Only two more months left of 2017! The game releases are yet to slow down on quality and quantity! From new to remastered, it looks to be yet another stacked month of gaming.

Call of Duty: WWII (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
11/03

It's about that time. 


Need For Speed Payback (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
11/10

The road Need For Speed has been going down has been a bit rocky the past few installments. Though this time it looks like they're turning in the right direction. Payback looks great visually and has brought back some of the best parts about the series, cop chases!

Star Wars Battlefront II (PS4, Xbox One, PC)
11/14

I'm hoping DICE can pull this off. Their first attempt at Battlefront last year was extremely disappointing. With a single-player mode and being able to play as DARTH MAUL I might have to give this game a chance. Though I'm waiting until reviews come through from peers to see if it's worth it.

L.A. Noire (Switch, PS4, Xbox One)
11/14

L.A. Noire is the next big title to receive the remaster treatment. I bought the game late last year for $2.00 so I don't think I'll be getting this remaster. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't! L.A. Noire is a very interesting game to experience. Especially when it was developed by almost everyone's favorite developer Rockstar! 

Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim (Switch/PSVR/HTC Vive)
11/17

This will now be the re-re-release of Skyrim. Only this time, there are two completely new ways to play it! It's fully portable with the Nintendo Switch and is fully playable with the HTC Vive and PlayStation VR! I don't really like Skyrim, but it's hard to not be interested in being in the Elder Scrolls world in virtual reality. It's something I might have to invest in.. 

The Inpatient (PSVR)
11/21

A new PlayStation VR adventure, and the second one taking place in the world of Until Dawn. Horror in VR is always an incredible experience. I've been waiting to put my PSVR to use for quite awhile now. After playing through a handful of games I honestly got bored. Sony hasn't been pumping out titles lately but with The Inpatient & Skyrim it looks like we're seeing a swing on VR releases yet again.

Pokemon Ultra Sun & Ultra Moon (3DS)
11/17

I haven't touched a Pokemon game since Ruby/Sapphire/Emerald. I may end up picking Ultra Sun or Moon up later in time. I love games that have a tropical setting so seeing the original release almost convinced me to buy it. It's a good thing I waited because I knew they would release another version like they always do. I just have to wait until I get a 2DS XL.

Mario Party: The Top 100 (3DS)
11/10

A game I felt would be WAY better on the Switch is releasing on 3DS. Still, it's nice to see Nintendo pay some attention to Mario Party and listen to the fan base (As far as I know I've been talking to people about this for what feels like years.) It handles multiplayer the same way as Mario Kart 7, in which as long as one person has the game you can all play against each other by connecting online! The Top 100 is a game that could very well make an appearance on the Switch later in time, if you have a 2/3DS I feel that this is a must buy!

Destiny 2 launched on PC this week, just shy of two months after the console release. Most of the activities I talk about  won't be available until you progress to a certain part in the story or beat the campaign! Whether you're getting ready for the raid or are starting the game for the first time here are some tips!

Daily & Weekly Reset

Taken directly from the Bungie help page, certain activities reset daily or weekly. The server resets daily at 5am EDT and weekly every Tuesday. Your weekly reset activities will be the source of loot that is guaranteed to increase your Power Level/Item Level!

Power Level Caps at 265!
I really liked this guy's helmet

Once you reach level 20, you'll be cycling through gear until about Power 265. Until you reach that Power Level(PL), dropped gear from enemies, "vendor gear" from turning in tokens and engrams you decrpy will yield gear that increases PL! For Destiny 1 players: You don't need to equip your best gear to get better gear. The game checks for your best possible gear across your all character's inventory and your vault. Once you hit Power 265, you need to rely on Exotic Engrams or powerful engrams from the weekly activities such as the Nightfall Strike,Raid, Milestones or Clan engrams. Once you beat the campaign, you'll be able to take on special planetary quests that award a weapon that is guaranteed to raise your PL! Speaking of clans...

JOIN A CLAN
Hey,that's my clan!

Each week, you can up to 4 powerful engrams for the entire clan by completing 4 activities "as a clan". For the Crucible, Nightfall and Raid challenge you need only to finish the activity with at least half of your fireteam composed of clanmates. For the Trials of the Nine Challenge, you need to win a certain number of games not in one session but overall. In addition to these challenges, you get an additional powerful engram for gaining Clan XP from activities such as strikes/crucible/public events! You can also earn special guild buffs depending on the level of your clan like increased XP or increased glimmer gain! One last gem: Clans are cross platform! Haven't tested this one personally but I've seen reddit posts on how XB1 and PS4 players were earning clan XP and getting Clan Engrams from being in the same clan! The same is true with PC players entering the fray!!

