Game Review

Top 5 games to take to an isolated island

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When it comes to games that I would take at an isolated place, I always keep in mind that the quality has to be ground breaking and the replay value to be seemingly endless. There are games that have a high learning curve and the player evolves along with them over a long period of time. My recommendations are not primarily about what I enjoy, but rather what I know will never bore the player if they like the genre.

Photo Credit: vg247.com

Photo Credit: vg247.com

PICK 5: Dota 2

It’s ironic I would pick out a multiplayer game, let alone a game I admit I am not very skilled at. However, playing with friends has never been more fun whether you are inevitably losing or effortlessly winning. Whether your team is being carefully strategic or carelessly killing or stealing those kills, there are various ways to enjoy Dota 2 without any end.

Photo Credit: taringa.net

Photo Credit: taringa.net

PICK 4: Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion

The way I see it, any Elder Scrolls game is an endless journey on its own especially with mods nowadays and a vibrant world filled with endless quests, characters and mysteries that will keep you engaged till you contemplate your own life.

Photo Credit: stuff.tv

Photo Credit: stuff.tv

PICK 3: Street Fighter V

With Street Fighter V containing a robust fighting engine, you’ll need an endless amount of time to master each and every character. With the great survival mode, the loneliness will end as your whole roster queues up to keep you company.

Photo Credit: all-things-andy-gavin.com

Photo Credit: all-things-andy-gavin.com

PICK 2: Bloodborne

Given that most souls games have high replay value, it only makes it worthwhile to go through Bloodborne endlessly with it’s highly engaging combat that fills you with adrenaline. The monsters and the living dead will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the city of yharnam. A huge collection of weapons and firearms not to mention secrets in chalice dungeons that will give you at least 100 hours of playtime.

Photo Credit: konami.jp

Photo Credit: konami.jp

PICK 1: Metal Gear Solid V

Probably the most worthwhile pick for me in both single player and multiplayer, Metal Gear V will keep you in the shadows as Venom Snake loses his memory but in no time you will be accompanied by a huge arsenal and be able to recruit an army of soldiers. Fight your way through Afghanistan, Africa and many other wilds for at least 200 hours of playtime.

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Game Review, Gaming Industry Review, Mouse & Controller

Who You Gonna Call? Ghostbusters Sega Genesis

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What better way to reminisce the 90s than to play one of the most successful franchises or movie of the time. It’s surprising to me that I saw Ghostbusters at its time along with its sequels. It’s great that it is getting rebooted and although I know it won’t be as good as the original movie, I am reminded of the one game that captured the essence of that experience on Sega Genesis.

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Ghostbusters was known to be adapted terribly in most of their games and I was lucky to have played the only good one as a kid. It was a 2D shooter platformer with some RPG elements and it was both scary and quirky, as well as funny in its own way. What I loved the most about it is that it had a metroidvania style to it where stages were nonlinear and you get to play as three of the original 4 ghostbusters – I am not sure why Winston was absent from the game. Each character had different speed and health and it depended on the player’s style preference. There is an item shop as well as a weapon shop and you get to collect cash for every job you do of taking care of ghosts at residential buildings.

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Whether it was a tablecoth that harmlessly covered my player for a few seconds or a gel that jumps on your character, Ghostbusters had an odd variety of enemies and level designs that I liked exploring.

As someone who was still getting introduced to gaming at the time, I was hooked on this game for a good while, since there are a lot of levels to choose from with only 3 lives and one continue prompt. I enjoyed my trial and error experience, not to mention building upon my character by finishing jobs, as well as appreciating the both creepy environments and funny sound effects. I remember the most memorable thing about it was how funny the jumping sound effect was. Controls were smooth and if you had played a lot of games back in the day, you know how essential it is for good controls when it comes to well-timed jumps and easy-aiming with your gun, where you could aim in all eight directions around your character.

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Not only were level choices non-linear and difficult, but also getting your way around the levels themselves and finding the bosses were difficult. Ranging from swimming mechanics as well as traversing ice levels and fire levels where you’d need to purchase a flashlight from the store offered a very memorable experience that I treasure till this day.

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Bosses were memorable in Ghostbusters and they ranged from creepy bosses who chased you throughout the stage to odd and funny bosses that were either annoying to hit or invisible the whole time. All in all, Ghostbusters is a great retro game that I would still love to get back to with its memorable music and creepy, but often funny atmosphere. If you’re a fan of platformers or Ghostbusters in general, I would suggest giving it a try at the earliest opportunity.

