Archive for May, 2017

I’ve Dedicated My Twitch Channel To The Most Amazing Game On PlayStation 4: Alienation (By Housemarque)! 🎮 😬

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

Sorry Europe, But I Get Alienation Bragging Rights!

It is only fair. I was here first. I have been an Alienation fan since the game launched last year in April. (I pre-ordered that shit, ya dig!) I have also been a Housemarque fan since the launch of RESOGUN on the PS4! Not to mention the unfathomable amount of hours that I’ve put into Super Stardust HD on PS3! Oh, and did I mention that this super-talented team, that is Housemarque, now follows me on Twitter?! (Insomniac Games follows me too!) You know that you’re doing something right when a super-talented developer follows you on social media, especially if that super-talented developer is Housemarque, creator of Alienation; so my bragging rights are legit son!

For those of you who don’t already know, Alienation is a beautiful and brilliant, fast-paced, white-knuckle, top-down, twin-stick shooter, with RPG-like elements, for the PS4; and this month it’s free for PlayStation Plus subscribers in Europe. The rest of us (in North America) get Abzû instead, another noteworthy game, but more on that in a later post/let’s play.

Alienation has such incredible gameplay and is satisfying on so many different levels. It has leaderboards and high scores; fast and furious, arcade-like action; a variety of aliens to kill and loot to take; replayable missions with RPG-like progression; it’s all there. It even has a story to follow…not a deep story, but it’s there. For me though, the story takes a back seat. It’s all about killing the Earth-squatting aliens and being rewarded with higher level weapons, alien cores for upgrades, and exoskeleton suits with just the right abilities. If Diablo 3 and Destiny knocked boots and had a baby, then Alienation would be their illegitimate love child!

The Chain of Events Surrounding Alienation

You can call it a huge coincidence if you want to, but I found this latest PS Plus offering to be sweet, but at the same time, very bizarre…and it made me ask the question, “Why now Housemarque?” For, I shit you not, two to three weeks before it was even announced that Alienation was going to be one of the free games for the month of May, I decided to dedicate my Twitch channel to this incredible game! Bizarre, am I right, or am I right? I mean, there’s no doubt in my mind that the powers that be (at PlayStation) and the many developers, and/or publishers that they’re in cahoots with, decide all of these PS Plus offerings well in advance. And it’s not like I’m privy to this information, not by any stretch of the imagination. So how did these two uncanny events even come to pass?

I mean, I finally decide on a focus for my Twitch channel–it’s been two years since I last did a live stream on Twitch–and a few weeks later PlayStation has the audacity to reveal that they’re giving the game, that I chose to feature, away for free. Now, normally I wouldn’t be making such a big deal out of something like this–PlayStation Plus is a great way for developers (and publishers) to create more awareness about their games (not that Housemarque really needs this marketing boost)–but I have to plead selfishness here.

You see, I love the gameplay so much and I wanted to be the one to get gamers interested in this game again. As great as Alienation was, no one was really playing it anymore…well, no one was streaming it, I should say. It had waned, again, not because it’s a bad game; but because most games end up going to the back of the line, especially one year after launch, because a new year means more new games. The conversation changes and everyone wants to be engaged with the next new Triple-A, or indie, game.

So this was my attempt at bringing back an awesome game from yester-year, but the universe had different plans. Little did I know that the wheels were already in motion to get everyone (in Europe, that is) talking about Alienation again. PlayStation and Housemarque, blast you!

So, I Guess Everyone Will Be Shooting Aliens Now

I know…I’m such a selfish prick. I should be looking at the bright side because, realistically, I have next to no influence when it comes to gaming. There was no way in hell that my dinky little live streams were going to breathe new life into Alienation and engage gamers all over the world. It was a nice dream though. So I should thank PlayStation for doing that job for me. Besides, all I truly wanted was for people to jump back into this game again, or play it for the first time, and marvel at it’s brilliance.

So I got my wish, even though I didn’t have a hand in this so-called marketing. I still (very much) plan on doing my part by vapourizing alien scum on Twitch regularly, but that’s not all. Not only will I be twin-stick shooting my way through Alienation; I’ll be twin-stick shooting my way through RESOGUN and Dead Nation as well! Two other marvelous games from the Finnish Developer. I figure, why stream only one arcadey masterclass when I can stream them all?

Shout Out To RESOGUN And Dead Nation!

