My Biggest Moment in Gaming for 2019… (Brandon)

Every year there are some amazing moments in gaming. It could be reaching a new rank in a competitive game, a long-awaited release finally dropping, or an amazing moment with your friends. To start the year if I had to guess what would have been my favorite moment of the year, I would have easily guessed the release of Borderlands 3. I even would have guessed getting to champ in Rocket League or reaching gold in League of Legends before what happened. I could not believe when City of Heroes made its return.

     Growing up my favorite game was City of Heroes. It was my first PC game and MMO experience. I remember when my dad got into the beta and watching him play the introduction to the game, and I remember thinking that was the coolest game I have ever seen. After watching him play for hours and days, I took all of my saved money from the last two years to buy my first computer. I got to the point where I got lost in this game. I created so many bonds over the game with the community, and so many memories with my friends. It even got to the point during double experience weekends my dad would take me out of school early to play the whole weekend. Sadly back in 2012, the game closed out of nowhere. The game seemed to be doing better than any point. The game just went free to play, and the game resurged. People were spending so much money in the online shop since there was no more monthly subscription. There was no explanation as to why the game closed down other than the company was done working on the game. 

     2019 was an emotional year for City of Heroes fans. In early 2019 there was a rumor going around that there were private servers that were never closed because people kept them private. It slowly started to leak out thanks to a youtube video about the servers. The community freaked out when they released the servers to the public. The creators of the game caught wind of this pretty quick, and there was a bit of a scare. The admins had to close down the servers to discuss what they could legally do with the servers. At this point, I remember being at work when I found out the servers were closed down, and I was heartbroken. Thankfully after some heroes that were running the servers, they got the right to keep the servers open. I have never seen so many people so emotional over a game’s return. I even took off two weeks of work to completely dive into this game again with friends and family. Thanks to some amazing people fighting for this game, we got to walk the streets of Paragon City to fight crime again. 

     Not only was this my favorite memory of the year it may have been my favorite of the decade. It is crazy to see what can happen when a community bands together to get what they love back. I would have never guessed this game would have returned. What was your favorite moment of the year for gaming? Was it a major accomplishment or a hilarious moment with friends? Let us know in the comments below!

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-Brandon Maj (TNC Penguin)

Madden 19 First Thoughts…

We are getting close to the start of the NFL season, and that means madden is here! Myself and Manny got our hands on the Hall of Fame edition of the game nearly a week ago, and so far we have had a very good time. I have always been a huge fan of the madden franchise where on the other hand Manny hasn’t purchased a current Madden since Madden 13 and hasn’t played one since Madden 16.

I have to say, this is the most fun I’ve had in Madden in almost 3 years now. Last year really fell short for me and I quit playing after only about two months of being released. Where most Maddens I continue to play until after Christmas. I have always been a huge fan of Madden Ultimate Team (MUT) for the excitement of pack openings and the grind to make your team better throughout the season and different holiday events that pop up through the year. So, I will admit ALL of my time spent on the current Madden has been all in MUT over the past week of the game. I really enjoy the different aspects this year to make it much easier to figure out what you want to do and the game is much more straight forward for MUT. This is my first time ever playing MUT Squads (a new game mode that was implemented in last years Madden to allow you to play MUT with your friends.) Manny and myself have played a few matches so far and overall it has been really fun to play with your friends in this game mode. We did a huge pack opening the first day of launch and it was incredibly fun we got some amazing cards in our packs. Manny even pulled a 90 overall Legend card which blew my mind. There is a new addition to MUT this year that I’m sort of having a bit of a love-hate relationship with currently. That is the new upgrade progression system. Now there are cards in the game that you can upgrade with new tokens. Which yeah is really cool and all but at the same time I feel like it makes it so much easier now to get a really good team, which is something I always loved about the grind it meant a lot when your team’s overall was around an 85. Well, after the first week my team overall is already a 79… which usually took me about a month to achieve, and I know if I spent more of my tokens I could probably break the 80 overall threshold. Which scares me because the grind is what always kept me around playing Madden to get my team as close to a 90+ as possible, and I have a feeling I may hit that in the first month if I keep grinding like I am. All in all the Madden Ultimate Team is very fun again this year like most. Now for the gameplay.

This years Madden has the smoothest gameplay I have ever felt in a sports game. Most of you are probably thinking “shouldn’t the newest game always feel smoother then the last?” Well yes it should but honestly Madden 18 felt clunkier then 17, and others have felt worse then previous years. This one has it all so far. The passing and running are very fluent while the new player movement system is fantastic and really allows you to combo different special movements with the ball carrier. Also hit sticks on defense seem to make a much bigger impact, but are also way harder to land now. You pretty much either force a fumble, or you are giving up a huge play. I really love that they have fixed a lot of the gameplay issues from last year. The only thing that is bothering me when it comes to actual gameplay is when you begin running on a play the ball carrier or defender doesn’t accelerate like old maddens. It’s very slow, and feels kind of weird. The two best parts about the new player movement system in Madden 19 has to be the celebrations and the fact that different players are slower then other players. To touch on this first, in most Maddens my 90+ speed running back would get caught by a 67 speed Defensive lineman running down the sideline, which was super unrealistic to me. They have finally fixed this problem! The second portion the statement previously… touchdown celebrations are in the game and they are so fun and exciting! Everytime you score now you just get so excited to see which celebration your character will go with after you choose. It really makes scoring feel even better now in Madden 19!

I am going to give Madden 19 an 8.8 out of 10. The MUT is extremely enjoyable, and from what Manny has told me about franchise you have so much more control this year as a player with bonus rewards mid game and different goals throughout the season. The only things so far holding me back to give the game a higher rating is the MUT progression system, MUT Squads not allowing you to play with just 2 players, and the acceleration aspect of the game. That being said the game has some amazing new additions with player movement, and prior to Madden 19, the highest I would have scored another Madden would be around a 8.2, so this game takes the cake with the new motion system! Let us know why you thought of the article and your options of Madden 19 in the comments! Make sure to hit the star so we know you enjoy the article! Untill next time.

-Brandon Maj