Tag Archives: PAX

#500 Thank You PAX East #Thankacreator

Boogie2988 recently created the #Thankacreator hashtag, and in his video he explained that the purpose of the Hashtag was to use the Internet to spread a little bit of positivity around the net by personally thanking your favorite entertainer and content creator. This will be my fifth year attending PAX East, and every time it has been able to one up itself in terms of content and entertainment. For my 500th blog post I would like to dedicate this post to the wonderful people who planned and execute the PAX East Expo each year.

pax east black

Thank you people behind PAX for organizing and supplying enough content and entertainment to last for a three day weekend.

For years the PAX Staff has constantly reached out to Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, the other major videogame companies, and gaming personalities to fill up the expo hall to the brim and still have enough panels constantly running in every theater from open to close. I have participated my fair share of event planning for my small college and I can only imagine the nightmare of negotiating with these Triple A game companies and major videogame celebrities living and working in different time zones around the world to make sure everyone shows up and are happy with the PAX East accommodations.

It does not go unnoticed

It does not go unnoticed

Thank you PAX East for making such a welcoming place.

I attended my first PAX East when I was well into college and at that time I overcame my insecurities about being a geek, by the time I first walked through the front door of the BECE. But I can see the importance of an event that is all about a celebrating and embracing everything it means to being a gamer, a nerd, or a geek to a middle or high school student who might might still get picked on or bullied in class for still playing Pokemon or Magic the Gathering

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And despite what the news might claim, PAX East has always been a safe environment for any and everyone, with enforcers stationed everywhere, offering help if needed and checking and evaluating every prop weapon to making sure that they could not harm anyone. I have seen harassers that have attended panels be dealt quickly and responsibly, even this past year, with the aftermath of the Boston Bombing, PAX had upped security but as an attendee, I never felt restricted while I was there.

But most importantly, I would like to thank Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins for giving East Coasters something, anything videogame related.

America’s East coast kinda gets shafted when it comes to videogame conventions, with all the major events; E3, Comic Con, GDC, BLIZZCON, and even the recently announced TwitchCon choosing to stay in California. So thank you Penny Arcade for all that you have done in regards to launching and continuously supporting an event that people from New England to Florida can look forward during the spring of every year. While I do not speak for them, I assume many Southerners and Australians gamers share the same sentiment.

I don't see the appeal in California. East coast has the best Pizza and Sea food.

I don’t see the appeal in California. East coast has the best Pizza and Seafood.


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Be MOP focuses on the world of videogames with my own reflections about the current news and developments that happens throughout the gaming industry. Updates Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays

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#498 Tips for PAX East 2015 from 2014

Ladies and Gentlemen we are now a fortnight away from the people behind Penny Arcade’s PAX East opening their doors and starting the biggest videogame convention that the East Coast has the pleasure of hosting.

This year will be the fifth year attending the PAX East convention, and I was going to write a blog post giving out tips and advice on how to properly effectively capitalize on the most of everything that PAX or any other videogame/comic book convention has to offer you. Then I remembered that I already wrote blog post over at Sheep the Diamond last year. After re-reading the post I realized that I anything I write now would just be parroting that post. So I decided to take a leaf out of the triple A videogame industry by taking the original post, spicing it up a little by adding a bit of content at the beginning and end and re-released it as a “definite edition”.

So without further ado:

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This Friday kickstarts the 2014 Penny Arcade Expo, one of the biggest video game conventions on the East Coast and this year will mark my third year going down to Boston to experience all that is PAX with my family and friends. Over the years I have compiled my own list of must-haves to bring along if you do not want to miss a single moment of PAX or a similar videogame convention/expo.
A Good Backpack: This one is self explanatory, even if you take a glancing pass through the Expo hall you will end up having more loot that you can hold. Plus you will need it to hold everything else in this list. While the expo may supply you with a bag in the loot bag they do tend to rip and tear throughout a day of heavy use.

 

Phone Charger/Device Charger AND surge protector: Live tweeting takes a lot out of your phone or tablet’s battery and if you plan to play with a handheld while passing time in the lines you will be needing a charge and because electrical plugs are finite in the building, bringing a surge protector along so you can share the electricity with other people. Who knows you might even make a friend or two.