There. I just one-up’d all of Europe (well, two-up’d actually). You might be streaming Alienation now that it’s free, but my dedicated Twitch channel will also feature me shooting tons of voxel-based enemies (from RESOGUN), and blood-splattering zombies (from Dead Nation)! That’s right! The Gaming Worker has taken it upon himself to host the net’s first, Housemarque only, Twitch TV channel. This is something that Housemarque themselves haven’t even done on Twitch. Yes, they stream their own games, but they also stream a variety of games by different developers as well.

Hey, it’s their channel and they can do whatever they want with it. I’m just here to announce that I’m playing Alienation on Twitch, and that I came to this decision long before the free PS Plus games were announced, and even after that announcement, I’m still playing Alienation on Twitch; but not only am I playing Alienation on Twitch, I’m playing other Housemarque classics (on Twitch) as well (LOL).

I think that I’m the first Housemarque fan to do this, certainly the first in Canada, and I’m truly excited about that. These might not be the best games to stream from a non-stop-commentary, and Twitch-chat point of view; but the gameplay is fun, and addictive as hell, and I can’t wait to sink more time into all of them.

I Knew It! Nex Machina Was Just Around The Corner!

Housemarque has a history of giving their games away for free, but their timing for these giveaways usually makes the most business sense. RESOGUN was free when the PS4 launched in 2013. (I nabbed that freebie when I got my PS4 in 2014.) Dead Nation was free for PS Plus subscribers in 2014. (Some how I missed that one and I’m still beating myself up.) So both games were free at launch, which seems to be the sweet spot for gifting a game and creating that initial awareness. Just look at the insurmountable success of Rocket League.

10.5 million units sold with registered players reaching almost 29 million. That’s a lot of everything from a game that was free via PS Plus in 2015. Every indie developer wants to emulate this and rightfully so. Housemarque was no different when it came to gifting their games at launch, except in 2016.

Alienation wasn’t free when it launched last year, so why give it away now? And why just for European PS Plus-ers? This amazing, and yet, mind-boggling gift had me perplexed. Maybe Housemarque had analytics telling them that gamers in their very own continent weren’t playing the game, so they needed to do something to spike the activity. Gifting Alienation away would lead to a subscriber base of 26.4 million, which would create a shit storm of word-of- mouth marketing and ultimately lead to more sales. So that would be–you know–nice!

And maybe the cost of development was too high to gamble gifting Alienation away last year, but now Housemarque sees that they could have handled the launch in the same manner as their previous launches.

Or maybe, just maybe, the gut feeling that I had about their new, highly anticipated game, Nex Machina–which up until recently had no release date–was weeks away from being released! I couldn’t shake the feeling that the sneaky developer was up to something along these lines. For the longest time Nex Machina, aka The Jarvis Project (code named after legendary game developer Eugene Jarvis, who Housemarque combined forces with to create the game) had the release date of December 31 2017 etched beside it on PSN, but I new that had to be a placeholder.

My final thought was that putting Alienation on PS Plus, and giving it away for free, is helping them pave the way for the release of Nex Machina. This was their weird, ninja-samurai-black-belt-marketing type of way of getting us ready for their next amazing game (which will also be available on PC, I might add).

Well, you know what? I think that I hit the nail on the head, because just a few weeks ago they announced that Nex Machina will be released on June 20th! It was the best day ever for Housemarque fans, I’m sure. And so, with that, I’m also pleased to announce that, on top of streaming Alienation, RESOGUN, and Dead Nation, on Twitch; I will also be adding Nex Machina to the playlist once it drops! (I think this is my most exciting post ever, by the way!)

This Is The Mid-Season Finale

“Phew!” I’m so glad that I’ve reached the end of this post! You have no idea how long it took me to bang this one out, not to mention the insane editing and processing time that I had to go through. But it was totally worth it.

Back In January I teased a side project that I was working on, but I wasn’t ready to reveal what it was. Well, it was a Twitch channel that I was working on, but I basically scrapped the idea that I had for it and replaced it with this one. This new direction has me much more excited and I can’t wait to see where it goes. I don’t expect to be a huge Twitch sensation, or anything, but I know that I’ll have fun doing it.

I don’t have a set Twitch schedule yet, but I’ll most likely be streaming during the later hours of the evening, like at 10:00 pm or 11:00 pm EST. I would like to say that I’ll be streaming every Monday to Friday, but even I know that I won’t be able to commit to that. So if you want to know exactly when I’ll be live then follow me on Twitter for those updates, or just check my Twitch channel periodically.

