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 my blog’s sponsor, 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

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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.