PES 2018 is not worth £55!

First thing’s first… mature content warning here folks… I made a swear.

I have written previously about how I’m excited about the new Pro Evolution game, upon hearing about it’s PC edition being brought up to snuff with the current gen console versions.

I wrote that however unforgivable the years of inferior ports were, I would probably buy the game and play a shitload of hours on it… but this is Konami we’re talking about here… they were obviously going to punch my excitement in the dick!

Yes, you can pre-order the new version of the game for £55. They honestly believe that we should be grateful to the tune of £15, for being years late delivering an acceptable product onto the PC market.

FUCKONAMI

A well professional picture that is in no way wonky, shut up.

Two words Konami; FUCK THAT.

Fuck it with a large stick, covered in bees and monkey cum.

I will be looking into alternative methods of obtaining this game, and I encourage my one reader to do the same (obviously while staying on the correct side of the law).

#FucKonami

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Thunder Brigade: You Have Been Missed

Rose-tinted glasses time again people!

Back in the late 90’s, I had a terrible PC. I played CivII: ToT and Mechwarrior 3… I played a lot of Minesweeper and Solitaire… but most of all, I fell in love with a now obscure title called Thunder Brigade, which came in a mega bundle PC game package that my dad got from Cash Converters.

Thunder Brigade Combat

Thunder Brigade was a hover tank game where you floated around vast lumpy maps with the sole aim of destroying enemy bases and tanks. Your ship had armour plates on all sides and once one was gone, you had to be careful to spread the damage around the rest of your craft or risk losing internal components or your arse.

The game wasn’t the best looking thing on the market (even for the time), but the way the game controlled was fantastic. Drifting and floating around at speed felt amazing and the combat was deeply satisfying.

The game had a nice pacing to it, and although the maps were barren, it gave a sort of odd alien charm to the atmosphere. The soundtrack too, was brilliant and added to the fast paces floaty feel of the game.

The story was fairly simple; them’s the baddies, ‘avv ’em, sort of deal. While it was short, the scenario editor meant you could play around for days, giving yourself ridiculous challenges and extending the fun until far after the campaign was complete.

Thunder Brigade Map

Whilst the game received fairly poor reviews and no port to consoles, the premise was unique and no game since has truly emulated the feeling of freedom of movement.

I think that this game deserved a sequel, and while other hover tank games have followed, most notably the Descent series, nothing’s quite scratched that itch for me.

I would love to see a fan remake or a spiritual successor one day, however I am unaware of such a game in development, sadly.

Five Reasons Why I Think PC Deserves An Armored Core Game

I am a massive fan of the Armored Core series and, while never quite perfect, I believe that the series is the greatest example of fast paced robot fun that can be had currently. Mechwarrior Online, whilst a masterclass, is a far more tactical experience and Hawken was disappointing in my opinion, failing to hold my attention for more than around ten hours.

Armoured Core

In Armored Core, you build your own custom mech (or ‘core’), to fit in with your play-style. You can be anything from a heavily armored fatty, armed to the teeth to a pesky lightning bolt, flying around all day shooting gatling rounds at less mobile foes.

Whilst the series has been on other consoles in the past, it has never made it onto the PC and I feel that this is a great shame. If done right, an Armored Core game could really shine on the PC platform.

Armoured Core Combat

Here’s a quick breakdown of the reasons why I think this:

One: Online Play Possibilities

The last few iterations of the series has gone all out on the online play front, opting to tell its story within the framework of the territory grid that is being fought over by factions of players.

Consoles have never been able to compete with the networking and connectivity that PC’s can offer. The current generation are trying, but the PC platform brings more flexibility to that kind of arrangement.

Two: Audience & Sales

It is a simple fact that the more platforms you sell on, the more copies you will flog. The PC audience is huge these days, as the consoles are beginning to struggle to remain relevant.

Selling the game through Steam would be a no-brainer, if any business minded decision maker were in the room.

Three: Controllers vs Keyboard & Mouse

Whilst I love Armored Core, I fully admit that the controls have always been a little ropy. Playstation controllers have never had the best analogue sticks for accuracy, and it made the game frustrating at times, when fighting someone in a faster Core.

Keyboard and mouse would be an ideal solution for such fast paced gameplay. Unfortunately, if cross-play were enabled, PC gamers would have a significant advantage, but I know that I would definitely enjoy the game more on PC.

Four: Performance & Technology

Armored Core have never been the prettiest games out there, with grainy visuals and low-res textures. Developing for the PC markets would enable the developers a great deal more freedom to make a game that not only plays great, but looks stunning.

