Latest Blog Posts

Street Fighter V CFN Beta and other stuff

Well its been a while since my last site update. It seems I put too much game on my plat in my last batch. At least I am having some fun and I got some games done in the off time.

My recent few games I been playing includes, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, Nier: Automata, Mass Effect, and more, but those have been the prime focus of my time and I very much under-estimated how big of a game Wildlands is or I might have held off on playing it. I mean one of my favorite video games is Metal Gear Solid and I haven’t gone back to Metal Gear Solid V yet, anyway…

One of the things I post about most is Street Fighter because it is one of my favorite games but Street Fighter V has really been testing me lately. I know I will always love it but now that there are so many other competitors that seem to be putting more effort into their game I no longer HAVE to keep playing Street Fighter V if its going to continue to disappoint. We all been waiting over a year now for it to work properly online but the updates are rolling in at a snail’s pace. The last line of hope is the new CFN update delivers us some good fixes after the current betas are over but we are still some months away from seeing if that’s true or not. At this rate, I am starting to feel it won’t. I will be trying out the CFN Beta test for PS4 tonight but its just a beta after all. At this point I am more hype for Injustice 2 coming out very soon. I mean I been following the development for this game and it just looks like NRS are not fucking around with it and that its going to be crazy. Plus, there’s more upcoming fighting games too like Tekken 7. I might not be a huge fan of Tekken but this one looks like its shaping up to be a great one.

What I really want to see in the future of gaming more then bigger crazier prettier stuff is getting online gaming to work a whole lot better then it currently is. I still don’t understand why only a few games out there take improving their online infrastructure a lot more serious then the rest. A rule of thumb should be if you’re not going to support it to the fullest don’t tac it onto the game in the first place. You are selling a broken promise at that point and I think most of us are sick of it.

I have a laundry list of disappointing things with Street Fighter V and it kills me because at its core I can see the potential for it being fun but its not even up to snuff like Super Street Fighter IV:AE was. If the new CFN update is garbage and takes months to fix after its official release I might just drop it and come back to it when its looking a little more worth my time. I will be streaming the Beta tonight on my Twitch.tv/switchblade1984. I will be posting my full thoughts on the beta itself after it concludes this Sunday.

Hopefully I can get a few pending Reviews posted as well and keep this Blog updated more now. Thanks for checking me out feel free to leave any comments below and I will see you guys next time.
 

Street Fighter V CFN Beta and other stuff

Well its been a while since my last site update. It seems I put too much game on my plat in my last batch. At least I am having some fun and I got some games done in the off time.

My recent few games I been playing includes, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands, Nier: Automata, Mass Effect, and more, but those have been the prime focus of my time and I very much under-estimated how big of a game Wildlands is or I might have held off on playing it. I mean one of my favorite video games is Metal Gear Solid and I haven’t gone back to Metal Gear Solid V yet, anyway…

One of the things I post about most is Street Fighter because it is one of my favorite games but Street Fighter V has really been testing me lately. I know I will always love it but now that there are so many other competitors that seem to be putting more effort into their game I no longer HAVE to keep playing Street Fighter V if its going to continue to disappoint. We all been waiting over a year now for it to work properly online but the updates are rolling in at a snail’s pace. The last line of hope is the new CFN update delivers us some good fixes after the current betas are over but we are still some months away from seeing if that’s true or not. At this rate, I am starting to feel it won’t. I will be trying out the CFN Beta test for PS4 tonight but its just a beta after all. At this point I am more hype for Injustice 2 coming out very soon. I mean I been following the development for this game and it just looks like NRS are not fucking around with it and that its going to be crazy. Plus, there’s more upcoming fighting games too like Tekken 7. I might not be a huge fan of Tekken but this one looks like its shaping up to be a great one.

What I really want to see in the future of gaming more then bigger crazier prettier stuff is getting online gaming to work a whole lot better then it currently is. I still don’t understand why only a few games out there take improving their online infrastructure a lot more serious then the rest. A rule of thumb should be if you’re not going to support it to the fullest don’t tac it onto the game in the first place. You are selling a broken promise at that point and I think most of us are sick of it.

I have a laundry list of disappointing things with Street Fighter V and it kills me because at its core I can see the potential for it being fun but its not even up to snuff like Super Street Fighter IV:AE was. If the new CFN update is garbage and takes months to fix after its official release I might just drop it and come back to it when its looking a little more worth my time. I will be streaming the Beta tonight on my Twitch.tv/switchblade1984. I will be posting my full thoughts on the beta itself after it concludes this Sunday.

Hopefully I can get a few pending Reviews posted as well and keep this Blog updated more now. Thanks for checking me out feel free to leave any comments below and I will see you guys next time.
 

First blog of 2017

Well again, I am back after a couple months off. I knew I would be nearing the release of Final Fantasy XV (15) and I was. I got balls deep in that game and had a lot of fun. Then I had a bunch of games I was renting untouched so I had a lot of backburner to burn (and I am still burning) But its time to update my blog!

Edit: My procrastinating has gotten so bad that I wrote this post a month ago, already. And instead of sweeping it under the rug with edits I am leaving this note in as a remaindered to get my shit together, although I doubt it will help.

So, there are a ton of games releasing this year and I just finished playing my first anticipated game of the year, Resident Evil 7! And man, did this game not disappoint, going to be releasing a review soon!
And Resident Evil 7 has started this year strong for me, and I really can’t wait for the rest. Here are a few games I Can’t wait to play.

Yakuza 0   -   I know its out already but my game rental place didn’t get it so I will have some lag in playing it.

Nioh   -   Although I know nothing of this game and haven’t played the demo I want to try it out as a surprise title.

For Honor   -   I didn’t get a chance to play the beta but this game has the potential to be a fun MP game.

Horizon Zero Dawn   -   I been seeing recent videos of it and it looks very interesting so I will be checking it out.

Nier: Automata   -   This was one of those surprise RPG games on the 360 for me and I really can’t wait to see what they do for this one, I just hope there are more enemy variation and variety.

South Park: The Fractured but Whole   -   The Stick of Truth was the best South Park game ever made and I can’t wait to play this one.

