While you wait for my next three review posts I thought I'd go ahead, and let you in on what's up. Recently, and possibly by good fortune I was able to secure three games/items for review including the latest Zen Pinball 2 "Balls of Glory" tables, 'Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Ed.', and 'Rodea the Sky Soldier'. It honestly seems like it's been ages since my last review posting, and I cannot express how excited I am to be able to get back to work. As far as said work goes I'll be doing some serious multi-tasking since the games I've received were ones that were all slated to be released around the same time of month. All three games, though on different consoles come in at an order of importance close to one another due to their release dates, and accompanying embargoes, so you can expect them sooner rather than later. In fact two of the game items have already been released, and only Rodea is yet to be out to the public making it all the more important for me to get the job done ASAP. Speaking of Rodea, my nephew is going to get a sneak peek of it this evening while I begin my playthrough. It's one of the perks of being related to me, lol! He saw the word "soldier", and got super excited. I can't blame him. I don't think he knows what it's about though. My guess, since he is into that G.I.JOE toy phase is that he thinks it's an army type of game. Hopefully he'll enjoy it regardless as he's working hard at his school work just to be able to watch me play.
Aside from all of that I thought I'd also take the time to share my thoughts on Smite (Xbox One) since I've began playing it for the first time ever. I've known of 'Smite' for a while, but for some odd reason I had the 'League of Legends' visuals stuck in my head when thinking about what exactly it was. Thankfully it was nothing like the nearly top down LoL game. What I found instead was a glorious, and rather informative action oriented trip in mythology. God, I love mythology!!! Seeing all the deities of the world fight for domination in various arenas, and lanes had me truly excited. I think the gameplay, though oddly complex was easy enough to pick up on, and enjoy. I've personally gotten to the point where I can masterfully conduct my in-game shop & skill business with no problems at all. The added fact that each God, or Goddess comes complete with background info, and their own unique skills, and abilities makes playing as them all the more entertaining. I was also surprised to see that it was created by a local Georgia based gaming studio named, 'Hi-Rez' which is cool in itself.
So far I've been drawn to the initially provided 'Neith' Egyptian Goddess for her fast paced support play style. I can usually run an arena with her without dying, and can easily help other players get the kills needed to win. Speaking of 'Arena' that mode is by far my favorite. It's like a gladiator spectacle for the Gods! I love it! I don't mind a little 'Joust 3v3' either, but with people dropping out on occasion that can become more of a hassle than fun. When it comes to online fluidity in 'Smite' I can't say I really noticed any lag outside of the character selection screens, but there were some problems with hacking, and players ragequitting. In one instance of being hacked a player was maniacally laughing over the mic as he caused me to suffer attacks at my safe zone/base. I know I talk about hacking in gaming a lot, but on the Xbone, and especially in Smite it seems to be more obvious, and in-your-face. It's quite sad actually since MS has a proper grief report system in place unlike their Sony competition. Seems like someone in the gaming industry could combat the growing threat that is cheating, but I've yet to see that happen. don't get me wrong though as half the blame falls on the gamers who don't bother reporting offenders. Be sure to do your part in making online gaming tolerable by reporting all cheaters, bullies, and trolls who are out to ruin other gamers' fun.
Back to Smite ... So far I'm really enjoying Smite beyond it's small failures. It seems to be a game worth investing time into, and has a proper currency system in it's free-to-play build that doesn't demand that the gamer pay actual real world currency in order to be able to fully enjoy the experience. Sure you'll have to grind a heck of a lot more if you don't pay up, but it's do-able. If I had one tip for the developer in regards to making the game better it would be to improve upon the matchmaking system. Getting booted out of a queue because someone else bails isn't cool. Neither is having to endure a match where one, or more of your teammates left. There needs to be a way for other players to fill in the absentee gaps, and for matches to be organized without having to be knocked out of the queue every time someone backs out. I should also mention that there needs to be an in-game grief report system. I'm fully aware it takes extra staff to manage such an operation, but it will improve gamers' opinions of the game. I can't tell you how many times I've seen friends on Twitter tweet about Smite's issues, especially those issues pertaining to playing with randoms, and matchmaking itself. If Hi-Rez can sort this out then they can go far. It's not so much about how many people download, and play your game, but more so about who plays your game. That's what developers, publishers, and PR need to realize.
I'm going to close in saying that reviews are on their way, and that Smite is definitely worth looking into if you own an Xbox One. Be sure to stay tuned to this blog, and to my Twitter (@OtakuDante) for reviews, links, and other interesting topics of discussion! I shall type at you later!