Tuesday, February 20, 2018

2018 February II

Also, this game was released less than a week
after I posted the article!
My last post might've been a bit salty about not being able to play games with black characters. Well, there are at least 100 titles out there with brown characters. This turned out to be a great extension from what I was doing in January, moving to another underrepresented group in gaming. While most of these games are on older systems, Windows or mobile platforms, Broken Age was a free PS+ title that's been resting on my PS4 for over a year. Shame. On. Me. Well, I guess I'd better play it soon!


This image toooootally belongs to The CW
In the first half of February, I've done more TV-watching: Black Lightning has a long large, low-hanging pendulum that swings between cool and corny. While most of it's the former, with a dope soundtrack, beautiful actresses, current and timeless issues in the black community, and level-headed people in power doing their best, the show has taken the time to flush out the villains, so far. On the corny side, Black Lightning's suit looks ridiculous, and some of VFX reveal the show's budget; though they spent enough resources on some compelling writing. So far, Jefferson Pierce (the alter ego) has been more entertaining to watch than the superhero: he's a high school principal with influence and connections, as well as a kick-ass father.


CBS totally owns this hella Photoshopped image
Star Trek Discovery regained some of the ground it'd lost; I wasn't a fan of the writing in the show's second half, but the first season finished up alright. My girl Sonequa is still standing up for what's right, and kicking ass all over the universe in the name of Federation values.

Odds and ends. I finished up the platinum trophies for the Uncharted Collection, though I left the expansion trophies unfinished, since that would require beating each title 2 more times! Star Wars Battlefront II is a continued slog through killing hero ships as an XWing or TiE Fighter. There's also the fact that the community is getting really good at the game and there are fewer noobs to take out your frustrations on. I had a Jones to play Doom about a week before it went on sale for $5 at RedBoxes. That's been a welcome distraction in February, and Doom reminds me of a super-gory (and fun) version of Metroid Prime.

Mina can be descriptive at times...
Iconoclasts has proven to be a really fun game with only a few hard moments. I talked before about one factor of the great gameplay being how you traverse the map in less-than-linear fashion. Another hallmark of this game is the boss fights. You have a wrench that gets powered up, and a few different types of guns, and all the boss fights involve a combination of your newest powers, some aiming, and some pattern-learning. The fights are unique but easy to figure out,  and end with a badass explosion. I started the game on HARD, and found out how to defeat bosses after 2 or 3 deaths on average. The only non-positive thing I have to say is that I tuned out of the story because I couldn't follow it. The exchanges between characters are funny and full of energy; I just have no idea what they're talking about. All in all, this game is super easy to recommend, and getting the full trophy list isn't particularly hard, and you can even get it on the normal difficulty setting, as far as I know. The music rules, the sprites are crisp and well-done, the cast is mostly babes, and the boss fights will keep you going.

People.
I was also either struck by lightning or saw Black Panther and got an SNES mini classic used off Amazon in the same week. I will put out an entry about Black Panther soon, but the SNES mini is kinda cheap looking, but the interface is awesome, and I started Final Fantasy VI and hopefully will be able to keep the story intact. This game feels so good to play, and the soundtrack is one of the top. I remember finding out new secrets in this game from friends in middle and high school; there were hella. The 21-game library is something to savor, and if you're looking for one, I'd encourage you to do a search every couple days: I wonder if the hype wore off and they're more available now.

Gotta go, readers! Do any of you have an SNES or NES Classic Mini? What games did you beat? What memories were triggered with some of the games you played?

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Games 2018: February


As what felt like the longest month in existence comes to a grinding close, I find myself wanting to continue playing games in themed bundles. With today marking the start of Black History month, Black Panther being released two weeks in, and me being super excited for both, it would have been nice to have February dedicated to games with black characters.

Yep, woulda been nice.

Would. Have. Been. Great.

Betcha didn't know!
It wasn't the hardest challenge to cultivate a group of female protagonist games, but games with black and brown lead characters simply don't exist outside of sports games. Now, I love Japan like a second home. However, Japanese gaming doesn't really have a place for nonwhite or non-Japanese characters. They just don't give a hoot.

