All posts by Jon Ireson

Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Real Gamer Review

Black Ops 4 marks the first Treyarch developed COD game since 2015 and the extra time taken for its development certainly shows. While not perfect, this year’s Call of Duty has taken on a lot of praise from skeptics and loyalists alike. There’s a reason why sales in the series have been going downhill whenever Treyarch isn’t involved, and with BO4 they’ve proven once again that they’re not to be underestimated. At the top of the priority list for BO4 is quality, performance, precision, and a brand-new take on battle royale.

There’s a lot of reason as to why players may be hesitant to embrace a Call of Duty game with no offline campaign mode, including previous problems in the series like Treyarch de-ranking players in Black Ops 2 for having high-speed internet, rather than admitting their own game engine problems. While those kinks have been ironed out this time around, there’s still a few issues to be had. Despite a well-intended Black Ops Pass and reduced Black Market grind, the micro-transactions in Black Ops 4 don’t manage to feel appropriate.

With all of that being said, the game still accomplishes a lot for the series and has won back many gamers leading to over $500 million USD in sales within the first 24 hours alone. For the 30% (on average) of folks who earn trophies in the single player campaign modes of COD, you’ll have to dedicate to online multiplayer this time around. However, for the other 70% of the franchise audience, you’ve been given more bang for the buck with 3 full online games packed into one – and hosting many different modes and variations.

Continue reading Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Real Gamer Review

Crisis Core Game Director Hajime Tabata departs Square Enix to focus on new project

It has been announced on November 7, 2018 that Hajime Tabata is departing from his position at Square Enix which included Game Director of Final Fantasy XV for PlayStation 4, PC, and Xbox as well as Game Director of 2007’s Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII for PlayStation Portable (a beloved fan favorite), among others. The decision was explained to fans in a heartfelt letter revealed during the pre-recorded Final Fantasy XV Second Anniversary Special Program broadcast to fans in Japan with English subtitles.

Although this news is certainly disappointing and has resulted in the cancellation of almost all Final Fantasy XV DLC (yes, there was more in development), it can also be understandable from certain perspectives. Tabata was a director of dedicated handheld games who took the reigns of directing FFXV for Tetsuya Nomura who needed to walk away from the project to complete the repeatedly delayed Kingdom Hearts III project. It does feel saddening to see any type of negative Final Fantasy news in a time where some fans could see the series as fragile, having nearly entered a period of peril.

Continue reading Crisis Core Game Director Hajime Tabata departs Square Enix to focus on new project

Square Enix considering Final Fantasy VII spin-off compilation Tetsuya Nomura says

Recently Final Fantasy fans got teased with the possibility of a Final Fantasy VII compilation comprising of every relative title ever made. The idea was proposed by interviewers in Japan after an inspiration from the announcement of Kingdom Hearts: The Story So Far exclusively released on PlayStation 4 last week. Among the names include rarities that even the most die-hard FFVII fans may have never heard of. Take a look at the list of potentials for yourself.

Continue reading Square Enix considering Final Fantasy VII spin-off compilation Tetsuya Nomura says

Blizzard facing backlash as Diablo Immortal petition reaches 30,000+ signatures

[Update #2: Lord Fluffy, the Diablo streamer who asked if Diablo Immortal will come to PC, has released a detailed overview of the context behind his question and Activision Blizzard’s reaction]

[Update: Activision Blizzard stock value has dropped 7.2% (resulting in $3.7 billion USD lost) following the Diablo Immortal announcement discussed below]

Some companies are so loved by gamers that they can do no wrong. Others discover, they are no longer part of that club! In a disastrous move, Activision Blizzard announced Diablo Immortal for mobile to close out their keynote speech at this year’s Blizzcon 2018. The game is being developed by NetEase and will see the franchise delve into the free-to-play MMO genre.

The original Diablo 2 producer has come out and said he doesn’t believe Blizzard understands gamers anymore. Fan reactions to this announcement have been so negative that the PR team behind this game is now censor criticism from the internet as a petition against its release is gaining momentum. So why are people so upset? Where did it all go wrong?

Continue reading Blizzard facing backlash as Diablo Immortal petition reaches 30,000+ signatures

Expert console designers making Intellivision Amico, a 2D gaming platform for everyone

Tommy Tallarico (formerly of G4TV fame, music producer behind Video Games Live concerts, Metroid Prime, and currently President of Intellivision), has teamed up with creators who worked on the Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS to produce a brand new system with a totally different approach to gaming. While the console currently known as Intellivision Amico will not attempt to compete with PS4 and Xbox, it will instead forge out its own path co-existing alongside the current console market.

At first glance, this could seem like another Kickstarter project waiting to disappoint folks like Ouya or Atari VCS. The reality couldn’t be farther from the truth. There’s no Kickstarter involved. Some of Intellivision’s team members include the minds behind cloud gaming, the marketing team for Wii Sports, developers of Metal Gear Solid, and more. Real developers are putting hard work into bringing a very unique and interesting vision to life.

Amico, which means “friend” in Italian, is a new 2D console that will release in 2020 with major hardware and software development behind it, numbering in the tens of millions, by industry veterans who know what they’re doing. With a keen eye for high quality games, a unique hardware setup at an affordable price range, and a totally different approach to the industry, Amico stands a real chance at being something special.

Continue reading Expert console designers making Intellivision Amico, a 2D gaming platform for everyone

Eagle Eyes Astin – Advanced Optic Technology Review

Over the course of gaming sessions lasting 4 – 8 hours or more, it has been discovered that significant eye damage can occur from the Blue Light spectrum of radiation coming from HDTV and 4KTV sets. Years back, I began to review a new category of products that set out to protect gamers from this problem – however, most of them made everything you see tinted by a yellow or orange film. While they performed the job they were meant to do, Eagle Eyes are combining several technologies into one versatile and impressive piece of eye-wear that not only makes gaming more safe, but also driving, while allowing in a new spectrum of light previously unseen by the human eye.

