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The MSZ Show Episode #23

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On this week’s episode, JG and Sophisticates join us for a proper show, Zero games the GameStop business model, Sophisticates does the text-based Shmoney Dance to everyone but the Major’s amuzement, and the Major theorizes about GamerGate.

Also, there are some Walking Dead spoilers for the first episode about an hour end. We don’t remember when it started, its safe to say you can skip about 15 minutes and you would have avoided them.

This and many other topics, including Android 5.0 aka Lollipop, were bought up by friend of the show I3arbaria7V (Read: Barbarian). You can also do the same by joining us live Wednesday nights at 10:00pm for our Google Hangout-on-Air where we take your questions live on the show!

As always, you can find us here:

iTunes
Stitcher

Website: http://themszero.com

Twitter:
@MajorLinux
@Sophisticates_4
@zero0four
@jg_thetruisland

Extra-Life


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A Plea from the Major…

This post was generated by a series of tweets I made earlier about my feelings on the current GamerGate situation:

Can’t we all just fucking get along?!

–MajorLinux

Featured Post: GameEnthus ep202: Pong@1000fps or Verbatim Bootleg

From the GameEnthus Podcast:

This week Marcus(@MajorLinux) and Tyrone(@Zero0Four) from the MSZero Podcastand Tyler(@TylerTreese) from 8 Worlds News hang out with Mike(@AssaultSuit) andAaron(@Ind1fference) to talk about: Smash Bros. 3DS, Styx: Master of Shadows, Forza Horizon 2, alternate international movie titles, Watch Dogs Bad Blood, Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, Turtle Tale, Art of Balance, Ninja Battle Heroes, Mischief Makers, IPS Rom Hacks, Vib Ribbon, Project Spark, Taiko Drum Master, Pix the Cat, Destiny, Arcania, Madden 15, FIFA 14, NBA 2K15, Lego Marvel Superheroes, Assassin’s Creed Freedom Cry, Driveclub, Windows 10, Saturday Morning Cartoons, Geoffrey Holder(RIP), soccer, Avengers vs X-men Axis, MLB, Ride Along, Common Core, Metal Gear, Donkey Konga, Legend of Korra, D4, Elite Beat Agents, Ridge Racer, RoomAlive, Looper, Radio Shack, Fossil Fighters and more.

Join or Donate to Team GameEnthus for the Extra-Life Charity. Our 24-hour stream starts on October 25th at 8am  @ http://ift.tt/1xysGQa and twitch.tv/tiny415

If you like the show please leave us an itunes/Zune review, a tweet, an email or a voicemail (202-573-7686). Download the GE iOS / WP apps and check out GameEnthus.

Show Length:  179 minutes Direct Download

 Show Links

MSZ Podcast/Site

All About Tyler

MajorLinux’s NBA 2K15 video

Red Bull Academy Diggin’ in the Carts

Tiny’s new game/comic series

Follow —> @YouLosePodcast1  for info on Tiny’s new show

Listen to Tiny’s new show

New videos at GameEnthus.com

Community Info

@GameEnthus   @GeeksGoneRaw   @SingleSimulcast    @TheMSZero

Show Music

Intro  1 – Killer Mike – A.D.I.D.A.S instrumental

Break 2 – Missy Elliot – Gossip Folks instrumental

Break 3 – Skee-Lo – I wish

Break 4 – Bill Withers – Lovely Day

Break 5 – Tone Def(of NWH) – Just a Human

Break 6 – Paul McCartney – Live and Let Die

Break 7 – Star Control 2 – Syreen Theme

Break 8 – De La Soul – Pass the Plugs

Break 9 – Aaliyah –  We Need a Resolution instrumental

Break 10 – Ben’s Brother – Stutter(ing)

Break 11 – Resident Evil 4 Ganados

Break 12 – Star Control 2 – Melnorme Theme

Outro/Showcap – The Pharcyde – Groupie Therapy instrumental

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Driving Off into the (Forza) Horizon (2)

My first physical Xbox One game!

Ladies and gentlemen, it has finally arrived! Well, not really seeing as its been in my possession for over a week now. Of course, I’m talking about my most anticipated title of 2014 since it was announced in June at E3, Forza Horizon 2! I have played it for almost the entire time that I wasn’t asleep or at work (I played my weekly Madden game on Thursday and had a couple of errands to run) and I must say this is shaping up to be my favorite title of the current generation so far.

When I saw the game being announced during Microsoft’s presser for E3, it made me go against what I initially said about my criteria for buying the Xbox One. I had made countless statements that I wouldn’t buy one until they let me use it as a cable box and not a supplement to one as it currently does. I almost considered buying it for the ESPN support when I learned they were moving apps from behind the Xbox Live paywall including ESPN. That was shelved when Google stated that the WatchESPN app officially had Chromecast support for all content including live TV. There was nothing on the table currently that would make me actually want to own an Xbox One except for having new shiny tech in my house.

However, when it was announced that a sequel (if that’s what you call racing games that have an incremental number attached) to a game I spent hours upon hours into on Xbox One, I literally stopped working (I was watching the event at work on my laptop), watched the entire trailer, and then proceeded to make arrangements for me to buy an Xbox One that day. It also happened to be the day when they were selling Kinect-less Xbox Ones, so it made the decision even easier (even though I regret not having a Kinect (I’m a very lazy person)).

So, what is it that draws you to the game?

Two words: Driving and music! If I was around for the introduction of the radio, tape deck, CD player or any other audio device into a car to listen to music while I drive, I would have lost my shit! I bought my Scion xB for the following reasons:

  • Power windows and locks
  • Cruise control
  • Bluetooth Audio Control

Obviously, the most important is in bold because I love to listen to music (and podcasts) while I drive. It allows me to cut out all the distractions around me and focus on my driving. I have special playlists for driving and the type of drive that I want to have. In Forza Horizon 2, its as if they took the racing part of me along with the playlist and put it in 1080p on a television screen with nicer cars than my xB (which I love).

The music in this game is phenomenal. I know a lot of people, especially in the States, probably don’t care for EuroPop or EDM, but I’m a big fan of EDM and Playground Games has yet again found a way to marry the best of European EDM with the racing. There didn’t appear to be much dubstep this time around, but I am okay with that. I’m starting to fall out of the dubstep scene for a bit, anyway. I’m pretty sure the EuroPop stations work well with the game, but I didn’t stick around log to find out. They’ve added a few new radio stations on top of what was previously offered in the first one. These stations appear to be record labels playing their greatest hits and I have actually fallen in love with one of them.

I’ve never been one to use racing wheels when it came to racing games because a particular game ruined it for me growing up. It was an Initial D game that actually moved as you turned and unless I can get a setup like that again, I don’t want a racing wheel. Playing with a controller works fine for me and it actually helps with other games with hand/eye coordination which seems to be the only thing that keeps me employed most of the time. With the controller, the game was very responsive. Also, I have to give it up to Microsoft with their new controller. The trigger rumbling helps out a lot (I still feel like the best effect for the trigger rumbles was reloading a shotgun in Destiny).

The sense of speed in the game is top notch. I was able to tell when I was driving the most stable of cars at a high rate of speed and when I was driving in something that would have killed me in 5 seconds flat had I been driving in real life. Between the visuals and sounds, the game does really convey a difference between driving a VW Scirocco  and a McLaren P1 and everything in between. You pick up subtle differences between two classes of cars that hit about the same top speed but have different acceleration rates and handling. You learn quick from driving around a few seconds that one will require less gas and more brake just to go down the streets of Europe

Speaking of Europe, the game takes place in southern Europe along the Mediterranean Sea instead of the landlocked Colorado (which is still awesome because that area was abandoned and the perfect place for a summer long rave with awesome cars). In Europe, the Horizon Festival is still happening (not sure if its the European version or if Colorado kicked the festival out as I haven’t checked the Forza Horizon lore). However, this time around, it appears they have taken over multiple locations. They have a main hub which you drive to as the opening “tutorial” and many hubs where all of the events take place. You reach these places by driving there by yourself to explore or you can take “road trips” with other drivers to start championship events.

Championships are chosen before you embark on each road trip. Along with the championship you choose, you are asked to purchase a car, if you don’t already own it, to participate in that particular championship. You have 3 championships per road trip before heading back to the main festival for the “awards ceremony” and “all-night partying”. I like the road trips because it allows me to test the car I just bought before I get serious with it in the races. That is how I got used to the various cars as you can choose paths that have you driving rally cars to hyper cars to American muscle cars to extreme toy cars, all of which handle so much different than the other.

Some championships actually let you take your cars off-road and I don’t mean like makeshift rally tracks. I actually mean off-road. Your race could start in the city streets of Nice and you would end up in the countryside driving through some farmer’s crops and back on some more streets before driving off again to dodge trees. This actually even translates into the roaming sections of the game as well. This translates to actually proving that the quickest way between two points is a straight line as you can choose whether or not you want to follow the roads to get from point A to point B as long as it isn’t a race with checkpoints.

I’m flyiiiiiiiiiinnnnnggggg!!!!!