Lastly, and it pains me to say this, but we’ve finally come to my mid-season finale. I’m going to be taking a short, but necessary break over the next few months because that crazy little thing that I call life is starting to ramp up. I have a couple major life events coming up so I need to go on hiatus. But fear not, because I’ll be back before you know it, and don’t forget that I’ll still be around most week nights via Twitch! I just won’t be able to write and make let’s plays videos until the end of the summer.

I still have tons of more content to create. Seriously, I’ve barely scratched the surface here. It really is a case of there’s too many games and just not enough time. Hashtag first world problems.

Play some games, but don’t forget to go outside and enjoy the summer!

Peace and blessings 😊

The God Of Thunder’s Cinematic Debut Might Actually Be The Best Thor Movie! 🎬 😮

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Hold Up! I Don’t Remember The First Thor Being This Good!

Sometimes all it takes is a little distance, some time (like 2190 days), and watching something again, under a different lens, to make you appreciate it. I watched Thor for the first time, in what has to have been six years, and I was utterly, and pleasantly surprised!

Now, before I start singing the praise of the one and only Thor, guardian of the Nine Realms, and the one true wielder of Mjölnir (sort of), I want you to stop what you’re doing and watch the brand new trailer for Thor: Ragnarok, if you have not done so already! It’s set to release on November 3rd–you can check it out by clicking on the image.

Awesome…am I right, or am I right?

Thor (Number One)

Here’s why I felt so compelled to write this. It’s because up until now, I thought that the first Thor movie was absolute garbage! Ok, garbage might be too strong of a word, but I definitely thought that it wasn’t as good as the rest of the Marvel cinematic adventures. It just didn’t have that super-cool wit, and bravado from Iron Man; the explosive, blast-from-the-past appeal from Captain America; the sheer awesomeness that was The Avengers–to be fair, no Marvel movie does–it was just…subpar.

So who was to blame for this lack of my movie enjoyment? Kenneth Branagh (the director)? Chris Hemsworth (the…Thor)? I didn’t care long enough to answer the question, but after watching Chris Hemsworth reprise his role as The Mighty Thor in The Avengers (2012), and the second Thor movie, Thor: The Dark World (2013), my faith was restored…for these two films anyway. Thor number one still left a sour taste in my mouth.

Now let’s fast forward three more years to present day. My buddy Elton, aka Eltron (as in Age of Eltron); my wife’s soon-to-be brother-in-law, which (I think) makes him my…uncle…(just kidding); wants to watch all of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies–which is just the greatest idea that he’s ever had–so naturally, I was game!

The first MCU movie (Iron Man) came out in 2008. It’s now 2017. Guess how many movies there are now? Sixteen! Now, I’m not including the soft reboot of The Incredible Hulk (with Edward Norton), because…well, it just doesn’t count. But if you do count the releases scheduled for this year, then you’re looking at sixteen movies. May 5th was Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, July 7th is Spider-Man: Homecoming (Go Spidey), and then, all the way in November is Thor: Ragnarok. We certainly have our work cut out for us!

So I started to make the playlist and 86’d the not-so-important movies because, one: that’s one “helluva” popcorn-eating, superhero binge watching session to get through, and two: some of the sequels aren’t pertinent to the over-all story of the MCU. So I needed to weed out the expendable movies, or trim the fat (as they say)–and that’s what I did.

We started with Iron Man, which is still (to this day) a wicked movie; then Captain America: The First Avenger (not as good as Iron Man, but still decent), and then Thor–I must have been intoxicated when I saw it all those years ago because it was pretty damn good! Much better than I remember. Eltron and I had our significant others with us, and they enjoyed Thor as well. I was shocked, and a little embarrassed, because I told them (beforehand) that this Thor was nothing special; but as it turns out, I was totally wrong.

The sequel, Thor: The Dark World, was always the better film in my mind. It’s like Marvel Studios took all of the lessons that they learned from the previous films (not that they had much to learn, mind you), especially Avengers, and used those lessons to create a much better Thor movie. The Dark World still sits on the great precipice of Marvel movies–not everyone would agree with this–but now I definitely have to change my stance on the matter of the first Thor.

Why The First Thor Is Just So Splendid

Here is just a few key reasons as to why I enjoyed Thor this time around. This might be spoilery, but it’s been six years so “deal with it.”

Odin, The King of Asgard, Played by Sir Anthony Hopkins

Forget HBO’s Westworld–BTW I actually don’t see why everyone talks about that show. It’s just ok–Marvel got Sir Anthony Hopkins himself to play Thor’s father, King Odin! Say what you will about Marvel, but anyone that has the power (or money) to convince such a revered and noteworthy actor to make a comic book movie deserves praise.