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Game Review

Emily is Away – Free To Play Game Review

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I wanted to change it up with free-to-play games that are regularly MMOs and multiplayer experiences and decided to check out single player free-to-play games for a change. I was surprised to find Emily is Away with high ratings. Emily is Away is a short and Sweet experience from a superficial standpoint. By sweet, I mean the point that gets across is concise.

On the surface, I had assumed it was a homage to the 90s and how instant messaging and chatrooms were a thing. Of course, it uses it as one of its tools of narrative,but I was glad to find out it was more than that. It is true, Emily is Away is barely considered a game by my standards; you’re basically choosing among three choices, talking to Emily and overseeing your relationship with her from High School until you graduate from College.

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Using the interface and sound effects of Windows XP and interacting with Emily in the span of five years certainly sparked a lot of memories from my own relationships with some friends and peers in high school. It made me think about how things could have been different had I reacted differently, although the act itself seems useless, it sparked some emotions within me.

You, the player who uses a screen name and a real name have Emily on your contact list and though your choices in your story and interactions with Emily are limited, the choices were somehow relatable to me. Although, I can’t say the same would be for a lot of people, I definitely felt a great fraction of what the main character felt, growing apart from this persona. Both characters tried their best to stay friends and while they were busy with their lives, eventually grew apart and there isn’t much of a difference you can do as a player because the game takes you through an eventually singular path that shows you a cynical observation or rather the harsh reality of some friends that eventually grow apart with life after school and college.

I really liked this for a change when it comes to free-to-play games. I like short and sweet games and it was thought-provoking in its own way, because I am sure other players would have diverging paths and choices to realize how they have affected some past relationships. It also exploited the often-ridiculous way of expressing oneself over the Internet, where we are forced to being indirect and quiet instead of saying how we truly feel because there is this screen that we sit behind that makes us feel safe from showing our true feelings.

Emily is Away was a unique experience for a Free-to-play game and I enjoyed it for the most part, despite some Internet lingo here and there that I felt disconnected from, but ultimately I got the message it sent across. It was thought-provoking and evoked emotions of past relationships that eventually made me feel gloomy and empty by the end of it. You can find Emily is Away on Steam and you can also support the project by donating on Steam.

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Mobile Game Review, Mouse & Controller, Reviews

Mobile Game Review: Hitman Go

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Hitman Go is a puzzle mobile game that is shadowed by the fact that it uses a franchise as its setting. I’m frankly surprised it works because there is no setup like the original Hitman series. It simply uses the main character and some of the level designs we have seen over the series as a board game. I was even more astonished that I loved it because the more I lost in the puzzles and learned from my mistakes, the more I was interested in how to solve these puzzles.

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In Hitman Go, the player generally has a simple objective where you either have to assassinate a target, grab a briefcase or get to the objective point. It’s a turn-based puzzle game, where you have as much time to think about what to do, only not as much time when you fail since it takes less than a second for the level to restart as soon as you get discovered by a guard and agent 47’s pin tumbles over to the side, which I still find hilarious. Every turn you take, the guards around you “move” a turn just like how you do, so you have to always think one step ahead and strategize, something I was surprised to engross myself in. As much as I believe this barely resembles any Hitman game I’ve played, there are a lot of similarities in its aesthetics and I find it quite engaging; how I learned with trial and error and which route to take since the levels are teeming with challenges such as “finish this level in the least turns taken” or “don’t kill any guard”, which raises the challenge of the game even more.

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Despite it being a paid mobile game, it also has in-game purchases for hints on what to do next. Where there is a hint icon in the corner that shows you the path for the objective you want. Initially, they give you five hints and when you run out of them you’d have to purchase them and I shamelessly admit I purchased a pack of hints that are worth 50 riyals. It seems the game also stretches that shame, where the colorful board turns into black and white when you use hints because you don’t deserve colors apparently when you are using help for a game.

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Depending on the objectives you do, you gain points for finishing those levels and like any mobile game, the more points you gain the more potential you have to unlock more levels. Just like how I mentioned that this board game uses Hitman as its subject, which is not all that bad, you don’t get to move around with Agent 47’s pistols, but rather you find them on the ground as a prompt to shoot the guards when they are next to where you stand.

