“Games and Junk”

Why no, I am certainly not ripping the title for this post from the usual phrase that we use on the Frantic Talks podcast.  Alright, so I totally am but is it really stealing if I’m part of the podcast?  Anyways, since my last post I have played a few games but mostly the same ones.  Those games included mostly Destiny, a little bit of Just Cause 3, and even some NHL 17.

Let’s start with my current top game at this time.  That would be Destiny.  Why do I enjoy it so much?  Many reasons, the simplest and most general reason being that I enjoy it and find it a fun game to play.  There’s also the reasoning that Destiny is an amazing social game (of which I talk more about here).  Now, onto what I’ve been doing in said game.  The Age of Triumph update came out a few weeks ago and I’ve been enjoying the new stuff that came with that.  Most of it has been the old raid reprisals and earning cool loot from them.  The Crota’s End raid was fun to do back in the day, and even more so now.  I really enjoyed the challenge modes for the CE raid, I felt they offered the best combination of being difficult yet still being easily accomplished if you have a team that can execute the strategy and work well together as a team.

I tried to do the Vault of Glass last week since it was the weekly featured raid and all of the challenges were active.  We managed to get up to the Templar with few problems, but while attempting the Templar challenge we had troubles mainly staying alive.  At one point, my internet (fun fact about this later) decided to act up and as a result I was unable to continue.  Pretty anxious to give it a go again when it is the featured raid to try and grab a new Vision of Confluence.  Although, my Fang of Ir Yut is doing quite well for now.

One other thing I have really enjoyed from this update has been the weekly story playlist.  It basically takes various story missions from the game and throws them into a playlist based around a theme (like missions on Mars and Venus, or on the Earth and Moon).  Since it is a weekly activity, you can also earn some legendary marks and one of those sweet new treasure boxes that were introduced for this update.  Plus it’s also cool getting to play through some of these older story missions we haven’t played in a year or so with some of the modifiers we see during Nightfalls and Heroics.  I just can’t wait for arc burn with Small Arms during a Nightfall or Heroic.  Same goes with solar burn as well.

The last thing I have to talk about Destiny related is the fact I showed I’m a no-life at the game* and was able to get all of my characters up to the max Light level of 400.

“Pics or it didn’t happen!”, you say.

Ok, I can do that.  My Warlock was the first character to hit 400, followed by my Titan, then lastly my Hunter.  Of which I have been using my Hunter more in the Crucible and man are they fun to play as there.  I will always be a fan of my Warlock, but for PvP I think I favor the Hunter more because it totally has nothing to do with the fact I do better on that character.  This is the first time I have been able to get all three of my characters up to max level.  Most of the other times I have hit max level with at least one character has been right before the level has been increased.  Like with level 32 around the time The Dark Below came out.  I hit level 32 about a week before the level was increased with the House of Wolves up to 34.
*While I do play Destiny a lot, I don’t actually no-life it.  I can only handle so much gaming in a day.

I mentioned I had started playing Just Cause 3 again.  It has probably been a literal year since I last played it before picking it back up again.  Why?  Well, when it released I was really excited for it because I enjoy the senseless chaos that you can cause in the Just Cause games.  I picked the game up when it came out and started playing it and kind of lost interest a few weeks after doing so because it suffered from a lot of technical issues.  The biggest of which were massive drops in frame rate and the game just out right crashing when you were in the middle of playing it.  This kind of killed the initial fun and enjoyment of the game for me.  As I said, I decided to pick it back up recently and while the issue of the game crashing seems to have been fixed, it still suffers from those drops in frame rate.  Aside from that, it has been as much fun as I expected it would be.  I’ve been enjoying the game again and causing the senseless chaos…just ’cause.