Fortune favors the hot
Sure, there's hot-headed Barrett Wallace in Final Fantasy VII, fist-fighting Bruce in Tekken, never-miss, never-hit Fortune in Metal Gear Solid 2, and funky Zack in Dead or Alive, but it's also unrealistic to rely on a 98% homogeneous culture to produce games with racial diversity. That's where Western developers come in. Blizzard has brown characters in Diablo and Overwatch, and the Mortal Kombat games have Jax, Jade and the Lin-Kuei robot assassin Cyrax was revealed to be originally a brotha a bunch of titles back.

There's also the issue of keeping my game plan from financially spiraling out of control; ideally I should be cultivating the themed titles from my existing backlog. This is the perfect time to bring up the 2 games I bought yesterday. I saw 2 more female protagonist games that I just had to scoop up.

Beautiful people drawn beautifully
Over the first half of February, I will be going through Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, and Iconoclasts. The former was apparently one of the best titles in 2017, and should be a short-but-sweet journey of less than 10 hours to platinum. Iconoclasts was just released (a week ago, as of this post), and is a 16-bit exploratory sidescroller with an all-girl playable cast. So far, I've played as the mechanic named Robin, who's got a big wrench and a big ass. Or is it just the jodpurs? Either way, the game has awesome music, great colors, smooth animation, and loads of character. What's more impressive is how fun the game is because of the pathing. The map works like any Castlevania game made in the last 15 years, but you end up crisscross areas to open other small places, making pathing more complex than left-to-right. I committed the ultimate financial sin and paid the full $20 for this title, but I'll just have to hope that the dev team sees my enthusiastic dollars for this great title.

I'll try and think of my next theme for games and get back to you. I've neglected to give my readers food for thought, so here goes: What's a theme of games I should play this year? What are some of your favorite games with leading ladies? What are your favorite minority characters in games?

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

January 2018 ladies' month update

2018 has been off to a great start, and taking these adventures with leading ladies has been quite fun. It certainly hasn't brought any kind of profound transformations, but that wasn't really the goal. I was raised by my mother as she worked 2 jobs and put food on the table until she could teach my brother and I how to take care of ourselves. Proud to be a mama's boy.


Thematically, my other media has been on a pro-woman kick, too, in addition to my selection of female protagonist games. I'm reading the fourth book in The Kingfountain series, of which the first 3 books were about a boy named Owen who uses magic to solve problems and defend a kingdom. To my surprise (I don't read book abstracts), the fourth book focuses on his daughter, who is coming of age and into her own character, realizing that she would rather be a warrior like her father, than a wizard like her mother. She's setting up to raise a legion of all-female warriors, which is of course an exception to the book's established culture of male warriors. The author doesn't club us over the head with injustices that we can't do anything about, and instead establishes a flexible culture. My takeaway was that if you're writing a fantasy book, the culture in it doesn't have to be such an obvious patriarchy and mimic real history. The genre is already fantasy, meaning the reader should be ready to be open...why not build a different culture too! This obviously applies way beyond gender, too.

Do££ar$ and Pound$
HRH. I also have to give a shout out to Netflix's The Crown, which is a biographical drama about Queen Elizabeth II. Folks, I am sucked in. It helps that the show is visually stunning, and the music is done by my boy Hans Zimmer. The second season is really good at adhering to per-episode themes, and, while a small part of me hopes for minimal embellishment in the storytelling, the show is so good to watch that I'm happy in fantasy land. This article says that the writer is pretty accurate, but that's only one article. Regardless, seasons of TV means you're spending a long time with characters and get to know them quite well, and this still-reigning queen is both inspiring and unenviable with a great story to tell.

What girl doesn't have a sword and shield under her bed?
Nostalgia powers activate!
A fearless girl and her teddy. As far as my ladies-first gaming goes, I changed up the original plan and began with the Chronicles of Teddy: Harmony of Exidus. This exploratory action platformer has a great soundtrack, and mostly-enjoyable gameplay. It's unabashedly inspired by Zelda 2, and has some really clever boss fights. The most frustrating part of this game is that double-tapping forward makes you dash. This is a nightmare on precise platforms when you're crawling to the edge, or trying to close the distance to attack enemies with your incredibly short dagger. The game has an opening crawl ala Legend of Zelda, and other than a final 1-minute scene, is pure uninterrupted action. Also, at a $5 sale price, this is an easy recommendation.