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All in all, Hitman Go is a fresh take on mobile games with its simplistic setup and beautiful aesthetics. You can go through levels at your own leisure with reminiscent tracks like Ave Maria from Hitman Blood Money and enjoy similar level backgrounds that you may or may not have seen throughout the whole series. Even if you are a new player to Hitman, I guarantee you will have fun.

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Game Review, Mouse & Controller, Reviews

Free To Play Game Review: Magic Duels

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To those that are unaware of trading card games, Magic: The Gathering is one of the most popular ones and being exposed to it was one of the most interesting phases of my life. However, to those that already know about trading card games, the amount of entertainment one can have is drastic, but it always comes at a great cost; one that I could not afford even if the cost was time itself. It took me at least a year to get the hang of the rules and another year and a half to build my own decks, aside from buying ready ones and buying custom cards that augment your decks.

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I don’t want to get into the intricate details of the trading card game so as to not bore the casual gamer, but basically you’d have land cards that serve as your mana and creature cards that get summoned by the summoner (you) to attack your opponent. You can also have spell cards that can be either offensive or defensive and there are also equipment and artifact cards as well as enchantments, all with their own rules and logic depending on the element you are using. Elements vary in what you like to build and some of them are themed such as huge tanky creatures that cost a lot of mana or another deck where it comprises mostly of spells and little defensive creatures so you can mow down your opponents with spells. That is as much as I could explain without getting into the inner details of it.

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Now to get into the actual topic of our game, where Magic Duels is a free-to-play version of that trading card game and to me, that is a dream come true by concept. Having Magic: The Gathering digitally is amazing for me, simply because it eliminates all the responsibility about maintaining a couple of decks that would take a huge space in my room. Not to mention them being at the risk of being lost or me spending a huge amount of cash on cards I might replace later on, only to collect dust when I am not as invested as before in the game. Now, I know that Magic: The Gathering has been already available digitally, but the worst thing I witnessed from them is how they release a game yearly instead of updating the same one with newer expansions – even if they want to charge the customer. I am glad that after all this, when I miss it, I can immediately go back to their free-to-play version.

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Most free-to-play games have in-game transactions, but in my opinion they aren’t essential one bit. Magic Duels features story campaigns and duels as much as the single player games that came out a year or 2 ago, not to mention the co-op duel modes such as Two Headed giant which makes it a worthwhile experience for free. Not only that, but with each activity you are getting in-game currency to purchase more cards and decks. There is not a single difference between it and the previous games that came out. The graphical and space issues that were in both the old digital and physical games were resolved in my opinion and it is now less of a hassle and a headache to play at ease on Steam.

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Comic Review, Mouse & Controller, Reviews

Comic Book Review: Criminal Lawless Volume 2

Photo Credit: denofgeek.com

The stereotypical view of comics being just for youngsters, has been broken by books and series like Criminal. A serialized criminal drama full of gripping scenarios, that probably only took an hour or two to create, seemed like ages to me; this is a great example or a sneak peek of what I experience in the Criminal world.

I have previously written my impression of the first volume, where I was happy to have stumbled upon a mature and thought-provoking graphic novel; it was really tough to judge a thief, morally speaking. Then comes our next story following the narrative with former US soldier Tracy Lawless wanting to uncover the mystery behind his brother’s death. In hopes of uncovering the truth, Tracy joins a gang that is planning a heist; he must act like them as well as feel like them.

Photo Credit: page45.com

Photo Credit: page45.com

The first thing I immediately noticed when reading Lawless, is how familiar the environment was and how several background characters were also featured in the previous volumes. Tracy is walking down the same street and entering the same bar characters like Leo in the previous book were in. It is one thing to inhabit the same setting and it is another thing to get this warm feeling from appreciating this interconnected world; Tracy could have intervened into another, yet complicated, ordeal.

Speaking of Tracy, in my opinion, he is the most badass character I have seen in the whole series and, without spoiling anything; he is a relentless character that is able to blend in any environment and can focus on his job no matter what the cost.

Photo Credit: page45.com

Photo Credit: page45.com

It is why I love Brubaker’s writing style the most, simply because he puts us in the character’s mind and being in Tracy’s mind is definitely more confusing than being a spectator to his behavior. This reminds me a lot of a recent blog post I read about the power of comics, where they require three people to work perfectly. A great artist like Sean Phillips sets the mood and noir atmosphere to life, as well as the believable character designs and Brubaker’s relatable and consistent writing always keeps me on edge and last, but certainly not the least, is the reader. Comics do not work like movies, in fact they require a great amount of imagination.