Xur!

Xur's kind of like Santa Claus except you have to pay him for his loot.  He sells exotic gear, gear that you can equip only of in your weapon slot and armor slot(so 1 exotic weapon and 1 exotic armor). Each week he brings one exotic weapon for sale and one exotic armor piece for each class! Exotic weapons costs 29 legendary shards(shards you acquire from breaking down legendary or exotic gear) while exotic armor pieces costs 23 legendary shards. He appears every Friday morning after reset and leaves after the weekly reset. The gear will cap out at 270 power, it scales with your PL up until 265 but it's the best way for your to acquire new exotics outside of engrams!
Every Halloween I try my best to at least somewhat celebrate the holiday by playing spoopy games and Halloween themed games throughout the month of October. Some of these games are tradition, while some are simply special Halloween events, which always manage to be fun. I was pretty worried that this year I wouldn't be able to make the extra time to play some spooky/thematic games, but I found the time for a few/stumbled into a few others! Check out what I've been playing to celebrate Halloween 2017!


MediEvil

MediEvil has become a Halloween staple for me over the years. Every single Halloween for the last decade or so I pull out the PlayStation 1 classic. By no means would I consider MediEvil a scary game, but it certainly fits the Halloween theme with a plethora of visuals with some serious Tim Burton inspiration. No matter how many Octobers come to pass, MediEvil still scratches that itch for a Halloween experience that also wont make me pee my bed. It also helps that Sir Daniel Fortesque, MediEvil's main character, is a ridiculously fun character to control. Part of me is always hoping for some sort of N-Sane Trilogy-esque remaster of the original MediEvil, but for the time being the original MediEvil is my go-to Halloween game. (We don't talk about MediEvil 2)


Resident Evil 6

The Resident Evil franchise is one of, if not THE, most famous horror franchise in all of gaming history. Each game in the numbered main series has mixed responses and the fandom certainly has their favorites, and it's pretty well accepted that RE6 is the worst in the main numbered series. Well, after playing RE5 a few months ago with Dictator, we figured October would be the perfect time to dive into the "worst" Resident Evil game. After multiple hours into Leon's campaign I'm happy to say I'm enjoying the game much more than I ever expected to. Obviously, the main complaint of RE6 is the game is basically just an action shooter at this point, and I certainly cannot argue with that truth. Things are quite different, especially compared to the first few games. However, Chapter 2 of Leon's campaign was quite a pleasant treat, and surprisingly tense. The chapter takes place in an incredibly dark graveyard, with actual zombies, traps and a wonderfully crafted co-op area. Ultimately, RE6 actually piqued my interest, and I look forward to playing some more of it with Dictator. When I was surprised to enjoy my time with it, Enrique's wise words echoed inside my mind; "Stop being sheep!!"


Divinity: Original Sin 2  

Hey look! I'm talking about Divinity again! No, Divinity is not even remotely a horror game, but it certainly has some pretty dreary moments. There's skeletons running around, necromancers, witches, cannibalism, demons and plenty of other messed up stuff to encounter while you adventure around Rivellon. However, one area really laid on the spooky quest lines and side missions, and I couldn't help but be glad that we encountered it in October. Bloodmoon Island, a small island off the coast of Reaper's Coast in Act 2 is home to some really unsettling missions, enemies and interactions. It's hard for me to express in detail some of these encounters, because I would hate to be responsible for spoiling the way events unfold in this marvelous game, so I'll just keep it simple. It's pretty dark, and the bloody flora and fauna and soundtrack create a really creepy atmosphere while you do creepy things like kill demons, talk to ghosts and exorcise adventurers. Just another chapter of a ridiculously well written game.

Overwatch: Junkenstein's Revenge  

This is Overwatch's second Halloween and both years they've done a special PvE event called "Junkenstein's Revenge." Last year I have some really distinct memories of leaving LAN Mob and stepping out into the October weather after playing a whole bunch of Junkenstein's Revenge, and even though the formula has barely changed this year, it helped make it feel nostalgic in a strange way. I don't think the game mode is particularly mind blowing, but it's some good simple fun to celebrate the Holiday.


