Answering the Call

So I’ve been playing a bit of Call of Duty: Black Ops II recently. Now, if you have dabbled with any first person shooter in the past, there was a fair chance that it was one in the Call of Duty franchise. Call of Duty has been a staple in the first person shooter genre for quite a while, more or less since the first and second games of the series hit the shelves. The first several games were set during World War II from the perspectives of different soldiers in the Allied Forces. However, as Call of Duty established itself among competitors such as Medal of Honor and Battlefield, it was one of the first to popularize the concept of a shooter taking place in modern times, hence the birth of Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare in 2007.

But anyways, enough of the history lesson. Black Ops II, or Blops II as it’s semi-affectionately known as, is basically the last game in the series to have retained some of its sanity. Now what I mean by this of course, is that the Call of Duty games following this one are nuts. To clarify, Black Ops II is the last game in the series that stays relatively grounded in terms of the gameplay experience. It’s the last game where you are not given the ability to jump high into the air and run on walls like a Looney Tunes character (that’s the correct form of tunes vs toons used there by the way, did ya know?). I mean I even bought Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, which is fun and all, and it can serve for some very fast, high octane action, but it can also serve for some “what the hell is going on here? Why am I a robot that can fly and run on walls (Black Ops III)? I thought this was a Call of Duty game?” moments.

Call of Duty Black Ops 3 Wallrun

War. War never changes. Even when robots run at you on the wall and who cares

Call of Duty Infinite Warfare Multiplayer

So anyways, that’s why I’ve been sticking with Black Ops II at the moment, and there are actually still a decent amount of people playing online to offer some competition. And speaking of competition, it’s not an uncommon conception that you have to be a 12 year old jacked up on Adderall to have the reaction time and skill it takes to be semi-competitive in an online Call of Duty game. Well, I’m here to say that you can, in fact, be semi-successful without needing to be 12 years old or on drugs. Now, this may sound silly, but you can actually do alright, if not great, in an online match if you use your brain and your wits, and I can attest to this tact. So what I usually do, at least on a Team Deathmatch mode, is stick largely to cover and work my way around the outskirts of the map. This way, I know that I basically will not be shot in the back if I am always pointed in the direction that I am walking/towards the middle of the map. In fact, with this strategy, I can generally come up behind people, making them an easy mark, since you don’t need fact reflexes to shoot someone who is unaware of your position. Now I usually modify this strategy because it’s highly possible that you will not run into enemies if you stick strictly to the outskirts, and that means you won’t get enough kills to help your team hit the score mark before the other team does. So if I hear a firefight and see the red dots that denote enemies firing pop up on my radar, I take a more direct route towards the action foregoing the outskirts while trying to stay vigilant and attempting to roll up on them in the opposite direction I think they will be facing. With this strategy, I have found that I can be relatively successful in an online Black Ops II match. Without being a 12 year old. Strung out on Adderall. Or other drugs.

And when I get tired of this tactic, I find that switching up my play style tends to help liven everything up. So usually I’ll use a silenced assault rifle or the like to sneak around the map, but if I tire of this, then I’ll go to a very fast, mobile class that can run around the map and confuse the hell out of people. In this class I take just a pistol and knife, with the intention to run around behind people and knife them in the back, with the pistol as back up just in case I get spotted out in the open. One of my favorite things to do with this class when I am engaged in a firefight with someone is to run away and loop back around to find them still aiming at the spot where I departed. This gives me an easy knife kill. If I tire of this still, then I usually start an objective based game and bring up a sniper class, which is good change of pace, because it usually results in my team losing since I am terrible at sniping. And I don’t do that dumb quickscope thing that some people can do. Because I’m bad at it. And because I do not wish to learn it and because it is also totally unrealistic. But then again, a lot of other things in Call of Duty are unrealistic for a game that claims to be a realistic first person shooter, but that’s all fine I suppose.