As predictable as Lawless was in the end, and this is not the only book where Tracy debuts as a character, it is still one of my personal favorites because it reminds me of other characters like Marv from Sin City for his relentless aggression towards his goals. The book itself captures a modern take on noir and thrillers and I just find myself unable to put the book down until the story gradually reveals itself in the end. Like any Sin City or Noir book, I can safely say it is not about the ending and how you could have seen it miles away, it is about the journey and its unfolding. I suppose one of the few things I can say, is that I love the situations the characters are put in, especially Tracy where his feelings get shaken up after being overly involved in the gang he is supposed to be a spy in. I would certainly talk more about the twists of the story or the characters’ analyses, but that would take out more than half of the fun of the ride, and it is one huge ride. I have yet to remind the reader, that it is targeted towards a mature audience and this is expected from Brubaker’s books.

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Mobile Game Review, Mouse & Controller, Reviews

Mobile Game Review: Ridiculous Fishing

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This is Billy and he needs a break from society and let off some steam with his endless and unstoppable arsenal on the underwater life. Just kidding, there is no context nor a background to this crazy adventure with Billy. 

Ridiculous Fishing is a Fishing mini game that uses touch and motion controls and it is one of the most fun games I’ve had the pleasure to buy on the Google Play Store. The objective of Ridiculous Fishing is to catch as many fish as possible to gain money off.

The best thing about Ridiculous Fishing is it uses a simplistic model that can be replayed as many times as one likes without getting bored from. Not only that but it evolves ridiculous fishing photo 3the more the player adapts to it with its simple mechanics. Ridiculous Fishing is divided into three mini games that combine into one whole game. There is the act of casting the fishing lure, catching the fish, and last but certainly not the least and the most ridiculous is shooting the fish with your guns to the moon.

To cast the lure, the player uses motion controls to tilt the phone on the sides so the lure can reach as bottom as possible in the bottomless sea. The lure has a limit to reach and the more depth you reach, the rarer the fish you catch are and the more money you gain off of them. The tricky thing about casting the lure is that you don’t want to catch the nearest fish, you want to avoid them as much as possible to get more points which makes it ridiculous on its own aside from the other modes. I’d imagine it would get chaotic on the harder levels not to mention how stupid I’d look playing this game in public where I look like a crazy person who traveled through time and have just discovered how smart phones work.

Pulling out the lure is an easier task than throwing it since you’re focusing on pulling the fish you want to shoot. The only downside to it is some fish you catch are harmful to billy and therefore shooting them decreases points instead of giving you more such as jellyfish. Now comes the fun part where you shoot the fish to the moon. There are a lot of weapons to use to take down the fish you want and this is the important phase since this is where you gain your cash. However, all mini games complement each other anridiculoas fishing game review pic 4d the upgrades you get make the experience all the more enjoyable.

The upgrades you gain are accessed through the shop and this is where your money pays off. There are so many upgrades to pick from that I initially felt confused but knew later on the essential thing is to upgrade your lure to withstand more depth since the deeper you go, the more cash you gain from different and newer species of fish. When you finally collect enough fish species, you get to travel to a new area with new fish and more difficulties. Upgrades range from tech upgrades where you can get a second or a third chance if you get hit by a fish or a lure upgrade where you connect a drill to your lure and can rush through fish to not get caught by them when you’re in a bind to avoid them. There are also gun upgrades that make the shooting mini game a breeze as well as cosmetic upgrades for Billy. I can’t help but feel addicted to playing it whether it is in short sessions or up to 90 minutes per session.

The aesthetics and ideas implemented in Ridiculous Fishing make it all the more hilarious joyous with its comedic upgrades and charming gameplay. It is hard for me to point out any games similar to it in mobiles and it utilizes mechanics exclusive to mobiles. That alone makes it a worthwhile experience. You can find ridiculous Fishing on the Google Play Store and the App store.

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Comic Review, Mouse & Controller, Reviews

Comic Book Review: Criminal Volume 1 Coward

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This is my first comic book review and I already feel intimidated about starting it with a bang. I wanted to set up my taste for comics, right off the bat, with something out of the ordinary because I don’t initially go for the costumed vigilantes one is used to reading about in the comic verse. Despite my graphic novel endeavors being recent and little in experience, I immediately knew what I favor and I certainly found the right genre for me; noir fiction. What better way to explain that than to talk about one of the best series created by Ed Brubaker; The Criminal series.