 

CA$H: While the use of mobile apps that performs credit card charges on the go are increasing, plastic is not the preferred choice for the expo booths, and trust me you do not want to miss your chance to get a T-shirt from your favorite booth just because they don’t accept debit cards.

 

An Autograph Book: There are going to be plenty of famous and internet-famous people attending and you do not want to be caught with your pants down when you run into one of your idols and you don’t have anything on hand for them to sign. * Note: this packing tip comes from personal experience of mine when I ran into the creator of Red vs Blue on the expo floor.

 

Travel sized deodorant: There is already the stereotype of the smelly geek attending gaming convention, please don’t feed into it. Deodorant also serves as a college-age makeshift shower after being crammed into a convention hall with thousands of other geeks for three days.

 

Trail Mix: The snack food halls tend to drain the most out of your wallet so trail mix serves as a great way to cheaply save a few bucks and keep you going long into the night. The advanced expo traveler might even try to pack some lunch meats sandwiches in the morning before going. True masters might even try to pack the recommended nutritional value worth of food for the three days, but this is optional.

 

Energy Drinks: Trail Mix and good food may provide great healthy energy, but that always pales in comparison to the high you get from good old fashioned carbonated sugary caffeinated soft drinks. To quote a classic 90’s videogame mascot: during this weekend, YOU GOT TO GO FAST.

And now I am going to save yourself some hassle, pack some Emergenc-C or any types of Vitamin C drops: Bring this along and be sure to eat plenty of Vitamin C for the Post PAX crash because it comes down to this – there is so much stuff to do over this single weekend, the only real benchmark on how well you participated in the event is how comprised your immune system is on the following Monday.

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To add some little more content to this post I also highly recommend spending quite a bit of prep time looking at all the panels and events available throughout the weekends and building a schedule around those activities. One of my mistake during my first year at PAX was that I ending up wandering around the Expo hall for too long and I only realized that I missed out on some interesting panels only after I looked at the schedule the next day.

If you are planning to attending a panel, especially if it is a panel about a popular topic or with popular people allow your  schedule to wait in line. These panels fills up incredibly fast and in some cases a half hour before the panel even starts. if you have a particular panel or content that you want to not only attend especially if you want good seats.

I hope this post helps any PAX East first timers, and if you are going to be attending PAX East this year leave a comment down below. We could try to do a makeshift meet up.

 


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#488 Heroes of the Storm First Impressions

Over the weekend, due to a combination of some free time, watching various PAX South Streams, and remembering that I actually had the game in my inventory, I booted up Blizzard’s second Free to Play game, the A.R.T.S/MOBA game Heroes of the Storm for the first time to play a few rounds.

I played between the two free ranged and support heroes of that week, Malfurion and Falstad, for a few matches in the Raven and Haunted mines map. I did have a fun time playing the game, winning my fair share of matches and even scoring a few killstreaks here or there, I contribute that to my months of Twitch training.

 Its weird starting fresh in new MOBA/ARTS game, relaying on the free champs that week instead of the handful of champs you know so well.

Its weird starting fresh in new MOBA/ARTS game, relaying on the free champs that week instead of the handful of champs you know so well.

My first impressions is that it is a fun game with more of a focus on map objectives than player kills, and the objectives are fun to partake in. from collecting skulls to power up your bulldozer of a Grave Golem as it marches from one side of the map to the other to claiming capture points to ensure that your team gets the highly prized buff or inflicting a powerful curse or attack on the enemy’s defenses.

I have only played for a handful of matches, so I do not know how I feel about Heroes of the Storm choosing a heavy focus on Talents and upgrading and side-grading the hero’s abilities over the item approach for character improvement. I definitely know that I am not a fan of Blizzard’s gameplay choice to let players pick their champions first and then enter the queue.

I lost quite a few solo-queue matches because our team was comprised of two supports and no damage and that was because there was no time to communicate to the other players and and change our team competition before rolling out.

I do not know how those two complaints will might work with the competitive scene of the game when it comes to the staple pick/ban phase and counting other champion’s play style we see in other games, that is if there is a community interest to move towards a competitive or metagame route.

of course it will, we have competitive Hearthstone tournaments

of course it will, we have competitive Hearthstone tournaments why wouldn’t we have a competitive HoTs scene

Those two complaints are not enough to deter me from the game all together, and I will still plan to play it but recreationally, I know that if I play Heroes of the Storm any more than casually I end up losing money, fast.