Brookhaven Experiment VR

As I'm writing this I actually haven't had a chance to try The Brookhaven Experiment out yet, but I plan to before this weekend. This weekend at LAN Mob we're having a special Halloween themed lock-in with candy, spooky games and VR! Brookhaven has a campaign mode, but we're going to be focusing on the survival mode and seeing how far everyone can get. I'm not one for scary games honestly, but scary games in VR...is even more terrifying...hope to see everyone there! 
After seeing Cody do his Top PS2 Blog, I decided to do one on the PlayStation 1. Along with the Nintendo 64, I fought with my siblings about getting playtime on the system. The PlayStation 1 was my older brother's console, but it shaped me into the gamer I am today. This was actually a pretty hard list for me to make. There are so many great games on this system and even while I was finishing this up it feels like I'm missing a few games..


Tales of Destiny
I remember watching my brother start this game and it looked awesome! When I finally got a chance to play it I didn't get far. I always got past the first part on the ship and would always get lost after that. I was terrible at RPG games at the time. I found the game in our basement some time ago in a beat up case of some other random game. Luckily it worked and I was finally able to beat it. It still held up to my expectations and remains my favorite game in the Tales series.

Crash Bandicoot: Cortex Strikes Back

This is one of my favorite platforming games. Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes backs blew me away as a kid. Everything about it is a ton of fun. I also beat the game after I burned my hand on my Mom's curling iron. Nothing was stopping me.

Brave Fencer Musashi
The PS1 was graced with what I consider Square's Golden Age. Brave Fencer Musashi is one of those games. I would rent this game constantly over weekends and try to get as far as I could. The story was interesting and the art style was appealing to the young me. 

Tekken 3

It was either this or Tekken 2. I spent so much time playing through both. Next to Melee, Tekken 3 is easily my favorite fighting game. It controls so fluidly and it's combo heavy gameplay had me hooked. I would spend hours learning as many combos as I could, though now I don't remember a single one.

Metal Gear Solid

Metal Gear Solid changed gaming for the better. Most of the movie-esque quality that you see today is thanks to Hideo Kojima. Right from the beginning you knew you were in for a hell of an experience. The stealth gameplay was a fresh idea at the time and was pulled off flawlessly. The boss battles as well had some crazy tricks behind them (Psycho Mantis) along with how great the story is.

Resident Evil 2

With the first game a huge success, Capcom began to work on it's sequel. Resident Evil 2 is in my opinion the best in the series. I very much agree that Resident Evil 4 is incredible but RE2 beats by just a bit. Being able to play through the game 4 different times as 2 new at the time characters (Leon S. Kennedy and Claire Redfield) RE2 had more refined gameplay, a great, story, and a way better boss battle. William Birkin is hands down my favorite boss in the series due to how many times you fight him and how intense it gets.

Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver

There weren't too many great 3D action games on the PS1. 3D was still fresh at the time and everyone was trying their hand at it. Soul Reaver however is one of the best games you could get on the console. The story, characters, tight gameplay, puzzles, and design was an impressive feat at the time.

Tomba!

I didn't get to actually play through this game until a few years ago. I bought this on the PlayStation Store after years of playing the demo when I was younger. Tomba is a 2.5D platform game which has you exploring levels looking for tasks to complete which will let get you items and upgrades to progress through the game while beating up pigs along the way.

Medievil

I'm slowly working on a blog for this now. It's been a long time since I've played this game but I remember it fondly. The characters were very well done along with great level design and slightly funny dialogue. You play as Sir Daniel Fortesque, a warrior with false praise who tries to redeem himself when the sorcerer Zarok comes back to take over Gallowmere.


Castlevania Symphony of the Night

This is truly the best 2D game on the PS1 by far. Embracing the Metroid-style gameplay, the game comes together extremely well. The character/enemy design, atmosphere, plot, etc. left with a great experience. Sometimes the voice acting can be a bit...bad. Aside from that there is a reason Symphony of the Night is regarded as the greatest Castlevania game by a majority of the fan-base.

Syphon Filter

Syphon Filter is one of my favorite shooters on the PS1. Gabe Logan is a great character and the action in this game is practically nonstop. Plus you can taser someone until they catch on fire:



Spyro The Dragon

The smooth gameplay, the open world hub, and the subtle comedy made Spyro The Dragon a fantastic game with a ton of replay value. I revisit the game regularly and it still holds up to me.

Final Fantasy IX

Final Fantasy IX was always my favorite next to VII. I honestly have no issues with it. I enjoy every character, every place is pleasant to explore, the music is great, combat system, everything. Even replaying it on PS4 proves that even today the story holds up.

Final Fantasy VII

I really shouldn't have to put this in the list am I right? On a serious note, without this game it might have taken longer for the RPG genre to become a juggernaut in the west. The marketing for this game at the time was like a big budget movie. All huge flaws aside, the game is still a great experience even when it's incredibly dated.