2The series comprises of six books so far and I fundamentally believe that to create a good story in a comic, one needs an artist that works symbiotically with him to create the perfect atmosphere for their world. I found that in almost every work Ed Brubaker created with Sean Phillips; they are an unstoppable duo when it comes to crime noir settings.

Our story starts with our protagonist, Leo who grew up with his surrogate father suffering from Alzheimers. Leo grew up to be a pickpocket and refuses to use guns under any circumstances. Throughout our story, Leo was hyped up to be the coward; how he tends to escape every situation, favoring the flight before fight option. However, after a few particular events; things get out of hand and Leo finds himself doing things, out of character, as criminals push him to do things against his will.

Just a preface in this world, told me a lot of things in mere minutes and I guarantee you, despite me finishing this book in an hour or two, it is definitely a quality-over-quantity experience. My mind was rushing with many thoughts, including this is not your typical comic where you need proper pacing to be introduced to every single character and watch them develop at a slow pace. You are literally watching an event unfold and break, and there is a beauty in it much like any Martin Scorsese movie that I cannot describe without spoiling, but I don’t want to ruin that.

3It’s enough that where I live comics aren’t known very well and where it is known, superheroes are usually involved. I also hate to admit it, but initially before reading this book I never believed I would find a mature experience such as Criminal, where blood, drugs, sex and murder are involved. It is definitely not for everyone, but I am glad to see characters that are believable and human more than anything else. I was used to finding some sort of satisfaction from a character having super human strength doing the righteous act, whereas this is an ambiguous outlook on some characters and I found myself rooting for the protagonist who was after all, a thief. There is certainly a grey area when it comes to morality here where the characters are terrific on their own, but they are not exactly the kind of people you should be happy to root for.

It’s this kind of story that I love to see unfold right before my eyes and it is art in itself. The color palettes blend well with the characters and their surroundings, and I just love the narrative where we get to see the protagonist’s narration and point of view throughout the story. Ed Brubaker manages to capture those emotions on a human level because no one is perfect.

Criminal: Coward is a beautiful start to a series I’d very much like to recommend and review more of. It is filled with many twists, which would prevent you from putting down the book for another reading session. It is short, chaotic and everything can get out of hand in mere pages. It is my favorite kind of thought-provoking experience on human morality. Every book in the series focuses on a different stereotype of the criminal character seen in movies, so it is a great start in the Criminal series. A must buy for any noir fan.

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Mouse & Controller, Reviews, Video Game Review

Free To Play Games: Team Fortress 2

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What I initially thought would be the most boring experiment in my gaming turned out to be one of the most rewarding and fun multiplayer games.


Team Fortress 2 was developed by Valve in Steam’s early years and I was lucky to join it a year after its release in 2009. Team Fortress 2 was significant to me when I first joined Steam, simply because it was made available during Steam’s early years before the summer sales and before the prominent Triple A games being available on it. Its characters are defined and have more personality than a lot of characters in single player games, and that says a lot from free-to-play games.

Unlike its predecessor, Team Fortress 2 has abandoned its militaristic aesthetics and departed from its serious setting to a more fitting setting in my opinion, and it could not get better in terms of engagement. Its cartoonish artwork and hilarious characters have certainly made my multiplayer sessions with my friends all the more chaotic and filled with endless laughter. I recall sitting properly for 3 hours, one game mode after another hunting for achievements and defending the team’s base through a 32 player server, one can imagine how insane that sounds, but I assure you I had fun in every second.

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Throughout the classes offered in Team Fortress 2, players have the choice whether to be defensive or offensive despite which game mode it is in. Whether you are a sniper covering for your allies or a Demoman storming in with your shield and sword or a medic healing your party members, all characters are unique in both their game styles as well as their personalities. When I played Counter Strike way before I discovered Team Fortress 2, there were no distinguishable features on the characters except what guns they use or which team they are on. Whereas in Team Fortress 2, the heavy class is known for his love for sandwiches or how the players speculate who is behind the Pyro mask and the theories going on about if the pyro is actually a female or not. All these little attention to details is what made me love it even more.

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Usually, each player will eventually find a favorite offensive class and a favorite defensive class. However, it is still fun to try out all the other classes and grab all those ridiculous achievements on Steam. I dare you to actually finish them all since they are almost impossible to complete. My favorite offensive class was the Pyro, a class that specializes in burning players from a mid range distance or using his flare gun from long range distances.