Can't high jump...there's only place (2) things to hit...
Hard-as-nails. Between rounds of mostly choosing Rei, Gen. Leia Organa (no longer "princess") and the two female Empire badasses Iden Versio and Cpt. Phasma in Star Wars Battlefront 2, I also got around to playing Momodora, which is a lot more like the later Castlevania games, and pretty damn difficult. The 16-bit art is pretty awesome, but I've only given the game 2 hours because I've died a lot. Neat graphics, challenging gameplay, but I have a feeling it gets easier and more enjoyable later on.

There is a LOT of listening to people talk in this game.
Temporal Yap-fest. Dreamfall: Chapters has been like cheesecake for me: it's really heavy and I can only stomach a bit at a time, though I enjoy it. This game is all about the atmosphere and it's reinforced by the dialogue. The setting is pretty futuristic and the neat tech is coupled more with politics than weapons and war. So far. This is all so detailed that I feel no shame in using a guide to find out which choices to make. Characters talk for literally 1 minute at a time, and if I'm asking the NPCs every single question, it's just too many details to remember. If you like story and dialogue-driven games, like Telltale games, this game is for you. I'm fine to glean what I can off the choices my guide has made for me.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

2018 set your goals now!


I spent most of 2017 with unpredictable income, due to both unemployment and a sporadic work schedule. I closed the year with a full-time job and now I have a steady paycheck. For those of you who are fortunate enough like my recent self to have predictable income, you should set your sights on some financial goals for the year. I'd set my goals quarterly, rather than waiting until the gifty Christmas/Chaunnakuh/Kwanzaa season to try and tally everything for 2018. So, if you've never saved before, and make $15-20 hourly, start with $100 by the time your favorite flower blooms in April. Double it for the quarter after that, and build up to 10% of your annual income. The average person in my age group saved -1.8% in 2017, so you can be that much better off! I'm personally aiming for 30% this year, on the $2000 monthly (Seattle minimum wage), but I've been living frugally for 3 years. Two years ago, I saved $3000 of my total $17,000. That was 17%. You can do 10%.

If you are wondering how you can put aside that much money, click on the label 'frugality,' on the right side of this blog, and you'll see all my posts with suggestions how to live dat frugal life. Some of my favorites that I actually live by are: cooking for myself, driving minimally, eliminating unnecessary subscriptions and buying a year at a time instead of going monthly, knowing good 3rd-tier brands, making my own coffee, and regulating my hobby by completing more games than I buy. Also, if you get paid every 2 weeks, there are bonus treasure months with 3 paychecks. That does not mean shopping spree, unless it's splurging on a decent coffee maker to ween off your thrice daily $4 coffees, or some good tires to make driving safe.

The last huge financial decision is that I live outside of Seattle proper. This means I get to take advantage of the $15 minimum wage, which is about 30% higher than my local suburb. This means that I am a good 15 miles from work, and take the bus because parking is unreasonably high ($20 per day). The commute is roughly 8 hours per week, which is a lot of reading time. Another advantage of dat suburb lyfe is that there's a supermarket right across the street that I don't need to drive to. I'm also not paying downtown rent in my food prices, so things are cheaper in general.

The finest brrrrick wall! I've ever seen...
I usually put people to sleep talking about this stuff, and yet others will brick wall me and say that saving $8000 in a year is impossible, or that they can't make sacrifices. Okay, so save $1000 this year and you'll still be ahead! That statistic of millenials going 1.8% further into debt last year was for people making $52,000 ($26 hourly at full time)! Avocado toast indeed! If you're in this income bracket, I double-dog dare you to do the $8000 that I am shooting for. Even if you're raising a family, I think you can still follow some of my suggestions and come out ahead.

A little patience paid off immensely
What to do with your nest egg? I strongly urge you to do some research on investing. Investopedia allows you to create a fake stock account with $100k that simulates investments on the actual market. I did this for 3 months before determining which stocks I'd buy with real money. I've personally had great luck investing in Vanguard S&P 500 stock and I'm not the only one. My thoughts are that if American businesses are as ruthless as they are, they'll know what to do with my money. Worrying about market crashes is silly because if it happens, we're screwed anyway, but temporarily. Don't invest money you need now; that way you can be patient with the returns. 4% may not look like much, but once you make it to your first $10,000, that's a brand new yearly PS4 Pro you've earned yourself (though hopefully you'll just add that money to the pile.)

Friday, December 29, 2017

January: Ladies First!