Well, Call of Duty has seemed to realize that if they continue to try and push this robot wall-running rhetoric (ya like that alliteration? Thought of it myself too!), people are really going to stop caring about their games more than they already do. Hence the return to World War II with the announcement of Call of Duty: WWII. I think that no matter what happens, Call of Duty will always have a fan base, but hopefully they can revive the franchise with this latest installment.

Call of Duty WWII Wallpaper

These eyes have seen some sh*t

Anyhow, I think that’s everything I can remember regarding my recent experiences as an averagely skilled person in the online world of Black Ops II. Next post(s) I’m looking to return with my recent experiences in job hunting, Overwatch, and some of the extra practice that I did in Injustice that I mentioned forever ago. See ya there!

Also, has anyone listened to Kendrick Lamar’s latest album to date, DAMN.? Just something I’ve been wanting to talk about. Bye!

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The Average First Person Shooter

I’m mostly a first person shooter type of guy. Don’t get me wrong, I love all types of games, and I most certainly branch out to other genres. But at the end of the day, the majority of games that make up my collection are either gonna be first person shooters or third person shooters of some kind. I guess it’s just what I grew up on really. Some years back, in the heyday of the PS2, I’d wake up every day at the crack of dawn (more like 8 or 9:30 or something like that, but still, that’s early for someone with no real obligations) to power up my old PlayStation 2, pop open the disc tray, and throw in some classic Star Wars: Battlefront II action. Now that right there, that was a game. It had a solid campaign that saw you progressing chronologically as a unit (the 501st!) in the clone army through historic battles in the Clone Wars such as Geonosis and Kashyyyk, being given the opportunity to control legendary heroes and villains to dominate the battlefield.

Star Wars Battlefront II classic - 501st + Obi Wan

Then the infamous Order 66 rolls around and you destroy the Jedi order, completing the transition from the Clone Wars era to the Galactic Civil War era. From there, you continue your march on the galaxy, conquering planet after planet and snuffing out any flames of the rebellion uprising that your superiors can find. Ultimately the campaign ends with the 501st, Vader’s Fist, out on top as they crush the rebellion on Hoth.

Star Wars Battlefront II - Shiny New Armor

Shiny New Armor

Along with the campaign, the game also had a conquest mode, where you could choose one of the four factions consisting of the Republic (clones), CIS (Confederation of Independent Systems i.e. droids), Rebellion (fight the power!), and the Empire (clones vol. 2). You would then be put on a galactic map with access to one cruiser class ship, 1000 credits, and three or so planets to go forth and take the rest of the galaxy. Gradually, you would conquer planets and gain income from ones under your control in order to unlock new units and bonuses to gain the edge in the next fight.

On top of these two primary game modes, there was instant action mode, elite weapon and player unlockables, space battles, hunt modes (generally consisting of a native species vs invading faction), and a heroes versus villains mode. Keeping in mind, this was all from a game that came out in 2005. It included almost everything that was right with Star Wars and Star Wars: Battlefront and added even more features and options without detracting from the original experience, as most any sequel ought to do.

Now, I wasn’t even planning on talking about the original Star Wars: Battlefront II to this extent, but I suppose it is fairly serendipitous in a way, seeing as the new Star Wars: Battlefront II is coming out soonish (Nov. 17, 2017) as of today. I am excited to see what EA and Dice along with all of everybody else can rustle together for the second iteration of the new age Battlefront. While I don’t own the latest Battlefront, I did get to play a little bit of it  some time ago, and I thought it was a fairly solid update to its predecessors, particularly if you’re accustomed to the feel of the Battlefield series, as both games are developed by EA and Dice. The main thing that I was disappointed in was the lack of a solid campaign that the previous games had so proudly boasted, which was not an uncommon complaint. I know there was a series of four solo/cooperative wave survival missions, but there was just no real sustained PVE element. And this caused me particular grievance as a guy who loves some good cooperative gameplay (especially games that we can play as local split screen, with our buddy/father/son/other family member/loved one sitting right there next to us). But, from what I have heard about the upcoming release, it will host a robust campaign along with the fun and hectic multiplayer elements making a return. So if I wasn’t excited before, I most certainly am now! I just need to take the leap and purchase a PS4… Eh.

