Check Out My First Web Show!

Hey guys! So my friends and I are gonna do what every millennial these days does and try to get popular on YouTube. The first show we’re making is called “And Chris Says…”

It’s a show about me showing random internet weirdness to my friend Chris and his reactions. It’s like an ink blot test but for crazy movie!

Don’t be afraid to check out my channel, too. Blah Blah Productions. There you’ll find a ton of podcasts my friends and I do. Hope you enjoy!

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Dying Light Review

Despite being about shambling, half dead corpses, the zombie genre is alive. Over the past several years the video game market has become enamored with zombie titles – from The Walking Dead to Dead Rising. After awhile one would think “this genre will die out similar to Tony Hawk and Guitar Hero, right?” Well, then a game like Dying Light comes along and shows you just how much this undying genre can really shine.

STORY – You’re put into the shoes of a GRE agent known as Kyle Crane. Going into this game I thought “Well, I’ll just be playing as a silent protagonist who does peoples’ biddings.” Turns out, I was only half right! Crane’s personality is far more fleshed out then I expected. Yes, he still blindly follows people and gets angry a lot, but voice actor Roger Craig Smith does a damn good job putting his heart and soul into Crane. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for the other characters as their voice work ranges from mediocre to cringe worthy. There are a few exceptions however, like the main villain and the love interest.

The game begins with Crane HALO jumping down to the fictional city of Harran. Harran is plagued with the zombie virus and he’s tasked with saving the day. As expected, the moment he lands things go haywire and he stumbles upon a large group of survivors. From that point forward he agrees to help them with their needs as well as help fight against an evil faction of humans lead by a drug lord named Rise. It’s a better thought out story then a lot of other zombie games; with a surprising amount of heart and depth.

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GAMEPLAY – The biggest focus here is the Parkour. Parkour is a essentially running, jumping and grabbing at a specific pace along an urban environment. Examples can be seen here and here. Crane is a Parkour master so the majority of the game is spent running, jumping, grabbing and climbing onto rails buildings and everything in between. Think Mirrors Edge but with more zombies. Parkour the main means of traversing the map and a super effective way at avoiding the undead. It’s such a focus that for the first few hours of the game the only weapons Crane has access too are extremely weak ones. The game forces you to Parkour and avoid zombies. As for the weapons, there is a wide range of melee weapons. From pipes, wrenches, baseball bats and swords. Every weapon has its own unique feel and can be crafted with the likes of fire and electricity, along with a few other helpers. There are guns but not until later in the game and the noise they give off can hinder your progression.

There are three skill trees that can be leveled up. Agility, Power and Survival. Agility is leveled up by running, climbing and dodged while Power by killing enemies. Survival is leveled up by completing missions and surviving the night time. Once you reach a new level in any one of the three trees you gain a skill point that can be spent on a new perk in that skill tree. It’s very Borderlands-esque.

The other main focus of the game is the night time. Simply put, when the day turns to night things get worse. A more vile, harder-to-kill group of enemies rise from the depths of the city looking for a meal. These are known as the Volatiles. Once the sun sets and the night hits, you have the choice of finding a safe house and sleeping there until the morning or toughing it out and surviving the night. Doing so gives you double points in every skill tree, just watch out for the Volatiles as avoiding them can be a tricky. Holding down the X button (I played this on a PS4) allows Crane to scan the area for any useful items, but it can also detect Volatiles so you can plan accordingly. That, and they can be seen on the in game map with a cone of sight a la Metal Gear Solid.

Dying Light also sports co-op if you feel like gathering with some friends to kick some undead ass. It feels a bit lazy in the sense that each of the players would be playing as Kyle Crane at the same time. But, honestly it’s pretty entertaining to see your friend drop kick a zombie. Personally, I spent hours and hours doing missions with my friends. The only downside is that if you’re in their game and do a mission or two and go back to your own game, you’ll have to do the same missions again if you haven’t already.

