Geekly Review #199

You’ll never guess what I’ve been playing this week!

Destiny 2

Ghaul has arrived, he’s destroyed the tower, captured the traveller and taken away our light and now we have to stop him from trying to take the light for himself.

If anyone has been around here for a little while you’ll know I was a big fan of Destiny 1, so I’ve been pretty excited the last few days to finally get my hands on Destiny 2 and it’s pretty much all I’ve been playing.

I think it’s very obvious from the outset that D2 is a lot more cinematic and has focused a lot more on the story telling in the game with more cut scenes and well, an actual decent story. Is it the most original story? No, but it’s still pretty good.

I haven’t actually finished the main campaign yet, I think I’m around 3 missions off and so far it’s been really enjoyable and I’ve actually got some real Halo vibes from it in terms of the way the levels are designed and play out.

Everything seems to be stream lined in D2, gone are all the various materials, gone are the plethora of currencies, gone are random perk rolls for weapons and armour. For the most part I think all the changes have been good, but I do miss some things like an actual detailed mission log and bounties. I also miss that you can’t seem to pick a difficulty for missions any more, I  used to like playing the Heroic versions of them as they offered a bit more XP and generally made it a little more challenging, so far the game hasn’t been that tough.

Beyond the story I’ve been mostly playing the activities available during Patrols with Lost Sectors probably being the most enjoyable. Lost Sectors are kind of like mini dungeons that are hidden dotted around the map marked with a specific symbol, you then make you way through them to fight a mini boss and gain some loot. I’ve just enjoyed finding them and exploring them. I do kind of wish they weren’t all marked on the map though as it does make them very easy to find.

Public Events have changed now you can now see on the map when they’re about to start and they all have a heroic version of them available that has to be triggered in a way specific to each event. It’s a nice addition, but at the moment it seems like a lot of people don’t necessarily know how to trigger them so just carry on with the normal version, but that’s ok, it will change over time.

As of right now, I’m about 205 light level, I hit level 20 pretty easily and it seems that once you hit level 20 some new things open up to you and more will become available once I complete the story too – which I will finish off this week.

Vehicle section! Much like Halo’s epic vehicle moments.

For me, Destiny 2 is pretty much everything I wanted from the sequel, it’s more of the same, but with some great quality of life changes and a few tweaks here and there to the gameplay that don’t drastically change it, but give it a bit of a different feel.

I could say a whole lot more about the game, but I will save that for a more detailed post of its own later this week.

JCB Pioneer Mars

Yup that’s right a game about driving JCB diggers and it’s set on Mars. I recently played the first hour of it to see what it was like and made a video on it, check it out below! It’s actually a pretty fun game and has potential to be good.


NFL Madden 18

Destiny 1 was not my cup of tea at all, so I’ve not had any hype for Destiny 2, I’m leaving all that coverage to Will. I’ve been playing a bit more of a casual game since it’s release in August. Madden 18. While I’ve got myself fully immersed in the Franchise mode now, I did complete the new inclusion into this years version, the story mode named Long Shot.

Now, I know that NBA2k series gets a bit of a bad rap for their MyCareer mode which has pretty terrible cut scenes and a bit of a lackluster attempt at a story, However Madden’s Long Shot mode is a vast improvement over the 2K MyCareer modes though thankfully. That’s not to say it isn’t corny mind, it certainly has it’s share of corny and cheesey moments.

Long Shot mode sees you play as Devin Wade, a promising quarter back who plays for his high school team the Bullfrogs, before his talent takes him and his best friend Colt Cruise to the next step playing for Texas AM College, which if you’re not an NFL fan, is a very respectable college where players get drafted from by professional NFL teams. Devin’s career takes a downward spiral after the death of his high school coach and father who is played by Oscar winner Mahershala Ali (of Moonlight and Luke Cage fame). He quits football and escapes from his troubles joining the military. You pick up the game at a stage in Devin’s life where he’s made the decision to try again at American football and you essentially are playing a movie of his life in his journey to a potential draft to an NFL team, but doing it the hard way. You take Devin through a reality TV show called Long Shot which gives former prospects who couldn’t make the final leap to a professional team one last shot to reach the heights of the NFL.

You build your relationship with your best friend Colt and have a choice of decisions which can impact your friendship with him throughout the story. You play flashbacks of moments throughout Devin’s life from his games at his high school team with his dad on the sidelines inspiring you, to even tossing ‘the ol pig skin’ in the yard with your dad and friend Colt when you’re both no older than 8 years old.

