Archive for PlayStation 4 category

Marvel Battlegrounds Is Where The Disney Infinity Magic Really Begins 😁

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

I Love Marvel, Remember?!

Last year I wrote about my unwavering obsession with Marvel, as well as my appreciation for the Disney Infinity mini figures. I went on to say that I only wanted these, well-designed, pieces of plastic to add to my toy collection, and for showcasing. Their actual purpose: syncing them to another piece of flat plastic (the asymmetrical, hexagonal, Disney Infinity base), which connects via USB to my PS4 – so that I can play as that particular character in-game – was lost on me. As much as I love Marvel (and Disney) I had no intention of playing Disney Infinity. I had watched a few of the play set adventures on YouTube and I honestly wasn’t too impressed with what I saw.

Visually everything was great, but the gameplay just seemed lackluster. The environments were unpopulated, the stages and set pieces were bare, and the game mechanics were almost too simple. It looked like an entry level game for a novice – and if I was going to invest in this super hero game (version 2.0), then it would have to up the ante. So just having these tiny toys (for my toy shelf) was going to be good enough for me.

Michelle bought me a Marvel play set, and a bunch of figures, for my birthday last year to jump-start my collection. They remained in their packaging (up until last month) because the toy shelf that I speak of doesn’t actually exist yet.

It’s a plan that we have for our office on the top floor, but we’re still looking for the right pieces to furnish that space. So with our office space being a work in progress, it didn’t make sense rushing to EB Games to buy more Infinity. After all, these things weren’t cheap – especially if you wanted to collect them all – and I already received a small army of them for my birthday.

The Disney Infinity toys-to-life platform was very popular with gamers and toy collectors; new versions and play sets were being announced, which was proof enough that this thing was here to stay. There was no need to buy more in a hurry. I had time…well, I thought I had time.

Disney Infinity Shattered

As it turned out, back in May, Disney announced that they would be discontinuing their Infinity video game line, and shutting down their internal studio: Avalanche Software. The news took me completely by surprise. I believe my words were “What the f@#k?! How could this be? I thought that everything was fine. There must be – what the f@#k?!” But the toys-to-life genre had it’s winners: Amiibo, Skylanders and Lego Dimensions are still competing to be the number one, toy and video game platform of choice. Disney Infinity, on the other hand, is taking their bronze medal and going home…indefinitely.

It was a sad day…one that I didn’t see coming, but you know what? Someone had to lose. That’s just the reality of it, but it wasn’t for the lack of trying. What’s even more saddening is knowing what Infinity had looming over the horizon: a new line of 12-inch figures, the launch of Disney Infinity 4.0, and more according to the incredible article that senior reporter, Patrick Klepek, wrote on Kotaku.

It appeared that Disney Infinity was planning to be a force to be reckoned with in the toys-to-life space, but the universe had a different design. I knew immediately what I had to do, because when a disaster like this strikes you have to act fast!

Preparing For My Very Own Civil War

My knee-jerk reaction was “Shit, now I have to buy all of the figures and play set before retailers run out of stock!” And that’s what I’ve done – well, I didn’t buy all of them. I’m only aiming to collect all of the Marvel figures so that I can play copious amounts of Marvel Smash…I mean Marvel Battlegrounds (more on that in a bit).

Now that time is of the essence, I can’t just sit idly by because I probably have one year (maybe two at the most) before I won’t be able to find any of these figures, let alone the one’s that I want. After a year (or two) my only option might be buying the nearly-extinct figures from online retailers, like Amazon, or resellers on eBay. By that time it won’t be worth it. Not with the huge mark-ups that will be added (due to rarity and demand), and the ridiculous shipping rates. So the time is now.

As if gaming isn’t expensive enough…now I have this bloody toys-to-life nonsense putting a dent in my wallet. I am a true victim of circumstance, but if there’s one thing that I’m pretty good at, it’s getting the games I want at a discount! I do this by a couple of ways: one, resisting temptation and not buying the game on launch day (like everyone else), and just waiting six to eight months; and two, redeeming my credit card points for Best Buy gift cards and using that to by my games. Simple and effective – both requires time and patience!

So I chose the latter: using my newly acquired gift cards, and ending up paying a total of $26.42 for the Disney Infinity 3.0 starter pack and the Marvel Battlegrounds play set. Without the gifts cards, those two items would have cost me $101.68, so I can honestly say that I made a good decision.

Almost immediately after that, the EB Games, close to my workplace, had a bunch of Infinity figures on sale! The stars were certainly aligning so I snatched up a bunch of those bad-boys for $9.99 each; they normally cost $16.99. Again, I made a good decision.

Now We Fight!

Um, yeah…

Playing Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune Via Broadband Connection

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

Why So Serious?

One of the great things about doing a blog like this one is that I don’t have to take it too seriously. What I mean when I say this is that I can post a let’s play video (like this one), where I play like shit, and still be ok with it. I don’t work for any of the big dot coms, nor do I work for (or collaborate) with any popular Twitch and/or YouTube streamers, so I can afford to post a less-than-perfect let’s play once in a while. It doesn’t mean that I don’t take pride in what I do…I take the utmost pride in this – I wish this was my job – but I thought that I would experiment by showing my not-so-good gaming performance.