Tom Hiddleston’s Portrayal of Loki

As far as villains go, Loki is easily the best the MCU has to offer. Tom Hiddleston does a bang up job of playing Thor’s evil step-brother (especially in The Avengers) and I hope we get to see much more of him as this Marvel Cinematic Universe comes to a close.

The Comical Relief of Darcy, Played by Kat Dennings

It’s Kat Dennings…what more is there to say? If you know her work from 2 Broke Girls then you know what she’s capable of. She helps provide the humour as Jane Foster’s (played by Natalie Portman) assistant, and does a good job doing it. Trust me, once you hear her pronounce Thor’s hammer’s name as “Mew-Mew,” you’ll know what I mean!

The Theatrical Debut of Lady Sif, Played by Jaimie Alexander

Lady Sif is a force to be reckoned with, and (in my opinion) she should be the one true love of The Mighty Thor. (She very well may be; the story isn’t finished yet.) Nothing against Jane Foster, but Lady Sif is a feared warrior, and a much better match for the Asgardian Avenger. She even knows it, as she tried to rekindle their romance in The Dark World, but Thor did not succumb to her advances. Better luck next time Sif; until that time I look forward to your possible return in Thor: Ragnarok!

More adventures of Lady Sif can also be seen in early seasons of ABC’s Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD–the best show on TV, I might add!

The Townspeople Trying To Take Thor’s Hammer

The MCU is filled with many humourous moments of different people trying to lift Mjölnir, Thor’s hammer, and it never gets old. Unbeknownst to him, The Hulk tries (in The Avengers), and fails epically. All of the Avengers, in Age of Ultron, jokingly try to lift the hammer at Tony Stark’s party–and one of them came close! It’s all just shits and giggles watching this again and again, but the rules are in place. Only the one deemed worthy, by Mjölnir, can lift and wield the mighty hammer of Thor.

But chronologically it was the the townspeople of New Mexico, in the first Thor, that took turns and tried to take the mysterious hammer that came crashing down to planet Earth. I totally forgot about this hilarious scene–it was amusing watching it again!

Heimdall, Played by Idris Elba

I can’t talk about Thor and not mention my boy Idris! The English actor; slash, musician; slash, DJ; slash, all-seeing and all-hearing Asgardian, is one of the most interesting characters in the movie. He’s the guardian of the Bifrost Bridge (you’ll have to watch the movie to learn about what that is), and he can see and hear everything that happens in the Nine Realms. He stands guard and he watches…that’s all he does, and his bright and shiny gold armour is something to behold.

Agent Phil Coulson, Played by Clark Gregg

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Marvel’s Agent’s of SHIELD is the best show on TV! SHIELD plays a huge role in the MCU; they’re the whole reason the Avengers exist in the first place. At the forefront of it all was Director Nick Fury (played by Samuel L. Jackson), and almost always, right behind him, was his right hand man Phil Coulson. In the beginning, Phil had little to no screen time on the big screen, but in Thor (and especially in The Avengers) he got to make much more of a splash in the universe–and he had his Captain America collector cards to show for it!

Unfortunately Phil’s big splash ended in The Avengers, but the good thing was that his untimely demise was what brought the Avengers together in the end. In life, and in death, Phil was the glue that held everything together…even in the (much later revealed) Marvel television spin-off that aired in 2013: Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD!

MCU fans rejoiced everywhere because, to everyone’s surprise, Agent Phil Coulson had miraculously returned (to life). There was no explanation, whatsoever, he was just back. It was, without a doubt, the one burning question that got people to tune into the show. Why was Phil back, and how?

Well, I won’t get into it, but we eventually got our answer, and it was a good answer; but I digress. Phil has a much bigger presence in Thor so do yourself a favour and check it out.

And last, but not least…

Thor, The Prince of Asgard, Played by Chris Hemsworth

You’re probably wondering why I didn’t start with Thor in the first place. Truth be told, I wasn’t going to add him to this list. The idea was to focus on the incredible supporting actors alone. I mean, Chris Hemsworth is great, which makes Thor great by default. So it truly goes without saying, but I suppose I should throw him in for good measure. After all, it is his movie.

So, I’ll close with this: No other actor, in my mind, can play The Mighty Thor as well as Chris Hemsworth. That’s it…go watch Thor if you haven’t seen it. If you have, but you didn’t think much of it (like I did), then go watch it again because you just might be surprised by how good it really is (six years later)!

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