So, I take it the game doesn’t crash and burn…

Just like with everything, it isn’t without its fault. As we know, nothing is ever perfect. The first thing I would like to point out, which I imagine isn’t going to be an issue anymore as it seemed to be a launch thing, was the slightly heavy ties it has to online. I’m not sure if the game can be played offline, but during launch it was evident that parts of the game that didn’t really need online components were having some issues. One example is when you finished a race, you get your credits and XP for finishing a race. Due to the online issues, it took longer than expected, sometimes even two minutes actually be awarded any credits. Its no longer an issue now, but it may be a bother for some who may have spotty Internet connections or if something does happen to the servers while you are playing solo.

I’ve also been experiencing some issues with slight freezing (screen wouldn’t move for about two seconds, even while driving at high speeds) and the occasional game crash. Yeah, game crash, not car crash. Over the weekend, I had been dumped to the Xbox One home screen twice after some glitch had occured and bugged the game out. Given the fact that games are now even more complex than before and a multitude of factors can happen during normal game play, I’m not too worried about it. Besides, at that point, I had been playing for far too long and most of it happened while I was going insanely fast and may have actually beat something that was supposed to be loading before I got there.

While I do praise the musical selections in the game, I ran into a similar issue with the first Forza Horizon. There isn’t enough music in there that I would like to hear. I think it would be nice if they released more tracks over time. Last time, I thought it would be cool if they simulated a real radio station. During the course of the summer, an artist may put out a new track and it would start playing on the radio. So, for Forza Horizon, they would actually have song packs with new music to infuse into the game. I might would actually pay for those packs or include them with cars packs.

The last thing I would like to mention is that in head-to-head races with the various Drivatars roaming about, there is apparently a sweet spot for the “imaginary” finish line. In head-to-head races, you get behind another car, hit a button and an impromptu race starts with a suggested path for you to follow to get to a specific destination first. Most (if not all) of these destinations end in very random places. Its one thing if it ended on a road that had no guardrails or a mountainside to make a boundary, but most of them ended up in those areas. If you ended up coming up to the finish riding the guardrail, you run the risk of driving around the sweet spot while your opponent wins which kinda sucks.

Would you rather be playing something else?

No, sir or ma’am! As I stated before, I had been looking for a game like this since the first Forza Horizon and looking forward to this game since its announcement! It was the reason I bought an Xbox One in the first place against all the reasons not to and since its release, I haven’t regretted buying the system 3 months early solely to anticipate this game. I feel like a game that can make me spend $400 when I didn’t need to and still be on my mind even after a week of seemingly nonstop play, I feel like this game is my frontrunner for Game of the Year. Now, I know I haven’t played Far Cry 4 yet, but right now, I would totally be happy if no other games came out this year!

Best Moment in Gaming

This morning, I was checking on a couple of notifications on Facebook when I noticed a topic had been posted in the RDU Extra-Life Guild:

…What is your favorite gaming memory that brings a smile to your face?…

I answered with the following:

TL:DR > I dominated owner of video game after 30 seconds of play and gained a fan during gameplay.

Some years ago, I was at a church function and they had a PS2 and a projection TV that was bought from one of the member’s homes. In the system, they ha
d a college basketball game from a not-EA developer in the system. I grew up playing EA Sports games, mostly NBA Live (when it was actually good), so I wasn’t used to controls of other titles.

I volunteered to play the new game confessing that I didn’t understand the controls but figured I’d have a good chance to win until it was revealed that I was going to be playing against the owner of the game who had probably been playing the game for so long.

I had learned the basic controls within about 30 seconds of playing. The first half went by with me just trying to stay afloat. I was losing, but not by much, and I knew it wasn’t going to end well for me in the end.

However, one thing changed all that. Another church member, had to be about 6 or 7 years old at the time, sat beside me and was watching in amazement. Around that time, I had finally learned how to dunk the basketball and it made the little guy excited. He turned to me and asked if I could do it again.

After dunking a couple of more times, he started cheering me on full-time. This gave me the confidence to step up my game and turn it around for me.

Needless to say, I won the game by a considerable margin, my team running circles around my opponent’s as if I had been playing the game for years.

When the game was over, several people, including my opponent were stunned and I think they still may believe I’m a liar when I told them I never played the game before.

NBA 2K15 “Scan Your Face” Doppleganger

Yesterday, we saw the release of NBA2K14 and, with the PS4 and Xbox One versions, the “Scan Your Face” feature.  This would allow you to take your PlayStation Camera or Kinect sensor and scan your face into the game. Essentially, what is happening is similar to LittleBigPlanet in which you can take a picture of something and add it as a texture to an item in game.

It seemed like a good feature as Ronnie2K would like for us to believe. After looking at his Twitter feed, it appears as if there were people who were able to get a good scan of themselves. For me, however, this is what happened:

YouTube Preview Image

Ronnie2k did offer a guide on how to scan your face correctly (Link is a PDF file). I might look into that later.

–MajorLinux

The MSZ Show Episode #22

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On this week’s episode, JG bakes  a lasagna, Zero plans for a wedding, Sophisticates wonders why mascots never match team names, and the Major interviews the rest of the hosts for NCDMV jobs.

As always, you can find us here:

iTunes
Stitcher

Website: http://themszero.com

Twitter:
@MajorLinux
@Sophisticates_4
@zero0four
@jg_thetruisland

Extra-Life
100 Rejected NC Licenses Plates

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The MSZ Show Episode #21

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On this week’s episode, we introduce JG_TheTruIsland as the official permanent fourth chair of MSZ, we discuss what is appropriate amount of media to be released and when to release it and see how immature the internet can get by looking at some leaked photos.

As always, you can find us here:

iTunes
Stitcher

Website: http://themszero.com

Twitter:
@MajorLinux
@Sophisticates_4
@zero0four
@jg_thetruisland

Magfest 13
Extra-Life

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The MajorSophisticationZero Show Episode #20 Featuring JG_TheTruIsland

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On this week’s episode, Sophisticates gets becomes a dance mom, Zero educates us on Maxwell’s lyrics, the Major feeds his ego, and JG_TheTruIsland stops by to tell us who Tails from the Sonic series really is.

As always, you can find us here:

iTunes
Stitcher

Website: http://themszero.com

Twitter:
@MajorLinux
@Sophisticates_4
@zero0four
@jg_thetruisland

Magfest 13
Extra-Life
The Major’s Thoughts on Destiny
Forza Horizon 2 Demo

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Thoughts on Destiny: Just Not My Destiny

Courtesy of twinfinite.net

Whew! Its been a week since Destiny, the first “blockbuster” of the gaming holiday season, was released to the masses. Even a few hours after the games release, people were talking about it. However, I decided to hold off for a bit. I didn’t mention how I felt about the game to anyone. I didn’t post anything on Twitter. I didn’t even talk to my close friends about it. I wanted to see how I was going to feel about it after being immersed in the world for a few days.

Even after a week, it still fairly new that I would talk about a game so close after release. Either I barely said anything or, in the case of Spec Ops: The Line, something about the game moved me to talk about something deeper than the game itself. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever wrote an actual game review. I normally reserve those for gadgets.

I don’t want to look at this as a review mainly because the game isn’t finished. Now, I don’t mean that it was rushed, or that Bungie, the developers of the game, left critical features out. I’m looking at it as an RPG. Bungie has said that they plan to have this game go on for 10 years and Activation, the publisher, stating that they have put $500 million into it, this game is long from finished and I don’t think that it shouldn’t be held to the same standard as most games are because those tend to have definite endings. If you are invested, you’ll be playinig Destiny for a while and the game may be vastly different than what is currently available.

I do, however, want to take a look at the now. *SPOILERS MAY BE AHEAD (I have not played that far past were the beta stopped. Maybe 2-3 missions past that point.)*

What do I think Destiny is?

So, for those who have been living under Mount Everest (because no other rock in existence should have kept you from noticing this games release), Destiny is a futuristic (bear with me now) Massively Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter (MMOFPS <- I obviously will refer to it this way from now on, lol) in which humans are visited by a floating orb called “The Traveler” and then face extinction by a group of aliens known as “The Fallen”. You start the game at a point where you are then charged to fight back “The Darkness” (read: anything that isn’t you or your friends).

This kind of confuses me as you are later told that humans have lost the fight long before you get there. As I write this, I’m thinking maybe that you are maybe guarding what’s left of humanity, but it doesn’t seem like everyone who is supporting you thinks its gonna last long. I haven’t played much after the beta, and there isn’t much to go on at that point. For a reference, I just opened the Venus section of the game and haven’t gone there yet. Maybe there are answers there. Maybe I can find someone who has been looking at this and can tell me it isn’t as bad as everyone on Earth thinks it is. I don’t know! However, I’ll touch more on the story in a bit.

What’s so good about it?