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PRESENTATION – Once you’re given free range to run around Harran and bash zombie heads in, it becomes quite clear how easy it is to be sucked into the world. The crips graphics, disturbing zombie noises and chatter amongst the NPCs, Techland does a remarkable job at making Harran feel real. Even though most of the voice acting (excluding Crane and a few others) is pretty cringeworthy, that doesn’t take away from the bright and bustling display of the city. There are two maps the game gives you access to and they both feel as if they could be actual locations.

VERDICT – Dying Light is a game that, when I purchased it, didn’t think it would be anything that stood out. I played Dead Island (Techland’s other zombie game) and thought it’d be more of the same, just something fun to past the time. A few weeks later and I’ve completed 100% of the game. It’s a fantastic zombie game with a lot of depth, surprising amount of heart, and a ton of guts. Whether you’re running along roof tops, slicing a zombie’s head off or laughing at some of the dialog, Dying Light shines bright.

SCORE – 9/10

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@JayGreen89

Infamous Second Son Review

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I’ll throw this out there right away. The original Infamous is one of my favorite games of all time. It was a perfect superhero origin story that blended action, drama, and compelling gameplay into one heroic package. Infamous 2 was also a great game but it didn’t reach the heights of its predecessor.

When Infamous Second Son was announced I was hoping to experience the same euphoric rush the first game gave me.

What I got was… almost there… again.

To start with the positives – Infamous Second Son is a gorgeous looking game. It was the first game I got for my new PS4 and it really showcased how powerful Sony’s new system is. Aside from the outstanding graphics, the controls were fluid and responsive; as one would expect from an Infamous game.

The main culprit here is the story. Infamous one had an amazingly simple story of a guy being bestowed with super powers he didn’t want. The duration of the game involved him fending off villains, handling relationships and the entire thing came to a head at the end with an extremely clever twist. Infamous 2 had great gameplay but the story wasn’t all there; in fact, it kind of disappointed me.

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That’s the same reaction I felt with Second Son’s story. The game stars Delson Rowe, a 24-year-old hooligan with nothing better to do then spray paint walls. He has an older brother, Reggie, who is a cop and constantly telling Delson how he doesn’t contribute to society. These two brothers are so polar opposite it’s corny.

Anyway, Delson discovers he has latent powers and uses them to go after the main antagonist of the game, Augustine. She brings arm to his family at the beginning of the game.

Once it’s established what kind of person Delson is and what kind of powers he has, Infamous Second Son kind of takes a backseat to the story. Delson meets other people with powers, he continues to hunt Augustine and that’s pretty much it. There’s no big revelation or any surprising moments in the game’s narrative that makes for an awe moment.

The main reason to play Infamous Second Son is for the incredible gameplay. With it’s lighting fast action, responsive controls, and sheer excitement, you’ll find many reasons to procrastinate and play this game.

Watch_Dogs Review

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Remember back in the late 1980s – early 90s when BetaMax and VHS tapes battled? I’m sure that was the high point of technology at the time; say for everything the military has secretly covered up.

Watch_Dogs makes all of that look pale in comparison. It’s a very fun, technological romp of a good time. It has guns, hand-to-hand combat, and a whole lot of computer hacking.

The game stars batman-wanna-be Aiden Pearce. At the very beginning of the game his wife and daughter die by the hands of hit men who were trying to kill Aiden. From that point on he vows revenge against the people who killed them.

Honestly, I found the story extremely hard to pay attention to because of how bland it was. When something is about as interesting as mowing a lawn my mind tends to wander elsewhere. Basically, Aiden meets up with a fellow hacker named Clara. She’s also an extremely good hacker who looks like a Slipknot fan with a sexy accent.

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Anyway, Clara and Aiden team up to take down these gang dudes who killed Aidens family all while his sister and nephew get kidnapped by some lunatic. It just wasn’t his week.

