Black Ops 4: My First Impressions

Welcome back to my first impressions series! This is the series when I give my unsolicited opinion on things far too early for them to be educated opinions. Today, I will be discussing my first impressions of Call of Duty Black Ops 4.

I’ll start with the most anticipated addition to the game, Blackout mode. Blackout mode is a battle royale style game mode that is very similar to Fortnite and PUBG. I have played around 20 games in this mode and I can confidently say that it is pretty cool. I always sucked at building in Fortnite, so the idea of a battle royale game without that added element is very appealing to me. The vehicle play in Blackout is far superior to that of Fortnite, and that is a huge plus. The map is spectacular, mixing in old COD maps, zombie spawns, new locations, and an abundant natural space between locations. With that being said, there are some issues. The lag is absolutely horrible. This is an issue that I think will be fixed with time, as this is COD’s first time operating with servers anywhere near this size. Also, I think most guns in the mode need some kind of buff. The recoil is significantly greater in Blackout than it is in multiplayer and I often find myself enraged by the amount of shots that I just can’t seem to make in Blackout. Overall, however, I really enjoy the mode and I look forward to seeing what they do with it in the future.

Next, I will briefly discuss Zombies. I played a couple games in zombies and I was kind of disappointed. Much like most of the more recent games, I feel like they just tried to do too much. The game set in a gladiator arena is cool, but the mode is overly complicated. Most of it just feels unnecessary. I doubt I will be playing much zombies.

Lastly, I will discuss multiplayer. Multiplayer is the highlight of the game for me. The gameplay is reminiscent of Black Ops 2, which was one of the high points in the Call of Duty series. The game is futuristic, but not overly so. The removal of the crazy jumping and wall running and all of that other nonsense is a great move on Call of Duty’s part. The game play is still fast-paced and exciting and I have enjoyed it very much.

Overall, Black Ops 4 seems to be a solid game. It is right up there with WWII in terms of quality and I highly recommend it to any gamer. I eagerly await to see how it ages over time.

Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out some of the other great content here on Mid-American Culture!

Will Black Ops 4 Be Terrible?

Since the days of Modern Warfare 2, I have been a huge fan of the Call of Duty game series. I have put countless hours in to the games throughout the years. During the heyday of my all-time favorite COD game, the original Black Ops, I logged an absolutely absurd 22 and a half days of game time. If there was any doubt that I am a fan, that statistic should put it to rest. With that being said, I have been extremely disappointed in almost every Call of Duty game that is set in a futuristic time period. The only exception to this being Black Ops 2, which was a great game in its own right. Call of Duty strayed away from the future warfare genre last year when it released WWII. That game was phenomenal and reminded me of why I fell in love with the series. The only major hole was that I felt the Zombies experience was greatly lacking. Other than that, the developers hit it out of the park. Which leaves me cautiously optimistic about Black Ops 4. The gameplay looks spectacular and the introduction of the new Blackout (Battle Royale) mode has me very excited. I’m also hopeful that the zombies experience will be much improved from WWII. I haven’t done extensive research on it, but the Black Ops series generally does pretty well with zombies. The game is set to release tomorrow (Friday, October 12th) at midnight. I will most certainly be up and ready to try out the multiplayer and the new battle royale mode. Next week, I will most likely write an installment of my “My First Impressions” series on the game. Until then, be sure to check out some of the other great content here on Mid-American Culture!

Madden 19: My First Impressions

Since approximately 2010, the Madden football video game series has been a constant staple in my gaming arsenal. In fact, with the exception of maybe Call of Duty, I have put more time into the Madden series than any other game series ever. This year’s installment of the game is sure to see it’s fair share of time inside of my Xbox. I’m here today to share my first impressions of the game.