Courtesy of 1up-island.com

Now the game itself isn’t that bad. Its not a  military shooter, which means a lot to me. I recently purchased EA Access, downloaded and played Battlefield 4 for one mission, then cancelled my preorders for both Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare and Battlefield: Hardline. I’ve just had enough of them. Maybe I’ll play them on Gamefly or something. That being said, the combat bad at all. Its still your typical FPS style but it has some RPG elements mixed in. My favorite is the fact that I have unlimited grenades, I just have to wait a while after I use one to use another one. There are also multiple ways to tackle a situation. Yes, in some areas, there may be corridor battles to keep things tense, but most of the fights I’ve been in have been in very open areas with plenty of cover which allow me to tackle mid- and end-level boss fights with relative ease.

Carrying on with the combat, the gear and powers that your character obtains tends to change how the battles can be fought. This also depends on the class you select as well. Oh, and did I mention that all of this, not just your character, can be leveled up? Indeed, it can! As you use your weapons and gear, they level up to open up more abilities or accessories and, with guns, ultimately increases the damage inflicted with them.

Also, a big feather in this game’s cap is that it welcomes players to be social. Seeing as this game is largely multiplayer, you can gather up a posse and go anywhere. There aren’t any parts of the game that your party can’t go with you.Saying that, I would like to stress the fact that I stated party and no just a random group of people. While you can play in the same open areas as other people in the world, once you get to certain places surrounded by “The Darkness”, the environment becomes instanced and the only people allowed you will see in there is your party (or yourself if you aren’t in a party). The game recommends that you play it with others as there are missions called Strikes that will matchmake you with other players if you don’t have at least a party of three. Also, there are Raids, the first of which was made available and conquered yesterday, will require you to have a party ready to go for the grueling challenges it has in store for the guardians who dare try to complete it.

I played a small bit of the player vs. player (PvP) mode, called “The Crucible” and seemed like your standard Team Deathmatch and Domination objectives with others that unlock the more you play.  I do like these modes as it retains most if not all of the options that you can apply on the fly in the main game in these matches and you are almost guaranteed that no two players will have the same loadouts and definitely won’t play the same

So you’ve been playing everyday, non-stop?

Not at all. Honestly, I haven’t played the game since Sunday and it has been mostly a lack of trying. Like I’ve said, the game isn’t bad and I think Bungie did a great job with it. I kind of like it better than Halo (and yes, I’ve played the Halo games, but I’ve only finished one). Its just that the things I mentioned above aren’t enough to bring me back. Its almost as if I were a guardian, I’d say “Fuck it! I get better things to do.” I’d been spending more time watching “Once Upon a Time” reruns on Netflix for most of the time.

My main complaint with the game is the story. A lot of people have pointed to it being…not terrible, but more bad than good and I’d have to agree with them. As mentioned above, almost like in real life, no matter who you talk to, it doesn’t seem like anyone has the whole story and you are left to figure it out yourself through audio files that you may discover, loading screens, are the Grimoire Cards you collect for doing various things in the world. Those are great things when you are trying to establish the lore, but doesn’t seem to good when I need to find out why I’m doing these things right now.

Also, as stated above, I’ve only just passed the beta by a couple of missions, so things may become clear as I go to more places, but it doesn’t motivate me to find out more as it seems each mission doesn’t continue on what I was doing before. It appears that in order to get the game to last 10 years, somebody decided to stretch out the story instead of adding on to it. I guess it makes sense to do that in order to explain why the enemies you fight in between expansions and raid releases are still here.

I think another issue why I haven’t played it too much is because my friends have been able to play more than I have in a shorter amount of time. They have more time to invest for various reasons than I do. As I mentioned in an earlier blog post, I’m currently trying to buy a house so this has kept me from trying to play much Destiny (or any game for that matter) as I’ve been driving all over trying to find a new place to live. So now that they are further ahead than I am, I don’t really want to join their squads as they are playing missions that won’t benefit me too much or will skip ahead in the story and leave me even more confused than I currently am.

Also, due to the social aspect of the game, Destiny needs to be constantly connected to the Internet for me to enjoy it. This becomes an issue for me because I have multiple Internet-connected devices including servers that are running which deserve a little more attention than a video game (unless nobody really cares about MajorsHouse and TheMSZero). I would have probably played more than 30 minutes on Sunday if I hadn’t been disconnected from my session and forced back to the title screen.

So, what are you saying?!

I guess what I’m saying is that Bungie has done an amazing job creating a giant world which has been keeping plenty of people coming back for more for over a week now and will likely bring more in as the game grows, if it grows. Due to how some people viewed it initially, it seems that more people will be able to enjoy the game as the barrier for entry had recently been dropped for those in certain locations. I’m not sure how long I’ll stick around. This may be something that I may pop into from time to time, but it won’t be anything that will stay in the PS4 when NBA 2K14 hits store shelves (and my doorstep).

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