All gamers have their moment when they don’t shine. It becomes more frustrating when you’re recording because the pressure is on to create the perfect video, but you never know what can happen once that red record light is on. What if you have a terrible gaming session? For some reason it’s like you’re playing the game for the very first time and you feel like you have no idea what you’re doing. You’re aiming your gun like you’re Stevie Wonder playing paint ball, missing everything; making every mistake in the book, even though you’re 90 percent of the way to completion (and have been playing the game like a boss).

Or what if your wife comes home earlier than expected, which throws your game off even more because now you’re more distracted, on top of playing like a howler monkey? Again, anything can happen. Anything can go wrong (when you’re recording). That’s why God invented editing software: so that one can extract all of those unplanned moments and embarrassing deaths. But why should I be so serious? Why should I be so professional? I’m not a world renown YouTube personality. (Not yet). I’m the gamer that nobody knows: the underdog and this is my blog! The Gaming Worker is where you’re going to get the great let’s plays as well as the bloopers. Think of it like a special feature that you sometimes get on a DVD or Blu-ray. Content is king and I am here to serve you.

If you haven’t caught on by now, everything that I just mentioned (about shitty aiming and the old ball and chain coming home) happens to me in the video. So when I say that this video is less than perfect I only say that because of my poor performance and unexpected dialog with my wife at the end. Everything else in the video checks out fine. The video and audio is good, the internet connection (for streaming) was superb, and most importantly I still had the fun!

Forget Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection

Now I wouldn’t want to deter you from purchasing what is a very fine, remastered collection for the PS4 – I played the demo – but there is another way to enjoy the Uncharted series on PlayStation, if you have not done so already. PlayStation Now is the game streaming service that allows you to play a collection of Sony’s first, second, and third party games. Obviously this collection includes Naughty Dog’s Uncharted trilogy – three games that I have slept on for years for no other reason than not being a big gamer. I didn’t even own a PlayStation when Uncharted 1 and 2 came out. I suppose it’s PlayStation taboo: to now have a PlayStation blog (unofficially of course) and talking about the days gone when I didn’t own the console that featured two of the greatest games of last generation. But I intend to right these wrongs with the help of Sony’s, not-so-popular, answer to backwards compatibility: PlayStation Now.

PS Now Mang!

I did a PlayStation Now let’s play just over a year ago when I took the streaming service out for a little test drive. There was a seven day trial period (which is still being offered today) so I decided to play Ratchet & Clank: Into The Nexus, another Sony exclusive. In that post I wrote about how great the streaming experience was, but the pricing was just too steep. For your information the prices have not changed: it’s still $19.99 per month or $44.99 per three months. The latter is the better deal (obviously), but it’s still a whopping $180 per year. That’s nonsensical if you ask me when every other streaming service, like Netflix and Spotify, hovers in and around $10 per month ($120 per year). But what made me leap over the fence, and sign up for PlayStation Now, was the limited-time only deal that surfaced back in December. PlayStation was offering a 12 month subscription for $99.99, which works out to be less than nine dollars per month. It was exactly what I wanted to pay to stream video games so I jumped right on that shit. My only hope is that Sony decides to renew my subscription at the same price, but I’ll have to cross that bridge when I get there.

It’s 2007 And – Hey, There’s That Uncharted TV Ad Again

I have the worst memory in the world. The worst. My wife will tell me things that I need to remember like: upcoming plans with family and/or friends, important appointments, when to take my vitamins, you name it; but I almost always forget. This is the affliction that I was cursed with. Perpetual absentmindedness. But for some strange reason, deep within the confines of my cerebral cortex, is the hazy memory of the Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune TV spot that aired in 2007. Like I said, I didn’t even own a PlayStation at the time: I was an Xbox guy.

Yes, it’s true. Microsoft won my vote back in those days, but (if you ask me) I wasn’t even a true Xbox fan because I only played third party titles. I didn’t play any Xbox exclusives. So why did I even own an Xbox? But I digress. We can save that story for another post. My original point is that I remember the first TV ad for Uncharted from nine years ago because I never saw a game that looked, or played like that before. I never got into the early Tomb Raider games – just the reboot – but even if I did; this was clearly something different. I was introduced to a modern day, Indiana Jones type-of-dude – who I now know as Nathan Drake –  and he was on a wild and crazy adventure to find treasure. Danger lurked around every corner as he travelled to remote, exotic locations searching for his fortune. My eyes were glued every time this one-to-two minute ad was shown. I wanted – no, I needed to play this game. But I didn’t. Not back in those days. Stars had to align and a few more events had to take place in my life to get me to this point.

The Journey To A Thief’s End

So finally here I am…streaming Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune on Sony’s current console and loving every minute of it (except when I play like shit the odd time). I wish I didn’t wait so long to play all of the Uncharted games – seeing as how the forth and final chapter to the series (A Thief’s End) came out two and half months ago – but I guess it could not have happened any other way. My master plan is to play all of the Uncharted games via PlayStation Now before diving into the highly anticipated, and final game; which I’m dying to play. But I knew that I would be doing myself a disservice by immersing myself into the forth installment without having played the previous three. I’m not going to approach this series the same way I did the Batman colon Arkham series. No siree. I’m playing in order this time and I’m going to get Nate, Sully and Elena to El Dorado!

