This Is Me Playing Darksiders, Once More With Feeling! (Fa-La-La-La-Lah, La-Lah, Lah, Lah!) @#$% You Tiamat! 💀😡😩😬

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I Want To Kick Tiamat Right In The @#$%ing Taco!

I’m sorry…I had to say it. Here’s a funny story before we dive deeper into this Darksiders let’s play.

A few years back (I’d like to say 2013-ish) I had two co-workers who went by the names of Jennifer and Nicole. I think both girls got hired around the same time–they didn’t know each other before–and they became fast friends. Jenn was a slender girl, very trendy and stylish, with short, boy-cut, hair (sometimes her tips would be dyed a funky colour); and Nicki…well let’s just say her style was quite the opposite. But despite their appearances, both girls were able to form a bond because of their delightful personalities and shared sense of humour.

I had the pleasure of working with both girls; as CSRs (Customer Service Representatives) their jobs were to liaise with the client and write up the work instruction, which I would then use to initiate and/or revise package design artwork. Riveting stuff.

The girls had a saying–whenever they were dealing with a difficult client, of the same sex–and that saying was, “I want to kick her right in the taco!” If you haven’t guessed it, taco is the alternate word for vagina.

They repeated these words constantly, and I always was around to catch this hilarious saying because my desk was right next to Jenn’s. Now, I’m not sure if they made it up themselves, or if they got it from a movie, but hearing the both of them say this made me laugh out loud every time–and this is where the funny sub headline comes from!

Tiamat is a boss that’s taken me five years to defeat…well, not consecutively. I’ve been playing this game, irregularly, for this long. And finally, in 2017, for this let’s play video, after multiple attempts, just when I was about to throw in the bloody towel, I kicked her ass! After 50 long-ass minutes of painful button mashing, I finally delivered that devastating blow…and I didn’t record it! (I’ll come back to this.)

Hashtag, The Struggle Is Real!

I’m Going To Throw My Controller Into The @#$%ing HDTV!

Some fucking boss battles make you want to throw the damn controller right into the TV set, and Darksiders (in my experience) is definitely one of those games. This is quite embarrassing for me to admit because Darksiders is not a hard game, not by any stretch of the imagination. The gameplay is very similar to God of War, and I’ve beaten two of those games. So what’s my darn problem with this game? It’s not like I’m playing Nioh, or Bloodborne, or Dark Souls; games that are truly punishing, and difficult to get through, and master.

Well, I think that the problem was that I wasn’t as committed to gaming (back when I got Darksiders in 20xx). Not like I am now. Back then I just didn’t care to put up with the difficult boss battles in any game, let alone this one. If a game, and/or boss battle, was too challenging then it just isn’t worth my time. Those were my thoughts back then…I still feel this way today actually. I won’t fuck with games like Nioh or Dark Souls. I’ve tried. They’re too bloody hard for a gamer like me. My dexterity is quite limited you see, but in spite of this limitation, I wasn’t about to let Darksiders get the best of me. I’m better than this old-ass, fucking, PS3 game…right? It was damn well time to find out.

And So It Began

After years of procrastinating it was time to find out if I could finally advance in this game. (I am the world’s best video game procrastinator; the filthiest of casuals.) So I finally reached into my black-brown Billy bookcase from IKEA, sifted through and pulled out the not-so-see-through, white, plastic, PS3 Blu-Ray case with the Darksiders logo and cover art on it, popped it open, took out the game disc, and slide it into my third generation PlayStation console.

Is anyone else out there still booting up their last gen console…anyone?

Tiamat vs. Berry, Billed As The Fight Of The Century

This bout was comparable to the Mayweather vs. Pacquiao fight from two years back! I feel like I could have sold tickets for this event. It was the fight of the decade…seriously. I was feeling every emotion imaginable. I was anxious, but a little excited; happy, but a little scared, all at the same time because I just wasn’t sure how this was going to end. Tiamat is no push-over, and if I was going to walk away with her bloody heart in my hand, I was going to have to truly work for it…and so I did.

I went toe to toe with Lady T, the ginormous bat-like creature from hell, for almost an hour before giving up on this game. I was literally at my wits end. You’ll hear my frustration closer to the end of the first let’s play. It’s pretty funny. At the time of playing, it felt like it didn’t matter how far I had come as a gamer–and I’ve come pretty damn far! Even with the handful of games that I have finished, since I started this blog, it was as if non of that mattered. I had met my match with Tiamat and nothing was going to change that.

So I hung my head in shame, edited the let’s play; because even with my defeat I still intended on posting the let’s play, and started prepping this article. But the little gamer boy inside of me told me to stop what I was doing and have a rematch. I tried ignoring this voice, but it convinced me to give it one more go. So I gave it one more go…and failed. Then I gave it a second go…I failed again. I don’t remember how many more tries it took, but finally, on that last-ditch effort, TKO (Technical Knock Out)! She was down.…and I tore off her wings…and I cut out her bleeding heart…and I forgot to record it!

I was so determined to beat this queen of the harpies, I forgot to hit the record button. Even as a fail-safe, the software that I use has a feature that allows me to rewind back one hour and re-record any footage that I wasn’t recording in the first place. This really comes in handy, but I actually forgot that it could even do that. I’ve actually never had to use the flashback recording feature in the past so it wasn’t at the forefront of my mind. So there’s no video of me actually defeating Tiamat. Just the let’s play of my losing fight with her, and the let’s play (Part 2) of what comes after her.

