Wednesday, 13 May 2015

He Returns

Well, this is slightly strange. I’ve sort of dropped off the face of the Earth these past few months. Only four Pixel Shows and two posts on here since I graduated from uni? For shame, Kit. For shame.

Well, if you’ve been keeping tabs on the videos themselves, you might know that I did actually have a few valid reasons for my lack of content – namely, my arduous search for a job and the death of my beloved black Labrador Sirius. To say these events took it out of me is a pretty colossal understatement, and so I hope you can accept my humble apologies along with a vague promise that I’ll be able to become more regular again.

Upon making videos again – and in fact as I write this very post right now - I find myself becoming very, very aware of just how much I relied upon making this sort of creative content as a sort of release for all the emotion that I tend to build up. I’m like a can of fizzy drink on a lake of lava. If you place me in a difficult place, I explode in a violent shower of sweetness and aluminium shrapnel – or, at least, that’s the best metaphor I can come up with right now.

The average KitFez fan expression.

It’s almost laughable how long it’s been, to be honest. My last post was a review of Destiny’s beta, for goodness sake, and as I write this we’re coming up to the release of its second expansion, House of Wolves. That’s some schedule updatin’ I’ve been doing! At this rate I’ll be able to mention the recently trademarked expansion The Taken King and I’ll maybe post something new before we see it added to a top 10 of Most Well-Known and Important, Widely-Covered DLC Expansions. We can only hope.

I post this here to begin a new cycle of MoaBG, and hopefully reinvigorate myself into the land of the living.

I will aim to write one MoaBG article a week. I will aim to upload a Pixel Show every two.

I can stick to that for now, I hope. And if I find myself doing better – well then, I’m back, aren’t I?


Sunday, 27 July 2014

Destiny Beta Impressions

Well, after much waiting I finally managed to have a good old go on the Destiny beta. It had an absurdly low level cap of eight that I reached within a few hours, but I was greeted with a game that I can say without doubt I’m beyond excited for. From the moment Peter Dinklage’s soft tones emit forth from the super-cute and ultra-cool Ghost, to the error message that booted me off the beta in the early hours of the morning, I don’t think I’ve sat and stared in awe at a game’s vista like I have at the Last City – not in a long time.

Bungie have said that Destiny will usher in a more idealistic story than we might expect in this modern age of cynical, self-piteous drivel. One of the major themes I got straight off the bat was holding on to hope in the face of everything having gone really, really bad – and you can’t help but feel patriotic for the Guardians’ cause, doomed though it may appear. When Ghost excitedly encourages you that when he decided to wake you up he chose well, I actually smiled and nodded bashfully – that’s the power rumbling at the core of Destiny.

The Beta - which, technically, should really be called ‘Gamma’ or something, given the amount that can change in the four weeks until release – took me on a brief journey around what was Russia, with some exploration mixed in. It’s all very much in the tradition of Halo – to the extent that I get the feeling this might have been Halo 4 if Microsoft had played their cards a little differently. Ghost is a dead ringer for 343 Guilty Spark, the Guardians could easily have been Spartans – and yet Destiny still forges its own identity. That’s a paradox, isn’t it?

There’s also a bit of Borderlands and World of Warcraft strewn about, as Bungie take the first-person shooter, the role-playing game and the massively-multiplayer online game and rearrange their acronyms into something so beautifully readable. Loot peppers the battlefield, and fellow Guardians fight alongside you in three-man fireteams, which can result in your merry trio facing off against mighty raid bosses and legions of armoured foes!

It’s pretty awesome.

However, since this is a beta test, I do have some minor suggestions. Stop me if they’re too nitpicky!

  • Could the spawn time on Sparrows be reduced slightly? When I want to summon a jetbike, I have to tap the touchpad and then hold Square for two seconds – which is not that inconvenient, but since I’ve already brought up Ghost, a simple tap of Square would get me moving more quickly with less standing around!
  • Could we either unify the ammo types, or properly separate them? It was a smart move to lump ammo together into just Primary, Special and Heavy. It minimises stress on a hectic battlefield, and avoids me holding on to redundant types. But if you swap out your Special or Heavy Weapon, you instantly lose all the ammo you had for it – ammo that doesn’t come back if you re-equip the original gun, which isn’t fun.
  • Could there be more ammo in general? Towards the end of the Beta, I found myself regularly running dry of ammunition, and in several cases it was actually advantageous to die, since resurrecting restocks you! I would suggest making ammo drop more regularly from enemies, and/or maybe make primary ammunition infinite to always provide a way out, but also encourage the use of heavier weapons when it counts? (Plus, there’s something badass about having a battle rifle as a sidearm.)
  • Could we swap to first-person when at the Tower? Third person is a nice option, but I’d prefer to explore the hub in first-person if that were an option.

And that’s it. Aside from those slight requests, Destiny rules. I’m excited beyond reason.


Sunday, 20 July 2014

Destiny Awaits

Ah, Destiny. It’s been on the cards for such a long time, hasn’t it? I remember playing Halo 3: ODST in 2009 and being slightly perplexed by a curiously…grandiose poster:

Does it now? I wondered what that could mean, and five years later here I am waiting for the beta to download. I’ve always been a fan of the Halo series, and Destiny looks at first glance to be, essentially, Halo, but with a co-operative tilt evocative of Borderlands and a shared world with raids and random events that wouldn’t be too out of place in World of Warcraft. It’s essentially, on paper, a game I’d have for breakfast. And lunch. And dinner. I have a soft spot for any game that allows you to drive up to a location, shoot your way through a cadre of enemies and work together to take down an astonishingly epic boss, before going on the road again to seek out new frontiers. What can I say? It feels awesome to be awesome!

I’ll have to let you know when I actually play it if it lives up to such an interesting premise. As it stands, my utterly atrocious home internet (0.05 megabytes a second for a twelve gigabyte installation) is struggling to drag and pull every texture, model and gun-bang sound from Activision to me. And the beta goes down for maintenance tomorrow and the day after – just my luck, isn’t it? Perhaps I’ll be online to get the special emblem on the second-to-last day, if things get into gear. I wonder what it’ll be – the small ship from the actual BETA logo, maybe? Or perhaps a rooster wearing a sombrero. You never can tell with Bungie, particularly when the landing page for the beta says “Pardon our dust” instead of the usual politically correct warnings and paraphernalia.

Perhaps one day I’ll play Destiny. But it looks like when I do, it’ll be completely amazing.