I know that if I lose money it will not be because of HoTs’s microtransactions or colorful unicorn mounts but by resubbing to World of Warcraft. It was the same problem I had with Hearthstone. While Heroes of the Storm uses assets from their Diablo and Starcraft games the game is heavily designed with the World of Warcraft Universe in mind, taking a bit of priority over the other Blizzard intellectual properties, with maps, building designs, heroes, mounts, sound effects, and the inclusion of Hearthstones as the item used for recalling back to base.

Even now, after playing a few games, I can feel the itch, the Warcraft itch to resubscribe to reenter the world of Azeroth to revisit those lands and important characters. The itch is especially bad with that new expansion that involves New Outland and time travel. I left World of Warcraft more than a year ago and I know that if I go back I will be lost forever giving $15 a month to Blizzard for the access to a game that I will hardly play.

I wish I could go back to World of Warcraft again, but I just do not have the time, thanks to my current schedule to to allow the time investment for the hours of preparing and committing to a guild that raids end game content continuously and progressively as I would have want.

The kicker is if Blizzard added a special champion costume exclusive to the World of Warcraft subscribers

The kicker is if Blizzard added a special champion costume exclusive to the World of Warcraft subscribers

Another reason that HoTs will not be played anymore than casually is because I already have a main A.R.T.S/MOBA game that I play,on a scheduled basis. A.R.T.S are like MMOs, you can only really choose one to sink enough time into to get the best benefits and I already have one and it’s not this one.


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#475 My 2015 Wishlist

We are at the very last week of 2014, as as many look back on the past year (just like what I did earlier this month in Be MOP #471), I would like to take this time to focus on the next year, 2015. While we are all ringing in the new year I want to go through my wishlist for the upcoming year with all of you guys. Consider this a mix of new years resolution and my wishlist for the gaming world. so in no particular order:

I have only one New Year's resolution since 2012, to update this site every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for 52 weeks

I have only one New Year’s resolution since 2012, to update this site every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for 52 weeks

A new self-built gaming PC.

I have a fairly competent gaming Laptop, which has served me well for a few years but the old girl is starting to show her age and have a feeling that she is going to be soon on her way out of the magnificent world. Before that hapens and catches me off guard I want to preventively replace her.  But I do not want to out out and just buy a new computer, I want to build it myself. This is a project I want to get started for a while and hopefully with Tax season just around the corner I will be able to cash in my rebate for the funding foundation of my next, great gaming computer.

I am also pursuing this project for two reason; I want 1080p/60fps for every game I own all the time, something my current computer can not do and I want a computer that can stream games with a tolerable frame rate on any setting above ‘Lowest’

Fun fact: From this year's Steam sales I have a list of games that to only be played on a better computer, playing a Platinum game on anything less than High graphics and constant frame rates.

Fun fact: From this year’s Steam sales I have a list of games that to only be played on a better computer, playing a Platinum game on anything less than High graphics and constant frame rates.

More Amiibo supported games

I have talked about this last time (Be MOP #474) but I am adding it here again after training my Star Fox Amiibo figure in Smash and soon realizing that the only other game I have that is supported by Amiibos is Mario Kart 8.

I put this here again because after everything I have heard about the Nightmares of the Amiibos production and shipping line, and the multiple exclusive Amiibo deals Nintendo has with various videogames and toy stores I worry that we will not get constant, across the board support for all these little guys in future Nintendo games.

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Exclusively available at Toys R US! 

To have more fun at PAX East than last year.

This is one of the only major Gaming convention on the East Coast and because of that I am trying to push myself to have the most jammed packed gaming weekend each year, with goals of filling up my schedule with educational/intellectual panels, making at least one pass around every booth on the expo floor, and meeting up with online friends who are also attending.

In the lead up to each new PAX I have an ongoing challenge to try to have more fun at this year’s PAX East than last time. It started with me moving from two days pass to three days. The next year it got one upped when I turned 21 when I could start attending in all the various PAX parties around the city during the weekend and which is then one upped last year when I booked a hotel for last year instead of just hopping a bus back home at the end of each day. My goal for this year is to be even more efficient in all the festivities than last year.