That’s life my friends–and I’m the type of person who won’t go back to replay a part of a game once I’ve already played it–and I most certainly won’t redo a boss battle that’s caused me this much grief over the years either. So that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Whoop, there it is!

⬇️ Please click on the image to watch Part 2 of my Darksiders Let’s Play

Darksiders Part Deux YouTube thumbnail image

Insert Games Journalist Type-of-Shit Here

Darksiders is a multi-platform, hack-and-slash, third-person, action-adventure game by (the now defunct developer) Vigil Games and published by THQ Nordic (formerly THQ). The game launched in North America on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on January 5th, 2010; and was released in Australia and Europe days after; making Japan last in line for the game, as their release date was a few months later, launching on March 18th.

PC gamers had to wait a little longer to play Darksiders, as the Windows version had a September release schedule. North America and Australia’s launch was September 23rd, 2010; with Europe launching on the 24th.

In Darksiders you play the roll of War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. After being wrongfully accused of destroying the balance between the Kingdoms of Heaven and Hell, and bringing about the apocalypse; War makes it his sworn mission to seek out (and find) the true transgressors of the premature catastrophe, regain his powers, and most important of all, find the other horsemen.

Darksiders was followed up with a sequel, Darksiders II, which was released on August 14, 2012. It’s story ran parallel to the first game and had you play the role of Death, one of the other Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

In July of 2016 it was announced that a Darksiders remastered version would be coming to PS4, Xbox One, PC and Wii U, titled the Darksiders Warmastered Edition. The updated features included:

  • Native 1080p rendering resolution
  • Doubled texture resolutions
  • Rendering improvements and rework
  • Better shadow rendering quality
  • Post processing effects
  • 60 FPS gameplay (Wii U will run at 30 FPS)

The Warmastered Edition was released on November 22nd, 2016 for PS4 and Xbox One, and on the 29th for Windows and Steam. The Wii U version is slated for May 23rd, 2017.

Hey Kutaro, Don’t Be A Menace To The Moon Bear King, While Playing With Scissors, Or You Might Lose Your Head! 😨🙃😮

⚠️ Don’t forget to watch the feature video        ✏️ For comments click on the headline and scroll to the bottom

Lion Heads, A Tiger, And A Moon Bear King…Oh My!

This is Puppeteer, a cute and zany PS3 exclusive (from three years ago) that wasn’t on my radar…until recently.

You’ll soon find that there are a plethora of games–from the early, and not-so early days–that I slept on because I was not as obsessed with the games industry like I am now. First-party exclusives, to second and third-party games; this was all a foreign language to me, up until a few short years ago.

Things are different now. I’ve picked up all of this lingo–not to mention jumping back down this never-ending rabbit hole of gaming gratification–and Puppeteer is now one, of the many, games that I need to cross off my bucket list.

Like the headline suggests, Puppeteer is super-fun to play and a game that I should not have overlooked…better late than never, right?

Enjoy the video!

Twenty-Seventeen: The Gaming Worker Rises (‘N’ Fixes To DualShock The World)! 🎮

Sean Berry PSVR Image
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Frohes Neues Jahr Gaming Workers!

That’s Happy New Year in German. I was born in Montreal, but grew up in Kitchener – my southern city in Ontario (Canada), with oodles of German heritage. It was once the Town of Berlin (1854), then changed to the City of Berlin (1912), because of the major German immigration initiated back in the early 1800’s. The name was later changed to Kitchener, after Lord Horatio Herbert Kitchener, a British Army Field Marshall, in 1916 because of the German and British conflicts that arose during the First World War.

So, for this reason, from time to time, you may find snippets of German verbiage – and sometimes French, because, again, I was born in Montreal – because of my home town’s deep, Germanic, roots. But enough of the history lesson and on to the good stuff that gaming dreams are made of!

It’s a brand new year and I thought that I would share with you my plans for The Gaming Worker. I can’t believe that I’ve been doing this for two solid years already. Time certainly flies when your gaming, and working, and blogging! It seems just like yesterday when I decided that this was going to be my path, and let me tell you, this path hasn’t been easy. All of the technical difficulties of setting up equipment, all of the late nights and weekends recording (and editing), all of the late nights writing (and copy editing), and all of the other personal sacrifices (that I won’t get into) that I had to make to turn this idea of mine into a reality. Easy is definitely not the word I’d use to describe how I got from A, to B, and finally to C; but here I am, and there you are; waiting to hear what I have to tell you about my love affair with games. I sincerely thank you for coming along this journey with me. I hope and pray that this next year doesn’t disappoint (you and me both) – Now let’s get it started!

Greatness Awaits

This PlayStation ad campaign (Greatness Awaits) is much more than just over-the-top commercials for the, everyday, PlayStation enthusiast. It’s my mantra for 2017! This year is going to be special – I just know it! I have a shit-ton of new games – thanks to the abundance of PSN Flash Sales (in 2016), and the four week Holiday Sale that just took place in December – to bust wide open; all of my “inexpensively challenged” PlayStation subscriptions have been faithfully renewed (PlayStation Plus, and my newfound favourite, PlayStation Now); and I’m still buzzing from the excellent year end I just had! Even though I didn’t publish as many posts (like I did in the previous year), The Gaming Worker finished strong in 2016; thanks to my family, friends, and all of you, who supported my efforts in raising money for my local Sick Kids Hospital via my Extra Life 24 Hour Game-a-thon.