Mass Effect Andromeda   -   I wasn’t as butthurt playing part 3 as most and this one is sizing up for a bigger adventure, I just hope they deliver!

Injustice 2   -   MKX got me hype for NetherRealm’s making very full and flushed out fighting games and this one is coming along nicely, I hope to get a Beta Code soon, I need to try out Blue Beatle!

Ghost Recon Wildlands – Wasn’t very excited about this one but I just recently played the Beta and I really want to try it out now.

And that’s just to name a few.

Edit: Nioh and Wildlands have already been shipped to me and I will be playing those this week.
I am also going to try to release my many pending game reviews this week.

Well that’s all for my first post of the year, I will be blogging a lot more soon. What games are you guys looking forward to this year?
 

First blog of 2017

Well again, I am back after a couple months off. I knew I would be nearing the release of Final Fantasy XV (15) and I was. I got balls deep in that game and had a lot of fun. Then I had a bunch of games I was renting untouched so I had a lot of backburner to burn (and I am still burning) But its time to update my blog!

Edit: My procrastinating has gotten so bad that I wrote this post a month ago, already. And instead of sweeping it under the rug with edits I am leaving this note in as a remaindered to get my shit together, although I doubt it will help.

So, there are a ton of games releasing this year and I just finished playing my first anticipated game of the year, Resident Evil 7! And man, did this game not disappoint, going to be releasing a review soon!
And Resident Evil 7 has started this year strong for me, and I really can’t wait for the rest. Here are a few games I Can’t wait to play.

Yakuza 0   -   I know its out already but my game rental place didn’t get it so I will have some lag in playing it.

Nioh   -   Although I know nothing of this game and haven’t played the demo I want to try it out as a surprise title.

For Honor   -   I didn’t get a chance to play the beta but this game has the potential to be a fun MP game.

Horizon Zero Dawn   -   I been seeing recent videos of it and it looks very interesting so I will be checking it out.

Nier: Automata   -   This was one of those surprise RPG games on the 360 for me and I really can’t wait to see what they do for this one, I just hope there are more enemy variation and variety.

South Park: The Fractured but Whole   -   The Stick of Truth was the best South Park game ever made and I can’t wait to play this one.

Mass Effect Andromeda   -   I wasn’t as butthurt playing part 3 as most and this one is sizing up for a bigger adventure, I just hope they deliver!

Injustice 2   -   MKX got me hype for NetherRealm’s making very full and flushed out fighting games and this one is coming along nicely, I hope to get a Beta Code soon, I need to try out Blue Beatle!

Ghost Recon Wildlands – Wasn’t very excited about this one but I just recently played the Beta and I really want to try it out now.

And that’s just to name a few.

Edit: Nioh and Wildlands have already been shipped to me and I will be playing those this week.
I am also going to try to release my many pending game reviews this week.

Well that’s all for my first post of the year, I will be blogging a lot more soon. What games are you guys looking forward to this year?
 

Capcom has done it again...

Personally I feel the latest Halloween DLC from Capcom is a Huge slap in the face, and here’s why.

It wasn’t a few months ago Capcom started coming out to address their short comings with Street Fighter V after vocal fans finally giving them honest feedback. A long time coming. I know before they had the backlash but there wasn’t enough of us to where they gave a shit. Now the numbers gain and they have no choice but to listen. There are still the Capcom Apologist out there that will defend everything and that’s their prerogative but there were real concerns with the release and slow improvements to Street Fighter V.

It seemed slow but at least they recently started to pick up the pace a bit in fixes and support. Most recently with the Urien update and quick (Quick by Capcom standards) fix for their PC update that caused security risks in Windows. I feel at this point they really should still be making it up to the longtime supporters that got what they got at launch and add if not Free content at least hold off on the Premium stuff for a while. I really like the Fight Money idea but at this rate Fight Money will only pay for garbage and before you step in Defenders, with the whole, “You can buy characters with FM” that’s good for this Season but come season 2 they will be able to do what they want and at this rate they will probably make season 2 premium only.

So where is this slap in the face? Well we want cool shit for SFV. A lot of us are hanging in there trying to find things to keep us coming back. But the first wave of fun themed DLC is Premium Only? Already? I mean the story crap aren’t even unlocks and now this? And what about that Halloween stage? One of the worst stages is now covered in pumpkins? $2 or 40K FM. No thanks. Where is the old package price you guys use to do? And the cherry on top, you can never get them again after November 29th. Now I have no choice but to buy it, Kappa.

This is coming from a guy who had pretty much all costumes from SF4. I bought them to support the franchise I love and in hopes they would give back but instead they seem to have gotten worse with the fans. The Halloween Costumes aren’t even that great, they went with a basic red and black motif for most of them and they are not very inventive.

This is just very disappointing after they did a nice Urien release with Easter eggs and background finishes (Something we all thought the game would have at launch) but then they took a step back. I will be passing all together on this one and I really hope Capcom can try to do better in the future. There a lots of fighting games in the sea these days…

Feel free to leave comments and let me know how you feel and to all you defenders out there you can just fill out this convenient Bingo card from EventHubs.com.

Capcom has done it again...

Personally I feel the latest Halloween DLC from Capcom is a Huge slap in the face, and here’s why.

It wasn’t a few months ago Capcom started coming out to address their short comings with Street Fighter V after vocal fans finally giving them honest feedback. A long time coming. I know before they had the backlash but there wasn’t enough of us to where they gave a shit. Now the numbers gain and they have no choice but to listen. There are still the Capcom Apologist out there that will defend everything and that’s their prerogative but there were real concerns with the release and slow improvements to Street Fighter V.

It seemed slow but at least they recently started to pick up the pace a bit in fixes and support. Most recently with the Urien update and quick (Quick by Capcom standards) fix for their PC update that caused security risks in Windows. I feel at this point they really should still be making it up to the longtime supporters that got what they got at launch and add if not Free content at least hold off on the Premium stuff for a while. I really like the Fight Money idea but at this rate Fight Money will only pay for garbage and before you step in Defenders, with the whole, “You can buy characters with FM” that’s good for this Season but come season 2 they will be able to do what they want and at this rate they will probably make season 2 premium only.