Mine had maroon hair, but you bet she was brown.
It's time to admit something: in games with customizeable or selectable characters, I pretty much always go female. Even better if there's a nonwhite skin tone, but I'm getting ahead of myself. During January, I'm going to do my best to stick to the theme of ladies in gaming. I might have to stretch beyond the obvious requirement of having a female protagonist, but I'll do my best to make it relevant. I'll stay away from games with non-humans, and ship games won't count unless the pilot is obviously female. Puzzle games and other titles with no protagonist won't count.

My first title is going to be the remastered Uncharted 3, of which the head writer and director was Amy Hennig. These games have memorable action scenes, unparalleled voice acting that backs up great writing, and look and sound gorgeous. All of this is Naughty Dog's signature quality on the entire series, and Amy Hennig has a lot to do with that. According to Wikipedia, Hennig believes that the creative direction of a script holds more importance than the graphics of the game. The fact that the Uncharted games are also the best in terms of production value just goes to show that Naughty Dog is one of the most talented AAA studios out there. As to why it's the first title in my ladies-first month is that I'd already finished two of the three Uncharted trilogy games in December.

After that, I'm planning to complete Chronicles of Teddy (exploratory action adventure), Dreamfall Chapters (slow-paced adventure), Momodora (action adventure), and Gravity Rush (action). These titles all feature female protagonists, and January is a great month to go through them together!



Also, there are always the games I come back to when trophy or story progress just seems too much at a given moment. My friends and I still play Overwatch almost daily: I'll do my best to stick to female characters unless I'm playing Mystery Heroes mode, which randomly selects heroes for you. Luckily, The OW cast is pretty evenly split between male and female, and the majority of my playtime is as Zarya, the pink-haired gravity gun-wielding Russian bodybuilder. Star Wars Battlefront 2 is where I'll have to make the biggest concession to not playing female characters. The devs added female storm troopers, and your gender for spawning as Rebel or Imperial troops is random.

I am Mother Russia.
While I don't expect these games to address the issues of how female characters are often shallowly written, it's a theme I think worthy of pursuing that will be quite fun. I certainly do think that female presence in gaming is improving and becoming more significant, for what it's worth. Either way, I have a handful of great titles to get to. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Previously, in my living room

Despite several posts in the last month being more about frugality, that doesn't mean I haven't been bleepin and bloopin during these cold months. We actually got snow on Christmas Eve here in Seattle, and I can count on one hand how many times that's happened in my lifetime. Snow is my favorite encouragement not to go outside, login to the PSN and get to work.
You know you're humming the Duck Tales music

The Disney Afternoon Collection went on sale for an agreeable $8: 5 great Capcom-made Disney games and one real stinker, TaleSpin. Aside from TaleSpin, the games aren't super difficult, and offer some slick platforming in adventures that last about as long as an episode of their respective shows. The trophy list means beating each game twice, as well as doing its Boss Rush mode, all of which is very forgiving. New games to me were Duck Tales 2, Chip and Dale's Rescue Rangers 2, TaleSpin and Darkwing Duck. While the other games have the expected tight NES-era controls, TaleSpin doesn't really fit in, and is relatively a chore to play.

Take some time to look through Nate's journal as you progress
While we're on the subject of cheap collections, the Uncharted trilogy went on sale! These games are like playable action movies in the best sense of the concept. These aren't just games with cinematics simply connected with walking down corridors and shallow gunplay. Nathan Drake is the wisecracking over-the-top explorer turned spy turned ninja. Victor Sullivan is his charming older best friend who is still a ladies man, but always comes through at rough times. Elena Fisher starts off as a journalist in the wrong place at the wrong time, who owns up to the situation and ends up being pretty deadly. The voice acting is amazing, with plenty of sporadic character-defining banter and although events are scripted, there is a liquidity to the physics that makes each restart slightly different. The games don't really address their own violence, and keeps the story lighthearted as long as you stay ignorant of the fact that all the pirates and mercs are cannon fodder. This collection was released 2 years ago at $40 and was still worth it at that pricepoint, since the trilogy also got both graphical and technical overhauls. The first game is still a bit clunky, and is the hardest. However, between quick loading times, frequent checkpoints and a manageable 60 collectibles, the experience is really enjoyable.