Since the PS1 is arguably my favorite console here are some honorable mentions which if you haven't played any of these it's 100% worth trying them out!

Bushido Blade
Crash Team Racing
Chrono Cross
Xenogears
Dino Crisis
Spiderman
Frogger 2
Star Ocean: Second Story
Jet Moto 2
Wild 9
Ape Escape

Splatfest time! We had a spooky, monster themed splatfest of Vampires vs Werewolves! For those not in the know, Splatfest is a 24 event in Splatoon where the winner is determined by battles won in solo queue, as a team and by popularity. The week before Splatfest starts you pick a side and you're given a special Splatfest shirt of your side to wear until the end of that Splatfest. Both sides will be rewarded Sea Snail Shells, which are used to modify clothing, but the winning side will get slightly more!

Result
Splatoon 2 Splatfest record: 1-2
Team Enrique/Team Invisible Werewolf Mayo lost their second splatfest in a row! Team Vampire gets the victory with a perfect score no less! Yikes. Out of the four participation ranks: Fanboy/Fangirl, Field, Defender, Champion and King/Queen, I just barely squeaked into Champion before the end of Splatfest. For this Splatfest, I decided to go Tenta Brella only. I have not played with the brella weapon type too much but from what I understand, you deploy a wide tent as a shield instead of an umbrella. I wasn't too thrilled with the sub weapon(beacon) but the bubble special was really fun to use! You pull out a bubble wand and create three large bubbles of your ink! If you shoot the bubbles with your ink they will pop and spread ink in a large area. There is room for counterplay as the enemy can pop the bubble with their ink to cancel it out.

Favorite Art
A solid Castlevania reference!

A Jojo reference! Look how smug that Inkling is.

Truth.
Parting Notes
I hate Humpback Pump Track so much. Man,I got my butt kicked! I could not master the Tenta Brella. The art was pretty...bad this Splatfest. It was Twilight vs Furries, according to the art posts. I did find a really cool drawing of Marina as Felicia as Darkstalkers mid-match but I couldn't find it in my lobby !! Ah well. Hopefully my side wins next Splatfest and the art's a bit more tame next time.

Rivals of Aether, despite being a relatively small indie game, is easily one of my favorite fighting games of all time. Rivals brings a lot to the table when it comes to what makes a "good" fighting game, and really scratches the same itch that other platform fighters do. (most notably Super Smash Brothers). I wrote a recent blog discussing the latest character to release in Rivals, Ori and Sein, and I was happy to say the character is a total blast. Ori didn't really satisfy my hunger for MORE RIVALS but here we are, not even two months later, with another two new characters for my favorite indie fighting game - "Ranno, the Poisonous Pacifist" and "Clairen, the Flame's Salvation"!



"Ranno, the Poisonous Pacifist"


Ranno was actually revealed back in August at this year's Super Smash Con, which felt like an eternity ago because I was so damn excited to play him. Ranno is the third character hailing from the water kingdom, alongside Orcane and Etalus. Ranno is kind of similar to Sheik, if you're familiar with Smash Brothers and has a plethora of close range rushdown options and even some zoning to boot. The frog monk has a pretty unique kit compared to the rest of the cast, including a super jump (executed by crouching before a jump), a damage over time effect and the ability to spawn bubbles and capture your opponent inside them. Ranno's damage over time debuff is applied via throwing poison darts (neutral special), smash attacks, and even rapid jabs. Up special can also add a stack of poison, and can be canceled into a whirlwind of poison darts. The max amount of venom is four, and each stack will add more damage over time, as well as effect how long your opponent will be stuck in your poison bubbles. It sounds a little complicated but everything about Ranno flows and feels extremely natural. His side special allows him to extend his tongue, which can be used to eat your opponent and spit them out inside a bubble, or to traverse terrain/make it back to the stage. He's easily my favorite post launch character to date, and I look forward to playing him more.


"Clairen, The Flame's Salvation"


Clairen had an insane amount of hype surrounding the release, thanks to some pretty solid marketing from Dan and his team. I remember before her official reveal on October 1st, the Rivals subreddit was ablaze with theories and guesses as to what Clairen would look and play like.
This cryptic image fueled hype for over a month.

Clairen is pretty much the Rivals of Aether's version of Marth from Smash Bros, tipper and all. Adding a "swordy" to the game was pretty heavily requested and Clarien fills the role as expected. Good range and excellent aerials let Clairen control the pace of the match as she sees fit, until she can end the match with her pretty insane kill potential. Unlike Marth, Clairen's tippers add a special stun effect when they land, which can extend combos if you wish, but they do add more knockback/damage. Clairen has some pretty unique specials included a grab for combo starting and a pretty crazy parry which creates an anti projectile zone. Ultimately, I think Clairen is a bit too strong, but she's a blast to play.