The last few PAX East I was inspired to start a blog and then later Twitch account, so who knows what might come next.

The last few PAX East I was inspired to start a blog and then later Twitch account, so who knows what might come next.

No more Buggy AAA games.

This is the equivalent of “No more wars” on this list, but it seemed like constant, defining part of the 2014’s gaming world. Luckily enough to dodge a bullet on this terrible problem, but I know that the trend of pumping out half baked and incomplete games hurts everyone. It hurts the game’s community, it hurts the trust with the consumers, it hurts the image of the gaming companies that decided to push out a game without a proper test drive through the QA department, and it hurts the gaming world as a whole.

And I hope that the game developers and companies learn their lesson from this past year and make an effort to change their business practice for the better.

Its a on wish list for a reason

Its a on the 2015 wishlist for a reason


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#375 What items would I buy from a F2P store

I might have mentioned on this blog before that I have a personal policy against buying anything for myself in Free to Play games. A stingy policy I know, but that policy stops me from paying through the nose for every cosmetic items and every new champion the company constantly pumps out. That being said I do not have a policy of putting money in the F2P market, over the past few years my brothers and I have bought and traded Riot’s League of Legends IP cards for our Birthdays and Holiday because we have all reached that point where my brothers and I no longer want to be gifted stuff, but rather items that we can use.
But because Birthdays and Holidays only come once a year and on top of my purchasing policy of mine makes I do realize that this make it difficult for game designers and the people behind new games like Infinite Crisis and Heroes of the Storm to gather information about my purchasing patterns.

Even though I do not often vote with my wallet that does not mean I should not have a say on what items should be sold in the game. So for today’s blog post, to give the people at Infinite Crisis, Heroes of the Storm, and every other ARTS/MOBA, and F2P game a break I am going to give a quick recap on the few item I have bought in the past when I was at F2P checkout line.

First WoW, now this? I should start charging for my marketing insight and data....nah Im just going to blog about it for free.

First WoW, now this? I should start charging for my marketing insight and data….nah I’m just going to blog about it for free.

Just like yesterday lets cover the types of items that I have sworn to never going to buy from the F2P game:

My first rule is to never pay for in-game boosts/advances that unbalanced the game, this policy is easy because do not play those games where you can gain the upperhand by outspending the opponent.

The next rule I have is never to buy anything that I can earn.

This extends from the champions themselves, extra skill pages in League of Legends, Stolen powers in Infinite Crisis and EXP boosts in the game. Paying for all of those items are for the lazy and it is foolishness to spend money on those items compared to all the other things that could be bought from the online store. On top of that buying shortcuts in the game to the rewards you want seems to be counterproductive to what a game is supposed to be.

After being scorned I will never buy a pallet swapped skin of a champion ever again. This comes after buying the Phantom skin for my favorite League Champion, Karthus when I first got my hands on some microtransaction credits. If buying EXP boosts and champions are lazy on behalf of the player, this is laziness on the game developers to add these slightly changed models into the game. Granted this was a relic of Riot’s older policy on skins, like Nightmare Cho’gath where they just change the colors around and placed it on the store shelves. Now it looks like Riot and good game developers are moving away from this practice and are putting more effort into the skins they create now. In my defence I only bought the Karthus skin because it was a part of the first category of reasons I would buy a skin because it was a holiday skin or a limited edition skin.

Last christmas my brother game a few Riot IP gift cards and as a result I brought a Snow Day Ziggs, a skin that has the bomb enthusiast champion be decked out in snow gear and Riot switched out his normal bombs with snowballs and icicles. Those snowballs and icicles are actually serves a nice segway into the next, final, and greatest reason when it comes to buying a cosmetic skin because there is something special added than the original champion

I am a sucker for once a lifetime deals. Shhh keep it a secret through

I am a sucker for once a lifetime deals. Shhh keep it a secret through

Whether it be added and cool particle effects or a part of history I want to see that the skins that was creative, unique, and most importantly of all see that the game developers actually put some time and effort into it. Two perfect examples of that are the TPA or SKT skins that Riot created after each team won their Worlds championships and the Clark Kent Superman from Infinite Crisis. Something that I can resonate with and that I can show off and something that justifies my choice of giving the free to play gaming company my money.