Graphics.
Then you get to Uncharted 2, which ups the ante in every way. The game blows the lid off Nathan Drake's adventures with extra guns, extra explosions, extra jokes, and it's extra badass. There's a train level in it that will make you crap your pants. At one point, you end up in the most graphically-gorgeous location I've ever seen, and with this version's 1080p update, it's even more solidified. This area, Kathmandu, in Uncharted 2 ties with the train level for my favorite sequence in the series. The ohh-so minor gripe is that the original game opened with a metal horn and chime when it showed the NaughtyDog logo, and it's been replaced with the trilogy's own intro screen. Luckily this Southwestern Asian horn shows up in the music at points in the story, so all is not lost.

Greedy modern business practices spotted, Sir!
Flying in this game vs Battlefront 1,
some wins, some losses
Next on the list is Star Wars Battlefront 2. EA controversy aside, during the summer I promised myself I wouldn't buy it until the price dropped to $40. Whether the backlash of pissed off gamers cancelling half a million preorders, the release of The Last Jedi, or the holiday season caused the PSN sale, Battlefront 2 went on sale for $35. So, like cleaning up after a gold-pooping pig, I happily scooped that shit up.

There's no way around it: Star Wars Battlefront 2 is dope as DICE. With a very forgiving trophy list, I got to play through the campaign on a low difficulty, meaning I didn't get hung up and could experience the story.


Okay, now we're Luke on this bright planet...
One really confusing point is that when you first start the game, you choose between the Rebel and Imperial factions, which will bring customized challenges to earn extra currency. You're warned that you can't change factions, and this choice locks out of the other faction's tasks. I thought this meant they were dividing the single player campaign at least until you beat it, and then giving you a chance to go through the other perspective. I may have actually preferred this approach instead of what I got. I ended up playing a bunch of different characters from both factions with what felt like a few Forced (see what I did, there?) transitions at points, but ultimately was a really cool experience.

I can only complain about the loading time in Battlefront, which makes me more likely to play extra rounds without opening chests or switching modes, as even going to the main menu is easily 60 full seconds of loading time.
Time to get Ororo Munr-owned!

Last but not least is something I didn't know existed until seeing it at the sale: Marvel Puzzle Quest. Flashy gem-matching animations, flashier special abilities, awesome but limited selection of music: triple check.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

2017 honored titles

Instead of having a typical Top-10 list, I'm opting to give shout outs for extraordinary game titles I've had the pleasure and pain of playing this year. Keep in mind that the game's publish date may not have been in 2017. Looking through blog posts and my PSN profile, I have played over 60 titles this year, completing the trophy list for damn near all of them. One thing I noticed is the large amount of really well-done indie titles played this year. It's so nice that there are many alternatives to the full-priced games that take 40 hours to platinum and gobble up all your hard drive space, oppressively making you play multiplayer online. Not that that isn't worth it, sometimes *cough Battlefront II is amazing cough.* Also, it's worth noting that a great deal of games that I played and enjoyed this year are on sale for PSN's Winter sale. Get em cheap while you can!

That's said, let the ceremony begin:

Strider what??? I can't Hir-yu!
I have to say the funnest game to platinum was split between Strider and Infamous: First Light. Both open-world games are gorgeously designed with main campaigns that are shorter than 10 hours, and provide enough challenges to need some reflexes and timing. However, I got over any hard parts with just a few retries, so frustration was minimal. It also helps my frugal friends that you can usually find either title on sale for ~$10.

Speaking of enjoyable games with minimal commitment, I have to give kudos to Xeodrifter for being the shortest-but-sweetest. You could beat it in an afternoon and still have time to cook dinner, making sure to portion out the next day's lunch, of course. Xeodrifter is a side-view multiple-zone exploration action title with backtracking (yes, I'd rather call it that than Metroid-vania) and this gem was $3 when I bought it on the PSN.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, there's the fully-budgeted triple-A colossus Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age. This game was everything I expected from SquareEnix and more: upgraded sound quality, including a remastered orchestral soundtrack, a super-detailed job system that encourages multiple playthroughs, and a larger game than the original PS2 title. It also wins the award for being the longest. The platinum trophy was about 20 hours too long in the inevitable grind it took to beat the final trial, but the main game and most of the extra stuff was really enjoyable. Also, it's still a feat that battle is compelling with the attack mechanic (pretty much) removed. The art direction is top-notch, as expected from a Japanese developer.