My good people of the internet, Greatness Awaits us in 2017 – just keep saying it, over and over! Let it sink in, whether you’re a gamer or not, this is your year (and mine too)! The evangelist in me is starting to come out – I am my father’s son. “Dagnabbit!” Now take heed for this is what I have in store for this year:

A Resurgence Of PlayStation 3

Remember that funny, old, console that launched a decade ago? The ridiculously priced one that had a lack of quality games, and developers hated programming for (in the beginning)? Yup – that’s the one! Well, I’m going to be putting more focus on my library of PS3 titles, as well as some other exclusives and classics via PlayStation Now.

This blog started because I wanted to finish (and showcase) my PS3 backlog, but the dangerously sweet seduction of it’s successor, the PS4, derailed my attention repeatedly, with its one-point-eight-something TFLOPS (teraflops) of pure processing power. It is the devil in the black dress!

I have been able to squeeze a few PS3 let’s plays in, but I have not even begun to showcase the last gen games that I deem truly special. So while other gaming websites and YouTubers – God bless ’em – put the focus on gaming’s future (namely PS4 Pro and PlayStation VR), I’m going to take you back in the other direction. “Now where did I put my DualShock3 controller”?

There’s Still Plenty More PS4

And rightfully so! If I’ve learned anything it’s that the games industry is still going to shit out games galore, year after year, after year! It doesn’t care if you can’t keep up, and it will bury you in a landslide of green (for Xbox) and blue (for PlayStation) plastic packaging if you’re not careful. I wish that I could play every game that comes out, but that’s just not the reality. So I have to pick and choose only a few new titles that speak to me every year, and let the rest fall to the wayside. A few of those titles are Horizon: Zero Dawn and Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Wildlands.

I would love to dip into Mass Effect: Andromeda as well, but, let’s face it, I doubt I’ll be able to dedicate the time needed to explore such a game. I may have to leave that to the rest of my YouTubing brothers and sisters out there.

What’s The Deal With PS4 Pro and PlayStation VR?

Well, it breaks my heart to tell you this, but unfortunately I will not be adopting any of this “latest and greatest” gaming technology. I’m a believer in PlayStation VR – especially after demoing it just before it launched back in October – but, I have to be stringent with my money, and as cool as VR may be, I have no pressing need to play games in this new way.

As for PS4 Pro, I’m still debating it’s need for existence. I just don’t know if console gaming needs to adopt this mid-cycle way of doing things (like mobile phones). Plus I’ve only had my PS4 for two and a half years, so I’m not ready to trade in just yet. There’s no 4K TV in my house; and I’m happy with the way games look and run on my PS4. I don’t need, or want, a simulated PC experience.

It’s much smarter for me to wait out the entire life cycle of the PS4 and then upgrade to the PS5, but if the unthinkable happens and my PS4 breaks, then I guess I’ll be forced to get the Pro. Then I’ll be able to live stream in 1080p, at 60fps, instead of just 720p…hmm, maybe I should rethink this 😶

Livin’ La “Vita” Loca!

Yes friends, I know that I’m a little bit behind, but I finally got a PS Vita! I can’t believe it took me this long – I haven’t retired my PSP just yet; I’m still playing around with Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker and Ratchet & Clank: Size Matters – but I can now try to infiltrate Vita Island (I’ll explain this in a later post)!

Now, I have no ideal way of creating truly native PS Vita let’s plays. The only way is if the game is a PS4/PS Vita cross-buy game (meaning that when you purchase either version you get the other one for free). So I can definitely play the PS4 version of the game, but then that categorizes it as a PS4 let’s play, not a PS Vita let’s play…this is where it gets tricky, when it comes to categorizing for the blog. So I still need to figure this part out, but as it stands right now, PS Vita is now a part of my PlayStation ecosystem.

Annual Extra Life 24 Hour Live Stream

This is a no-brainer. My family, friends and I had so much fun doing this in December and, more importantly, it’s for a great cause. So every November or December, on YouTube or Twitch (stay tuned for where and when), Team Gaming Worker will be participating in this charitable event to raise money for Sick Kids. What’s also ideal is this is a great way to showcase the games that don’t make it onto the blog because, well, that’s just how it goes sometimes. Games that I originally plan to showcase don’t always make it on here. Extra life is my contingency plan for this. I now get one full day to cram in all of the games that get put on the back burner.

More Content

I don’t know how – it’s going to be a challenge – but I want to dish out much more content. I’m going to sound like a broken record here, but if I could do this full-time, I would…but I can’t so my promise is that I’ll do my very best to keep the posts and let’s plays coming.

I even have another side project that I’m working on which, if all goes well, could equate to even more fun content to add to the rest. But I’m going to keep this close to the vest for now until I gain some traction with it…so stay tuned!

The GW Buddy List!

Last, but not least, you can now subscribe to The Gaming Worker by opting to join, what I’m calling, The GW Buddy List! As a subscribed member you will receive an email informing you of my latest and greatest post. I know, it’s not earth shattering – I’m not trying to light the world on fire here – but at least you’ll be reminded to check back to see what shamrocks and shenanigans I’m up to next.

That’s all folks. Until next time!

Year End (2016): How Overcooked Took My Formidable Family Completely By Surprise!

Game Of The Year Overcooked Image
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Ding! Order Up! Quick, Get This Out Before – Oh Shit! 🔥🔥

Who knew that a game about cooking could be so asinine, but so much fun at the same time? I’ve never seen anything like this before…and I’m not just talking about the game. I’m talking about how Overcooked, single handedly, won my crazy family over in just a short amount of time! I shit you not, this game reinvigorated and/or awakened the gamer within, almost, each member of my family like nobody’s business…and it’s truly one of the best things I’ve witnessed this year. Overcooked is too legit to quit!