Also do not tell anyone in videogame marketing team but I will go to the ends of the Earth for a free skins, weather it be waiting hours at PAX Expo hall for convention handouts, Facebook events, surveys, or authenticating my account. You name it I have done it, within reason, for the sake of getting a cosmetic skin for free.

Also do not tell anyone in videogame marketing team but I will go to the ends of the Earth for a free skins, whether it be waiting hours at PAX Expo hall for convention handouts, Facebook events, surveys, or authenticating my account. You name it I have done it, within reason, for the sake of getting a cosmetic skin for free.

 

Be Careful, dear reader, with this information that I have shared with you today on this public blog. I wrote this post with the intention of providing my thought process during the few times of the year when I have the money to purchase microtransactions so that videogame developers can take this data and make skins and cosmetic items that are not more appeal more towards me but to make skins that are more worthy to buy to everyone.

 


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#370 Scratching that Itch by Streaming with Twitch

Today I would like to announce my newest project, starting my own Twitch Streaming Channel!

 

 Ta DAH! this was the thing I was talking about in the last post. I am a bit surprised that nobody found the two hidden links that more or less spoiled the surprise I was trying to build up.

Ta DAH! this was the thing I was talking about in the last post. I am a bit surprised that nobody found the two hidden links that more or less spoiled the surprise I was trying to build up.

I have always wanted to get into videogame videos for quite a while and this past week I have been setting things up behind the scenes. Between work and blogging I have been brushing off my old Twitch account, Downloading the required streaming programs, and cleaning up the room that I intend to stream from, and training making sure I have the willpower to play through one game for a set amount of time multiple times throughout the week.

Fun Fact I bought Fraps years ago back when I first received a Beta invite for World of Warcraft’ Mists of Pandaria with the intent of uploading pandaren content to YouTube but the combination of my lack of editing skills and the hatred for my own voice killed that idea, so a raw stream on Twitch seems like a better option. The big question I asked myself when I started making plans to start streaming is, What game to play?’ After a thinking about it for a while I decided to primarily play Infinite Crisis a game that I talked about before. After playing a dozen or so matches I have not grown tired of it, it is also in the Beta development cycle and I always wanted to see an ARTS like that develop over time.

Be warned I am far from a pro Infinite Crisis player. So don't come in excepting me to pull off incredible plays

Be warned I am far from a pro Infinite Crisis player. So don’t come in excepting me to pull off incredible plays

 

Out of all my games that I could stream (short games with a lot of replay value) this one gives me an excuse to indulge in my comic book side and hopefully it will come through when I play and talk about the game and when I do a show and tell segment as well.

I stumbled upon loads of stuff that are almost too good to not show the world.

I stumbled upon loads of stuff that are almost too good to not show the world. This is signed by Bat-Val Kilmer himself

 

The one question that my friends and family ask when I tell them that I will be more or less to be sitting front of a computer, streaming my videogames to the entire internet for several times each week, is the question WHY? and on top of the usual reasons; Same reason for starting my blog, because I want to, and it seems like the next logical step to take after blogging for two years (don’t worry I will still continue to blog every Monday Wednesday and Friday).

It is also because when I was at 2014’s PAX East I saw a booth for Extra Life, promoting an event in the fall where you play videogames for 24 hours to help raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. I missed my chance to join last year and if wanted to participate this and play videogames for a full 24 hours I should stream the entire because you know how that old internet saying goes about pictures and the credibility of the story told on the internet.

 I wanted to join last year but during that time I was unemployed and I could not justify it to myself or others to stop my job search so I could play videogames literally all day.

I wanted to join last year but during that time I was unemployed and I could not justify it to myself or others to stop my job search so I could play videogames literally all day.

 

That is why I am jumping into Twitch streaming now, because I want practice on setting up streams, playing in front of an audience and talking to people for the big day in October. So if you ever wanted to hear and see the man behind Be MOP you can catch me on Twitch under the username Noahdeer and you can find me streaming Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays from 11:30 pm to 2:30 am EST and Saturdays 11pm – 2am EST.

 


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#367 My First Impressions of the Infinite Crisis Beta (again)

As I mentioned last week I received quite a bit of codes and access to the beta testing phase for games. To tackle the newest editions to my gaming library  I decided to reboot an old series that ended slightly before it time, “First Impressions”, a blogging series where I give my first impressions -not a full review- on a new bit of game or content.