Transformers Devastation Gets Four Outta Five Energon Cubes ♒️♎️♈️♓️

⚠️ Don’t forget to watch the feature Let’s Play video above!

Giant, Colourful Robots From The 80’s?! Yes Please!

This is not a games review site…not by any stretch of the imagination. I don’t usually give review scores, nor do I want to get into the habit of doing so – that is a talent (and privilege) that is best left to the top video game dot coms, games journalists and influencers – but finishing a game is a once-in-a-blue-moon occurrence for me and this particular IP holds a very special place in my heart.

Transformers Devastation turned out to be a very nice, gaming surprise from last year…well it wasn’t really a surprise because I knew the game was coming, but I did not think that I would enjoy it as much as I did. There’s something very satisfying about playing as your favourite Autobot and having the ability to transform into their vehicle mode to burn rubber! It’s something that a few developers have gotten right – High Moon Studios being one of them with their War For (and Fall of) Cybertron games. Transforming and rolling out made me feel like a total bad ass, empowering me in a way that I could only dream of as a kid. Platinum Studios got this Transformers game just right, and even though there were a few tiny draw backs, this return to rare from is just what the franchise needed.

⚠️ Click on the yellow logo above to get your Bumblebee inspired T-Shirt courtesy of The Gaming Worker!

Did I Mention That I Like Giant, Colourful Robots?!

Any Transformer fanboy that has fond memories of playing with their Transformers as a kid, by smashing them into one another, will get a kick out of this game! This mayhem meshed with the super brilliant, cell shaded, art style is what makes Devastation such a joy to play. Platinum borrowed all of the equities from the popular 80’s cartoon and created an action-packed experience that’s reminiscent of the good old, toon-gazing, days. There were many cartoons that I loved to watch as a kid and Transformers was the cream of the crop. This game was strictly made for guys (and girls) like myself so thank you Platinum Studios for a job well done.

So what does Devastation get right other than the incredible art style? Well the story mode is short – which most hardcore gamers might not like – but works great for a filthy casual such as myself. The game doesn’t have too many side missions to get lost in, but there are a number of challenges to do should you want to shake things up a little. Completing these challenges is a sure-fire way to gain extra ranged and melee weapons for your inventory, and in-game currency (known as credits). At the end of each mission or challenge you get a grade, ranging from SS (Double S) to D rank. There may even be SSS (Triple S) rank, but I’m not 100% sure because the highest I got was SS. For those of you who don’t know SS and SSS ranks higher than an A. The order goes: SSS, SS, A, B, C and D. So SS is like getting an A Plus and SSS is like getting an A Plus-Plus. I have no idea where this crazy rating system comes from nor do I have any idea if it’s used outside of video games. All I know is that when I got that S ranking at the end of a difficult mission it felt like winning a gold medal in the Transformer Olympics! But I digress.

More (And Less) Than Meets The Eye

The boss battles were terrific. The stand out battles were definitely the battles where it was me versus a larger than life Combiner, such as Devastator or Menasor…or both! That epic in scale, David versus Goliath style, boss battle never gets old in video games; and even though they were pretty easy, it was still fun to play them through. Even the larger than life Insecticons (which has never been shown before in the cartoon) were impressive. There is much to admire about this game, but it also had some problem areas. One of the biggest being the semi-complex weapon synthesis system. In between missions you have the option of going into your inventory and crafting your weapons to make them more powerful. This can sometimes be a good experience and other times bad, depending on what game you’re playing. In Devastation it was bad, or (to me) it seemed like the developer made some weird decisions with this. Like only being able to craft and equip weapons if they were unequipped. It was quite the chore having to navigate to the right Autobot and unequip a weapon before making any changes to it. Also the lack of tutorial for crafting weapons was a bad call. If it wasn’t for ACG’s YouTube video about synthesizing your weapons correctly, I would have kept on upgrading like a pitiful newb and not increasing my attack power. You’ll know what I mean of you play the game. Just try not to focus on increasing the weapon level alone. You want to see some yellow in the attack power progress bar otherwise you’re just wasting credits.

The last, nit-picky, thing that took me out of the overall experience was what Platinum Studios decided to do for the last quarter of the game. Now in every episode of the cartoon there were always two sides to the story. One: the evil schemes that the Decepticons were planning, and two: what the Autobots were going to do to stop them. Before you saw each side of the story you would see the creator’s version of a fade to black to help transition between the two-sided narrative. This was the Autobot and Decepticon insignias (which were back to back) that would float toward the viewer, and flip horizontally, revealing the side of the story you were about to see. The red insignia was for the heroic Autobots and the purple for the Decepticons. It was a neat little device that worked well in the cartoon, but for some reason Platinum decided not to use it until the last quarter of the game. It made absolutely no sense because they didn‘t use it for the first three quarters of the story. Why throw it in for the last quarter? It just came out of no where and made the experience inconsistent. Not only that, but the bevel effect that they used to make the insignias look 3D looked like shite! It looked nothing like the source material. This was another really bad call, and even though this was purely esthetic, and cinematic (and had nothing to do with affecting the gameplay) it still tainted the experience for me as a Transformer fanboy and as a designer.