At the time of writing I had no idea who the developer was for this game. It’s not like me to not know something like this, but to be honest, I wasn’t all that concerned with who he, she, or they, were. I mean, that’s how much fun I’ve been having with Overcooked. I’ve been too damn busy chopping onions, and mushrooms, and tomatoes, to care. (Not to mention having soup on the burners, dirty dishes pilling up in the sink, elevating platforms, moving counter tops, and God damn rats trying to steal my ingredients – “Serenity now!” – I’ve never been so in-the-weeds!)

The developer is Ghost Town Games, a two-man team based in the UK, and I’m glad I took the time to look them up, not just because of their awesome game, but because I want to share some quotes with you from their about page. Phil Duncan, the developer that writes first on the page, wrote a quote that truly, and humourously, captures the way I feel about video games. He writes, “ […] Games are this gorgeous wonderful thing which I’m so excited to be a part of. They make people laugh, smile, cry, they bring people together, they educate, they explore, they divide, they scare the poop out of you… actual, no-fooling poop! Who wouldn’t want to be a part of something like that?”

Oli De-Vine (the second developer) writes, “[…] Games are THE medium for conveying experiences and we can experience so many more things than we do in our games right now. So let’s do that!”

These quotes are filled with zeal and inspiration. You can tell that Phil and Oli believe in what they’re saying because Overcooked is the incredible product that could only come from two master chefs like these.

Kinda Funny Participated In Extra Life, Well, So Will I

There’s two things that you should know, if you don’t already know by now. One: this blog will always be PlayStation focused. That’s just how it is – I’m a PlayStation gamer! Maybe one day I’ll jump down the Xbox rabbit hole, but right now time (and money) puts a stop to any chance of a (hashtag) Xbox life. Sorry Phil Spencer [the head of Xbox].

Two: I will always, and I mean always, reference the Kinda Funny kids in some way, shape, or form! Sorry, but this is the path my friends. I have been called to do this unofficial dirty work on behalf of Sony PlayStation and the “coolest dudes in video games!” FYI I dragged my wife to San Francisco, to their two-day live event back in May. We were geeking out hard at Kinda Funny Live 2, but I haven’t finished vetting and colour correcting the photos, so please check back for that post in the new year!

Kinda Funny Live 2 FPO Image

Up close and personal with the boys at Kinda Funny Live 2 – The Regency Ballroom, San Francisco, CA

I live and breathe Kinda Funny, just ask my poor wife! I have four Kinda Funny T-shirts, a coffee mug, I just got their cool, logo embossed, key chain; plus I listen to, and watch their YouTube content every damn day! That’s no lie. I have literally watched every single episode (not including the one’s that have spoilers), for every single show that they produce since they launched two years ago. Now my job (God bless it) permits me to do this. I sit at my desk, in front of a computer, putting in my 40 hours per week, designing pretty packaging all day long. Chances are you’ve picked up some of the private label and retail packaging that I’ve worked on. Shout out to you if you’ve eaten thousands of Wonderful Pistachios in the Mid-East (wink wink)! All that pretty Arabic typography is because of yours truly. Don’t ask about all of the trouble I went through to get that @#$%ing font!

As I was saying, Kinda Funny is my life and it was those guys who gave me the idea to take up the charitable Extra Life cause. If you’re not dialled in, Extra Life is a non-profit organization, based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Since 2008 they have been advocating, and spearheading, 24 hour gaming marathons as a unique way to raise money for a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital of your choice. Kinda Funny participated in Extra Life last year also, but for a reason that I can’t remember, I didn’t watch. This year, however, I did, and this is where I saw the two Kinda Funny frontmen, Greg Miller and Colin Moriarty, play Overcooked (live via Twitch) for the first time ever. That’s all it took. After that I was absolutely taken with the game. Little did I know that the fever would spread to my family so fast.

So on Saturday December 3rd, and Sunday December 4th, I held my very own Gaming Worker Extra Life 24 Hour Game-a-thon…and guess what? It was a huge success, in more ways than one! Not only did I surpass my modest goal of $300, my family got hooked on Overcooked (hey…I Busta-Rhymed)! They were all addicted to that shit like weird, and thirsty, pubescent boys, feverishly feening for their mother’s juicy 2% breast milk. 😮

Seriously, it was sad…and amazing to watch, all at the same time. Lol.

All jokes aside, it was truly something special to witness because there are only a couple gamers in the family – me being the most filthy casual of the bunch (except for the fact that I have a not-so-casual gaming blog). Overcooked truly resonated with both the gamers (who didn’t know about it), and the non-gamers, in the family and I think that Ghost Town Games should be very proud. This is a true testament to what games can do: be super engaging and bring an extremely close family even closer together.

A Recipe For Some Good Ol’ Family Mischief

Overcooked gets my Game Of The Year award, hands down, because it’s not every day when you see a game sweep through and take hold of your family like this. The shouting, and screaming; the laughing, and crying; the swearing, and high-fiving; all of it comes into play when you’re messing around in Overcooked. And I’ve worked in restaurants before. All of these hilarious, often times stressful, reactions are not uncommon. One miscalculation, one tiny misstep, is the surefire way of getting oneself in the weeds very fast.

Your family and friends will learn this quickly, as did mine. You may find yourself breaking out the white board to map out and strategize your plan of attack. That’s no exaggeration either. My brother-in-law, Brandon, and his friends did exactly that once they got hooked playing the game. This is no joke. Overcooked dominates your life; nothing else matters! Nothing!