But as you can tell, the story is a very typical affair. What really shines in Watch_Dogs is the gameplay. With Aidens cell phone you can hack into just about anything; from other cell phones, to laptops, to ATMs. The city of Chicago is yours to own with your small hand-held device. This makes for interesting online gameplay as players from all over the world can jump into your game and hack your device effectively stealing your stuff.

I’m not much of an online gamer and got my ass handed to me by some hacker (I’ll find you!) but it was a very different way of playing an online game that I can see people getting the hang of and having fun with.

Though very fun, Watch_Dogs isn’t without its problems. The main problem stems from a key component in the game, the driving. Driving around the massive city of Chicago feels like you’re driving a very slippery boat. All the vehicles (even motorcycles) feel top-heavy and very stiff. It’s nearly impossible to round a corner without sliding into an oncoming car or pedestrian. This makes for some VERY frustrating segments. You’d need to have the patients of a Buddhist Monk to not throw a fit.

All in all Watch_Dogs is a fun game but it’s not without its flaws. It has very promising elements; the hacking and gunplay/combat are top notch. Though the driving and story are sub par. It feels like a game that a sequel would greatly improve upon.

@JayGreen89

Lego: Marvel Superheroes Review

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Remember how dark and grim Zack Snyder’s Man Of Steel movie was? With its dull color pallet, zero humor and zero chemistry in its cast? Yeah? Well Lego: Marvel Superheroes is the exact opposite of that.

With its fun, bright, colorful and light hearted game play Lego: MS is sure to be enjoyed by all.

It’s quite the comical affair as an unknown villain (probably Thanos) along with Doctor Doom and Loki are out to find these magical “Cosmic Bricks”. They’re really just big lego pieces but hey, it goes with the theme of a Lego game. Now it’s up to the entire Marvel universe to stop this oncoming threat.

There are dozens and dozens of super heroes to choose from. At the beginning of a level you’re assigned two heroes to team up and take on that task, which makes for some great co-op fun and in the level there are certain things only certain heroes can do. This adds tremendously to the replay value and perfectionists who want to go back and replay levels.

 

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The gameplay itself is very basic with just one attack button and one action button. Each level has a specific puzzle to it that only the heroes you’re assigned can figure out. For example: One level has Captain America and Mr. Fantastic teaming up to take down Dr. Octopus who has taken over the Fantastic 4’s base. After defeating his minions, the player can use Mr. Fantastic to squeeze through a grate and pull down a lever which Captain America will throw his shield at, unlocking a door.

It’s the little fun things like that, which make this game worthwhile. There are a TON of unlockables, too. From unlocking new superheroes, to finding power ups, to PLAYING AS STAN LEE and making him Hulk out. There’s even character creation, incase you ever wanted to be a Lego superhero.

If you have a few hours to kill want some good, clean fun. Look no further. Lego: Marvel Superheroes is an extremely fun side step from all those gritty, bland and boring games on the market. Yeah, I’m looking at YOU Call Of Duty.

And don’t think the game is strictly for kids. I’m 25 and I’m enjoying it… though I am a big kid.

 

@JayGreen89

Blah Blah Podcast Episode 2

I know this is a late post (still unemployed and constantly looking for work) but the guys and I recorded our second podcast

Here

We’re slowly but surly finding our ground on what we’re trying to be. Kyle is for games, Shaun is for movies and I’m stuck in the middle making for lots of arguments and debates.

Our third episode is scheduled for the end of August with a debut on iTunes coming shortly.

Happy Video Game Day!

So apparently every July 8th is national video games day. Here here! What’ll you be playing? For myself, I’ll be diving into some more of Wolfenstein: The New Order and Watch Dogs.

 

So in other news, it seems that Beyond: Two Souls is getting a remastered version a la The Last of Us. The full story can be found here

Now, I personally hated Beyond: Two Souls. It had poor gameplay, a laughable story, was full of inconsistencies and most of all it was flat out boring. Also, I didn’t even think it warrants enough sales for a remastered edition like The Last of Us does. Anyway, what a way to celebrate Video Game day.