Being locked at 30fps on consoles is a real problem, especially with such a fast paced game that requires such precision shooting. PC gamers have machines that could run well in excess of 60 and I feel that this would enhance the experience of the game greatly.

Five: Steam Workshop Content!

Finally… There are thousands of mechs that you can make with the parts available in the vanilla game… Imagine if the community were able to add new parts, missions, maps etc. Your game would have an indefinitely extended life-span.

Just think of other games that have been significantly improved by mods and community made content, such as Skyrim, Kebal Space Programme and Space Engineers. How great would that be?

armored core Pose

…so yeah, please release an Armored Core on PC.

The Tragedy of Ubisoft: Great Games, Marred by Greedy Businessmen

If you look at Ubisoft in the last couple of years, it’s difficult to fault the quality of the products that they are pumping out (…with the possible exception of The Division). These games are polished works that are genuinely engaging and fun to play and I have personally put many hours into both Rainbow Six: Siege and For Honor.

Mr Dark

Rainbow Six: Siege

Rainbow Six: Siege, whilst an online multiplayer and nothing more, is far more interesting than any of the shooters that have been released in the last few years. It is a welcome relief from Counter-Strike and a nice change of pace in the testosterone-fueled, focus tested farce that is the current multiplayer shooter ecosystem.

Rainbow

My love for this game is great, which is precisely why I’m so disappointed that men in suits have turned the game into a marketplace. Here are my main gripes with this game:

Firstly, I would like to address the issue of season passes. Do you remember when you paid £40 for a game and you got the game? It seems like such a distant memory now, with the mass use of season passes and DLC in games.

Season passes, especially in largely multiplayer experiences such as Battlefield, mean that you are going to end up paying more like £80 for a complete game, the developers knowing full well that you will need to buy all of the new maps in order to play the thing online.

Rainbow Six: Siege currently has two of the things, which retail at over £20 each on release. Whilst i prefer a game that has continued development over a CoD-style annual release, this is somewhat taking the piss.

Following from my previous point, it is theoretically possible to unlock the content hidden behind the season pass paywalls through ‘renown’, the in-game currency, but the marketplace is so rigged, that the amount of grinding required to unlock even a single character is obscene.

Let’s be generous and imagine that you can make roughly 1,000 ‘renown’ in an hour. A new character costs 25,000 renown. You will need to play this game continuously for over a day to unlock a character.

OK, so Ubisoft release 8 characters per season pass, and it’s going to take in excess of 200 hours for you to unlock all of them. if you pay £20 for the season pass, Ubisoft values your time at roughly 10p per hour? Bollocks.

For Honor (or ‘For Honour’, if you want to spell it correctly)

Wow, this game blew me away. While I may not be great at it, but it is a fantastically satisfying and tense experience. This game at it’s best in the dominion game mode, where two teams of four heroes compete over a number of points strewn across the map.

for honour

You plow through basic spods with ease and encounters with other players feel significant and exciting. This is usually when this game ceases to be fun, through no fault of the game itself.

Yet again, Ubisoft’s money-men fiddled with a well-crafted game, with no consideration for the user experience… they added a loot system that not only makes you look snazzier, but also makes you better than everyone who doesn’t have as much gear as you.

You will enter into a game and you will see the other team’s loot level is far higher than yours and ask yourself, ‘what is the point?’. You cannot win at that point because the game is unbalanced and those with the loot will win every time.

Loot takes a long time to grind and in the meantime you’re essentially barred from the best mode in the game, because the game doesn’t even allow you to play the dominion mode with the loot statistics disallowed, which is perfectly possible in other game modes. The reason is simple; introducing this would remove the reason to put money into micro-transactions.

So here’s the most baffling thing about this… it creates an unnecessary barrier to entry for new players and will cause players to turn off. This will absolutely lead to a reduction in sales of this and future products and DLC. This money-grabbing behavior will not only lose the company money in the long term, but it shamefully reduces the audience of a game that developers have clearly put so much effort into.

In Conclusion

How frustrating it must be to put your heart and soul into something, only to have it ruined by someone further up the corporate ladder, who not only has zero respect for the product, but who clearly doesn’t understand it.

Ubisoft have a team of brilliantly skilled developers who they simply don’t respect. There seems to be a real culture problem, where short-term gains and making the most cash from each customer is having a significant negative impact on the experience of the customer.

If we want to combat this terrible attitude, we need to hit them where it hurts:

  • Withhold your purchase until the full game (i.e. the base game plus all DLC) is available at the price you want to pay.
  • Request a refund for a game that you aren’t enjoying as a result of pushy or essential micro-transactions.
  • Buy the games that are sold ethically (without micro-transactions or excessive paid DLC)