A Little Energon Can Go A Long Way

But these are all minute unpleasantries which is why I decided to give Devastation four (energon cubes) out of five. Again this is not a review site – even though what I do can (sort of) be considered “reviewing a game”. I just wanted this post to be a little different, have some fun with the headline and try to wear the shoes of a real games journalist. Originally I intended for this post to be really short – like a headline, sub-headline and one sentence – and let the video do all of the talking, but I just had so much to say about this game. It’s loads of fun and you can just turn your brain off, pretend that you’re a kid again, and kick Decepticon butt like you have nothing else better to do!

😁 Bonus Devastation Let’s Play Clip

Please click on the image below for additional Transformers action. Enjoy!

Bumblebee

 

Battleborn Is Like Borderlands On Steroids! (Believedat!)

⚠️ Don’t forget to watch the feature Let’s Play video above!

I Had A Good Feeling About Battleborn […]

Gearbox makes good games. It’s that simple. It doesn’t matter if this game [Battleborn] starts with the same damn letter as the developer’s previous and critically acclaimed, action, RPG-style property, Borderlands 1️⃣. This was the minuscule detail that I was hung up on for quite some time when Battleborn was first announced. “They [Gearbox] already have a game that starts with the letter B. And what kind of name is Battleborn anyway?” But now none of these petty objections matter. Not even in the slightest. Battleborn is very, very good…almost great, which means my instinct was right. I had a feeling that I would like this game and that turned out to be my understatement of the year.

Shooting And Looting In Borderlands

This was most likely going to be the headline for my Borderlands 2 blog post, but I haven’t gotten around to creating that content yet. I’ve briefly played Borderlands on PS4 and it’s seriously one of the most pleasurable experiences I’ve had on the platform so far. I absolutely love that game – and I don’t want to elaborate on this too much because it’s not really the main topic – but Borderlands is an awesome shooter that feels right at home on the PS4 (I’ve played it on PS3 as well). So it comes as no surprise that I’m enjoying Battleborn as much as I am. It’s quirky and funny, I love the cartoony art style, I can’t get enough of leveling up and the loot drops, and the gun play is so, so damn good. But enough about that. Let’s get back to the game at hand.

A Battalion Like No Other; All For One Star

So what’s with these first-person games and their need to have you (as the champion) fighting to save the last of something? In Destiny you’re fighting to save the last city on earth, and in Battleborn you’re fighting to protect the very last star in the universe. It’s just something that I noticed…I guess evil doesn’t know how to stop until it gets every last one of your belongings. Whatever the case may be Battleborn has proven to be a game worth playing and talking about (in my opinion). If you take Borderlands, ramp up the number of playable characters (with dynamic weapons and abilities) and make it a MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena), you’ll have Battleborn – the most ambitious video game Gearbox has ever done.

“I’m starting to become addicted to these betas.

I participated in both Destiny betas, The Division beta, and now the Battleborn beta.
The campaign is what I was mostly interested in because I’m not a multiplayer guy.”

Campaign or Multiplayer? That Is The Question

You get to choose from 25 characters (upon release), but only a handful are unlocked for the beta. I’m starting to become addicted to these betas. I participated in both Destiny betas, The Division beta 2️⃣ (my Let’s Play for Tom Clancy’s The Division will be posted soon), and now the Battleborn beta. The campaign (or story mode) is what I was mostly interested in because I’m not a multiplayer guy. I have nothing against multiplayer modes – I like the idea of the competitive team gameplay – but I just suck (at playing) in these modes. It doesn’t matter which multiplayer game I play; my lack of speed, skill, and precision shooting in these fast-paced multiplayers make it hard for me to enjoy the game. I get my ass handed to me every time because all of my opponents are light years ahead of me in terms of skill level. They’ve been playing competitively for years so I become the sitting duck. I’ll usually give multiplayer a try – Destiny and COD have awesome multiplayer modes – but my time there is short lived. The campaign is where I dish out the most damage! But the one thing that Battleborn’s multiplayer has going for it – which makes it so much more approachable for a lone ranger like myself – is it’s sheer number of interesting characters and (more importantly) their assortment of weapons. They’re not all ranged. You can choose a character like Rath 3️⃣ or Shayne who are melee based. They don’t shoot anything; they clobber and/or hack and slash. You don’t have to be an expert marksman. You can dish out damage by punching and hitting your opponent until they’re blue in the face! So what I realized is that your crosshair accuracy doesn’t have to be spot on. The game is a little more forgiving so as long as you aim in the general direction of the enemy you’ll be ok. Speed is still a factor of course and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t do fine with a ranged character. I played with Thorn and did ok – mind you the matches were private and against bots – but the point is having melee based playable characters makes the MOBA experience a little more welcoming for inexperienced players. This is where I think that MOBAs shine.

Say Multiplayer Online Battle Arena 3x Fast!

