Things That Sea Of Thieves Needs!

It is no secret that Sea of Thieves is a little bare bones right now.  The sailing, exploring, and fighting are all great, but after a while you have kind of seen it all.  Here are a few quick things they could add to liven things up a bit.

1: An Arena Mode

A lot of pirates out there just want to fight, so why not let them.  Have a vender set up where you can pay a little for an entry to battle other crews for the enjoyment of others.  Then take the entrants to a smaller map with just a couple of islands to have ships dart around, and loaded with bananas and cannon balls, so they can send pirates out to scavenge while that battle rages.  When it is all over the winner takes home a hefty prize and bragging rights.  Then allow people to spectate from the islands and place wagers

2: More Complex Sea Warfare

Right now you can only fire two things from cannons.  Yourself and standard cannon balls.  Just by adding a couple more shot types this could get so much more fun.  Grape shot to take out other crews while leaving the other boat intact to try and steal their loot, chain shot to take down enemy masts and slow them down, or harpoons to pull in other boats or take down sharks.  More variety would make ship to ship combat way more fun, and give people more stuff to scavenge off islands.

3: Parley/Safe Harbor

Always looking over your shoulder for other pirates is half the fun of Sea of Thieves right now, but there is no good way of just meeting up with other crews and hanging out.  If there was an island you could go to chill and talk to other crews that would be pretty cool.  Even cooler if this was something players could set up.  Maybe they could buy ravens and send them out asking for parley and setting a location, then other crews could accept or deny the request.

4: More Life Like NPCs

The only NPCs in the game are shop keeps, which I understand, but it makes the world of Sea of Thieves seem lifeless.  There needs to be more people to make this feel like a real place.  Maybe just a couple of pirates drinking and singing songs in the bar, or a couple guys wandering about.  Maybe they could even give you special quests for rare items if you listen to their tales.

I want to like Sea of Thieves.  It has the bones of a game I want to get lost in, but right now it just needs more.  More of everything.  The quick fixes above would go a long way to making things feel more fleshed out.

PUBG Mobile Launches In The USA!

You know how I had to give all my info to China to play PUBG on my phone?  Well now if you live in North America you can just grab it from the Play or App Stores!  You will need Facebook to log in and keep all your data, but other than that just download it and go nuts!

If you are somewhat decent at using your phone for games or understand the PUBG concept it is a great time to start playing because most people are still just trying to figure it out right now.  It is kind of like PUBG on easy mode out there.  I have a few dozen  kills and a second place finish after just three matches.  Meanwhile The Paladin has already feasted on that sweet chicken dinner.

It looks like they have also upped the graphical fidelity a bit from the Chinese release.  The windows and house interiors are still gone, but there is more grass around, and the shadow draw is just a little further out.  Still not great compared to the Xbox One or PC releases, but pretty good for a phone game.  A matter of fact it runs so well, Bluehole may want to ask Tencent to give their other versions of the game a once over just to get some extra FPS out of them.

All in all this is a great mobile game.  I am amazed with what Tencent has accomplished.  Hopefully we will see the other maps and more content show up soon.

Shmee Makes Hats Out Of Monsters!

I have had Monster Hunter: World since it came out, and even though I have played quite a bit of it, I have never posted a review because I felt that I had only scratched the surface of what the game has to offer, and I still feel that way, but I am going to let you know my thoughts on the title anyway.  It is massive and fun, but sometimes the thought of actually playing it overwhelms me.

Monster Hunter: World is a streamlined and much better looking version of every other Monster Hunter game out there, but if you have already played other Monster Hunter games, then you probably don’t need this review because you are knee deep in some Flying T-Rex’s flesh right now.  For everyone else, Monster Hunter: World is a game where you go out in to a varied landscape and hunt all sorts of large creatures, and then turn their parts in to better equipment, so you can fight even bigger monsters in cooler parts of the world.  You do this until you fight a dragon as big as a mountain.

That may sounds like a massive grind, and it is.  The whole game is based around grinding massive animals to get really cool stuff.  Of course when you go out and hunt those creatures, you will probably not get the bones or pelts you need, so you will have to do this a few times.  That may sound dull, but the monsters are awesome, and the world they have created is like a real place.  It is magical to see how all these beasts interact with each other.  They have created a really good ecosystem simulation for these mythical beasts, and they let you murder (or capture) all of it.

Another awesome part of the game is that every weapon in Monster Hunter: World, makes the game feel different.  You will have to drastically change your play style if you decide to move on from the weapon you are currently using (it is a good idea to YouTube the weapon before using it), and there are fourteen different weapon types, and each of those weapons has a myriad of upgrades you can grind from those poor, poor massive deadly creatures.  Then it gets even better if you play with friends (if you can figure out how to play with your fiends)!