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Game modes in Team Fortress 2 are what keeps it fresh not only because they are spontaneously fun but also because Team Fortress 2 has seasonal events as well as friendly competitive maps and custom made maps. Game modes range from control maps where Team RED versus Team BLU fight each other for control points and the team that either has more control points either by defending or capturing more eventually wins. There are so many opportunities in Team Fortress 2 to have fun, I am not sure where to start and where to end. Event maps that are available only on Halloween or Christmas with different objectives and team deathmatch modes that are done gladiator style where all players hold swords and shield and have their speeds doubled will surely keep players feeling refreshed and prevents it from being stale.

Team Fortress 2 has one of the biggest communities on Steam and till this day, it is one of the top played games on Steam for many reasons other than the ones I have already explained. It also incorporates a loot system where there are random item drops from player kills ranging from mystery crates unlockable by purchasing a key through microtransactions in the game itself to the most rare weapons found for a single class. What I also loved about Team Fortress 2’s loot system is that Steam’s triple A games are incorporated with the game’s customization as well as loot system. I still recall when Deus Ex: Human Revolution came out, and I pre-purchased it, I had received the Deus Ex set comprising of Adam Jensen’s glasses for my characters as well as a high tech sniper rifle. It also amazes me how the customization system might seem like it is purely there for aesthetics at first, but it is also filled with RPG elements for weapons and armor that definitely gives permanent changes to how some characters are played, not to mention customizing a specific build for them.

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All in all, I can’t recommend Team Fortress 2 enough simply because it is one of the most carefully constructed free to play games out there on Steam. I could not resist its colorful and fresh aesthetics and I love how, despite I have played it casually from time to time, it still caters to one of the most hardcore players out there with their own dedicated servers. The Steam Workshop is filled with in game mods and a huge percentage of player inventory trades are related to Team Fortress items where people make actual money off the in game items by simply playing it and selling their rare drops.

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Game Review, Mouse & Controller, Reviews

Top 10 Games To Get Into Gaming

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Video games used to be a rare pursuit or a niche activity that one would escape to, when I first started playing.


If we are going to compare them to 20 years ago, there was not much accessibility when it came to games and they were not as popular. All of this changed, with nifty gadgets and engaging consoles catered towards family hangouts such as the Wii U or Kinect on Xbox One. If video games didn’t seem interesting before, I can safely say they look more appealing nowadays, not to mention user friendly. However, the real question is which game would you recommend to your non-gamer friend? Which game would you recommend to someone; something engaging and not overwhelming from the first experience?

I’ve provided a list that is surely filled with charming games which are easy on the casual player and immersive enough to convert the casual player into an avid one. I’ve ranked them based on how easy they can be, in terms of controls and how charming they generally are.

10. Metal Slug

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The Metal Slug series still holds up till this day, with a retro visual style where one is simply overwhelmed at having way too many things happening onscreen, simultaneously. Metal Slug is sure to be a blast for anyone, as an introduction to side scrolling action games, for many reasons; including it being a co-op playing game. The gun upgrades and the constant explosions kept me on edge, so I can easily say it is one of the best action games made for couch co-op experiences. Not to mention the fluidity of the animation and the smooth gameplay offers an easy-on-the-eyes experience. Be warned it is not as easy as it seems, though.

9. FIFA 16

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Coming from a culture that is very passionate about football and highly enthusiastic about the local and/or international teams, I can’t help but recommend FIFA as an introduction to video games. Even though I personally don’t prefer them, any gamer in our culture must have played them at least once. FIFA 16 recently came out in September on consoles, so it’s a great way to gather people and settle match after match. Whether you are playing cup or career mode as your favorite team, FIFA caters to both casual and hardcore players where the latter are found easily in Jeddah; hosting and participating in competitive matches in internet cafes.

8. Call of Duty: Black Ops III

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The counterpart to FIFA in Jeddah and the second most bought and played game is easily the Call of Duty series. Enter any Internet Cafe in Jeddah and you would be surprised at the sight of at least 50 players, in competition, constantly on multiplayer servers of Call of Duty. Released in early November, Call of Duty Black Ops III is sure to be a great introduction for pure and mindless fun. For those who opt for a more cinematic experience, they can check the campaign which picks up where Black Ops II left off. Otherwise, you can have fun with friends on the recurring zombie survival mode for a great time.

