Hey! Yo! Yo! Hey! We’re back in your ears for the 70th episode of Make Me A Gamer! And it’s a good one! First TMan and HarveyZ discuss the Epic vs. Apple legal slap battle that’s been going on the last few weeks, and then they answer some questions that they didn’t have a chance to get to last week. Questions like: “how do you find games similar to ones you already know you like” and “what’s the deal with monks, anyway?” Then they end the episode with a short look back on some of their favorite Make Me A Gamer moments – because it’s been two years! How time flies when you’re having fun! Enjoy!
Thirty-five whole episodes of Make Me A Gamer are in the bag! On this particular one, T-Man makes HarveyZ choose between Fortnite and fidget spinners, we delve into Dungeons & Dragons thanks to an e-mail question, and then we talk about some hot gaming news like the new Death Stranding trailer and this random new handheld with a crank called the Playdate. Then we finish the episode with a new segment where TMan just talks about a game he likes: this week, it’s Alpha Protocol! Enjoy! (This episode was recorded May 30th, 2019.)
Make Me A Gamer is now releasing on Tuesdays! Hooray!
On this week’s episode, TMan and HarveyZ manage to talk a little bit about games – Red Dead Redemption 2, Fortnite, and the minor Total War: Rome 2 kerfuffle. We also delve into the Bowsette fad that’s been sweeping the internet and get into a long debate about steampunk, cyberpunk, and….Renaissance Fairs? (This episode was recorded September 29th.)
It’s already October, holy cow. Well in case you hadn’t noticed I’ve been a little busy in September as I launched my first podcast Make Me A Gamer with my pal Harvey Z. As such I haven’t had as much time to write articles – I’ve also been kind of saving some of the more interesting topics that I would normally write about for discussions on the podcast. So please check it out – all four episodes so far are available here on this site as well as on Apple, Google, and Stitcher Podcast apps.
But since it’s October, it’s time for another update on what I’ve been playing! There’s not as much this month – a majority of my gaming time was taken up by Spider-Man which I already wrote a full review for here. But what else did I play? Well I dabbled a little into Destiny 2 since it was free for PS+ users this month in hopes people would then get addicted enough to buy the new expansion. I also jumped back into Fortnite for a bit thanks to the new season 6 launching. On PC I played a lot more of Into the Breach and Audiosurfed for a little bit. And on Switch I finally tried out Breath of the Wild – a year and a half after the hype died down.
So what did I think about all these games? Let’s find out!
A few weekends ago I was playing Fortnite while a friend of mine was visiting (the wonderful Harvey Z who frequently guest stars in my YouTube videos). He’d never played Fortnite before and after playing it myself for a bit I let him take the reins on my PS4 because Fortnite is very casual play friendly – there’s no ranking and no stats to skew, so turning my controller over to a completely new player was not going to be detrimental to me in the slightest (another point for the accessibility of the game).
His strategy was very specific – he tried to stay out of combat as much as possible. When he discovered that there was a bush item you could use to become even more stealthy, he was all about the Bush Victory. In one run, Harvey made it all the way to 3rd place in a solo royale without killing anybody. He stuck to his pacifist gameplay pretty regularly (partly because he didn’t trust himself to be good at the combat with a PS4 controller, but also because he was determined to get a pacifist victory) and usually was able to get fairly far into the tournament by simply avoiding the high encounter areas.
I myself got my first Victory Royale in Fortnite last week with the introduction of the Thanos solo mode. I succeeded in finishing Harvey’s strategy – when it was just me (as a bush) and Thanos left, I was able to hide and outwit Thanos and he ended up killing himself. I was awarded a victory without having killed a single person the entire match. It was pretty awesome – but it is also not what people want to see in Fortnite. They want to watch big plays and showmanship – like rocket rides into 360 sniper no scope headshots. Pacifists are the “boring” players – despite the fact that my Victory Royale counts the same as one who racks up 10 kills in a match.
After dancing around it for a good while, on Monday night for the first time I played Fortnite’s battle royale mode. I’ve never played PUBG or any of the other battle royale mods of other PC games, so it was my very first experience with the genre. And I have to say, due to me staying up way later than I should have after playing a good three hours of continuous games – I think I can see the appeal of Fortnite. (And then I played for a few more hours yesterday just for good measure.)
The thing that struck me almost immediately was just how easily I got into it. It’s one of those games that is very friendly to new players – even if you suck at it. I didn’t win a match (and honestly didn’t even come close despite having a few top 10 finishes) but I still had a lot of fun playing the matches. Unlike games like Overwatch where I get frustrated with multiple losses in a row, every time I died early I was easily able to shake it off and immediately requeue without any negative feelings or frustration.
So what is it about Fortnite (and the battle royale genre as a whole) that is so attractive and user-friendly?
So I’ve been on a bit of a hiatus due to a long out-of-country vacation. I wasn’t planning on starting up my blog entries again until next week, but something of a big deal happened last night in the video gaming world and I figured I’d throw up a quick article about it.
Late last night, Drake (yes, the rapper/singer/gif star Drake) casually dropped on Twitter that he’d be playing some Fortnite with a popular Twitch streamer named Ninja. Over the course of the stream Drake learned what Discord was and installed it, got carried to a Victory Royale by Ninja after he accidentally died (although he did survive pretty long in that particular match), and oh, Ninja’s stream broke over 600,000 concurrent viewers, shattering the previous Twitch streaming record of a little under 400,000.
If you don’t follow video games you might not know what Fortnite is or even understand how the battle royale genre craze is sweeping video game culture. But don’t worry, that’s what I’m here for! I’m going to give a brief history of how battle royale became a thing, how Fortnite has suddenly blossomed into a huge phenomenon, and why Drake breaking Twitch is a big deal for the future of gaming.