So where is this slap in the face? Well we want cool shit for SFV. A lot of us are hanging in there trying to find things to keep us coming back. But the first wave of fun themed DLC is Premium Only? Already? I mean the story crap aren’t even unlocks and now this? And what about that Halloween stage? One of the worst stages is now covered in pumpkins? $2 or 40K FM. No thanks. Where is the old package price you guys use to do? And the cherry on top, you can never get them again after November 29th. Now I have no choice but to buy it, Kappa.

This is coming from a guy who had pretty much all costumes from SF4. I bought them to support the franchise I love and in hopes they would give back but instead they seem to have gotten worse with the fans. The Halloween Costumes aren’t even that great, they went with a basic red and black motif for most of them and they are not very inventive.

This is just very disappointing after they did a nice Urien release with Easter eggs and background finishes (Something we all thought the game would have at launch) but then they took a step back. I will be passing all together on this one and I really hope Capcom can try to do better in the future. There a lots of fighting games in the sea these days…

Feel free to leave comments and let me know how you feel and to all you defenders out there you can just fill out this convenient Bingo card from EventHubs.com.

Game Rental Service in Canada

So its no secrete that I don’t have a lot of money and I know there is a lot of people out there in the same boat so spending a huge chunk of change on a game that might or might not be for you is a tough decision. It will all come down to what kind of gamer you are and you would have to decide from there. I mean if you only play a couple games a year it might be no issue but if you are on the opposite end of the spectrum and you’re the guy who has to play anything that remotely looks entertaining. But for all of the above there is a service for us Canadians (Not to single anyone out but this article will be mostly useful for Canadians as the US has their own Online gaming rental services) Its called GameAccess. (All prices mentioned in this post are in Canadian Dollars, please apply your own Tax, PST, HST to the cost per your State)

You might have heard of Game Access if you googled Game Rentals in Canada or something similar. Game Access hails from Montreal but ships anywhere in Canada. The way it works is you make an account and sign up for a few different plans they offer. And of course you can try the service at no risk free for 30 days. They will put a $50 Holding fee on the card for the Trial Period but is in no way an actual charge but DO make sure you have enough on your card before considering this option.

Also note that the free trial, like most other trials, will automatically turn into a plan after 30 days so its best to set a Calendar Reminder somewhere for 29 days. They do not charge late fee’s in any sense so even if you decide to mail it back on the day you cancel you will not be charged if it shows up at their office the following week.

Now this is no ad for a service this is just me passing along detailed information for anyone who would need such a service but are uncertain how everything works. As an 8-year member of the site I can go into great detail about how it all works, what you get, what the service is like and more and if I miss anything your concerned about feel free to leave a comment below or even send me a tweet at @switchblade1984.
So here is how the plans and service work and I am going to get as detailed as I can. Game Access offers 4 plans. 

1 Games Out = First Month = $0 (If you Start with the Free Trial) $18.95 (+Tax) 
or
 First Month = $10 and renews at $18.95 (+ Tax) onward. (Better to start with a free trial ether way)
2 Games Out = $15.95 and renews at $25.95 (+ Tax) onward.
3 Games Out = $33.95 (+Tax)
4 Games Out = $40.95 (+ Tax)

(Prices may vary, increase or decrease from the time this article was posted)
These price are all on a monthly cycle and there are no late fees to worry about. Now as you can see by the price they are set up in a way where you get a slightly better value the more games you have out.
Now as far as how the mechanics go, this will be the most informative part of the post to show how exactly the inner workings… work.

So Game Access has a huge library of games to select from. The company launched back in 2005 and has titles covering the Xbox 360/ PS3 era of games (Yes they also have Nintendo games) Surprisingly they even offer classic games from PS2/Xbox/Game Cube as well. But that’s about as far as their catalog goes and you can go to GameAccess.com and browse it before even signing up.

The way it works is you build up a queue of games and they send whatever is available in your queue to you in whatever order you specify. Game Access recommends having more then 10 games in your queue (Excluding unreleased game) to ensure you have a game shipped to you at all times. This system works well if you are not picky about newer titles and have more then 10 games in queue. But it can get a bit frustrating if your only out for the newest games, this is where the service can be very slow but its also due in part by additional features you can sign up for so let me dive into that.

You can add additional feature to your monthly account to help the service move along a little better called Service Upgrades. They have 2 of these and they are around $2 to $3 a month before taxes (Not sure on the exact price as I am already signed up and can’t see the price anywhere) and are as follows.

FAST RETURN

“With Fast Return, as soon as you've dropped your game into the nearest mailbox and it's on its way to us, you can hit the "Fast Return" button next to the game in your queue. This notifies us and we'll get another game out to you immediately, before we get another one back. This means you'll be getting more games, quicker!”

GAME RESERVE

“Is the game you're looking for already rented out? Reserve it! Reserving a game puts you higher up the rental priority list and ensures you receive a copy sooner. If you've reserved a game, you'll also be able to see your position on its rental priority queue.”

Sadly, if you want a continuous flow of the games you want and also newer ones you would have to add these features on top of the plan cost. There IS however a way to get these features for free and that’s by signing a 1 Year contract. This contract gives you the features for free and if you already plan to at least keep the service for a year this might be for you. The contract stipulations are that you need to have at least a 1 Game out plan a month. You can upgrade your plan and they will adjust your charge per cycle but you can only downgrade to a 1 Game Out Plan on this contract. Also its set to Auto Renew come the next year as of the date you signed it. In order to get out, like most contracts, you can inquire to see how much to buy out of it. Also to cancel after the first year, you will have to call in a week or more before your contract expires, they have no feature to turn off Auto Renew manually unfortunately.

I will now go over personal experience’s with Game Access. 
So of course putting everything together gets you a nice flow of games but only theoretically. Unfortunately, it won’t work the way you imagine such a service working perfectly. I wish there was a way to just put games on the queue and get the ones I want but I don’t dabble a lot in older titles and I try to play all the newest stuff. The older stuff I end up buying on sale. So for someone as picky as me, that needs all the month’s latest games, requires a bit more planning with the service upgrades.