This game will not be for everyone.  If you hate long drawn out battles versus boss type creatures, maybe you should skip Monster Hunter: World, or perhaps borrow a friend’s copy before laying down your hard earned cash, but the monsters are different enough that you will have to change your strategy for every monster you face, and that keeps things fresh.  You can also just start using a different weapon if you want change things up for a while.  I am having a good time with it, but due to the prep and the time required for fighting the monsters, I can only play at little bit at a time.  Others have not had that problem.  At all.  I recommend it, but just know what you are getting in to before starting Capcom’s most successful game of all time.

Shmee Shoots A Lot Arrows With Merida!

Games with Gold has given us two Disney games back to back this year.  The first being the interesting yet flawed racer Split Second, and now a true ‘Disney’ game in that it is based off of Pixar’s Brave.  Brave: The Video Game is better than most licensed platformers, but that is not a high bar to clear.  That it is playable and has some fun moments means it is already better than 90% of the other licensed dreck out there.  It will not however be a game that you long to play day in and day out.

In order to gamify Merida’s story, Behaviour Interactive had to change a lot of Brave’s plot.  Instead of roaming about with Merida’s mother bear looking for a way to undo the spell, Merida now knows exactly what she has to do, and that is to use a variety of arrow and sword types to clear out all the blighted creatures from her father’s kingdom.  Then the Witch’s magic will work properly again, and she will be able to change Merida’s mother back.  Merida will also get help from her Mother and her brothers from time to time.

At first I thought Brave would just have a lazy hack and slash mechanic that would allow kids to button spam their way through this game, and it can probably still be played that way by exclusively using the sword and setting the game on easy, but the arrows are much more fun.  They shoot by just aiming the right analog stick the way you want to shoot.  In other words, Brave: The Video Game is a twin stick shooter/platformer, and in the moments when they are throwing a lot of different enemies at you and you are constantly changing arrow types to do the most damage, it is a lot of fun.  Even more fun, it has co-op where one person plays Merida and one person plays a giant wisp.  A wisp with Merida’s powers and equipment, so it is great for a parent to play with a younger child.  Which is what I am doing right now.

Unfortunately, it falls down in most other areas.  The graphics are fine, but dark and muddy, and everything looks the same.  There is no real gameplay variety.  You will jump from one place to the next, and then once you get to a purple ‘blighted’ area, you will shoot all the spawning monsters.  Clear that and you will jump around some more.  You will do this around eight times then finish the game.

Listen, Brave: The Video Game is a game for kids and their parents to play together, and it works rather well as Timmy’s first twin stick shooter, but once you are done with it, I don’t think you will go back for more.  The ‘hidden’ items are all easy to find and get to, and the game itself is quite easy, but if your daughter loves Merida and playing video games, it is worth downloading to show her how to make a blue orb shoot arrows all over the place.

PUBG On Mobile Is Surprisingly Good!

When I heard PUBG was coming to mobile phones I couldn’t believe it.  How could they possibly pack the full PUBG experience on to a small device?  It turns out they did it by streamlining the experience without dumbing it down.  Things like automatically picking up guns and putting on the best attachments; getting rid of almost all the gates and windows; taking all the interiors out of houses so it is easier to move about, and adding in a few bots (okay a lot of bots) to limit the CPU resources.  All these changes make sense for the platform, and Tencent should be commended for somehow making mobile PUBG feel like PUBG.

Granted there are a lot of hoops to jump through at this juncture to get PUBG installed.  If you are on Android like me, you need to download the Chinese app store TapTap, give it all the permissions you can, and then find the real PUBG.  Not the one with navel combat and whatnot.  If you can’t read Simplified Chinese, it is the one with the 8.8 user rating.  Once that is installed, you need to create an account with one of Tencent’s social media platforms, QQ or WeChat.  QQ is easier since all you need is an email address, and you can go to and sign up in English.  Then you need to go to the Play store and install the official Chinese QQ app and sign in.  Once that is done, you can log in a play PUBG on mobile!  For Apple folks you will need to create a Chinese Apple account, so you will need to get a temp Chinese credit card number, so good luck with that.  Then still sign up for WeChat or QQ.

Was it worth all the hassle, not to mention giving all my info to China to play PUBG on my phone?  Probably not, but it is a lot of fun, and probably one of the best mobile games out there right now.  I just hope that they create an official international version of the game soon.  That way I will not have to keep looking up what the menu buttons are.  Oh well, at least the gameplay doesn’t need to be translated.  Find cool loot and then survive until the end.  As Sam Eagle would say, “It is the American Chinese way!”