Game Hype: Star Wars Battlefront 2

Like it or not, Star Wars Battlefront 2 is coming.

On April 15th, at the Star Wars Celebration, we will get our first look.

Plenty of gamers shared disgruntled moans and cries of disbelief when they discovered how bare EA’s reboot was when it originally released in 2015. Being the wild card that I am I will openly admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the game. Dedicating over 100 hours of gameplay time and £40 for a season pass, I found myself hooked. But, even in my position as a blind sheep I can still see the countless flaws of EA’s Battlefront.

So, rather than asking the question of how Battlefront 2 can improve, I ask WILL it improve?

Have the big, bad cyborg bosses, sitting in their sky-high towers absorbing power from the sun and money from other blind sheep, allowed developers to implement their original creative ideas? The first thing that springs to mind for any Star Wars Battlefront hopeful is ‘SINGLE-PLAYER CAMPAIGN’, or ‘SPACE BATTLES’. Neither of which were present in the 2015 game. No wonder fans were upset, these were massive gameplay elements of the first games.

I addressed these issues in a blog post ages ago, and I still stand by my point; that this is EA’s Battlefront. This is NOT a sequel. This series doesn’t want to remaster an already popular game, but reimagine it, using the original material as a base to build from. So we have large-scale battles, beautiful and large maps, intense firefights. We are missing huge characteristics of the first series; such as classes, single-player and competitive online game modes like Galactic Conquest, space battles, different eras, etc. but doesn’t this emphasise the point? We will all relish the memories of our first Battlefront victory, but time’s changed, let’s enjoy what we have (a gorgeous looking Star Wars game) and hope that classic features make a return in Battlefront 2.

Yes, Battlefront 2. What can we expect to see, come April 15th? Well, I have a few ideas that I anticipate and really want to see make it into the sequel. 

Firstly, I don’t think that we’ll see Kylo Ren or Rey having a clash. Episode 8 will be coming out around the same time as Battlefront 2, before the holidays, and I can’t see how a Battlefront could work on two films without the final chapter. Arguably, they could add Episode 9 as DLC, but it would have to release two years after the game’s release. It just wouldn’t make sense. Also, there’s the issue of how much content would they be able to use from Episode 8 to avoid spoiling the film? The new era of Star Wars is just too complicated to touch at the moment.

Which is why I think the Clone Wars is perfect for the sequel. The lore is there, the films are done, ignore the questionable scripts and focus on those battles. It’s going to happen at some point, and I think that time is now. Imagine the battle of Genosis recreated in DICE’s stunning Frostbite engine. Even in the case of the battle of Naboo and the unbearable Gungans – it’ll look amazing. Battlefront 2015 played it safe. They went with the original trilogy and pulled on people’s heartstrings with lifelike images of Hoth and Endor. Battlefront 2 opens up more risk and creative freedom. They know what the fans want, and they have the resources to pull it off.

A single-player campaign has been confirmed by sources across the web, but space battles are still in question. I assume that EA have heard the complaints even if they weren’t listening for it. So, I expect to see these painfully regurgitated outcries sought to. It would be fairly dumb not to, wouldn’t you think?

Again, I expect another £40 on top of the £40 cost of the base game for the season pass, it’s just EA’s way. Battlefield 1 had the same model, and it’s sad to see it become commonplace, especially at such a high price. Compared to other season passes that retail at £20 (Witcher 3 for example), it’s not difficult to question its actual worth. Unfortunately for me this is a Star Wars game, and I’m more than likely to spend the £40 for a handful of extra hero characters (Jango and Grievous better not be DLC!).

Let’s see the Battlefront we deserve on the 15th. For goodness sake, give the people space battles!*

Alexander Jones

*Disclaimer: I don’t care much for the space battles, I’d rather be on the ground. But, hey-ho, FOR THE PEOPLE! 

 

I’m a journalist?

An update!

Hey everyone, long time no speak.

I haven’t updated this blog in a very long time, so I thought I’d share what I’ve been doing in the meantime.

Firstly, it’s probably worthy to note that I’ve been completing my magazine journalism MA at Cardiff University. So far, so good. I feel like I’ve already learned more than I did during my BA – but, this course is much more practical, so that’s probably why.

I spent my time before Christmas writing articles for Alt Cardiff , learning of new writing techniques and multimedia capabilities. My feature-length article for example, was a good demonstration of the range of multimedia I could produce. This feature article, regarding animal testing in Cardiff, went on to receive my highest mark (a first-class) last semester. I was pretty chuffed!

Another project I’ve been working on is Missing Pixels, a site aimed at welcoming all gamers. It was created for a digital project assignment but I think I might carry on contributing to it anyway. Feel free to join the community if you’d like!

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The week after we broke up for Christmas, I found myself in one of the UK’s largest magazine publishers: Haymarket.

Spending my nights a minute away in the hotel across the road, I was lucky enough to spend a week working with Stuff Magazine. Stuff Magazine deals with gadgets, tech, gaming; basically all the things I love. It was an inspiring work experience that made me feel confident in finding a place within the field. I am grateful to the Stuff team for having me on board, especially Rob Leedham, who got in touch and started it all.

stuffmagcontributor

That’s a very brief rundown of what I’ve been up to from September to December. Now, with the new semester, I hope to continue this progress in finally becoming an official NCTJ journalist. With more experience lined up for the Easter holidays, and hopefully some freelance opportunities, I think the next couple of months are going to be very exciting!

When I’m not being a journalist, I spend my days cleaning bowling alleys and shooting children with laser guns at Superbowl. Oh, the joys of paying your student debt…

 

Alexander Jones

 

For more information about me, check out my LinkedIn profile!

 

Exhilarating speeds, wild Pikachu and Beastie Boys in space

The other day children were released from school for their summer holidays, which is terrifying.

It also meant a fayre had opened local to me, an opportunity to venture outside with my little brother and check it out. Partnered with my desire to have a stroll and avoid any sarcastic “lazy” comments from my dad, I also gave in to the unbearably growing virus that is Pokemon GO. Despite wanting to avoid being caught up in the wave of Pokemon nostalgia trips, I couldn’t help myself but bug myself to see if anything rare and exciting appeared in my close, or preferably my house so I wouldn’t have to move. It turns out the closest Pokemon spawn down the road from me, and I faced even more disappointment bumping into endless Pidgeys and Rattatas. A sad day for a sad boy.

So I took up augmented reality Pokemon catching, and I wasn’t disappointed. Instead, I find myself surprisingly addicted. This addiction is probably fed by the shared satisfaction of finding new Pokemon with my younger brother and close friend Matt. Even the common, skip-able Pokemon from the video games were exciting to find; giving me a new Pokedex entry, bountiful experience and new evolution possibilities. After giving up on the latest installments of the DS games I really enjoyed going back to basics and first generation Pocket Monsters.

All the Pokestops!

It felt clean and lighthearted, albeit full of glitches and crashes which arguably hinder the overall performance of the game at the current time. Following Comic-Con in San Diego, news is that patches are inbound to fix these issues. Going back to what I said about nostalgia trips, it’s funny to see that the army of young adults (mostly my generation) who are raving about this new game are the same crowd who denied any attachment to the series in their school years. The irony is pure.

A few Pidgeys later and we made it to Tredegar Park’s fayre. It was fairly small, and £1 entry was a bit annoying but the rides here were definitely not lackluster. After a round of walking past the rides and sussing the scene out we decided that we’d actually go on one of the rides. With little encouragement the three of us squished ourselves into ‘The Sizzler’. Doesn’t that sound scary and fast? Aren’t we brave? Truth is, it was the one ride between being an actual scary ride and one of those slow and pathetically depressing kiddy rides. I feel like I’m playing it down, but the three of us still thoroughly enjoyed the fast thrills. To me, this ride gave me the same feelings that I used to get when I went really high on a swing. I guess this entire post is now about nostalgic feelings – lame.

 

After building up some confidence from the first ride we braved another one. This was one of those rides where you sit in a pod that spins around continuously as the floor moves around you simultaneously. Turns out that’s a bad idea after eating a chicken burger and drinking some Dr Pepper. This ride was extremely fast, sickening and dizzy as hell. I also got whiplash which left my neck aching for three days, so that’s a plus.

On an completely unrelated note, I watched Star Trek: Beyond the other day. Solid 5/10. Slow, cheesy and just not that impressive. Sorry Trekky or Trekkie fans, whatever you call yourselves, it’s not that amazing. My little brother fell asleep in the cinema, I mean it isn’t difficult for that to happen, but still! The Beastie Boys’ Sabotage also played a bigger role than most of the characters in the film, which I found hilarious.

At least I had an excuse to eat some fruit gums.

Alexander Jones

P.S. I walked 18km that day catching computer-generated monsters, I am not ashamed.

 

 

Tuning in, switching off…

What on Earth has been going on recently in the news?

After the seemingly “seismic” impact of Brexit, resignation of several political head figures including our beloved David Cameron, and the rise of Theresa May (not ‘Teresa’ the model like many blind keyboard warriors mashed into Twitter) – we are now haunted by several violent and horrifying events from across the World.

These events have definitely shaken me up recently. Everything seems to be going full throttle simultaneously into a brick wall. Freshly graduated from Cardiff University, I’m a naive, youthful academic individual looking to build a future for myself within this space and time. I’m only met with the darkness of harsh realities. Terrorist attacks from around the World, as well as military uprisings in areas not so far away from home – it’s hard to look past this barrier of hate. What can I do but mourn for the dozens and hundreds and thousands massacred pointlessly by sick individuals for twisted ideologies.

Bastille Attack
Bodies littered the streets of Nice following the Bastille Day massacre.

It can be pleasant bathing in the ignorance of celebrating a (well-deserved) graduation when all these horrific actions are taking place around us. I only heard about the Bastille Day terror attack just before I went to sleep, late into the night. It shocked me. As more detailed reports and disturbingly graphic videos made their way onto the web in the morning I felt sick. Sick, sad and angry. How could anyone do such a thing? More importantly why would you do that? Innocent and happy families celebrating a national holiday mowed down by some lone wolf, for nothing. A pointless slaughter of people of all ages, from across the World with varying beliefs. There was no message behind this massacre, we’ve witnessed terror attacks that attack just for the sake of murdering people. How faltered and deviant do you have to be to become someone who’d do that? Or, more importantly, how can we stop something like this happening before it sets in motion? Who knows? I don’t, that’s for sure.

Turkey Coup
Turkish civilians stood up to the attempted military coup – many lost their lives in the process.

Following this dreadfully sad moment in French history we are faced with a military uprising or “coup” in Turkey. