re walking out in the open, you’re dead. In essence, it’s been a love/hate relationship with this guy from the get-go. Good news, though. Blizzard is planning some major changes to Bastion in an attempt to improve his gameplay and balance.

Sentry Mode: Where Bastion is as good as a sitting duck, albeit one with a 500 caliber machine gun with 200 bullets. The machine gun spread has been increased. This means that Bastion is still able to rip tank heroes apart, but greatly inhibits his ability to turret-snipe other heroes. Most players would agree that this has been one of the key issues until now.

Recon Mode: This is the mobile mode of Bastion. Changes have also been made to the machinegun spread in this mode, but opposite from Sentry Mode. It’s been decreased while the magazine size has been increased. This improves Bastion’s chances to stay alive and helps in dealing with those pesky flankers.

Self-Repair: This could potentially have a great impact on the way people chose to play this hero, as you no longer have to remain stationary to use Self-Repair. This means that you can move around while you use it, which will increase the frequency with which you’re going to use it. A meter has been added that will drain as you are using this ability, and will recharge when you are done using it. Essentially, this will allow Bastion players to move around, while taking damage, and also self-heal. It’s actually a big improvement and can help with Bastion’s survivability a lot!

While nerfing the turret might seem crippling to those who love Bastion, these changes promise to even the odds. You’ll still but able to rip through enemy tanks and close range targets in general, but the turret-sniping will be taken care of via increasing spread when firing. It will also be easier to survive in recon mode, where machine gun spread has been decreased and time between reloads are increased. Bastion is also more mobile with his Self-Repair changes. Perhaps these nerfs and improvements are exactly what is needed to balance Bastion and even the odds. We’ll see how these changes play out in the coming weeks after they go live.

Hearthstone: The Gift Exchange Tavern Brawl is back!

For all you Hearthstone lovers who missed the opportunity to get the Winter Veil Wreath cardback in 2015, the Gift Exchange Tavern Brawl is open once again today, on February 1st, and for those who have already won one brawl, you will receive a Classic Card Pack!

The Gift Exchange Tavern Brawl as many of you already know, is a new game mode from Hearthstone, even considered by many to be the most fun. Your main goal, of course, is to win the match and win the main prize, the Winter Veil Wreath cardback, or a Classic Card Pack.

The crates will always give you gifts every time you destroy them, including your own crates, so you can make use of this to prevent your opponent from getting gifts. However! Know how to play wisely, if you destroy your own box on your turn, there will only be another one of your side on your next move. The gifts that you will receive are 1 mana spells, and with it, you can discover your opponent’s cards, but, for each card you discover, it will cost 5 mana less than normal.

This is a cool game mode for beginners to learn more about individual cards. You should think hard about destroying the crates, because if you destroy an opponent’s crate, you will discover specific cards from his class, and if you destroy yours, you will discover cards of your own class.

Hearthstone is a game that requires you to have a good strategy when making your moves, and in the Gift Exchange Tavern Brawl, you will need to get as many gifts as possible and preventing your opponent from getting them.

On the one hand, this is a good opportunity for players to get the Winter Veil Wreath cardback, after all, who does not want to own all the possible items? But this may end up being a bit unpleasant for those who got the item in 2015, because it will no longer be such an exclusive item, so if you already own the Winter Veil Wreath cardback, you will not be able to boast so much now as the number of people that have the item will increase. But do not be so sad, you can win a Classic Card Pack at least.

So what are you guys waiting for? It’s time to start brawling! I’ll probably be spending the next few days playing Hearthstone simply because this brawl is so fun. If you haven’t already tried this game, I highly recommend playing it and you can check out my previous post on Hearthstone here.

Top Gaming Titles You Should Look Out For in 2017

The year 2016 has so far witnessed the release of phenomenal video games. Avid video gamers still cannot get enough of the fresh game titles released this year such as No Man’s sky, Tom Clancy ‘s The Division, Call of Duty infinite Warfare and more. The year is coming to a close soon so I want to take this opportunity to talk about a couple of game titles I think will be big hits in the coming year, 2017. I have lined up some of the most anticipated games for the coming year on PS4, Xbox one, Nintendo and PC gaming platforms. Here are the games that everyone should be the most excited about.

Lords of the Fallen

The first release looked pretty much like the Dark Souls but it didn’t have anything close to it’s level of difficulty. The game was good but not great and we anticipate that the second version due to be relased in 2017 should fix all the pitfalls that rocked the first. Lords of the Fallen is developed by CI games and they intend to gain more popularity through this new franchise, we are not exactly sure how they will pull this off but it makes the wait for the release of the game somewhat mouthwatering.

Injustice 2

News of a 2017 version of injustice 2 just keep making the rounds and from all indications, we are set to witness in the coming year the continuation of this exciting video game. It is expected to be on PS4, and Xbox One platforms with new features such as the ability of players to fine-tune their characters by unlocking new armour which will give the game an RPG feel. WB games says it will have the highest roster of DC fighting games and we cannot wait to see what all these promises will eventually turnout to be.

Overwatch

This game was launched in 2016, but from the looks of things, it isn’t slowing time any time soon. With the recent Overwatch League that Blizzard launched, exciting new Christmas event coming up this month, the new Overwatch rank system and Season 3 of competitive kicking off. Many Overwatch players are so excited that they’ve started purchasing Overwatch boosting services that apparently help them to obtain certain competitive ranks and rewards in the game. The Season resets every 3 months but players of Overwatch are definitely kicking it up over the new year, and into the new year.

For Honor

If you love Viking stories like most people do, then For Honor should be a game to forward to in the coming year. Slated for release on February 14 2017, the game involves players taking up one of 3 roles; a Viking, Knight or Samuari. Of course, you should expect each role to come with unique abilities to help you during gameplay. Unfortunately, the proposed analog system of control will require a higher level of accuracy for you to be successful in the game.

Crash Bandicoot

Arguably one of the most popular E3 games, Crash Bandicoot is expected to make a dramatic return to the PS4 scene very soon. This was confirmed by E3’s announcement this year, and most lovers of crash cannot wait to have him on PS4. The new version of the game is expected to be a remastered version of the crash 1, 2, and 3, although we are not certain whether all game modes will be packed together.

Horizon Zero Dawn

This yet another Playstation exclusive Guerrila game and we are somewhat excited about the prospects of the game. A fantastic mixture of fiction and robotics, where you will play as Bow-yeilding female hero who is focused on defeating robotic creatures. Horizon zero down promises to be a fascinating video game which is scheduled to be released on PS4 platforms by 3 March 2017.

 

With the following lineup, I’m definitely getting hyped for 2017, I’m not sure about you but as you can tell, I’m looking forward to playing the RE-MASTERED Crash Bandicoot. Just reminicsing about the themesong now really brings back so much nostalgia.

 

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

When Blizzard decided to launch the paper-based version of World of Warcraft it was not a surprise to most gamers. This game befell its predecessors including Pokemon, Magic: The Gathering, and YuGiOh. Fans were left dejected when Blizzard opted to remove the game from the market but little did anyone know that the developers were going to pull yet another surprise that will leave people talking. The new game was none other than Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft. If you have never played this game then you have a long way to go in the gaming community. The game has been around since the year 2013 in which it was first launched.

Over the years, Hearthstone has received positive reviews from gaming enthusiasts and critics alike. This is yet another reason as to why you should seriously consider trying out this game after reading this review if you have never played the game before. Despite the bad press and skepticism that it has attracted, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft remains one of the most addictive and popular online TCGs of the millennium. Hate it or love it, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is simply one of a kind.

Hearthstone can be defined as a digital collectible card game that allows players to collect and craft their cards along with their decks, and take part in 1 on 1 combat against other deck builders in a couple of different game modes. Essentially, you build a board with monsters or minions and try to take your opponent’s health down to 0 in order to win. Each hero starts with 30 health and by using monsters, minions or spells you deal damage to your opponent in order to defeat them and claim victory.

Some game modes include Constructed Play, Arena and Brawl. In constructed, you are expected to play with a default or, as it’s name suggests, a constructed deck. In arena, you are required to draft cards to form a deck and play against other arena duelists. In brawl, Blizzard makes a fine case for a “for fun” game mode with their weekly challenges and wonky game rules that many players would argue to be the most creative game mode we’ve seen in years.

Fans of the Warcraft series will not be disappointed to find that cards like Leeroy Jenkins or Deathwing are included in the Hearthstone franchise. Most of these rare cards are classed as Legendary and can be extremely hard to obtain or cost a bunch of dust to craft.
This game is meant for both beginners and experienced players. Regardless of your level of experience as far as collectible games are concerned, Hearthstone has simple modes that will make it easy to play the game right from the start. At the introductory level, you will learn about the basics of the game as you take a walk through different kinds of duels and PVE while unlocking cards that you will find along the way. One of the interesting things about this game is that players have the privilege to select classes when constructing decks.

In conclusion, Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is among the most entertaining games that anyone can play. The game is easy to play, competitive, and most of all, ADDICTING. iWaggle definitely recommends any gamer to give this Blizzard franchise a shot. Finally, as it so happens, Hearthstone Academy also provides Hearthstone Boosting services, which you can use if you are having trouble with the PVE quarters and climbing the ranked ladder.

My Take on League of Legends

League of Legends: a game that, for me, was as visually entertaining as it was user friendly. My usual preference in gaming-practices tends to lie with your classic first-person-shooters (Halo has always been an undeniable favorite of mine) along with the classic, lose-yourself-for-days-on-end RPG’s- classics like Final Fantasy Seven (come on people, Cloud’s iconic sword was beyond epic). Also, as this is the flagship game of one of my blog’s sponsors, LoL Academy, I am kind of obligated to do this review. I can assure you that I will not be biased in my review of the game.

Ultimately, I would give this game a positive review. League of Legends itself is free-to-play, with an incredible draw being held in the fact that the game features an addicting, fast-paced online multiplayer aspect; combining even more competition within an already competitive virtual setting. Throughout, I was engaged in the constant onslaught of minions who were easily dismantled as I continued on my quest for glory.

Within the game, several components kept me constantly on the go, seeking upgrades (armor, clothing, weaponry, etc) which can be strategically equipped to increase resistance against attacks, inflict greater amounts of damage on foes, enable new magical abilities such as regeneration. Free-to-play, or “freemium” models have been become increasingly popular amongst the gaming community, especially those companies choosing to focus on mobile platforms. This model can be successful at best and infuriating at worst. I’ve played games that claimed to be “free” but were constructed in a way that made timely progress virtually impossible within forking over credit card information. League of Legends prevails, allowing those who wish to spend actual dollars within the game the ability to do so while enabling those who do not to work their way through the game without penalties like time delays.

The game features several strengths, helping it to stand out amongst the sea of gaming options. As an avid gamer, I marveled at the visual effects present constantly within the games numerous battles. I found my self constantly engaging in battles, even battles that would be described as suicide missions, such was the extend of my enjoyment visually. When engaging minions, vibrant colors would explode amongst the melee, issuing “oooo” and “ahhhh” from this happy game player. The visual effects alone kept me involved, constantly wondering what was waiting to reveal itself behind the next bend.

My next personal favorite within the game: the sounds! League of Legends demonstrates a wonderful mixture of auditory stimuli, further immersing the player within every encounter with an enemy: every swing of the sword issues a metallic, crisp sound, minions issue barbaric yelped upon engagement, explosion are fantastically complex in their depth of tone- this is not a game that features outdate sound effects. Relating to sound, the background musical track is phenomenal (picture something of the Lord of The Rings variety). Within League of Legends, the background music is perfectly overlaid with the chaotic mixture of battlefield sounds- the music is not overpowering and compliments each scene magnificently, adding even more excitement to each action-packed situation.

I would highly recommend League of Legends to anyone looking for a cooperative, immersive experience filled with rich characters, captivating settings, intellectually challenging options, and rewarding achievements. Whether in the company of a team or solo, you won’t lose your interest as a heroic summoner of the Fields of Justice!

Call of Duty vs. Battlefield, A New Frontier in War Games

As we close out the month of November, many people have now had the opportunity to play or at least watch the newest installments of the Call of Duty and Battlefield series. These are going to be two of the biggest games of the year, no matter what. People are going to debate over which is the best for the next 6 months, until we hear about the next installments and have something new to talk about, however, I believe the people are starting to lean to one side over the other.

Call of Duty has been taking a direction that pushes gamers farther and farther from the real world style of war, into heavy use of robotics and most recently space. On the other hand, Battlefield has gone the complete opposite direction, and taken players back to the origins of war, with a game based on World War 1. The name Call of Duty is sure to attract millions of players every year no matter what, or at least that is the way it has been for the last 10 years. Activision has created an empire and for a long time, they were earning every game that they sold. However, CoD games have been almost identical going back to Black Ops 2. Granted, BO2 was one of the best Call of Duty games ever released, but since then, we’ve had the same game with minor changes over and over. The push forward into space, for myself and many others, was just the last straw. The re-master of Modern Warfare was certainly a step in the right direction, but making that game only available with Infinite Warfare only pushed us away even more.

What players wanted most this year, as far as I am concerned, is exactly what the new Battlefield title gave us: an old school shooter with normal, real world weapons and tools, but with the most modern visuals and gameplay that current generation consoles can give us. This game looks incredible, and from what I have seen and heard, it really offers up a great interpretation of what the Great War was actually like. Honestly, that is the best part of these games, experiencing and relating to the game and the situation without actually, ya know, going to war. Battlefield 1 takes us back to the days when a war game was relatable and you could really dive into the game. I hate to say it, but all Call of Duty did this year was put forward a knock off version of Halo. Sorry CoD, you’re about 15 years late on that one.