The last video game I’ve been playing recently, as in the past two days recently, has been NHL 17.  I downloaded it a couple of weeks ago because it was added to the EA Access vault and since I have a subscription to it, I can essentially play it for free.  I’m not one to buy sports games annually, especially the NHL games while I do find them fun I’m just not a huge hockey fan; because not much really changes in them from year to year in my mind.  Buy one, one year and maybe the newer one in a few years.  I also just don’t play them that often.

The big reason I wanted the new NHL game so badly though, was the fact I can play as my local team.  The ECHL is the league that my local team is in, and that league hasn’t been in any NHL game until now.  Since I mentioned I’m not a huge hockey fan, I usually have no idea what team to play as.  Closest NHL team to me would be the Chicago Blackhawks and I’m normally just like “meh, do I really want to play as them?”  So actually having the chance to play as a team I know some stuff about and can go see a game if I would want to (not that I couldn’t for an NHL or AHL game) is the reason I really took interest in this iteration of the NHL franchise from EA Sports.

I haven’t done too much in the game yet, started a season as my local team (the Quad City Mallards if you were curious) and started up a franchise as the Washington Capitals.  I’ve only played one game in the franchise mode and that was against the Pittsburgh Penguins where I won 5-1.  How did I end up choosing that team as the team to use for my franchise?  Well, I asked Freakshow and Frantic to choose a number between 1 and 30 and they came back with 29.  Starting alphabetically, I went down the list to the 29th team which happened to be the Caps.  Another fun fact about this team, I know someone from Bungie.net / Twitter who is a huge Caps fan so I am really hoping I don’t run the team into the ground.  I would never live it down if that happened.

The only other thing to happen while playing NHL 17 was when I played a game in my season as the Mallards just last night.  I was playing the second game against the Fort Wayne Komets in a short series and the Komets took a quick two goal lead in the first period.  I had trouble for the entire first period and a good chunk of the second period in getting shots on goal.  Somehow I managed to score a goal about midway through the second to make the score 2-1.  With only about ten seconds left in the game and it looking like I was going to end up losing it I managed to get another goal and tie the game up at 2 each.  Thus resulting in sending the game into sudden death overtime.  About five minutes went by with no team scoring, then I managed to sneak in a quick shot to win the game 3-2.  It was probably the best comeback I have ever done in any sports related game honestly.  I thought for sure I was going to lose, but nope.  I actually thought that game was fun and kind of hope I have more like that in both my season with the Mallards and the franchise as the Capitals.

I have a couple more things to discuss briefly before I end this post.  The first is on a little more personal note, but something I strongly urge you to consider doing if you read it.  Recently, one of my friends lost someone that was very close and important to them.  I have to admit that this kind of served as a wake up call, for lack of a better term, to me and made me realize that life is too short for us to waste time and ignore those whom are close to us and genuinely care about us.  That being said, I encourage you to step away from the gaming, put down the phone, walk away from the computer for a few minutes and tell your family that you love them.  Whether it be your parents, brother(s), sister(s), a significant other, whomever it may be to you.  Tell them.

I poked fun at myself one day on my personal Facebook page because I noticed that at one point, I had my phone in one hand, and my iPod in the other doing two different things at the same time.  I’m out in public and see things similar to this, while there is nothing inherently wrong with that, as I said before, life is too short to ignore those who are important in our lives.  Years ago I used to listen to the song “Gone” from TobyMac quite often and part of the lyrics are, “They say you never know what you got till it’s gone.” and I cannot help but feel this true for many things in life.

Now with that said, I will actually close this post out with that funny story about my internet I mentioned earlier.  At the start of this month I got new internet and it is literally ten times better than what I had prior.  At best, I was getting 8 Mb/s download speed and maybe .6 Mb/s upload.  Now, I can get around 92 Mb/s down and 19 Mb/s up.  As a result, this has made playing online games better (Yay!  No lag!) and is has also given me the ability to stream if I so wish.  I doubt this will be a regular thing I do but I will try to stream some Destiny or something every now and then.  If you’re curious as to where you can find my channel, then look no further than http://twitch.tv/storedgrunt.

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