I’ve had the game for approximately two weeks (give or take). Throughout that timeframe, I have played extensively in the Franchise mode, so my thoughts on it will take up the bulk of this piece. My first impression of franchise was that it was pretty much the same as last year with a few minor tweaks. The system with which you progress players has changed, and honestly, I prefer the old system. Instead of using XP points to upgrade individual skills (speed, strength, catching, zone coverage, etc.) you earn upgrades to certain characteristics of your player that upgrade different individual skills. For example, say you earn an upgrade for your quarterback. You can choose to upgrade your QB as a scrambler, field general, pocket passer, and so on. Each of those categories improves individual skills. I prefer the in-depth nature of picking individual skills to upgrade. That is probably my most major complaint with the game thus far. As far as other, more minor gripes go, I have experienced some bugs, particularly with commentary. I keep getting commentary referring to the game I’m playing as the Super Bowl, when in reality, it is a regular season game. It’s minor things like that, but they do tend to get annoying after a while. However, I expect these will be fixed for the most part in a coming update. I have not yet experienced any of the other offseason features of franchise mode. If there is something new worth mentioning in a later article, I will certainly do that. Overall, I feel that franchise mode, and the rest of the game for that matter, are extremely similar to last year’s game. With that being said, if it’s not broken, there’s no need to fix it. I think that can be applied to Madden. There are many small, realism based changes to the game that I am very fond of. Overall, I just don’t see enough of a change to call it anything close to significantly different from any past installment in the series. If you’re a football or Madden fan, it is certainly worth picking up. Just don’t expect to be mind-blown. You’ll be sorely disappointed.

Thanks for reading. Be sure to check out some of the other great content here in Mid-American Culture!

Gaming with a Baby.

Hey everyone, I’m a father of 3 great kids, I’m also a Grandpa. I told my son when he had his daughter that those early months were great for getting some serious gaming going on. You’re up at odd hours, plus your partner is usually sleeping while you’re awake. The new baby is just gonna lay in a cradle so you can plop down beside him/ her and game on. Here’s a list of games I’ve really gotten into during my youngest daughter’s first 9 months.

1. Halo:Reach

I got back into Reach the week my youngest was home from the hospital. I didn’t have too many games and it was a classic that was good to jump back in. There were even people playing Multiplayer after nearly 10 years! I also really discovered the massive trend of YouTubers doing Halo videos. Halo Follower and Uber Nick are my faves.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night.

I was a huge Castlevania fan in my youth. I spent as much time on the seemingly impossible Castlevania II Simon’s Quest as I did any other game. SOTN was released when I turned 20 on a console I didn’t have so I didn’t get much experience with it. However, I made up for lost time this past winter when I bought the game from the X-box Live store. I’ve gotten to the end but haven’t beat Richter yet. Plus I don’t have those damn rings. My little Lily just slept away as I battled my way through Dracula’s Castle.

Halo 5: Guardians

Yeah I’m a huge Halo fan and yes the campaign for five did suck mostly, but the Multiplayer is fantastic and much supported years out from it’s release. Lily drifted a sleep to many a super fiesta battle. She even got a Master Chief quote onsie.

My first new game of my young daughter’s life was Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands. They had a season 1 ending event in which Sam Fisher from Splinter Cell was crossing over and I had to get on board. Wildlands was a super fun game and I beat the campaign with a 100% however, I haven’t killed the Predator yet. Yeah the actual Predator is in this game. It’s wild. I had over 50 hours in this campaign. Lots of Friday nights when my wife would need some sleep and Lily would snooze out beside me on the couch.

After Wildlands I tried to stay in that gaming high and after this year’s E3 event I got the Devil May Cry games and The Division, as well as revisited the first Gears of War game, however my newest gaming buddy has become mobile so it’s harder to play, hell The Division won’t even let you pause in a firefight.

Hope you enjoyed this trip down my year in having a newborn and gaming and keep up with Mid-American-Culture for fresh content daily.