The Overcooked outbreak infected Michelle and me first. We started the Extra Life live stream Saturday morning – It had to be the game to kick-off the 24 hour game-a-thon! We played for two, enjoyable, hours and forced ourselves to move on to the next game. Michelle had to prep and get food ready for our guests, and I wanted to ensure that the live stream showcased a variety of games. Later in the evening – with the majority of our family there – we booted up Overcooked again, just as our final two guests arrived. Michelle’s sister Evy (short for Evelyn) and her boyfriend Eltron – that’s my nickname for him (Elton is his real name) – had finally showed up and wanted to get some game time in before leaving for their next engagement. Without any question, Overcooked was their supreme choice.

Overcooked Promo Image

The only thing remotely better than playing Overcooked, is watching other people you know play Overcooked. It’s the funniest shit you’ll ever see! I could have watched Evy and Eltron play this game all night! From the frantically fun gameplay; to the ill-advised shouting, and self loathing; to, finally, the aha moment of figuring out what you need to do to get three stars, and move on to the next stage; the Overcooked virus was now buried deep within Evy and Eltron. So much so that the couple didn’t want to leave, even though they had another party to get to. This game made an impression and had Evy and Eltron thinking, and eventually talking, about strategies for the game on their way to their next function.

But wait – it gets better! Eltron came back the very next day – on a football Sunday, mind you – to play some…you guessed it. He had plans with a friend later on that day and figured that he could kill some time by playing more Overcooked. It was all well and good with me because he kept me company as I continued my 24 hour gaming live stream. Michelle and I started day two with a different game, played for an hour, but then she had to leave. So I was by myself until Eltron showed up. We Overcooked it up until Michelle came back, with Evy, and then we Overcooked it some more! We Overcooked this bloody game for six hours straight! This was truly history in the making because I have not gamed like this since I was a kid. Even when I gamed back then it was not this intense. My game-a-thon turned my family into hardcore gamers.

Brandon (my brother-in-law) ended up buying Overcooked after seeing the joy it brought to all of us. His cousins, Josh and Kenrick, bought the standard editions for themselves. That’s three more copies sold, all because I decided to play it on my live stream, after watching the Kinda Funny boys play it on theirs. Man, do I love video games!

Let it also be known that Michelle’s other sister Bina (short for Sabrina) and Eltron had a mini gaming session of their own, playing Overcooked weeks after my live stream. I believe that they stayed up until 3 or 4 am chopping, cooking, and washing dishes, jonesing for three stars. Seriously, this is a chain reaction of epic proportions! How does this even happen? Who’s responsible?

Now I’m happy to report that Evy and Eltron have finished the game. When the credits started to roll, they looked at each other, and Evy asked, “What do we do now?” Lol. It reminds me of when I finished my first memorable game. 😊

In Conclusion (This Is How We Do It)!

When I started this blog two years ago, I set out to do a couple of things. One: start finishing my daunting backlog of games, two: write about the journey as I finish them, and three: through this form of storytelling, try to evangelize and showcase the wonders of gaming. What games mean, and what they can do for us (as a medium) is a story that is worth telling. I want this blog to be that tipping point for someone (or someones) out there in the universe who don’t already know about this incredible pastime. Some people may have their own delusions, and preconceived notions about gaming, and they might not know what they’re missing. The Gaming Worker, and now my family, are here to set the haters straight.

Video games are magical, period. Even with my delusions of grandeur, I can say this with complete conviction because I witnessed a true miracle. A miracle that I wasn’t quite prepared for. You see, there was a forth and final objective that I wasn’t even aware of. An objective that needed more than just my blog. It needed the sheer power of a 24 hour gaming live stream to make it manifest into reality. This final objective was to bring my formidable family even closer by using the power of video games, well one video game: Overcooked! Who knew?

Sean Berry Christmas Family Image

From my family to yours: “Vivete. Discite. Ludite.”

Live. Learn. Play.

My Farewell To Vancouver’s United Front Games. (Thank You For Your Service!) 😔

UFG + Sleeping Dogs Image
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From Lear Canada, To Graphic Design, To Video Games

I remember my dad always getting laid off from his job back when I was a geeky teenager. He was a union man who worked for Lear Canada as a welder for 24 years. Lear Canada was a huge, historical, manufacturer right in the heart of Kitchener, Ontario, that produced seating components for the automotive industry. I have fond memories of driving to pick him up after his shift on numerous occasions.

My sister even spent a short time working there after high school…the money Lear paid was good back then and attracted a lot of teens – many of which who didn’t finish high school because, well, let’s face it, why would they need to when Lear Canada was offering such a good wage (that was the thinking back then of course) – but much to their dismay, my dad’s and every other blue collar worker there, multiple lay offs, year after year was the reality.

Lear Canada finally shut down at the end of January, 2016. Volatile industry number one.

As for myself, I’ve only been laid off once. I first became a production artist for Watt International back in 2007. Watt is a leading consumer brands and retail agency in Toronto. I started out as a freelancer, eventually became full-time, then let go later in 2009 due to the company not having enough work, and re-hired back as a freelancer because new work had surfaced and Watt was now understaffed to deliver.

This type of “recycling” of employees was very similar to what my dad went through with his job. When work gets slow, you get let go, but when it picks back up, you’re called back into action. The only difference is that with graphic design (or production) you can be a little more prepared for it because as a freelancer you know when you’re contract is going to end…most of the time. There are some cases when you don’t. Volatile industry number two.