It’s remarkably and genuinely quite the emotional journey and you’re the one taking Devin through this journey to the draft day anticipating a call to be drafted to a team, in which you still then have to make a tough decision. As said previously, of course it has a certain corny factor to it, but it’s a great first attempt at this kind of mode in an Madden game. Not overly long, and a little disappointing that once the draft is complete that’s essentially the end of that mode. Devin’s character does get transferred to the Madden Ultimate Team mode, and can be then added to your team and mix it up with professional NFL players, but I’m not overly big on the MUT mode. It’d have been nice to play maybe a year or 2 in the NFL with Devin at his drafted team.

But with that out of the way now, I’m back to focusing on the Franchise mode, trying to give some glory to Cleveland in the form of a potential superbowl as a young 20 year old quarter back. I’ll most definitely be requesting a trade to my team the NY Giants at some point though.

Breaking Bad

I’ve watched the first 4 seasons of Breaking Bad, unable to stop, as soon as an episode finished it was onto the next. But for some reason after the 4th season finished, I took a little break before starting the 5th season. I’d heard and read that the ending to season 4 was essentially the perfect ending for the show, and it should have been left there, and I tend to agree, it was a great ending and yes that could have seen the show out brilliantly.

But almost half a year later, I’ve now started the plunge into the final season of the show. I marathoned it on Saturday plowing through 8 hours. So far it feels very different to the previous seasons. The fact that Walt doesn’t really have any competitors and is now his own boss, there doesn’t seem to be as much suspense or drama to it now. Well aside from taking out all the potential leaks in a 2 minute murdering spree across various prisons, and the eventual death of Mike (Which I was not cool with). It all seems to be going too well and easy for Walt. But the ending of the last episode I watched left the cliff hanger of Hank going to use Walt’s bathroom and browsing through a book that’s left out. Hank stumbling across the dedication in the book to W.W from G.B and the potential realization that Walt is Heisenberg. I’m now highly anticipating seeing the rest of this season as the tension should be right back.

The American Office

And another show that I’ve steamrolled through over the past few weeks is The American Office. I’m now into the final stretch, I made a start on season 9, the final season last night. While I’ve been watching this series for weeks, I’ve not mentioned my viewing of it in the Geekly Reviews, but felt as I’m nearing the end, and after finishing season 8, which I’ve read many people found to be the weaker season, I’d bring the show up.

Season 8 was the first season that did not include Michael Scott, and that in itself is the main factor why people would correctly so say that this season was the weakest. But I still enjoyed it, After the previous 7 seasons and seeing Jim & Dwight’s office antics towards one another, this season really hit it home, that actually despite their pranking one another and trying to one up one another, they are actually friends. When Jim tries his hardest to warn Dwight that he’s going to be fired and they fight as Jim tries to restrain Dwight entering a meeting in which the sacking would take place, from that point the friendship became clear, and the subsequent episodes, while not glaringly obvious that they are friends, Jim still does little things to have Dwight’s back, even assisting Dwight by putting his arm around him carrying him from his desk to the meeting room after Dwight’s attempt at proving he’s the strongest in the office in squat competition.

One of the new inclusions to season 8 was Nellie who was portrayed by Catherine Tate. Initially upon her introduction and then her abrupt promotion to office manager, I was sternly in the camp of hating her. I couldn’t stand her, but as the show went on and the more you found out about her, you couldn’t help but have some sympathy for her. She is the female equivalent of Michael Scott. She had no friends, and was genuinely happy when Pam started to talking to her even ending an episode saying she’s got a friend now. She’s in debt, but plays it off and portrays a character in the office without a care in the world, and she’s desperate to be a mother, and the sad voice message you hear that her application for adoption of a Romanian child is declined because they feel parents living near a nuclear hazard zone are better fit parents than she is, Pam’s reaction said it all. Yes I still find her annoying, but I definitely have more time for her in the show after these events surface and you realise that she is the new Michael Scott of the office, despite all the build they gave to Andy and his chase for Erin.

Absolutely loved this show from start to where I am now. Following the relationships that were built during the seasons such as Jim and Pam, Michael and Jim, Dwight and Michael, Angela and Dwight  and of course Jim and Dwight, and even the other office workers while not so prominent aren’t considered background characters as they all still have major roles in the show and office like Oscar, Kevin, Stanley. It’s been a heck of a journey with genuine emotion throughout.

There’s a meme that floats around about how you go onto Netflix and you are going to watch something new, then you just end up re-watching the office again. I can see that being true, I’m on the final season, and I already can’t wait to watch it all over again.

– Murr


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