For such a comeback I decided to kick things off with one games that was a part of First Impressions line up, DC’s Infinite Crisis, returning to it after just under a year so it could develop some more. I will save you some time and link you to my first First Impressions of Infinite Crisis (Be MOP #247) and after re-reading it a lot of the points I made still holds up with the exception that they fix the frame rate dropping issues and they added more heroes into the fray.

Last time I checked in the game only had 13 superheroes to choose from but now they have 28 characters to choose from, did add original Superman and Batman to the roster.

On top of the new heroes Infinite Crisis  added a handful of new microtransaction cosmetic skins for you to buy. This is where the game has the most potential for comic book fans like myself because the game/art developers have the freedom to pay homage to the any aspect of the DC’s history. If you are looking for a perfect example of this just look at the Classic and Clark Kent Superman skins

Just look at this, It's amazing! I still wont buy it, looking back I am probably a bad beta tester for upcoming Moba/ARTS games because I refuse to spend any money into a free game.

Look at this, It’s amazing! I still won’t buy it, looking back I am probably a bad beta tester for upcoming Moba/ARTS games because I refuse to spend any money into a free game.

One of the biggest additions to the game is the selection of maps. before it just had a capture-and-hold circular map with the promise of a Coast City map and I mentioned before how there was no ‘classic’ 5v5, three lane map. But they did fix that with the addition of Gotham Divided map

As for the heroes themselves I do not have much experience on what to look for in move sets and gameplay, all I can say is that I could competently play support as Wonder Woman and Harley Quinn in the few matches I played

 

I will say that the turrets in Gotham Divided seems to hit a bit too hard and have too little defense/health for any of the enemy teams to properly response to our assault in time.

I will say that the turrets in Gotham Divided seems to hit a bit too hard and have too little defense/health for any of the enemy teams to properly respond to our assault in time.

 

But my favorite addition to the game is the voice acting, banter, and kill quests in the game. Each hero has their own sound file for when you recall back to base and whenever you give an advancement or retreat ping on the map. But there are also certain voice files that are activated when two characters interact with each other. When a team has two different versions of the same hero (like Gaslight Joker & Classic Joker or Atomic age and classic Wonder Woman) near each other they create sometimes exchange dialogue like something along the lines of, “say you look familiar” or make a comment what events might have happened to make their worlds so different.

It does not stop at friendly banter there are lines heroes say after you kill a certain hero, Catwoman will occasionally say “I will miss our little dances Batman” when she lands a killing blow on the Dark Knight and Doomsday will make a comment about how Kryptonian blood is the best when besting the Man of Steel. It really shows the level of detail the game developers added when making this game.

 

the flair really shows that the intro cutscene has all of your teammates flying in with your hero taking the lead.

The flare really shows that the intro cut-scene has all of your teammates flying in with your hero taking the lead.

 

But it is not all song and praise from me, some of my old concern are still there. There is no matches against AI to test out your latest hero you purchased and the item art is too small for me to identify what exactly it is whether it be Abin Sur’s Lantern or Joker’s Crowbar. Although I do understand and appreciate the decision to organize the items with one of three backgrounds so I can quickly I identify what stat will be improved when I buy it.

I appreciate the art decision but I don't approve of it, but I also realize I don't have a much better alternative. Thanks to Dawnbase.com

I appreciate the art decision but I don’t approve of it, but I also realize I don’t have a much better alternative. Thanks to Dawnbase.com for this image.

 

It is still shaping up to be a good game and now that it has a bit more content I think will be return back to it and playing a bit more frequently than before. My hope is that, on top of new heroes and skins, Infinite Crisis will continue to add more maps with new play styles to the game, and something other than Gotham City for a location.

 2/3 of the current maps takes place in Gotham when there are literary hundreds of other places in the DC universe to visits. like Oa, Metropolis and the Justice League Watchtower or the Hall of Justice.

2/3 of the current maps takes place in Gotham when there are literally hundreds of other places in the DC universe to visits. like Oa, Metropolis and the Justice League Watchtower or the Hall of Justice.

 

As I said in my last post about Infinite Crisis, I am still waiting for Kyle Rayner, Doctor Fate, the Russian Starfire, and at least one of the Metal Men to be added to the game.


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