Now with Game Reserve, you can Reserve a game but depending on when you got on that Reserve on upcoming titles, you might still not get it in the first few weeks. Game Access doesn’t always buy enough copies to accommodate every single person on Reservation and the higher up you are the worst your chances but still better then not being on Reservation. And if you are NOT on a Reservation at all its slim to none that you will get the game that month because there will still be lingering people who didn’t get the first batch on Reservation and anyone that comes in to Reserve afterwards will still be in priority above anyone who doesn’t Reserve. The queue system has a visual bar that is only suppose to give you an idea of the stock they have but ultimately isn’t useful at all. Its just not very accurate as a lot of times I have put games at full bar and it still took a week to get.

Let’s say a game is very popular and anticipated. There might be upwards of 60 people or more on the queue. Game access will often get half that the first day and order the remainder based of how many is left and its not always a copy for everyone so the top 10% of large lists like that might still have to wait a couple weeks before they see it. Its all up to how many people return their when they are done.

Because the feature only lets you reserve one game at a time going off the list and going back on will shuffle you to the bottom of the deck. So you really got to plan ahead to get the latest titles. I feel this is where Game Access suffers in their service. Its nearly impossible for someone to sign up and get a game that came out that week on a simple 1 Game Out Plan. 

But if you are just trying to play whatever games I feel you have better odds if they are a month old or older. Again with the trial you can see how it would work first hand.

The Fast Return 

One good thing is included in your plan (all plans) is Free Shipping for all game Rentals. They send them in discrete letter envelopes and Disc Sleeves. One other thing to note is as soon as Game Access gets their games in for distribution the games retail box is kept in pristine condition along with manuals and codes so when you go to “Keep It” The disc might be worn (Depending on how much its been rented) but the box is almost mint condition and comes with whatever DLC codes the game originally did. That brings me to the next useful feature, the Keep It feature. Every plan has it but the longer you are a member the cheaper it becomes. All games costs are reduced the longer you have it out. This feature isn’t without its draw back though. For one, sending it back, getting something else, then renting it again reset the discount and you start over. The other thing with Keep It is there is no Guarantee that you will be able to Keep It in the future. Game Access has a certain threshold of games they allow people to keep. Once they reach that untold Threshold they will disable the Keep It feature. I had a game for 5 – 6 months and it was well under $20 (from the retail $79.99) only to have it removed the next day I wanted to keep it. Doesn’t happen all the time but its in the deck of possibilities.

One last factor that detracts from the service is something that seems to be out of their control. Thanks to Canada having sub-par postal service, Canada Post. With all the striking and delays its really hard to predict exactly when games will get to you. The best possible time for a game to be shipped to you is Monday or Tuesday and it might come that week. Don’t expect a game to arrive to your place if it has been shipped on a Thursday or Friday. But its all dependant on Canada Post. I had games very rarely show up next day. Sometimes in 2 days. But its often 3 – 5 days. That why your queue will rely on a lot of planning by filling up your queue, just don’t fill it with game you really don’t want.

But that’s the worst of the worst with this service. After a little bit I just had to plan ahead and I would go on to receiving a lot of newly released games. It’s almost impossible to receive 2 games that release on the same day mainly because you can only reserve one game at a time. What I do is plan around them. Look for new release games I want that are around 2 weeks apart. Make sure you have something your playing before that so you are not paying for empty slots. Reserve one, if its sent immediately get on the next game coming out in a couple weeks and so forth. You can also utilize the Fast Return feature if you have it to father optimize your Game Flow. If you’re in a nice low spot on reservation and have max games out you can fast return a game to send back the day before the new one releases and they will still ship out the newly reserved one while the other is in transit.

Another feature is a loyalty rewards tier system where you can receive discounts on game Purchases (Not rentals) This includes “Keep It” Prices.  They have 3 loyalty tiers you can achieve after a steady membership. Remember its better to downgrade to Silver to keep this going if you decide to pause.

•    ROOKIE = 10% discounts.
•    VETERINE = 20% discounts.
•    HALL OF FAMER 30% discounts.

Its better to set your plan to Silver Membership if you want to take a break from the service to maintain the Loyalty Status.

This service is also useful if you just aren’t sure about that game coming out. I mean if you rent it and find you hate it right away and send it back it beats being burnt the full retail price. Also keeping the game after a while if you are able too frees up slots for newer games and you are no longer making payments on the game you kept.

One of the best parts of the service is the Customer Support. The Email Support has been very good for me and I will get a response within the day’s business hours. I only had to call a few times but that solves problems even fast. Game Access is good about making you happy and can address any concerns with the service you might have. They get an A+ in customer service from me.

Overall I have kept getting burnt on games to a minimum over the years. I am also playing a lot more games then I would be able to afford otherwise. I am subscribed to a 4 Games Out plan and find it hard to downgrade because I just want to play so many games at a giving time. Its cool that if you are on a High Games Out Plan but no longer need that many you can simply downgrade to Silver and keep your Loyalty Rewards and simply come back after months and start it up again.

I highly recommend Game Access to all gamers of Canada. I hope you read all of this first as it will help a great deal to understand what you’re getting into. Game Access themselves can answer anything I didn’t cover and you can head over to GameAccess.com to find out more.

Game Rental Service in Canada

So its no secrete that I don’t have a lot of money and I know there is a lot of people out there in the same boat so spending a huge chunk of change on a game that might or might not be for you is a tough decision. It will all come down to what kind of gamer you are and you would have to decide from there. I mean if you only play a couple games a year it might be no issue but if you are on the opposite end of the spectrum and you’re the guy who has to play anything that remotely looks entertaining. But for all of the above there is a service for us Canadians (Not to single anyone out but this article will be mostly useful for Canadians as the US has their own Online gaming rental services) Its called GameAccess. (All prices mentioned in this post are in Canadian Dollars, please apply your own Tax, PST, HST to the cost per your State)

You might have heard of Game Access if you googled Game Rentals in Canada or something similar. Game Access hails from Montreal but ships anywhere in Canada. The way it works is you make an account and sign up for a few different plans they offer. And of course you can try the service at no risk free for 30 days. They will put a $50 Holding fee on the card for the Trial Period but is in no way an actual charge but DO make sure you have enough on your card before considering this option.