Star Wars Battlefront II - Cover

On a side note, I was conversing with my father one day after we had recently squashed the Rebellion Uprising once again, and we started kicking around ideas for stories that Star Wars: Battlefront III could undertake. And my dad came up with the concept of passing the narrative from the clone/empire army to the newly formed Rebellion. You could then follow the remainder of the movies and ultimately retake the galaxy from the clutches of the Empire. I thought it was a pretty sweet idea actually, but from what I can tell, it looks like the new Battlefront II will remain with an Empire narrative after all. Should still be a fun game, but alas!

Whew! Alright, so I had originally planned to talk about my recent experiences in everybody’s favorite iteration of the Call of Duty series, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Now is it really everybody’s favorite? I don’t know, I mean, it’s probably not even really my favorite COD, as I tend to hearken back to the days of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. I feel like most people tend to just look back on the first Call of Duty that they played with the most reverence Anyways, this post is already long enough as it is, so I’ll reserve further talk of Call of Duty for my next post. See ya there!

Wonder Woman and Injustice

Unlike what the title might suggest, I’m not actually talking about any unfair or outrageous actions that might have cropped up in DC’s latest movie to date, Wonder Woman. It was a pretty good flick all things considered, and especially if we’re considering the line of not so great films that DC has pushed out prior to this one. They’ve been due for a well-received movie for quite some time now, so even though I’m definitely a Marvel fan through and through (Spidey!), I say good on ’em. Nah, the only injustice that I might bother mentioning in regard to Wonder Woman is how ridiculously attractive Gal Gadot is throughout that film. Man, now that’s just unfair to the rest of the human race, how good she looks.

But what I really wanted to talk about is how that movie made me want to go back to the fighting game Injustice by NetherRealm, the developers of the fighting game series Mortal Kombat, amongst others. Not to mention, Injustice 2 came out recently as well, and that game looks sweet! Now, I’m really no good at fighting games at all; I didn’t pay much attention to the fighting genre until Injustice rolled around and my love of superheroes and videogames took over. And to date, I still suck at fighting games, but I hold a lot of respect for both those who are good at said genre and those who love it. I mean, fighting games are just so intense, and so intimate. They’re very technical games featuring a one on one fight between two competitors and nothing else, and they require a lot of skill. Not that other games don’t, but I feel like fighting games demand a lot out of you. Just for starters, you need tight prowess and fine mastery of moves and controls, along with knowledge not only of your character, but also your opponent’s character, in order for you to emerge as a true victor. That can’t be said for some other games.

Injustice - Wonder Woman Intro

So, I popped the Injustice disc in and pulled up some practice sessions with Green Arrow (cuz he’s my fave, I’m just a sucker for some bow and arrow action, plus he’s like a Batman that actually cracks jokes on occasion) and practiced against a dummy Bats, like they’re sparring partners! I just worked on some of his combos that I sort of half know, really gotta get those button presses and timing down, and then I shut the game off and ate lunch. Yeah, I didn’t actually get around to playing as Wonder Woman fighting against (slight spoiler for Wonder Woman? I mean, it’s mentioned within like, the first 15 minutes of the movie, but I know some people are sensitive to this kind of thing, so I figure a warning doesn’t hurt) Ares, since I’m too much of wuss to pit myself against the AI and probably suffer a loss, especially since I really don’t know any combos for Wonder Woman, but hey, I think I’ll probably get around to practicing and playing Wonder Woman soon, maybe today. Hell, maybe I’ll even blog about that. Probably won’t though. I mean, what would there even be to say there? Oh, I played and I won. Or I played and I lost. Yeah, that’s a great story. Anyways, ’til next time!

Injustice - Ares Intro