Watt is where I learned that the graphic design industry also has it’s own ebbs and flows. Watt is still doing business, as far as I know – I no longer freelance for them and have since moved on to work for other companies – but I know of many graphic related companies that have suffered the same fate as my dad’s.

So what’s the common denominator here? What do these delightful tales from my past, about Lear Canada and Watt International, have to do with United Front Games? Well, they’re all companies that had some sort of impact on my (working and gaming) life. Their layoffs and/or shut downs have caused some temporary setbacks, but I feel that it is my sworn duty to showcase just one of these companies, in a way that a gaming worker like myself only knows how. By doing a series of let’s plays, courtesy of United Front Games: a developer that has regrettably gone to that great, big, checkpoint in the sky, but they won’t be forgotten.

Another Good Studio Bites The Dust

It comes as no surprise that another game developer has closed it’s doors for good. In an industry so unpredictable, many developers (and publishers) struggle to maintain operations. It’s a game of hit-or-miss that these very talented group of individuals have to play, and every once in a while developers end up missing the mark.

When you’re an independent developer your game has to be a smash hit. It’s that plain and simple. Your game has to sell millions of copies or you’re business is dead. I’m no expert, but I’m starting to realize that this has to be incredibly tough to do when there are so many types of games already floating around, and new ones being announced every single year. With all of the great Triple A games already out there, not to mention the indie ones, developers have to figure out where their games fit in and what makes them stand out.

But even if you have the perfect formula for the perfect game, there are no guarantees that it’s going to sell. If you launch your game within the same window as another big game, that will almost always kill your chance to penetrate the market. If your game gets delayed and/or takes too long to develop, that could kill the momentum. If an influential YouTuber, or credible game journalist, gives your game a bad review, that could certainly impact sales as well. There are just too many variables. But even if none of these plausible scenarios affect game sales, there’s still the fact that the market is super-saturated with games that consumers are already satisfied with.

For example, if a fraction of all gamers are exclusively playing Call of Duty, and another fraction of them are playing Destiny, and another fraction of them are playing Overwatch, and so on, who’s left to play anything else? There are only so many gamers to play these games. There’s too much supply and not enough demand because there’s just not enough people. Sorry, I’m going off on a tangent here. This is a brand new topic (about the state of game sales) that I should revisit…perhaps in the new year. I need to get back to the point.

United Front Games released a smash hit four years ago, so that wasn’t the issue. The issue was that they didn’t follow it up with a sequel. Now I won’t pretend to know why it took them so long to start working on, and announce, Sleeping Dogs 2. As the overseeing publisher (with all the money), Square Enix must have had their reasons. Maybe the sequel was in early development and Square decided to put it on hold. Whatever the reason it’s always saddening to hear about another developer shutting down, but it’s even more sad when I hear that the developers are Canadian.

In mid October it was reported that United Front Games was shutting down. (I’m very much dialled into gaming news, so when I see a headline about another studio closing, I read as much as I can on the matter. Especially if it’s a studio that I know and love.)

I’ve dedicated a few of my filthy casual, PS3 gaming moments to Sleeping Dogs back in the day (when it was free on PlayStation Plus). Awesome game…didn’t finish it though – quelle surprise – but I knew that I wanted to get back to it one day. Looks like that day has finally arrived, but before we get to that, here’s what was also truly surprising about this latest development for UFG.

The two pieces of information that took me completely by surprise, about the now defunct developer is that, one: they’re based in Vancouver, and two: they’re the studio that actually worked on the Marvel Battlegrounds play set for Disney Infinity 3.0. How did I not know? Avalanche Software (who shut down back in May) was the lead developer – they created all of the toys and video game assets – but United Front Games was the studio that Disney Interactive (also defunct) chose to work on Battlegrounds.

I had no idea that this game that I loved so much was outsourced to UFG, nor did I realize that they were Canadian. I feel like the post I did back in August is incomplete now that I’ve stumbled upon this new information. So I’m writing this post to provide clarity and pay homage to a great Canadian studio that is no longer with us. There are a few other notable studios that closed this year, but United Front Games is the one that resonates with me the most. Ok, time for some let’s plays!

1️⃣ Marvel Battlegrounds (Disney Infinity 3.0)

This game needs no introduction. I love Marvel – you know this – and this awesome, toys-to-life, brawler is the closest game I’ll ever have to Super Mario Smash…I like to call it Marvel Smash (or MASH). I now have all of the mini figures – “Thank you Amazon!” –  so when my family and friends come over, it’s a no-holds-barred blood sport!

⬇️ Please click on the image to watch the Marvel Battlegrounds Let’s Play

SHIELD Lunar Base Concept Art | Marvel Battlegrounds | Enhanced by The Gaming Worker

2️⃣ Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition

This is, undoubtably, the game, the smash hit, that United Front Games is best known for. Sleeping Dogs should have gotten a sequel – maybe then things would have worked out differently – but instead they tried to give us Triad Wars: the ambitious, online, open-world, Sleeping Dog spin-off for PC. Now I’m not going to lie, Triad Wars looked pretty dope, but clearly it just didn’t gain the traction it needed to keep it’s development going. Triad Wars was cancelled on January 20, 2016 – “Talk about reading the tea leaves!” Here’s hoping Square Enix can find a worthy developer to continue the actual Sleeping Dogs story.

⬇️ Please click on the image to watch the Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition Let’s Play

Sleeping Dogs: Definitive Edition Altered Image by The Gaming Worker

3️⃣ Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition (Xbox One)

Without question, Tomb Raider is one of my favourite games on PlayStation! Now it appears that UFG were the devs responsible for porting this game to Xbox One – “Blasphemers!” – but due to the nature of their tragic demise, I’ll allow it. Tomb Raider is a special game, and I love the way the controls feel when you pull back, aim and shoot, with your bow and arrow! I did my first Tomb Raider let’s play two years ago – here’s the next installment (finally)!

