Titan class character in Iron Banner gear standing by the railing at The Tower with the Last City in the background.

Destiny 2 Gameplay & Criticisms – Public Events on Nessus and Crucible

Destiny 2, despite its obvious flaws and drawbacks, is a pretty fun game. I mean, I can’t understand how Bungie released a second Destiny game that doesn’t have an area, zone, or Clan chat channel. They claim they want you to make friends in the game that you can play with, but how can you do that when you can’t engage people in conversation?

I’m also not happy that they still haven’t implemented an in-game party finder system for end-game content.  Why should I have to use another site or even another device to try to get that done? It should be baked into the game.

2017-11-22 - Match End Stats - Destiny 2. Awesome 13.5 Efficiency Rating! =D
2017-11-22 – Match End Stats – Destiny 2. Awesome 13.5 Efficiency Rating! =D

Still, the PvP can be fun when you get a group that has good chemistry (for your team at least, probably not for the other guys). I think the PvP is what I like most about Destiny 2. It’s what I liked most about Destiny 1 as well. It’s what will keep me coming back to play more than anything.

I’d like to see more open world activities with coherent lore. I’d like to see more opportunities to interact with other characters. I’d like to see a crafting system. But then, maybe I’m asking for Destiny 2 to become something it wasn’t intended to be? I could really go for a sci-fi MMO. I never played Star Wars Online and I heard that some update or expansion made it trashy so I never will.

The Return of Junkenstein black and white title screen.

Overwatch Halloween Skins

So, I just fired Overwatch up for the first time in a few days and noticed this video in the launcher:

Man, I hope it isn’t as hard to pick up these skins as it has been for previous events! They look awesome, especially Zen’s Cthulu look.

Zen's 2017 Halloween skin
Zen’s 2017 Halloween skin.
Reaper's and McCree's 2017 Halloween skins. I'm not too fond of Reaper's. The head makes me think of a dick for some reason.
Reaper’s and McCree’s 2017 Halloween skins. I’m not too fond of Reaper’s. The head makes me think of a dick for some reason.
Torbjorn's and Ana's 2017 Halloween skins. I'm digging the hippy look. Torb's costume is plain boring.
Torbjorn’s and Ana’s 2017 Halloween skins. I’m digging the hippy look. Torb’s costume is plain boring.
Mei's 2017 Halloween skin. Cute, but I'm not sure what it's supposed to be.
Mei’s 2017 Halloween skin. Cute, but I’m not sure what it’s supposed to be.
Symmetra's 2017 Halloween skin. Spooky!
Symmetra’s 2017 Halloween skin. Spooky!
And of course there's the Halloween brawl mode!
And of course there’s the Halloween brawl mode!

I’ll definitely be sinking some time into acquiring these. It’s nice to see more variety for character appearances. I wonder how many years it’s going to be before Overwatch has as much customization as Team Fortress 2? Or if it will ever be quite the same.

I wouldn’t mind seeing unique weapons in Overwatch that have kill counters on them. That was fun. But, you can’t inspect another character here so I’m not sure how useful a feature it would be.

Overwatch logo on black textured background with flying sparks

The New Overwatch Map Should Be Fun. I Hope!

Junkrat is one of my favorite characters in one of my favorite games.

The loot system in Overwatch makes me want to scream sometimes (like getting quad dupes on anniversary event boxes), but I love the time Blizzard put into the characters’ backstories, like this one for Mei:

I also like Overwatch because I can jump into it, enjoy it, and then turn it off without feeling like I’ve disrupted other people’s gameplay, which is harder to do in an MMO with queued dungeons. Plus, it’s just addictive in its own right.

My previous shooter addiction was Team Fortress 2. Overwatch is pretty similar to it. A lot of the original OW characters were built in familiar ways without being complete duplicates. Even so, Overwatch is like an updated, modern version of TF2 that I really enjoy. I used to play the Demoman a lot in TF2, so I guess it makes sense that I love playing Junkrat. I also really enjoy Soldier 76, especially with his new summer outfit and voice lines.

More official Overwatch media (videos, comics, and images).

The Fleeca Job: Complete - After-heist party screenshot

Trick Jumps in Grand Theft Auto V

I meant to spend most of my break between semesters catching up on reading like I did last year, but we’re about a week out from the first day of class and I’ve only read through some volumes of the comic book series Grimm Fairy Tales. It’s not bad, but it’s also not the intellectually stimulating experience I want from a book. I picked them up as digital comics a few years ago and never got around to reading them. Maybe they were part of a Humble Bundle, I don’t know. It’s hard to resist the book Humble Bundles.

I’m reading through some more interesting stuff, like Karen Armstrong’s book on Paul the Apostle, St. Paul: The Apostle We Love to HateThe End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov, and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. I’m also playing Grand Theft Auto V pretty heavily. I picked it up on Steam’s winter sale a few weeks ago. I really enjoyed Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, so I wanted to give this one a shot.

The story mode is good, but I enjoy the online play more, even though it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of load times. I also wish it had more of the story mode content, like items you can find and collect. One thing that did carry over is the trick jumps. Some of them are a headache to get right, mostly because you have to use the right vehicle and avoid killing yourself while pulling off the jumps, or you have to land in just the right spot to get credit for the jump. It’s fun, though. One of the more interesting ones to do are the jumps at the airport traffic circle off the billboards. I made the video below of the jumps, but I feel like I could probably pull off two backflips on the motorcycle before landing. I’m going to give it a shot.

A screenshot of the Ingress Scanner on iOS

A New Addiction: Ingress

A screenshot of the Ingress Scanner on iOS
A screenshot of the Ingress Scanner on iOS after an hour of testing things out.

I recently came across the blog post of a friend in Rome who has been playing Ingress consistently for about a year and recently reached level 16. I remembered trying to play Ingress when it was first released but I didn’t have a phone that was capable of it, and my tablet at the time was wifi only, so I gave up. After reading my friend’s blog post, I checked to see if Ingress had been released on iOS and found that it had, last year. So, I got it right away.

The app is kind of buggy. Using the Comm often causes the app to lock up entirely, which is bizarre, since that doesn’t happen with a 3rd party app that accesses the web-based version of the Intel  map and Comm. Maybe Google wants people to get interested in Ingress and then go buy an Android phone that it will work better on? I don’t know, but I’ll just wait and hope the bugs are ironed out.

Anyway, figuring things out was a little difficult, but that’s mostly my own fault. There are training modules that you can use to get a sense of what you’re supposed to do be doing, but I just threw myself into it. I was lucky enough to find a few neutral portals in my area that I could take over, surprisingly on my own street. When my name started popping up on the map, players from both factions welcomed me to the game and the neighborhood and started sending me tips on how to improve my level and gameplay. I quickly found out about portal keys, fields and Mind Units.

My mission? Turn the neighborhood blue by capturing and maintaining portals (the things that look like sun flares on the scanner image above) and fight off the green team, which is working for aliens who want to destroy human society as we know it, which may not be a completely bad thing, given people’s propensity for violence and stupidity, but what about art and culture? What about self-determination and the preservation of a uniquely human history? What about beer? So, yeah, I’m working for the Resistance.