Also note that the free trial, like most other trials, will automatically turn into a plan after 30 days so its best to set a Calendar Reminder somewhere for 29 days. They do not charge late fee’s in any sense so even if you decide to mail it back on the day you cancel you will not be charged if it shows up at their office the following week.

Now this is no ad for a service this is just me passing along detailed information for anyone who would need such a service but are uncertain how everything works. As an 8-year member of the site I can go into great detail about how it all works, what you get, what the service is like and more and if I miss anything your concerned about feel free to leave a comment below or even send me a tweet at @switchblade1984.
So here is how the plans and service work and I am going to get as detailed as I can. Game Access offers 4 plans. 

1 Games Out = First Month = $0 (If you Start with the Free Trial) $18.95 (+Tax) 
or
 First Month = $10 and renews at $18.95 (+ Tax) onward. (Better to start with a free trial ether way)
2 Games Out = $15.95 and renews at $25.95 (+ Tax) onward.
3 Games Out = $33.95 (+Tax)
4 Games Out = $40.95 (+ Tax)

(Prices may vary, increase or decrease from the time this article was posted)
These price are all on a monthly cycle and there are no late fees to worry about. Now as you can see by the price they are set up in a way where you get a slightly better value the more games you have out.
Now as far as how the mechanics go, this will be the most informative part of the post to show how exactly the inner workings… work.

So Game Access has a huge library of games to select from. The company launched back in 2005 and has titles covering the Xbox 360/ PS3 era of games (Yes they also have Nintendo games) Surprisingly they even offer classic games from PS2/Xbox/Game Cube as well. But that’s about as far as their catalog goes and you can go to GameAccess.com and browse it before even signing up.

The way it works is you build up a queue of games and they send whatever is available in your queue to you in whatever order you specify. Game Access recommends having more then 10 games in your queue (Excluding unreleased game) to ensure you have a game shipped to you at all times. This system works well if you are not picky about newer titles and have more then 10 games in queue. But it can get a bit frustrating if your only out for the newest games, this is where the service can be very slow but its also due in part by additional features you can sign up for so let me dive into that.

You can add additional feature to your monthly account to help the service move along a little better called Service Upgrades. They have 2 of these and they are around $2 to $3 a month before taxes (Not sure on the exact price as I am already signed up and can’t see the price anywhere) and are as follows.

FAST RETURN

“With Fast Return, as soon as you've dropped your game into the nearest mailbox and it's on its way to us, you can hit the "Fast Return" button next to the game in your queue. This notifies us and we'll get another game out to you immediately, before we get another one back. This means you'll be getting more games, quicker!”

GAME RESERVE

“Is the game you're looking for already rented out? Reserve it! Reserving a game puts you higher up the rental priority list and ensures you receive a copy sooner. If you've reserved a game, you'll also be able to see your position on its rental priority queue.”

Sadly, if you want a continuous flow of the games you want and also newer ones you would have to add these features on top of the plan cost. There IS however a way to get these features for free and that’s by signing a 1 Year contract. This contract gives you the features for free and if you already plan to at least keep the service for a year this might be for you. The contract stipulations are that you need to have at least a 1 Game out plan a month. You can upgrade your plan and they will adjust your charge per cycle but you can only downgrade to a 1 Game Out Plan on this contract. Also its set to Auto Renew come the next year as of the date you signed it. In order to get out, like most contracts, you can inquire to see how much to buy out of it. Also to cancel after the first year, you will have to call in a week or more before your contract expires, they have no feature to turn off Auto Renew manually unfortunately.

I will now go over personal experience’s with Game Access. 
So of course putting everything together gets you a nice flow of games but only theoretically. Unfortunately, it won’t work the way you imagine such a service working perfectly. I wish there was a way to just put games on the queue and get the ones I want but I don’t dabble a lot in older titles and I try to play all the newest stuff. The older stuff I end up buying on sale. So for someone as picky as me, that needs all the month’s latest games, requires a bit more planning with the service upgrades.

Now with Game Reserve, you can Reserve a game but depending on when you got on that Reserve on upcoming titles, you might still not get it in the first few weeks. Game Access doesn’t always buy enough copies to accommodate every single person on Reservation and the higher up you are the worst your chances but still better then not being on Reservation. And if you are NOT on a Reservation at all its slim to none that you will get the game that month because there will still be lingering people who didn’t get the first batch on Reservation and anyone that comes in to Reserve afterwards will still be in priority above anyone who doesn’t Reserve. The queue system has a visual bar that is only suppose to give you an idea of the stock they have but ultimately isn’t useful at all. Its just not very accurate as a lot of times I have put games at full bar and it still took a week to get.

Let’s say a game is very popular and anticipated. There might be upwards of 60 people or more on the queue. Game access will often get half that the first day and order the remainder based of how many is left and its not always a copy for everyone so the top 10% of large lists like that might still have to wait a couple weeks before they see it. Its all up to how many people return their when they are done.

Because the feature only lets you reserve one game at a time going off the list and going back on will shuffle you to the bottom of the deck. So you really got to plan ahead to get the latest titles. I feel this is where Game Access suffers in their service. Its nearly impossible for someone to sign up and get a game that came out that week on a simple 1 Game Out Plan. 

But if you are just trying to play whatever games I feel you have better odds if they are a month old or older. Again with the trial you can see how it would work first hand.

The Fast Return 

One good thing is included in your plan (all plans) is Free Shipping for all game Rentals. They send them in discrete letter envelopes and Disc Sleeves. One other thing to note is as soon as Game Access gets their games in for distribution the games retail box is kept in pristine condition along with manuals and codes so when you go to “Keep It” The disc might be worn (Depending on how much its been rented) but the box is almost mint condition and comes with whatever DLC codes the game originally did. That brings me to the next useful feature, the Keep It feature. Every plan has it but the longer you are a member the cheaper it becomes. All games costs are reduced the longer you have it out. This feature isn’t without its draw back though. For one, sending it back, getting something else, then renting it again reset the discount and you start over. The other thing with Keep It is there is no Guarantee that you will be able to Keep It in the future. Game Access has a certain threshold of games they allow people to keep. Once they reach that untold Threshold they will disable the Keep It feature. I had a game for 5 – 6 months and it was well under $20 (from the retail $79.99) only to have it removed the next day I wanted to keep it. Doesn’t happen all the time but its in the deck of possibilities.