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Red Dead Redemption 2 makes over $725 million in 3 days, bigger than any film, music, book, or tv show

RDR2 is a cinematic action game for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One which tells a story of the last real outlaw gang in the wild, wild west. Historical accuracy of the 1899 time period is paired with some of the most well polished storytelling, gameplay design, visual effects, and soundtrack ever seen. The result is that Rockstar Games’ latest release has set a new record of ‘largest entertainment launch weekend of all time’ by making over $725 million in its first 3 days and surpassing every film, television show, book, or video game (except GTA V) ever made in sales.

Continue reading Red Dead Redemption 2 makes over $725 million in 3 days, bigger than any film, music, book, or tv show

Fallout 76 B.E.T.A. dates and times, Xbox pre-load available now

The B.E.T.A., or Break-It-Early-Test, for Bethesda Game Studios’ Fallout 76 begins today and is available for pre-load now on Xbox One for those who have pre-ordered the game, and will become available on PS4 and PC Tuesday next week. There will be limited times for each day in which the Beta’s servers are available. The times selected by Bethesda are meant to help stress test the game at varying degrees.

Continue reading Fallout 76 B.E.T.A. dates and times, Xbox pre-load available now

Jade Raymond (Co-Creator of Assassin’s Creed) leaves open world Star Wars title quitting EA Games

EA Motive is a game studio founded by Jade Raymond (who is one of the creators behind the successful Assassin’s Creed franchise). In what feels like a shockingly familiar tale, EA Games has lost another talented professional as Raymond leaves behind an unannounced story-focused Star Wars title and steps down from her position at EA Motive to move on towards greener pastures.

Continue reading Jade Raymond (Co-Creator of Assassin’s Creed) leaves open world Star Wars title quitting EA Games

Microsoft announces Xbox Game Pass will become available for Windows PC

In the 2019 Q1 Earnings Conference Call for Microsoft, CEO Satya Nadella announced to investors that Xbox Game Pass will come to the PC. In the past, many publications erroneously reported that the service would be available for Xbox as well as PC when it launched. There were certainly some disappointed that it wasn’t the case. However, now that dream will come true.

Continue reading Microsoft announces Xbox Game Pass will become available for Windows PC

The issue of overtime at Rockstar Games isn’t going away just yet…

[Update: Red Dead Redemption 2 makes over $725 million in 3 days, bigger than any film, music, book, or tv show]

We recently breezed over the fact that 100 hour workweeks had been a bragging point by a small number of top level executives and writers in the Red Dead Redemption 2 team at Rockstar Games. However, major updates have continued to develop with the story. Although we have heard from some of our audience that there is more than one way of looking at this issue, we do want to continue delivering the facts as well for what we feel is an important issue. Regardless of where you land in the debate, the conversations being triggered will affect Rockstar in some way – for better or worse.

Continue reading The issue of overtime at Rockstar Games isn’t going away just yet…

Treyarch reduces the grind for Black Ops 4’s Black Market

The day before last we reported on how Black Ops 4 had instituted a fun but overbearing reward system for gameplay unlocking everything from stickers to put on guns, gun skins, spray paint designs, character costumes and outfits, to even a brand new Blackout character (at tier 199).

We heard your feedback in our comments section as well as social media and while many of you agreed with our assessment that the grind required to unlock these items was just too much. It turns out that Treyarch may have heard your voices as well, and it turns out they’ve found that they agree.

Continue reading Treyarch reduces the grind for Black Ops 4’s Black Market

Battlefield V’s battle royale mode and co-op modes won’t be available at launch

The Blackout mode in Call of Duty has gone up against the odds of the most currently popular game Fortnite and fared quite nicely. Asserting itself somewhere in the top 3 alongside PUBG, Black Ops 4 is surprisingly taking fans by storm. Battlefield V’s battle royale mode has not yet been shown to the public… at all. And those who buy the upcoming EA DICE title when it releases Tuesday, November 20, 2018 will have to wait a significant amount of time to see what it’s like as well.

Continue reading Battlefield V’s battle royale mode and co-op modes won’t be available at launch

Black Ops 4 becomes the #1 top selling game of 2018… for now

[Update: Red Dead Redemption 2 makes over $725 million in 3 days, bigger than any film, music, book, or tv show]

Although major debate has been going on between whether Red Dead Redemption 2 or Call of Duty Black Ops 4 will end up being the top seller of 2018, currently we have seen Black Ops 4 snatch up that spot. In most markets physical sales are dying out while digital sales are not always easy to get the statistics for. Because of this, some have been drawing false conclusions from UK physical sales data which by all means is quite outdated, and perhaps irrelevant.

Since the NPD made data private and stopped announcing on their own, game companies now announce their own data, with Activision Blizzard stating that Black Ops 4 has made over $500 million USD in three days. This is still less than the record holding GTA V which is the best selling game of all time, and made $1 billion USD in its first three days, and even less than Black Ops 2 which made $500 million in 24 hours, but few games have come this close to matching those.

Continue reading Black Ops 4 becomes the #1 top selling game of 2018… for now

The problem with Black Ops 4’s “Black Market” unlockable tiers

[Update: Treyarch reduces the grind for Black Ops 4’s Black Market]

While many of you may have been surprised to see Call of Duty Black Ops 4 release without any microtransaction scandals, reviews have been favorable to the game, and even gamers who didn’t expect to enjoy the title have given it praise, there were signs of something suspicious in the game last weekend.

Continue reading The problem with Black Ops 4’s “Black Market” unlockable tiers