⬇️ Please click on the image to watch the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition Let’s Play

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition Altered Image by The Gaming Worker

And last, but not least…

4️⃣ ModNation Racers

Don’t let the cute and cuddly, Powerpuff-like, characters fool you – ModNation Racers is a masterclass create, share, and play, PS3 game! Even though I didn’t spend a fair amount of time racing (back in the day) – I did mess around, quite a bit, with the creation tools – this game definitely deserves an honourable mention. I created a pretty basic racetrack six years ago, and if I had stuck around a little while longer, I would have pushed myself to be more creative. Still, there was fun to be had even though it was short-lived. I now know that I’m not much for these creation-type games, but this one by United Front Games made an impression. The online community for this game is still active, believe it or not. It’s small, but it’s there. Another reason (perhaps) not to sleep on this game, but you’d better act fast before this community vanishes into thin air.

⬇️ Please click on the image to watch the ModNation Racers Let’s Play

ModNation Racers Enhanced Image by The Gaming Worker

To The Talented Developers Of United Front Games

It’s very sad to see (yet) another studio succumb to the (sometimes) harsh and unjust realities of the games industry. May each of you bounce back swiftly, and I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.

The Division Has A Dark And Devastating World For Me To Get Lost In (Fo Sho)! ☣

⚠️ Don’t forget to watch the feature video        ✏️ For comments click on the headline and scroll to the bottom

The Most Beautifullest Thing In This World

Yes, there are far better worlds to immerse myself in – I’m literally sitting on a pile of old games, like Far Cry 4, that probably have better shooting and much more colourful worlds to escape to – but Tom Clancy has me by the balls when it comes to The Division. Everything about this dark story fascinates me, plus it’s satisfying to run around this version of New York City. Almost the entire population has been wiped out (by the Dollar Flu, aka the Green Poison), gangs and other enemy factions are on the rise; it’s complete chaos. Ubisoft has created such a beautiful mess with this world and I love diving in, like a lone gunman with a huge chip on my shoulder, trying to turn the tide.

Now if I haven’t said it before – and I don’t think that I have – Ubisoft (arguably) makes some of the best open-world games in the video game business. Now that’s just my opinion; you can take it with a grain of salt. I haven’t played that many open-world games – I’ve played small slices of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, and EA’s Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning (two more note-worthy games that I desperately need to finish) – but I have to give Ubisoft mad props for creating all of their beautiful, fully-realized, and captivating worlds because their worlds are the ones that I always want to go back to. Especially with The Division. There’s a spookiness and a stickiness that comes with it. (Stickiness meaning that the game has a hook that I like, the game is so good that I can’t put it down because it’s sticky.)

Guess What? I Like Oo-be-soft

No, I haven’t played The Witcher 3, or Skyrim, and I don’t intend to. I can see why The Division might fail in comparison when it comes to vast open worlds, but who the hell has 100 hours to dedicate to just one game? I certainly do not, so when it comes to exploratory gaming, Ubisoft gets my hard earned dollars every time…well almost every time. I say almost only because I can’t play every open-world game they make, no matter how great it is. So I pick and choose the games that speak to me, but if I did have the time (make no mistake) I would play every fucking game with the Ubisoft logo on it! That’s how much I like Ubisoft.

Take Cover Because There Are Some Caveats

Like most games, The Division definitely has it’s issues. As much as I am in love with the world, I would be remiss to not mention the few things that do ruin the experience for me. I know that Ubisoft finally released a hefty patch (1.4) to fix many of The Division’s major problems, but they missed a couple of things.

One: forcing me to do side missions in order to keep the story going. I find this type of grinding very annoying. Now I’m not new to grindy, RPG-type, shooters – Destiny has lots of grinding – but never has Destiny put me in a position like this, where I need to do side missions in order to level up, so that I can continue with the main story. The Division (on the other hand) does.

In Destiny, you reach the level requirements for the next story mission by the time you finish the mission that you’re currently doing. At least that’s how I remember it. I don’t remember having to do side missions in Destiny, also known as patrolling, to boost my level up before tackling the next part of the story. But in The Division I’m currently at level 12 and the next story mission is level 14. So now I have to grind, by completing side missions, to get to level 14 before I can continue with the main story. It’s really killing my momentum because I don’t like being forced to do these side missions. They’re supposed to be optional. Do them, don’t do them, or continue with the story; that’s the beauty of it. It’s up to you to decide, but The Division has taken that choice away from me. The only choice I have, at this point in time, is which side missions to tackle to boost my level.

The Zone Of Darkness 💀

Two: the Dark Zone fucking sucks! (If you go it alone)! The Dark Zone is the PvP (Player vs. Player, aka the competitive multiplayer) portion of the game, which has a very interesting hook. This section of New York was where you got all of the best loot (before the patch). Most of the best weapons and gear was found here so there was lots of incentive to explore this area. Now (post patch) you can acquire better loot out in the world – while you do story and side missions – but you can still try your luck in the Dark Zone, at your own risk.

Risk one: the enemy AI is hella strong, making them a lot tougher to take down (again, if you’re alone). They can over- whelm and flank you super quick, and when you die you lose all of your precious loot.

Risk two: the online community that frequent the Dark Zone will almost always jack you for your loot. Especially if you’re a lone gunman like myself. No one has my back in there so it’s open season and I’m the sitting duck.