One last factor that detracts from the service is something that seems to be out of their control. Thanks to Canada having sub-par postal service, Canada Post. With all the striking and delays its really hard to predict exactly when games will get to you. The best possible time for a game to be shipped to you is Monday or Tuesday and it might come that week. Don’t expect a game to arrive to your place if it has been shipped on a Thursday or Friday. But its all dependant on Canada Post. I had games very rarely show up next day. Sometimes in 2 days. But its often 3 – 5 days. That why your queue will rely on a lot of planning by filling up your queue, just don’t fill it with game you really don’t want.

But that’s the worst of the worst with this service. After a little bit I just had to plan ahead and I would go on to receiving a lot of newly released games. It’s almost impossible to receive 2 games that release on the same day mainly because you can only reserve one game at a time. What I do is plan around them. Look for new release games I want that are around 2 weeks apart. Make sure you have something your playing before that so you are not paying for empty slots. Reserve one, if its sent immediately get on the next game coming out in a couple weeks and so forth. You can also utilize the Fast Return feature if you have it to father optimize your Game Flow. If you’re in a nice low spot on reservation and have max games out you can fast return a game to send back the day before the new one releases and they will still ship out the newly reserved one while the other is in transit.

Another feature is a loyalty rewards tier system where you can receive discounts on game Purchases (Not rentals) This includes “Keep It” Prices.  They have 3 loyalty tiers you can achieve after a steady membership. Remember its better to downgrade to Silver to keep this going if you decide to pause.

•    ROOKIE = 10% discounts.
•    VETERINE = 20% discounts.
•    HALL OF FAMER 30% discounts.

Its better to set your plan to Silver Membership if you want to take a break from the service to maintain the Loyalty Status.

This service is also useful if you just aren’t sure about that game coming out. I mean if you rent it and find you hate it right away and send it back it beats being burnt the full retail price. Also keeping the game after a while if you are able too frees up slots for newer games and you are no longer making payments on the game you kept.

One of the best parts of the service is the Customer Support. The Email Support has been very good for me and I will get a response within the day’s business hours. I only had to call a few times but that solves problems even fast. Game Access is good about making you happy and can address any concerns with the service you might have. They get an A+ in customer service from me.

Overall I have kept getting burnt on games to a minimum over the years. I am also playing a lot more games then I would be able to afford otherwise. I am subscribed to a 4 Games Out plan and find it hard to downgrade because I just want to play so many games at a giving time. Its cool that if you are on a High Games Out Plan but no longer need that many you can simply downgrade to Silver and keep your Loyalty Rewards and simply come back after months and start it up again.

I highly recommend Game Access to all gamers of Canada. I hope you read all of this first as it will help a great deal to understand what you’re getting into. Game Access themselves can answer anything I didn’t cover and you can head over to GameAccess.com to find out more.

Site Update: Game Completionist Updated

Finally got around to updating my completionist section. I went nuts with games and couldn’t stop! My list was backed up from January so it’s about damn time after almost a year. Played a lot of good games and had a lot of fun and hope to play more before the end of the year is up.
You can check out the section by clicking HERE or by using the navigation at the top and selecting Game Completionist. Feel free to comment on whatever one and share your own experience with the games.

Site Update: Game Completionist Updated

Finally got around to updating my completionist section. I went nuts with games and couldn’t stop! My list was backed up from January so it’s about damn time after almost a year. Played a lot of good games and had a lot of fun and hope to play more before the end of the year is up.
You can check out the section by clicking HERE or by using the navigation at the top and selecting Game Completionist. Feel free to comment on whatever one and share your own experience with the games.

Working on New Site and other crap

So my last post was quit a while ago. This is at least for a good reason. I bought a domain a while back and lost momentum due to most of my domain issues I had with my hosting company. Now that that’s resolved I got a second wind on a project I wanted to at least attempt.

So I been working of a Video Game Strategy Guide website. I know there are a lot of them but I grow tired of having to get pieces of info from everywhere. I just want ever single little piece of info for a game I am playing (Or at least close to every single bit) and I also wanted to be able to pull it up on the phone. I play games these days to 100% completion. I won’t be listing every single game on the planet for now. I will start by focusing on Guides I can fully cover on my own. And as much as I can cover on a game there will always be something someone knows that can contribute. So this is the other half of the site. A community component where users can contribute to the main guides so they will always be updated as much as possible.

I been working around the clock on it almost a month now and I am liking how its going. As long as I get it out I could care less about it being a hit. I really just want to commit to one project and complete it and I will this one.

The site will be called CommunityGameGuides.com If you somehow found this Blog post and this sounds good, follow me on Twitter @Switchblade1984 and let me know and stay up to date.

Aside from that I have also been buried in a couple games I am almost complete. Every now and then games come along I get obsessed with and want to get all the Trophies for.

Recently I been a slave to Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness for PS4. I really love this series and can’t wait to post my review on this one.

Another game that’s even more recent is No Man’s Sky. I just Platinum’d this one and look forward to also reviewing this game.

Unfortunately, these are just a couple games I have been playing and I played a lot more that I have yet to review and will release a bunch of review maybe in the next couple weeks.

And there are so many more games I am waiting to play. King Of Fighters XIV, Worms: W.M.D, Deus Ex, man I am up to my neck and can’t wait!

Stay tuned for updates, as always feel free to comment below!

Working on New Site and other crap

So my last post was quit a while ago. This is at least for a good reason. I bought a domain a while back and lost momentum due to most of my domain issues I had with my hosting company. Now that that’s resolved I got a second wind on a project I wanted to at least attempt.