One of my more recently-played games on this list is Abzu, which deserves special recognition for being playable art. Gameplay mechanics are simple, and difficulty is almost nonexistent...this game has the same soul as Flower and Journey (these are distinct things with stupidly basic names ala Apple's naming scheme.) (The new) Ratchet and Clank also gets a seat at the table for having beautiful art direction. Every one of these titles looks cartoony at first glance. However, between bug-free gameplay, a decent soundtrack, great voice acting, jokes, and amazingly-tested controls, R&C games kill my theory that Western developers don't prioritize stability.

Darksiders II, however, is shining proof that stability just is not a priority to some developers and publishers. This game wins my award for buggiest game played in 2017, and I played both Smite games' betas and a slew of indie titles. Nothing pisses me off more than unfinished games, especially ones that show off money in other places. To be fair, the game had a charming protagonist, neat art direction and the gameplay was like God of War meets Zelda. It was just buggy as fuck, and that's my top gaming pet peeve.

Before we descend into the Pit of Negativity, I want to give the loudest shout out to a few independent developers. The best game I played in 2017 that was made by a small indie developer was Axiom Verge. As a matter of fact, this was developed by one person. The game has a kick ass soundtrack, stylized 16-bit graphics, tight controls, and is an absolute blast to play. This game would have been impressive with any size studio, but Thomas Happ did the impossible and I got to hand it to the man.

Next up, for larger independent game dev teams is Pyre. I already talked your ears off (or typed your eyes off) about it, and just want to add that, in a year of other anticipated-but-disappointing experiences, Pyre was a 2017 favorite. The game's concept of dynamic storytelling is ingrained enough that even the final song has interchangeable lyrics based on what your characters did in the story. I have never seen this before, and it shows that SuperGiant Games is thoroughly artistic and talented. If you like games where you can affect your own outcomes, there are few titles that do it as well as Pyre, but it may be worth mentioning Stories: The Path of Destinies. This game deserves recognition for having 16 distinct endings, being super fun to play, and making me laugh out loud at several points.

Lastly, two games that resonated with me were RPGest RPG Earthlock, and side-view tactics game Steamworld: Heist. The former hit most of the notes of JRPGs, but backed off of a few of the corny tropes like being a farmer, not dealing with romance, and a clever character-improvement system. Steamworld has great art direction and I am a huge fan of turn-based tactical combat. It's also one of the few titles with DLC that I bought and gobbled up immediately.

How-abso-freakin-lutely-ever, the year wasn't without it's lame notes.

Don't forget to hunt and craft for 2 hours first.
I'd have to share my greatest disappointment of the year as Zelda: Breath of the Wild. If they had added crafting to the usual formula, that would have been great. If they had added difficulty and lessened navigational hand-holding, that would have been fine. If aiming didn't suck...well that's something inherent to Nintendo games, so whatever. Breath of the Wild is all of these things, and a lot to change at once, and gameplay has been slowed down significantly. I know that this is blasphemy, and am open to investing more time to try and like the game. However, two restarts and 20 hours total have been invested so far into exploring, dying, having to craft and getting bored of the whole process.

At least Zelda works, though. The same can't be said of FFXV's DLC, which is the crappiest of crap, mostly because of how badly it contrasts with my favorite game of the generation. From the obvious gap-filling of the main quest's story to the untested and unwelcome gameplay change of single combat and snowmobiling, these expansions represent Japanese publishers being swayed in the worst way to follow shitty DLC practices in the industry. For better or for worse, the gameplay of the DLCs are all different, so Episode Ignius may prove to be good after all.

Star Wars Battlefront 2 didn't make the list of disappointments because it's pretty gosh-dang sweet. The publisher ruined the online experience, but the game is an improvement in almost every way over the first game. Graphics, less-swimmy controls, rarely-enough-occurring heroes that have a balanced impact on the map, and more distinct weapons are all things I wanted. However, every other match, I ran into a pay-to-winner with a max leveled Vader that decimated whatever opposing team was unlucky enough to play against someone with a larger wallet. This is a real consequence of a greedy publisher choosing money over integrity. At the same time, Overwatch is periodically ruined by awful members who are supposed to be on your team, so multiplayer games just have that vulnerability of being not-so-great sometimes.

All things considered, 2017 may have been my most productive year in terms of games completed, and that's considering at least 30% of my game time attributed to Overwatch. Maybe I can hit 80 different console games played in 2018.

At work and in your personal life, how many accounts do you have that require a login?

Dudes. Chicks. Calm that consumer rush. This is a hard one, cause I try harder than the average Joe to be frugal and not financially wast...