I am absolutely positive that there are millions of people out there who feel differently than me, and I hope you truly enjoy the newest Call of Duty game. However, I bought BO3 and CoD Ghosts and don’t feel like spending $60 on that same game with a different title again. Battlefield designers really listened to the people this year, and put together a masterpiece of a game, and I am guessing that they will be rewarded going forward. On the other hand, watch out Activision. You might not be quite so invincible after all.

StarCraft 2: Price Drops, News, and Releases

 starcraft2

Price Drops/Discounts

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of real-time strategy video game StarCraft II The Complete Trilogy, the price on Legacy of the Void was dropped to the price of $29.99. Blizzard Entertainment, the owners of the game, also decided to drop the price of StarCraft II Battlechest to $39.99. This is an excellent opportunity for gamers looking to round out their set. This version contains all three games: Wings of Liberty, Heart of the Swarm, and Legacy of the Void. The latter pricing is an excellent deal, as the latter three games are sold at $19.99 separately. The included versions in the set are expanded editions from 2013, with added character units and multiplayer changes. The Digital Deluxe Edition of the game set’s Complete Trilogy is also available at the price of $59.99, for the added bonuses, portraits and game skin you get in the edition. So here is a great chance for fans to buy the complete set, in case you missed out on the game’s sale on its first release in the previous year. Note: The Collector’s Edition set with a coloring book, which is an expanded version off the Deluxe set, is not available currently on Starcraft II’s although it is available used on Amazon, Ebay, and other video game retailers and secondhand game shops.

HD Remastering of Blizzard 1998 Edition Game

According to a reliable major news outlet in South Korea, iNews24 (its first online newspaper), a press report in August 2016 said that Starcraft was to have released an HD remastered version of its popular classic from 1998, the Blizzard, in September 2016. Kotaku, a Japanese media outlet, also reported a similar thing based off Korea’s site. Yet the news on the release of this remastered version is still very scant elsewhere, since the time the release was supposed to have happened. The release is not currently featured on the Starcraft II website or featured on websites of major game retailers. Blizzard HD boasts higher-resolution graphics and user interface, along with, of course, improved sound quality, for all die-hard faithful fans of the old version who cannot move on from the classic video game version. Blizzard HD’s remastered edition was also reported to have been revealed in further detail and greater depth at BlizzardCon, in Anaheim, California, which occurred. However, it seems that the news was as yet a rumor, or premature prediction somewhat ahead of its actual time. News of similar Warcraft III, as well as Diablo II remasterings were also circulating in the United States a year ago. It remains for fans to be patient, until Blizzard releases news of the remastered editions itself on its website. That currently hasn’t happened yet.

Starcraft BlizzardCon 2016, in Anaheim, California

The yearly event, particularly for StarCraft game buffs and nerds worldwide, was held from October 26 to November 5 of this year, in Anaheim, California (the site of Disneyland). The event featured two championships for Hearthstone, and Heroes of the Storm games. It is not revealed to outsiders if the Blizzard HD Remastering was discussed.

Other Releases

Nova Covert Ops, a single-player version game, is being sold for $7.49 each, in bundles. The game is also releasing its Complete Trilogy Set this November. A must have for any Starcraft fan.

New Streaming Feature by Blizzard

The recent partnership between Facebook and Blizzard is one of the most fascinating experiences as it allows players of Blizzard gamers to stream their games to the world. The feature is meant to enable players to stream all their Blizzard games including Overwatch, StarCraft 2, World of Warcraft and others to Facebook. Gamers will have the freedom to stream the games to pages that they manage in addition to their personal profiles.

The service which is simply being referred to as Blizzard streaming allows all gamers to stream through pressing an icon on the upper right hand corner than anyone can click on in order to stream. This service is the first one from the developer directly from the app. This means that gamers no longer have to capture set up to stream their Blizzard games to the world.

The video game streaming procedure is quite straight forward and allows for the microphone and webcam capture. It gives you the control over the size and position of the webcam image as well as with other setting of the video live. All that is needed to start the process is to connect your battle.net account with your Facebook account.

Currently, the Blizzard streaming service is only available to North and South America, Australia, New Zealand and South East Asia; however a global roll-out will soon be available according to the Blizzard Developers. The service is only currently available to PC gamers but Mac support is currently on the works.

The competition for video game streaming is on heat following the move. Blizzard having further announced the addition of a Facebook login option for the entire PC gaming community, will soon be paving new ways for social functionality in their available PC games.

There are some stumbling blocks however facing the new streaming service since not all gamers will be comfortable with streaming feeds to their news feed as they are most often filled with co workers and relatives.

Looking back at how streaming was just a few years ago, it’s amazing to see how far the streaming industry has come. With Blizzard’s new feature, streaming is bound to be a much more mainstream activity now. Which can only be seen as a good thing for most gamers, and the game industry in general.