Recently I revisited a franchise that I really like when I used to play on the Xbox 360, Borderlands. Back on the 360 I had the first Borderlands and when I began PC gaming I actually bought the 2nd installment Borderlands 2 but for some reason I never played it. Over winter break I decided to try it out again, I think I didn’t play it for so long because I thought it was kind of old and outdated. But, when I started playing I really enjoyed it. I loved how you could totally customize how you play the game with class mods and skill trees to give boosts to certain aspects of your character and allow them to have certain abilities. The gun play was also really satisfying I loved trying out new weapons with different elemental burns and especially rare and unique weapons that were totally different than everything else. It reminded me a little bit of one of my favorite games ever Destiny and Destiny 2 and I think the Destiny franchise could even learn a little from Borderlands. I would definitely play a Borderlands 3 but sadly I don’t think gearbox the makers of Borderlands are going to make one.
I’ve been playing Overwatch for multiple years at this point ever since the closed beta. Over the past year my love for the game has diminished to the point where I don’t really enjoy playing it. Now when I play Overwatch it is to play my seven weekly competitive games so I can maintain my rank for the game, which I don’t even always do anymore. Overwatch for me used to be a really fun game that I could always play and enjoy now now the game feels watered down and isn’t close to being as fun for me and I want to find out why so I think I should start at the beginning.
How my Overwatch journey began was one of my friends at the time had a beta account and he let me play on it because I saw game play of the it and wanted to try it out myself. So till the full release I would share it with him. In the beta I came to love the game and would play every second when my friend wasn’t online and I had free time. When the game officially came out I really wanted to get it but I wasn’t able to so I would move on a different friends account, I would play on their only for a little while till I got my own account.
When I finally did get my own account about a year after the game officially released I jumped straight into competitive with my friend. That was a bad decision because at the time my friend was in the upper 5% of players so everyone there was way better than anything I had experienced. Even though I wasn’t absolutely terrible it was my first time playing in a more competitive atmosphere compared to the casual quick play where people would mostly just goof off. Because of this I got placed in low gold which was below the average player. This was because the game would compare my match statistics to other players that were in my MMR the hidden skill rating the game gives you, usually when you do your first ten ranked matches the game uses an algorithm to detect which rank you should be placed in and since it has no idea in the placement games it places you in your MMR. So I should have been playing against people my own MMR in my placement matches but rather I ended up playing with the top 5% of players. Because of this my statistics for the game were significantly worse than the other in my game and other players that have my MMR going against equal opponents.
When I first got placed in low gold I was a little bummed because I did want to do good. So I decided to make myself improve as much as I could, I would record matches and watch them over and watch some of the best players in the world and analyze what they did that was good and what they did that was bad. But, when I was doing all this I enjoyed it, I was having fun so it didn’t seem like work. Then after doing all these things to improve I would slowly climb in rank going from Gold to Platinum then to Diamond and then Masters. All that happened over around a year, over a year I had climbed up and improved to where I had originally been destroyed in my first 10 matches ever.
Cut to present day and I’m much better at the game but it turned out to be a curse in disguise more than anything, people in higher skill ranks people are more rude or commonly known as toxic, and the games variety gets boiled down to everyone playing the same thing because it is more powerful than everything else and gives you a winning advantage. If I had stayed in lower ranks it might had lead me to stay in a more casual experience. Also the game sadly has deteriorated over time heroes have been added in that don’t seem balanced in one way or another. Some heroes are too weak, some are too powerful, some are only viable at a certain skill rank and the list goes on. I think one of the reasons why the game ends up with such poor hero design is not because the team working on it for the game isn’t talented it is because they are rushed they make and release a new hero every 4 months. Along making new heroes the team also has to work on the things already in the game like fixing bugs, changing already existing heroes whether it is changing a cool down for a hero’s attack or entirely changing everything about the hero other than the model. Though I used to love the game I don’t think I will be playing it much in the future sadly.
(All Overwatch Competitive Ranks, the numbers on the right is the Skill Rating number)
So usually I don’t cover mobile games but this new game Brawl Stars has been blowing up. It is made my Super cell the same company who made two other extremely popular mobile games including Clash of Clans and Clash Royal. Brawl Stars Super cell’s latest game is a top down shooter where you can unlock different heroes and play in a variety of game modes such as a battle royale and a 3v3 where players fight for gems that spawn in the middle of the map. By playing these game modes
Now for why I dislike Brawl Stars. The most irritating thing is the trophy system, The entire system is based off of how much time you put into the game instead of how good you are at the game. Which I think is kind of dumb if they are to add such a rating. Earning trophies is extremely tedious as well where each game seems to only reward you up to 6 and losses take around 2. Now there seems to be extra trophies awarded for being MVP which allows you to get up too 6 trophies on the winning side and lose 0 on the losing side either way. This slow progress is even more punishing and tedious because many heroes and game modes are unplayable till you hit a certain trophy count. So you have to play the same boring game modes until you eventually unlock another one. I think you should have access to all of them once you start playing the game. If they made it so there was a casual and competitive playlist that would be much better, that way the casual one could be based of time spent in the playlist because losing would not make you lose trophies and you would have all game modes unlocked. While in the competitive playlist which would have it’s own trophies along with it would reward you based on the current trophy system. I understand why certain heroes and other rewards can be locked behind trophy count because it makes the player want to grind and it makes the game feel more rewarding but I don’t think this should also be applied to game modes. Now one of the things that I was afraid of immediately once learning the base of the game is that it might be a pay to win type game where one can use real money to buy heroes that are just unreasonably more powerful than others, and though that is does apply a little bit it isn’t as much as I though most characters seems well balanced and each one even the beginner characters can be played against the rarer characters.
Recently over winter break I decided to purchase Left 4 Dead 2 because it was recommended to me by friends and it had a holiday sale. At first I was a bit hesitant because I thought it might end up being one of the games that I open once a month for 30 mins because of how old it is. Left 4 Dead 2 was released in 2009 making around 10 years old. But, I got it any ways because it was super cheap anyway and when I started playing I all my expectations were surpassed. For a game made in 2009 it still had pretty fun game play with cool mechanics for different zombies you could become and all the different weapons and not to mention the really well made maps. As well as the fact that their are still many active players on PC so it wasn’t as hard to find a game as I thought. Playing with friends also made very fun because of how hectic it was and it seemed as there was never any downtime. Though Left 4 Dead 2 is really old I still think it is one of the best if not the best zombie game I’ve ever played and it should set the bar for any other zombie games.