Boring Video Games Are Awesome

Earlier in the week, I couldn’t sleep, so I did what I normally do when this happens: I binge watched YouTube videos. My YouTube adventures led me to a gameplay video of a game called House Flipper. On the surface, this game sounds very intriguing. To be fair, it is very intriguing. However, it wasn’t what I expected it to be. The first stages of the game consist of your character starting a house flipping business. Your humble beginnings lead you to take jobs cleaning houses, painting rooms, etc. The gameplay that I watched can be described only as tedious. You quite literally go through and mop the house, physically pick up the trash, wipe down the windows, and use a paint roller to add color to the rooms of the houses. When I describe this to you, you’re probably thinking that this sounds boring as all hell. In a way, you’re right. It is boring. It is tedious. On the flip-side though, there is something so addictive and charming about it. Putting in all of that hard work and seeing the results of a clean and beautiful house is extremely rewarding. As you progress through the game, you undoubtably find more and more interesting and fun things to do to these houses, eventually buying your own and flipping them for a profit. This game, among other PC classics have really made me want to get a gaming PC, just to share in the experience. Not too long ago, I also downloaded Roller Coaster Tycoon (a childhood favorite of mine) onto my laptop. Obviously, it doesn’t run as well as it does on a desktop computer, but it sent me on a nostalgia trip I can only liken to visiting your old school or your childhood house. I felt right at home in the game. These minimally exciting, but yet intriguing games are awesome and I hope that this recent experience has rekindled my love of such games. I encourage everyone to check out this game, or at the very least some gameplay of it, so that you can experience it’s strange, almost boring charm. I will link some gameplay below. That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading. Check out some of the other great content on Mid-American Culture while you’re here. See you next week!

View House Flipper gameplay here!

Bring Back NCAA Football Games

Today, I will be briefly ranting about two things near and dear to my heart: football and video games. More specifically, I will be talking about NCAA Football video games. NCAA 14 was the last college football game released by EA, do to licensing disputes and a plethora of other issues. At the time in which the games were still coming out, I wasn’t an exceptional fan. I liked them, I always purchased them, but with the exception of 2012, I always preferred Madden games to their NCAA counterpart (Madden 12 was awful). However, I recently started watching a YouTube gaming channel which featured an NCAA 14 Dynasty series, which hit me right in the nostalgia spot. So, for the first time in years, I hooked up my old Xbox 360 and played some NCAA 13. I ended up not buying NCAA 14 for whatever reason, so I made do with what I had. I was immediately enthralled by the game. I had forgotten just how in-depth and fun the Dynasty mode was. I absolutely love the recruiting process and I find it to be just as fun, if not more so, than the actual games themselves. The nature of college football forces players to constantly be looking to the teams future, as you have a maximum of 5 seasons at most with any and all in-game players. Currently, I am going into my 4th season as head coach of my local team, the Marshall University Thundering Herd. I hold an immaculate record, having lost only 4 games in those 3 completed years (playing on Heisman difficulty, of course). I have both a Rose Bowl and Orange Bowl victory, and two C-USA Championships to show for my success. I’m pressing on in my dynasty, not feeling the slightest hint of exhaustion or boredom toward the game. This has led me to raise the question of why in the world the NCAA and EA Sports have not revived this series. The game is exceptional. I obviously don’t have exact figures, but I’m 100% certain that the NCAA Football series made millions of dollars for EA. It undoubtedly exposed a significant amount of people to college football, to the benefit of the NCAA. Surely the two sides could reach an agreement on a way to bring the series back. On top of that, the game could be heavily beneficial to the players themselves. I have always been a strong supporter of paying college athletes. While I do not believe that they should receive any compensation outside of a scholarship from the school’s themselves, the players should be able to monetize their likeness, in the form of profiting from their respective jersey and merchandise sales, as well as actual usage of their likeness in things like the NCAA Football video game series. The reintroduction of the game could be the best possible way to ensure a higher quality of life for both college athletes and causal video game players. The series has provided me with countless hours of fun, and continues to do so, despite the last rendition of the game being 5+ years old. The revival of the game could help bridge the gap between the millions of dollars made by the NCAA and the lack of compensation for college athletes. Bringing back the game would be a win-win-win situation for the NCAA, collegiate athletes, and video game players alike. In my opinion, this is something that really, really needs to happen. I hope to one day be able to turn on my new-generation gaming console and again be able to enjoy the fun of the college football experience, sooner rather than later.

That’s all for this week. Be sure to check out some of the other great content from the writers at Mid-American Culture. Thanks for reading!