Rivals is a game I'm constantly pushing for people to try, whether it be close friends or people around the shop, and I've never had somebody not like it. The cast of characters seems to be one of the game's strongest appeals, and I think Clairen and Ranno only increase the allure. If you've never played Rivals/don't own a copy for yourself, this is the time to jump in! The excellent indie fighter is on sale for 50% on Steam to celebrate the new release, and you can even grab both characters for only $5! 
It's almost that season where you give thanks and then promptly fight someone for a discounted television at your nearest Wal-Mart. The Holidays are great, a time where you get together with family and bake cookies and all that good stuff. Then you pull your hair out because you stalled on buying your child that one thing they've been asking for all year and no it's out of stock because you're lazy! Now is the best time to start shopping for those gifts because once it gets to the middle of November that's when everyone goes on crackdown.

Nintendo Products
Nintendo products are always a hassle during the holiday. Sure, right now 3/2DS systems are abundant and Switches are becoming more frequent, that "I'll wait" mentality is what almost every parent has. Like all those years before, any Nintendo System you try to find WILL be sold out. It's best to get it out of the way now. On top of that, there are numerous models of the 3DS AND 2DS. There are the 3DS, 3DS XL, and the New 3DS XL. Better yet there are cheaper models known as the 2DS and 2DS XL. On the plus side the 2DS system will usually include a free game download. Just know the a 2DS will come with a charger whereas the 3DS Model does not. Of course there is also the Nintendo Switch. It's best to snag one when you see them because once the holidays "officially" start, they'll be difficult to track down. They've released a few bundles but the big one this year is looking to be the Super Mario Odyssey Bundle.

New 3DS XL $199.99
2DS 79.99
New 2DS XL $149.99 - $159.99
Switch $299.99 - $379.99




Sony Products
Don't worry no handheld systems here (Sorry Vita) so you'll be looking at just consoles. There are a couple different model of the PlayStation 4. You have the Slim model, which can come in either a 500GB or 1TB model. Then there is the Pro model. A 1TB system with 4K capabilities. 

PlayStation 4 Slim - $299.99
PlayStation 4 Pro - $399.99 - $449.99


Microsoft Products
With a new Xbox One making it's debut next month there are a few options for your Xbox needs. We have the new standard Xbox One S. It will usually come bundled with a game and vary between 500GB, 1TB, or 2TB. Then there is the new "Powerhouse" the Xbox One X. This is the "TRUE 4K" console. Though I'll be honest, the graphics do look beautiful. On the plus side though you don't have to worry, as far as it goes now there will not be any releases exclusive for the Xbox One X. It is worth nothing that the system won't be out until 11/07. It is still available to pre-order and might be the best way to secure one.

Xbox One S $249.99 - $449.99
Xbox One X $499.99



On October 10th, Team Fortress 2 celebrated their 10th anniversary! Their website says TF2 first appeared in The Orange Box, a collection of games featuring TF2, Portal 1 and Half Life 2:Episode Two, released in 2007. I got into TF2 in the fall of 2009 after finding out Borderlands 1 couldn't run on my laptop. Before buying the Orange Box, I would spend my free weekends staying up super late and watching my suitemates play TF2. TF2 caught my eye because it oozed charmed. Such as its cartoony aesthetic and the personality each class had(even Pyro) with their little remarks after killing an enemy or using a voice command.

Looking back, I went HARD on all things TF2. It was the only game I had for the first two years of owning my laptop!! Like, I would watch every available Meet the Team video repeatedly. I can't choose a favorite, they're all really good! I learned how to rip and format audio files for the sole purpose of putting TF2 soundbites on my phone(The Heavy laughing is my favorite text tone of all time). I had a sweet Spy shirt but some bastard someone stole it right out of the dryer in the dorm laundry room!! Not to mention I spent two summers idling for items just to get cool hats and weapons to show off.


I did idle a bit but also played a butt-ton.

Looking back, I had a lot of great memories with this game. I fondly remember when they launched their horde mode: Mann versus Machine and how my friends and I would spend many nights trying to beat the hardest difficulty. Or the nights we'd buy a couple crate keys and see who pulled the coolest thing. I'll close out this blog with my first and favorite memory: crafting my first hat for my favorite class(Flamethrowers are really fun!) .I think this is the only item I didn't sell when I put up my entire inventory on the marketplace this past summer. I may have sold all my items but Team Fortress 2 holds a special place in my heart!

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