So I been working of a Video Game Strategy Guide website. I know there are a lot of them but I grow tired of having to get pieces of info from everywhere. I just want ever single little piece of info for a game I am playing (Or at least close to every single bit) and I also wanted to be able to pull it up on the phone. I play games these days to 100% completion. I won’t be listing every single game on the planet for now. I will start by focusing on Guides I can fully cover on my own. And as much as I can cover on a game there will always be something someone knows that can contribute. So this is the other half of the site. A community component where users can contribute to the main guides so they will always be updated as much as possible.

I been working around the clock on it almost a month now and I am liking how its going. As long as I get it out I could care less about it being a hit. I really just want to commit to one project and complete it and I will this one.

The site will be called CommunityGameGuides.com If you somehow found this Blog post and this sounds good, follow me on Twitter @Switchblade1984 and let me know and stay up to date.

Aside from that I have also been buried in a couple games I am almost complete. Every now and then games come along I get obsessed with and want to get all the Trophies for.

Recently I been a slave to Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness for PS4. I really love this series and can’t wait to post my review on this one.

Another game that’s even more recent is No Man’s Sky. I just Platinum’d this one and look forward to also reviewing this game.

Unfortunately, these are just a couple games I have been playing and I played a lot more that I have yet to review and will release a bunch of review maybe in the next couple weeks.

And there are so many more games I am waiting to play. King Of Fighters XIV, Worms: W.M.D, Deus Ex, man I am up to my neck and can’t wait!

Stay tuned for updates, as always feel free to comment below!

Working on New Site and other crap
First blog of 2017
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Latest Reviews

Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess

Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess

The original Playstation had a lot of innovative games if you dug deep enough and Techmo’s Deception was among the top of my favorites just for being so different and fun. I didn’t play Deception IV: Blood Ties for PS3 (As for a lot of PS3 games) But now that Deception IV: The Nightmare Princess is out for PS4 I get to play a more complete version!

I cannot state first hand if the game looks better or performs better then its PS3/Vita counterparts but it doesn’t have all the DLC plus a new playable character and a few new traps. That’s pretty much it but if you are new to it then its fine.

The story is… nottttt important. It does have a story but its been modified from the old originals. Pretty much the plot of all these games is to have people come to your castle to kill them to get enough power to resurrect The Devil. This one is more or less the same but you now play as the daughters of the devil. That’s pretty much all there is to it. I feel for something so simple they still put a lot of dialog in the game even if it is all text. I actually like it its kind of funny to see all the girls bicker back and forth and the writing is not terrible.

Let’s get to the games best part. The gameplay. This is what attracts me to the series so much. People come to your castle. Your castle consists of many rooms. The rooms have their own built in traps you can trigger and a square grid layout. You place your traps on the grid and have to try to plan out how you will take your enemies. Here you have all the time in the world as you stop time to set up your traps. You will have to get use to how and what the traps do and utilize them in combos. You can combo into the stage traps and try to style. At first it will seem simple but the enemies will get trickier and have stats that you will have to adjust your planning around such as armor where you will need traps that have armor breaker. Or enemies might be immune to floor traps so you won’t be able to use them in your combos. Plus, they get tougher and faster. They also have the other mode with the other character where you will have to do things a little differently.

Unfortunately, that’s all there is to this game. After you beat it you might be wondering why you don’t have many Trophies. That’s because this game is to be played more then once. It might take the whole story mode before you are better at the game, then you can go back and beat challenges for the past chapter’s.

I really like this series. I think they could go bigger and harder with it if only they had the fan base but I also don’t mind where its at right now. I couldn’t recommend it for a retail price for people new to the series as it might not have much appeal unless you think anything I said sounds interesting but if you even played one of these I feel it’s a decent follow up. Its classic yet updated.

 

Gaming

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Dragon Quest Heroes: TWTWBB Review

Dragon Quest Heroes: TWTWBB Review

I haven’t really played a Dynasty Warriors game since the first one. I do like the style of game I would just rather play something else mainly cause the style and story don’t appeal to me but seeing that gameplay in games I like is great so I have to give the new Dragon Quest Heroes a shot.

Dragon Quest Heroes might mainly appeal to the fans of the series, just don’t expect a JRPG here this game is a simple hack and slash game that plays like most Dynasty Warrior games. What appeals to me is getting to visit the cool world of Dragon Quest and their cool characters. The graphics are pretty good but there seems to be very little in variation from character models to the maps you play on.

The graphics look pretty good but nothing spectacular. The series is very anime so I feel it fits the style. After a couple hours or less you will start seeing a lot of repetition and it could make the grind very mind numbing. Events don’t happen a lot so if you are trying to build up your characters its going to feel like a grind right away.

The action is pretty mediocre and gets old fast. You get some very nice looking ultimate attacks you build up per character and unleash to help with crowd control. They are animated and done very well but I feel for as long as they take to build up they should do a hell of a lot more damage then they do. Its also very frustrating if you don’t clear as many monsters as you wanted and then you got to build it up all over again.

I feel the game is short but made to appear long with all the grindy things but if you cut out all the major cut scenes and main even missions its really not a lot.

I just can’t recommend this game for a full retail price. Its worth finding on sale, renting or just skipping all together, maybe watch a letsplay on it, its not an epic RPG experience so some might feel its just not worth the money, just not enough meat on the bone.

Gaming

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Far Cry Blood Dragon Review

Far Cry Blood Dragon Review

If you follow the Far Cry series you kind of know a little bit of what to expect, It's an open world First Person Shooter but instead of making direct sequels they make crazy unique stories every game, that's what makes the series fresh to me. Blood Dragon is no different, it's the same open world gameplay just about half the size of Far Cry 3, (Maybe even a little smaller than half) But it is an arcade title so for $15 retail it's still pretty good.

 The game takes the Far Cry engine and uses a Cyberpunk, Retro gaming Motif where you are an 80’s action hero in a crazy dystopian future full of mutated creatures and evil scientist, the game is very over the top in terms of story, the cut scenes are even done in 16bit pixel art and it really adds the overall feel.

 The Story is pretty silly and funny, you pretty much got to stop the bad guy who was once your friend, they do a lot of cheesy jokes that really go with the feel of the game.