Here is where I think that MOBAs don’t shine. Their poisonous online communities. I know for a fact that the world renowned DOTA 4️⃣ and League of Legends 5️⃣ both have the kind of communities that tend to keep newbs and filthy casuals away. I’ve dabbled in both and if you’re a lone ranger (like myself), without your own friends to form a team; then you are subject to the matchmaking system which works well as a utility, but not so much in the camaraderie sense. If you lack skill your teammates can be verbally abusive, but that isn’t the case with Battleborn…well not that I can attest. Again, I only played with bots, and not with other players. Whether or not Battleborn’s online community plays nice with one another still remains to be seen…I’ll eventually see how all of that unfolds. However, what I can tell you is that the MOBA portion of the game is surprisingly fun and it doesn’t take long to figure out what your objectives are. The modes and arenas are very engaging with lots of verticality and vantage points, and I’m in love with the world.

The Verdict

There’s a good time to be had with Battleborn. If I were to play this with two or three friends on my team I’m positive that I would enjoy it even more, but the lack of friends doesn’t deter me from enjoying this game. There’s a good story mode to get lost in and you can set up private matches (with bots) if you’re a little intimidated by gaming with others on-the-line 😉

So I Finally Finished Advanced Warfare – My First Call Of Duty Game 😁

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Who Knew A Call Of Duty game Could Be This Good?

How many Call of Duty games are there exactly? Too many to name that’s for sure, but over the years you’d think that I would have played at least one of the previous games. No, not in my case. Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare is, in fact, my first Call of Duty game and you know what? I enjoyed every minute of it.

The first person shooter genre is one of my favourite genres to play. Coded Arms 1️⃣ (on PSP) and Crysis 2️⃣ (on PS3) are the two games that got me hooked into first person shooting. There’s just something that feels good about playing from this field of view with offensively loud and destructive automatic weapons in your in-game hands. I’ve heard numerous times, from people of gaming authority and friends, that Call of Duty sets the benchmark for first person shooting; and after finishing this installment I can certainly see why. Nothing against Battlefield 3️⃣ – I’ve never played it [Battlefield] – but Call of Duty (Advanced Warfare to be specific) is fun, engaging and delivers on the Call of Duty (story mode) promise: A six to seven hour action movie type of game with lots of guns to boot…or should I say shoot?

Slow And Steady Wins The Race…Or Something […]

So this is embarrassing. This is the first game that I’ve finished on the PS4 – Transformers: Devastation 4️⃣ would have been the first, but the final boss battle is not as easy as I’d like it to be – but it should not have been. I have a few other PS4 titles that came out before Advanced Warfare which, in actuality, should have been finished beforehand. But I’m not like the average gamer nor is there any method to my madness. The Universe wanted it this way (for me to finish Call of Duty first) so who am I to argue. My goal is to get through my backlog and finish all of my PS3 and PS4 games. That is my intention no matter how long it takes.

Last year I wrote a belated piece about the late Paul Walker and why I thought he would have loved Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare. If you haven’t read it you can read it here. Call of Duty: Black Ops was actually Paul Walker’s favourite game, but at the time of my post the new Black Ops had not been released. Rest assured that I will be posting a Black Ops III 5️⃣ Let’s Play in the future (when I eventually get the game) as a proper tribute to my Fast and Furious friend. But I digress. Now I’m going to tell you why The Gaming Worker loved Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare!

It’s Advanced, But It’s Not Rocket Science

As I mentioned earlier, Advanced Warfare – and probably all Call of Duty games for that matter – plays like a six to seven hour action movie. It’s a short campaign (because people really play these types of games for the multiplayer modes) but what it lacks in length, it makes up for with a solid and fun shooting experience. There’s a lot of follow-the-leader moments throughout the story mode which has you tagging along friendlies, but I feel like this helps immerse you into the story. Especially since Advanced Warfare has you playing as the new recruit Mitchell (voiced by non other than Troy Baker 6️⃣). It makes sense that you don’t always know your way around and have to play second fiddle to someone else. But this isn’t the only hook. Not by a long shot (no pun intended). The campaign is filled with enormous and breath-taking set pieces and quick-time events that absolutely mesmerize you.

Other take-aways from the game are that Advance Warfare has a pretty darn good story. It’s not The Last Of Us 7️⃣ – another Let’s Play that I have to do, I know – but it still has a decent narrative for a world-at-war, futuristic game. Not to mention the excellent graphics and amazing cutscenes. I think that Diablo III 8️⃣ has some of the most, if not the most, amazing cutscenes in the industry…Advanced Warfare could arguable be even better. I could elaborate on this further, but I don’t want this to be too long-winded and technical. There are other reviews that you can find that do that, and a lot better than I could ever do. So I think I’ve said enough and I’ll let my Let’s Plays do the rest of the talking.

There were so many missions that I loved and enjoyed – except for the, most times hard to maneuver, air combat  missions – but I decided to showcase the two that really stood out to me. The first Let’s Play starts off with me, again as Mitchell, flying in the air (like Iron Man) and trying to take down an airplane to retrieve cargo. The second (which was much more challenging because it was a stealth mission) has me trying to cross enemy lines undetected in my cloak-enabled exo suit. I know right. What’s an exo suit and where can I get one?!