7. Street Fighter 4

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I can be the first witness to this, since I grew up watching my brother play fighting games and I wasn’t all that interested in them initially. However, after playing a few blood boiling games, despite my complete ignorance of the characters’ move set, I still had loads of fun. The top 3 genres that Jeddah hosts gatherings and competitive tournaments with huge prize pools; start with fighting games along with FIFA and Call of Duty tournaments. Street Fighter IV introduced casual players to its own genre and brought back veteran players back to the series. It definitely drew me in when I was not interested in it altogether, so I guarantee it’s one of the most engaging couch co-op games you can invite a friend over for.

6. The LEGO Movie Video game

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Nothing says casual and fun more than a LEGO game. The Lego series have integrated a number of movies into its own video games, which are filled with hilarious tricks, in their own narratives. The Lego Star Wars game had no dialogue whatsoever and the characters communicated through gestures. The Lord of The Rings Series featured the same exact epic scenery one witnessed in the movies, plus a lot more comedic innuendos, and that alone, made the scenes I already enjoyed watching to be even more engaging in this format, with its slapstick humor; I couldn’t help but laugh. The games are played fairly easily with minute tough combat and simple 3D platforming. Let’s not forget to mention, the option of having another player join your session so you could enjoy destroying each other accidentally. To all those that are wondering, no you cannot turn off friendly fire in Lego games and I’d like to believe it was intentional for added hilarity.

5. Hearthstone

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A free to play card game that is easily engaging and strategically frustrating. Not only that, but Hearthstone is also available on multi platforms and mobile devices, so it is convenient for dueling with a co-worker on your break and eventually getting beaten by them. There are so many strategies, it is sure to build some casual friendships and break others. Its quest mode, collection of cards and the constant game updates has made it one of the most successful card games to date and is certainly a great introduction to a non-gamer looking for a friendly duel.

4. Super Mario Bros.

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It drew a lot of people into gaming and I’m sure it will continue to do so. Released originally on the NES and later on the Gameboy Advance, Super Mario Bros. still holds its own to this day with its revolutionary game design and its simple gameplay that attracted players with a range of simple to more complex levels. Despite it being a very old game, it is still available on multi platforms and is a great introduction to the platforming genre.

3. Telltale’s Game of Thrones

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Known as the most popular IP in Telltale’s Adventure Games, Game of Thrones practically, is the perfect initiation for any Game of Thrones fan, be it a fan of the book or series. Or both in my case. Telltale games require minimal effort in terms of gameplay, such as following a few commands based on one’s quick reflexes and the rest are dialogue choices. It is a story experience that one will thoroughly enjoy at least once, due to the many available scenarios one can find themselves in. Game of Thrones can be played either using a controller or a mouse and keyboard, as its controls are easy and are found on multi platforms.

2. Wii Sports

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A great example of player immersion and one of the most high impact games ever to be released by Nintendo, Wii sports is a perfect excuse for gatherings and hangouts. It is marketed in almost every store, to the point where some game stores host tournaments. Wii sports is a collection of mini games that require players to use the Wii strap, along with their controllers, to play golf, tennis , baseball and many other sports. It is not only great for kids, but for adults as well because it is so convenient and user friendly. Wii Sports is regarded as one of the most successful games, to the extent that it resulted in the introduction of an updated edition to the Wii U’s release and it is the only game that is pre-packaged along with every Wii or Wii U, sold for free.

1. Journey

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An exclusive game on the PlayStation 3, served as one of the most beautiful and mesmerizing experiences from an indie developer. Journey requires little-to-no effort when playing and is purely an emotional experience, as the name implies. A short and sweet game that ignites all senses while controlling a nameless character in a vast world. While playing this game, others around me thought twice about what they were doing and were immediately drawn into what was going on. I guarantee Journey will provide the same experience for those you introduce it to.

Some games could have made it into the list such as Tales from the Borderlands or The Walking Dead, but any Telltale game is going to be as immersive as Game of Thrones since they all require little-to-minimal effort from the player, in terms of skill.

This concludes my list of top 10 games to get into gaming and although there are seemingly many more choices, I simply believe these 10 are the easiest and yet most convenient for new/beginner video game players. These games ask nothing drastic of the player, but their full attention and although some of these picks count as difficult games, they surely don’t start like that.

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