 The gameplay is really tight like most Far Cry games, the Open World allows you to feel like you can beat the game on your own path doing things your way, you can drive around like any other Far Cry game, even Gliders are present.

 I been dying to play this game since its release but due to an overwhelming number of games in my queue it sat in the back burner till now but I am glad I finally got to play it, it was pretty fast to beat so it won’t take up all of your time. I you like these type of games this one will not disappoint.

Far Cry Blood Dragon Review

Gaming

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Firewatch Review

Firewatch Review

I am not OFTEN impulsive when purchasing new games, I mean that’s why I rent games online. But sometimes I will be sitting there wanting to play something new and a little different and I like to experiment with games I know the least about. So I heard the title Firewatch, looked up screenshots, didn’t read anything up on it, saw that the game was asking for a whopping $20 (Which is becoming somehow a standard price for the little guys somehow) and that’s all I went on, I was ready to roll the Dice.

I will say this about the game it had me. All the way up to the end. But after that I kept thinking… okkkkkk… $20?

But let me break it down. Firewatch isn’t a terrible game my only problem with it is that it is one of “These Games”. And I think “These Games” are great but need their own Genre title. I suggest the name “Walking Simulator” A game that requires little conflict, just that you walk to said destinations and the game will be over eventually. I don’t think it should be called “Walking Simulator” in a derogatory Sense but just so people understand exactly what to expect while playing.

The game starts off interesting and continues down that path. The games main point I found was the dialog. Its not so much the story I enjoy but the amount of writing in the form of banter between you and on of the only other characters in the game. You sit at your Firewatch Post and keep contact via walkie talkie and she even points out her whereabouts which is in some watch tower miles away that overlooks his post. You play out your job in this game as Firewatch and are tasked with small things such as investigating fireworks in the distance and smoke stacks. The game will later take a more mysterious turn while you investigate other stuff but before you know it that game will be over. There is a lot more interactions in this game then a few other Walking Simulators I played, they have you picking things up and getting to locations manually, even having to harness yourself to get there.

Visually the game looks great for the style they went for. Kind of Team Fortress or No Man’s Sky. But the game does lack in surrounding wildlife. I mean forests generally have wildlife and you can literally count the number of animated models on one hand.

By the end of the game I felt it was OK just not a great game. I feel the price is what makes it hard for me to recommend, if it was a $10 game I wouldn’t have felt as bad but I just didn’t get $20 worth. The game looks nice, and someone went to great detail modeling things, writing and making nice scenes but I feel it didn’t have to be this short for the price point. A few extra days where I had to do different things to do with the job would have much better IMO.

My ultimate recommendation comes down to how you feel. I play lots of games but if you don’t and you just want an experience and the price doesn’t bother you then by all means. But there is no replay value in the game and even if you’re not great at games I can’t see this one lasting past the second day of you getting it.

DLC Follow up.

So the game recently released free DLC that adds trophies for a few unique things that happens in the game. I wish they just did this from the get go but at least they are there now. It also has an Audio Trail (Which is the name of the DLC) where you can listen to interactive commentary throughout the game in the form of cassette tape you pick up. It is really nice to listen too and see where the ideas came from, I quite enjoyed this bit.

 

 

Firewatch Review

Gaming

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Alien Isolation Review

Alien Isolation Review

I always wanted a really decent Alien game and almost gave up after seeing how bad Aliens: Colonial Marines was. But then this game came out and I really didn’t have a new console at the time so I kind of missed it and decided now was the time. Heard many great things about it so I was very eager to get my hands on it.

Right off the bat the game seemed very authentic to the sets of the movies. The story is about you being Ripley’s Daughter, Amanda Ripley, and come across a transmission that could have information about her mother on it. But we all know what’s really waiting on the Station.

So you are pulled into a whole thing you could not prepare for and must improvise and survive an unknown enemy. And if that wasn’t enough most of the humans on the station have gone into survival mode themselves and are prepared to fire on sight.

The graphics I would say are decent. I wouldn’t call them pushing the bar on the platform at the time it was released but it was a multi platform release and it wasn’t at all an eye sore it just wasn’t amazing. But the art work was. I mean everything was modeled great, nice and detailed with lots of variation even though it’s a station where everything fits the same motif it still feels like a lot of work was put into the design and made the game itself feel very big.

The story progressed very well just like the movies tend to do (The good ones.) And just when you are beginning to feel Closter phobic you get to do space walks for a few minutes and get an amazing view of outer space! Its fantastic!

The game also does a great job of making it a Survival Horror game but not only limiting your defences but making you use stealth over anything. If Alien see’s you and you don’t have a flame thrower you are just dead. This is all happening while you are trying to follow your objective to get off the blasted station.

From beginning to the end I had a lot of fun with this game and it was worth the wait. I finally got to play a really good Alien game and I hope they make another one down the line.

Alien Isolation Review

Gaming

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Goat Simulator Review

Goat Simulator Review

I finally got around to playing and beating Goat Simulator for PS4. This was the last game I played in 2015 and it was quite fun. Very simple craziness but just an open world Physics sandbox to play around in. I been following this game since it was Greenlit on steam and I watched a lot of Lets Plays on it. Watching so many did kind of spoil a lot of the game for me so I didn’t get to enjoy that Surprise after things happen on my own sadly. It looks like a lot of stuff was added since to make it feel like a more complete game. I say the game is worth its money if you just want to dick around in some crazy physics sandbox for a good laugh. It doesn’t last long even if you are going for Achievements/Trophies ads you can complete it in a day or 2. There are a few Trophies that are pretty tough and require looking up as they are so specific. Also be warned for the most pain in the ass Trophy, Flappy Goat, but you might also get lucky and get this one fast. Took me around 45 minutes.

Overall it was as much fun as I saw people having and I didn’t see a whole lot of gameplay for the second level so I had quite a bit of fun out of it. It might not be for everyone though so watch a couple gameplay videos before deciding.

Goat Simulator Review

Gaming

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Goat Simulator Review
Dragon Quest Heroes: TWTWBB Review
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