There is a matchmaking system that I can use to find other players to help me out with my Dark Zone excursions – and in any other in-game scenario matchmaking would be a good way to go – but here, not so much. The other thing about this bloody Dark Zone is that your would-be allies can also turn against you, at any time, and also steal your loot. It’s a real crapshoot and way too risky unless you’re fucking John McClane from Die Hard (which I am most certainly not). You have to be a really good runner and gunner if you brave it alone, or you have to go in with people that you actually know and can trust.

So that’s my two cents on The Division right now. It has an infectious world (no pun intended) that keeps me engaged, but as a lone player, the grindiness of it all, and mastering the Dark Zone, is enough to make me question how much further down the rabbit hole I want to go. But in all fairness, it could just be a matter of finding a few good people to tackle these obstacles with…like my Destiny compadre Rick. (He made a guest appearance on my last two let’s plays). He has The Division too, but he’s so far up Destiny’s ass right now I don’t know if he’ll ever make time to jump into this game. Or my friend Angie who’s taking her sweet ass time on getting a PlayStation. Come on people! New York is on the brink of extinction and I have to save it!

🗽☣️🚑

The Snow Is Glistening In Destiny’s Final Expansion: Rise Of Iron ☃️

⚠️ Don’t forget to watch the feature video        ✏️ For comments click on the headline and scroll to the bottom

Walking In A Winter Wonderland

Mountainous snowy vistas, waves of the Fallen, and a gondola? It’s all that (and a bag of chips) in Destiny: Rise Of Iron. Rick, aka Hydrolec, helps me tackle the first mission while Michelle and my mom sit back and watch…again.

Click here to watch my let’s play for Destiny’s previous expansion, The Taken King.

Wifey And Mommy Dearest Watch Me Play Vanilla Destiny (What The?!) 😕

⚠️ Don’t forget to watch the feature video        ✏️ For comments click on the headline and scroll to the bottom

Look Mom, It’s The End Of The World

I’m back at it again with Destiny, but this time the experience was a little different. Now I’ve done strike missions before – where the game teams you up with other players online via it’s matchmaking algorithm (if you don’t already have your own three-man fire team assembled) – but this time my friend Rick, aka Hydrolec, joined me and my worthy cause: taking out the minions of The Darkness…and Michelle and my mom were spectators.

My dad has watched me (as an adult) play video games before, but not my mom. I’m not really sure what was going through her mind as I was lighting my LED TV screen on fire (figuratively) with my Shingen-E Auto Rifle. Together, Rick and I were dropping enemies left, right, and center; with both of my special ladies cheering by my side. Ok, so they weren’t exactly cheering as much as they were socializing amongst themselves, but it’s not their fault entirely. You see, as much as they were enjoying the visuals of Destiny TV, they weren’t getting the full narrative because I had my super comfortable Plantronics headset on.

Unfortunately (for them) this is the way it had to be. I needed to be in cahoots with my buddy Rick – via (online) chat – and if I record any let’s play with my external speakers on, the recording will be plagued with a stir of echoes behind every single sound. So with no sound (travelling into their Destiny-virgin ears) they could only see the unadulterated evil, and not hear it. What’s a geek to do?

Whose Line Is It Anyway?

So this let’s play has a slightly different type of commentary when compared to previous ones that I’ve done. You’ve been warned. You’re going to hear my wife and my mom talk about numerous topics while I vapourize my enemies. This scintillating conversation goes in every direction, so if you want to hear about my wife and mom talk about their day, what they had for breakfast, IKEA deliveries, and what my dad is up to back in the sunny isle of Grenada; while Rick and I get our Destiny groove on then you’ve come to the right place.

Make no mistake, The Gaming Worker is the blog that you come to for these “premium” let’s play experiences. Why edit out the kitchen sounds of dishes clinking in the background when you don’t have to, right? This is my hot mess of a gaming website and if you don’t like it then “poo on you.” I’ve said it before: I struggle to find time to game. This year especially it’s proven to be a monumental challenge. So when, by some miracle, I do find the time to game I have to take it. My mom was in town and staying with us at the time, and when my parents are here my TV time is very limited. Also our family/dining room is the most heavily used room in our house which means there’s no quiet time for gaming. The more people in the house means the more talking and background noise.

So rather than wait, for what sometimes feels like an eternity, for the house to be absolutely quiet to game, I instead embrace it and play. This way my precious gaming time doesn’t suffer any more than it has to (when my parents stay with me) and I continue to stay happy.

A Tale Of Two Destinies

When I first started this blog (back in 2015) it was my intention to play Destiny a whole lot more than I have been. This was the game that I was most excited for when it was first announced before the PS4 launched. I was going to explore every inch of this game, but – you know, life.

Rick on the other hand, my partner in crime, is a Destiny veteran and has the XP (experience points) to prove it. He’s logged in countless hours and has claimed his throne as a level 40 guardian, which is why I have dubbed him as my personal Destiny guru. Because when you’ve been away from a game like Destiny for as long as I have (nine months) it’s better to have an experienced player to help you get reacquainted with everything. Rick was dropping serious knowledge as we tackled a few missions together, but unfortunately none of his audio was recorded. To my surprise I found out, afterwards, that audio from the chat doesn’t get recorded unless I have a chat link cable. D’oh!

I’ve been doing this for almost two years and I’m still learning these annoying audio lessons. Remember my first, not-so-perfect, Destiny video post? Oh well. I’ll be better equipped next time.

Enjoy! More Destiny to come 😁

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