An update on me

Hey there, long time no see! You may have noticed that I’ve been unusually quiet since the beginning of this year. I decided to take an unannounced hiatus so that I could focus on my remaining pieces of coursework for my degree, but mainly to focus on my dissertation. I didn’t announce the hiatus just in case I felt like I could write something, but after a continuous 4 months of writing essays almost every day, I found it hard to motivate myself, or find enjoyment, in writing in my spare time. As of two days ago, I am completely finished with all the work for my degree, and hopefully by putting all my focus into it, it will pay off once I graduate. Now that I am finished, I’m looking forward to writing some more pieces on my blog, and with a plethora of exciting new releases this summer, you can guarantee that this blog will be a lot more active than it has been in the previous part of this year! As I have preordered Uncharted 4, the next piece I write will most likely be centred on this, so look out in the coming weeks. I’m looking forward to getting back into the swing of things, and becoming more interactive in the WordPress community again.

If you’re reading this thanks for sticking with me despite my inactivity. As a treat here is a picture of me with my finished dissertation which I was lucky enough to write on the passion that brought me to WordPress, video games!

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Battlefront critics: Why so Sidious?

DICE’s take on the Battlefront series has been out for almost a month now, and in that time I’ve managed to clock a fair 31 hours into; an amount of time I can faithfully say I’ve enjoyed every second of. How could I not enjoy it? Battlefront effectively captures the magic of the Star Wars universe, dropping you into the heat of the battle in some of the Galaxy’s most iconic locations. Whether you’re a Rebel soldier, rustling through the foliage on the forest moon of Endor, or a Stormtrooper ploughing through the snow on the icy planet Hoth, playground fantasies of taking on these roles and blasting apart your enemies in a galaxy far far away are certainly satisfied. Yet, since its release Battlefront has received a fair amount of criticism, some of which I can agree with, but for the most part I think is unfair.

I’ll start by mentioning the criticisms that I do agree with. Battlefront has a progression system where points earned through combat, completed objectives, and awards accumulate into experience points and credits (Battlefront’s currency). Battlefront has been criticised as many of the weapons that have come to be considered OP (overpowered) are unlocked at higher ranks, therefore when starting at Rank 1 it can be rather irritating to go up against people who have had the opportunity to rank up and gain these weapons. Granted, I didn’t have much of a problem with this as I played on launch, however those who may have bought the game recently will likely have a hard time coming up against higher ranked players. The spreading of weapons and other unlockables such as grenades and power-ups throughout the ranks has also been criticised as players may feel burned out trying to grind through the ranks to be on an equal level to higher ranked players. I must admit trying to rank up to 13 to unlock the jump pack was pretty irritating as for me I feel that the jump pack really opens up the game and makes it more fun.

Battlefront has also been criticised due to its game modes. There are a total of 9 multiplayer game modes (10 if you have recently downloaded the free Battle of Jakku DLC) which in principle sounds like a good amount. However, some of these modes feel uninspired and a few just worth avoiding. You have your typical Team Deathmatch mode called Blast which is what it is. You also have Cargo, DICE’s take on Capture the Flag, again pretty similar but just swap the flag for a cargo backpack. These modes are your typical features of most modern shooters, but when you have modes like Walker Assault and Drop Zone, these typical modes seem mundane and more like filler. The mode I have the biggest problem with is Heroes vs Villains. A great concept, two teams of 6 fight each other but with 3 in each team taking the role of either a hero or villain from the Star Wars universe. Don’t get me wrong, I think the inclusion of these characters are great (despite some dodgy voice acting), and they can really turn the tide in battle in modes like Supremacy. However, the combat between the heroes and villains is extremely clunky, particularly between lightsaber aficionados, Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. There are also balance issues with these characters, as Emperor Palpatine feels completely underpowered, whereas Boba Fett is often seen as overpowered.

There are other minor issues such as dodgy spawn points and balance issues in weaponry, but hopefully patches will be issued to solve these; some weaponry issues have been solved in the latest patch. Despite its issues though, I still maintain that Battlefront is a good game and my main disagreement with some critics is their argument that the game is not hardcore enough for fans of the shooter genre. The main reason I have enjoyed Battlefront, played it for so many hours, and will be likely to continue playing for a while is that its not as serious as your typical shooter game. You can see your Kill/Death ratio and the percentage of games won and lost, but there isn’t as much pressure like typical shooter games to be as concerned about these things. When I’m playing a round of Walker Assault I’m not too bothered about the outcome of the match because it doesn’t have much detriment tied to it, I still gain experience points and credits, and I’ve had the experience of being immersed into a battle that has iconic status in the Star Wars films. Many have criticised Battlefront because of this, stating that it has a lack of depth, however EA have stated that it was aimed to appeal to a wider audience than the hardcore shooter niche¬†audience. Personally, I don’t find games like Call of Duty appealing for their multiplayer, as I am certainly not a hardcore player. Playing Battlefront for me is great because it doesn’t matter that much how skilled you are in shooting as you can still have fun, and still gain that immersion into the Star Wars universe that many Star Wars inspired games have failed to achieve. Plus you can always blame your awful shooting skills on some serious role playing as a Stormtrooper (I can admit to doing this!)

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Thanks for reading! Have you played Battlefront? Let me know in the comments what you think about Battlefront’s criticisms!

Welcome!

Hey guys, welcome to my brand new blog Space Fuelled Gaming!

With this blog I hope to add an exciting new perspective to the world of gaming by writing reviews of video games but also discussing current news within the gaming world. We are emerging into the last quarter of 2014 and with this brings a whole host of exciting new releases that I am hoping to get my hands on. The top three games I am most looking forward to are Middle Earth: Shadow of Mordor, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Pokémon Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire so expect to see a review of at least one of these (hopefully all!)

As well as trying to keep up with all the latest releases, I will also most likely be reviewing the backlog of games on my Steam account that I still haven’t gotten round to playing since the Summer Sale, and hopefully this will provide a fresh take on some great games.

I am currently undertaking the second year of my undergraduate degree at University so I will be juggling this blog along with coursework etc. However, I am hoping to keep the blog updated frequently, even if it means a short post every week to summarise the biggest gaming news of the week. I aim to both entertain and inform you so here’s to the future of Space Fuelled Gaming!