Please click on the images below to watch the videos. Enjoy 😀

Crash

BioLab

PS I Kinda Love You Too! XOXO 💙 🎮

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I Had A Dream That I Left IGN To Start Kinda Funny…

It’s one of the best dreams that I’ve ever had. There I was along side Greg Miller 1️⃣, Colin Moriarty, Tim Gettys 2️⃣, Nick Scarpino and Kevin 3️⃣. The Furious Six, taking the gaming industry by storm by dishing out the best gaming and pop culture content the internet has ever witnessed. Together we would podcast and conduct interviews, host let’s plays, go on much needed road trips while eating the best fast food money could buy; and we were doing it all in the name of geek culture. But then I awoke to find that what was a short, but sweet, dream for me is still a vivid reality for my five white brothers. God speed boys. I couldn’t be any happier for you awesome nerds.

It Feels Just Like Yesterday

The Kinda Funny YouTube network has been my guilty pleasure for well over 365 days. The kind of funny co-founders don’t know it, but I have been watching and enjoying their form of geek culture entertainment since their launch back in January 2015. Coincidentally this just so happens to be the same time that I launched this blog. What are the odds?

Press X To Exit

I’ll never forget the Monday morning that I read the shocking headline. Greg Miller and Colin Moriarty Have Quit IGN. It was literally plastered in every nook and cranny on the internet. I think every video game news outlet posted the story. Well the sites that I visited on a daily basis did. The news took me completely by surprise. I almost had to take a sick day because I was so devastated. Who the hell would leave an entertainment and geek culture utopia like IGN? What ever else happened in the world that day was not nearly as important as this. I read the story from multiple sites just so that I could get all of the information. But it wasn’t until I watched episode 57 of the Game Over Greggy Show, one of their many podcasts on YouTube, later that morning that I realized that this was not a hoax. These four best friends sat down (AROUND THIS TABLE! [Greg Miller says that a lot]) to explain to their “ride or die, mother-fucking” audience that together they were moving on to focus on their, now full-time, endeavor Kinda Funny.

1) From IGN To Kinda Funny

So why am I writing about this? What does their venture have to do with me or my blog? Well the short and realistic answer is nothing. But you’re not interested in short answers so allow me to give you my “rigmarole”. I felt compelled to write this because IGN has been a huge resource in my video game life. IGN has been, and still is, my go to for everything to do with video games, comic books, TV and movies. Greg and Colin 4️⃣ have provided so much valuable insight in the past on many of my favorite games, and as a result, have gained my appreciation and trust. They know their shit! So it’s only natural that I would follow them – without any hesitation or question – as they continue on their exciting, yet unexpected, journey. BEYOND! 5️⃣

2) The Road Less Traveled

Second to this, I felt compelled to write this because I believe I’m on a very similar path of creative freedom. I think I finally found my true calling when I made the decision to launch this blog which (again) happened to coincide with the launch of Kinda Funny. I can’t help but shake the feeling that this means something. I’m no video game journalist, by any stretch of the imagination, but my love and affinity for gaming is on the level. Now have I been gaming for as long as the boys from Kinda Funny? No. Do I have a deep knowledge and understanding of this industry like they do? Not one bit. Can I speak authoritatively about RPGs, side scrollers, platformers and everything else to do with gaming? Only in my dreams. But that’s ok because my content is for a slightly different audience. The Gaming Worker is for all of the newbs and filthy casuals of the world looking for a place to drop in and check out some reckless video game action. But I too need a community to be engaged in and when I’m not getting my “Daily Fix” from the team at IGN; you can be damn sure that I’m getting it from my best friends at Kinda Funny.

The Cock Of The Walk

Greg, Colin, Tim, Nick 6️⃣ and Kevin, keep up the awesome work. I marvel at what all of you have started together and I hope that one day both of our flaming garbage trucks collide one day, giving us the opportunity to collaborate on something funky and special.

As for the rest of you gaming workers out there, you can check out the every day high jinx of Kinda Funny and Kinda Funny Games on YouTube or at their new and improved website. All of the content is great, but I especially want to give praise to Greg and Colin’s weekly PlayStation podcast, PS I Love You XOXO 7️⃣, where the boys talk about all things PlayStation each and every Tuesday. If you have been a faithful listener of Greg and Colin’s podcast, Beyond, when they were back at IGN then you already know that PS I Love You stays true to their previous schtick. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; right fellas 😉

The Gaming And Blogging Postmortem, But First Some More Destiny

⚠️ Don’t forget to watch the feature Let’s Play video above!

Expansion 3 – Destiny The Taken King – And It’s All Good

Where does the time go? Here I am – at the critically acclaimed third expansion of my favourite shooter – and I still haven’t completed the first two expansions [The Dark Below 1️⃣ and House of Wolves 2️⃣]. Not to mention I still haven’t finished the main story of Destiny, but we’ll get into the crux of that matter later.

It is with great pleasure that I come before you now, with my final post for 2015, regaling you with my tall tale as a light wielding Guardian. This is no coincidence – Destiny was my very first blog post so it only makes sense that it be my last. Especially since my first Destiny let’s play video had lots of live commentary audio issues. Boy, have I learned a lot since then. I can’t even begin to tell you how many hours it took for me to finally get my video capture setup just right. All of the testing and troubleshooting that I did was enough to make a gamer throw in the towel, but I powered through and figured it all out. Failure was not an option so I persevered, and lo and behold, I have been producing better quality let’s plays for your enjoyment. But that’s neither here nor there [as far as you’re concerned]. You want to hear about Destiny and The Taken King so let’s do this.

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The Darkness Has Consumed Me

Destiny is, and always will be, a special game in my mind. It’s the first limited edition IP that I’ve ever purchased and the first game that I’ve truly invested countless hours in. I have the Destiny app on my phone that keeps track of the hours (amongst other important in-game data) that I put in so this should tell you that I’m all the way in on this game. I was an alpha and beta test “virgin” – until the summer of 2014 when I opted to participate in both legendary activities – and (needless to say) the addictive gameplay, and shooting mechanics, have hooked me ever since. Did year one of Destiny have some problems? Sure, what game doesn’t? It was very grindy and repetitive, the story was too vague, the progression and reward system had room for improvement, and some of the voice acting (sorry Peter Dinklage) was stiff. The Taken King aimed to fix all of this and it succeeded with flying colours.

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Destiny (2.0) The Taken King

The one thing Destiny has always gotten right was it’s spooky and ominous tone, and The Taken King is no different. Exploring seemingly empty bases and facilities in the dark is as haunting as ever. There are strange and eerie echoes all around making your itchy trigger finger all the more twitchier. I feel like this shooter was made just for me, but it doesn’t stop there. There are also a lot of little tweaks and changes that Bungie made to make year two of Destiny a much better experience.

First and foremost I have to give props for the action packed, Star Wars-esque, opening cinematic cut scene. Good job Bungie because you truly grabbed my attention. The opening still has the main issue of glossing over details about The Traveller, The Golden Age, The Darkness and The Collapse, which (if you ask me) helps expand the world and explain what the hell is actually happening in the game. There’s important back story here – but if gamers just want to ignore all of the story missions from year one – and dive right into year two’s The Taken King, they can choose to do so. The cost, however, is that you forego the beginning of the some-what vaguely explained story. But no matter how vague a story is; can you imagine taking up a story from the third act, not knowing what happened in the first two? This is why I suggest that if you buy Destiny The Legendary Edition 3️⃣; that you play through all of content and not just the latest installment. Get the whole story even if you choose to play The Taken King first and then go back to the previous content after. If you get through all of the content then you’ll be sure to find that The Taken King is much more story driven than it’s predecessors.

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The other improvements that I’d like to call out might seem smaller in scale, but sometimes it’s the little things that go a long way. For instance, to better indicate who’s actually talking to you during your mission, you can now see your quest giver’s name in the upper right corner; just as you would when you hear from your Ghost. Speaking of your floating friend, it’s voice (previously performed by Peter Dinklage 4️⃣) has been replaced by the soothing sounds of Nolan North 5️⃣. Nathan Drake himself is in Destiny and you’ll get no argument from me. Just chalk it up to another move in the right direction for Bungie’s improved Alienbuster. And with your little companion sounding a million times better; you can take him on your numerous quests for bounties, which you now can access from the Quests page. No more hauling ass back to the Tower every time for your rewards. It’s almost like the developers at Bungie care. Not to mention the XP change that had every guardian in the galaxy in celebration. This 2.0 update has made leveling up so much easier than it was before. No more tedious grinding for armour with light attached. Now everything that you do in Destiny increases your experience – which is how it should have been all along. But I guess these are the ebbs and flows of getting a Triple-A title to as close to perfection as a developer can.

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Is The Taken King perfect? I’d say it’s perfect enough, especially for a gaming worker such as myself. Like I said before, this is a special game and it deserves a round of applause for being the ambitious first person shooter that it is. The only real issue [of mine] is finding the time to get through all of the fabulous content, but what else is new? Too many games and not enough time. This seems to be the ongoing theme of this blog; finding adequate time to play The Taken King [or any other game for that matter]. But fear not fellow guardians for I will “Be on my guard; stand firm in the faith; be courageous; and be strong.” – 1 Corinthians 16:13 6️⃣

And now…

The Gaming Worker Epilogue

So we have now come to the postmortem portion of this article. It’s always a good idea to take stock in any project, especially a passion project such as this blog, so I plan to make this a yearly (maybe even quarterly) tradition. Some people may see The Gaming Worker as nothing more than a fun, little hobby for me to pass the time – and there’s some truth to that assessment – but that’s not all. It’s much bigger than that. This is my brand and hopefully one day the gaming community will get to know it well. I want my blue and orange face logo to be up there [in the spot light] with Twitch and/or PlayStation because these world renown brands are synonymous with the word fun. That’s what The Gaming Worker stands for – injecting fun back into a person’s life.

We all have that one thing that we used to love doing, but for some reason or another we had to pump the breaks on that thing. It was put on the back burner never to be touched again. For me there were a couple of hobbies that fell to the wayside, like playing the bass guitar and drawing comic books, but gaming is the one true pastime that kept on coming back. So I finally embraced what the Universe was trying to tell me and before I knew it, The Gaming Worker was born. You see, as much as I loved playing video games, playing just wasn’t enough. Something inside me was telling me to write about gaming as well, but I needed a hook. I didn’t want to arbitrarily write about any given game. So I meditated (like Don Draper in the series finale of Mad Men 7️⃣) and then it hit me like a duffle bag full of video game controllers. Write about getting through your video game backlog. It seemed like the perfect idea because every gamer on this ever rotating green planet has a daunting backlog of games to cross off of their list, but no one’s really talking about it. Well now I’m talking for as long as the internet will let me.

So have I been firing on all cylinders and producing content consistently? No, but it isn’t for the lack of trying. Creating gaming content (or any content for that matter), in the amount that I want to do it, is a full-time job. Well guess what? I already have one of those which means that time is a valuable luxury that is in short supply. I’m not one who usually gives excuses, but I’m giving them today. I have no other choice because as much as I love to game, and as much as I am committed to this blog, I have other obligations that tend to get in the way. Just like 80% of the world’s population I have to uphold my humanly duty and participate in this amazing rat race of ours – which (as you all know) can leave a person with little to no time for gaming and/or blogging. But we all have bills to pay (right?) and websites to maintain [monetarily] so what can you do?

Finding time isn’t the only challenge I have when it comes to doing a blog like this – although time is a major factor. After twelve months of doing this I’ve come to realize that getting through your backlog isn’t as easy as it sounds. For instance you can’t pick up every game after a long period of not playing it and expect to be as skilled as you were before. There are some games out there that you have to re-learn because after three, six or twelve months of not playing you lose the momentum and dexterity that you once had. At least I do anyway. Another obstacle that comes up from time to time is writer’s block. And I use the term writer very loosely because (and I’ve said this before) I’m not a good writer; I just pretend to be one. I can barely put together a good sentence or paragraph and there are probably spelling and/or grammar mistakes all over this site. Hey, I’m just a graphic designer for Pete’s sake, but I do the best that I can and I sometimes do struggle with getting the words onto the page…I mean screen.

Unfortunately I’m a one man show, and as much as I’m ok with that, it means that I have to wear many hats. I’m the writer, I’m the editor, I record the let’s plays, communicate on social media, Photoshop the images for the blog…you name it. It’s the devil’s work and right now I’m the only handsome devil here to do it. My hope is for this to evolve into something much bigger one day – I’m not exactly sure what – but I want The Gaming Worker to make a dent in this industry. If any like-minded funky homosapiens should cross my path [who are down with this program] then I would happily consider recruiting additional gaming workers for my cause. I want to create a pyramid of gaming workers and together we shall rule the internet! [Insert maniacal laugh] 😆

The game/work balance can also be an issue. Performing a game and doing let’s plays are always fun, but it’s also work. I have to get the marbles out of my mouth and be voice-over ready which is not as easy as it may seem. Speaking clearly, recording clean takes and editing video can be a chore so there are times when I have to step away from the “work” and remember to just game for fun. It may sound silly, but it’s true and very important. As much as we live in a world today where people enjoy watching other people play video games, I have to resist that record button and remember to play (and enjoy) the game the way it was intended. Without the world always watching, just like when I was a kid. There are some gaming sessions that I have to reserve for myself and that’s just the way it has to be. There’s offline gaming and then there’s OFFLINE gaming…capisce.

Question. Have you ever arrived home from work to then eat the warm dinner that your wonderful spouse has prepared for you; then get cozy together on the couch to watch TV, or a couple of shows on Netflix, or a movie; and after all of that quality time you then kiss her goodnight and get ready to get some much anticipated video gaming (or blogging) out of the way; but instead what happens is you sit on the couch staring at the TV, eyelids heavy, not moving a muscle because you’re body is dead tired; so you just end up going to sleep because you have to wake up and go to work the next morning? No? Ok, I guess it’s just me then.

Wait, I have one more flimsy excuse and then I can wrap this up. The number of games in my backlog list keeps increasing. It’s the darnedest thing. You’d think that the industry would stop releasing new games and wait for me to finish the ones I have, but no. Sony and all of the first, second, and third-party studios (and publishers) have to crank out their new IPs to keep the market thriving, thus leaving me always having to play catch up because I don’t have enough time to play their awesome games. So grudgingly new games get added to the backlog – it’s a vicious cycle [that can take your eye off of the prize – but a fun one nevertheless].

The point of this [postmortem] was to shed some light (bitch and complain) on some of the challenges that I’ve faced in my first year of doing this, and at the same time give you a verbal peek behind the curtain. It’s all fun and games being The Gaming Worker, but it’s not easy trying to stay on top of all of this content creation. The one thing that has helped me put more time into this is cutting back on the amount of my over-time hours at my job. That’s how serious and committed I am to gaming and this form of game reporting. Unfortunately there’s only so much time that I can steal away from my job and/or family, so until situations change, this will have to do. But I can tell you one thing for sure; I know exactly what I want to do when I retire as an old man. If video games are still booming twenty years from now (and I think they will – hello PlayStation 7 or 8) I’m going to game – and blog – but mostly game until my thumbs fall off. And when they do [fall off] I will get robotic thumbs surgically attached because by that time (I’m pretty sure) that robotic thumb replacement will be a thing.

Ladies and germs, it’s been a pleasure entertaining you – and for making it this far [down the blog post] I’m going to reward you with one last Destiny let’s play for 2015. Please click on the image below. Enjoy 👍

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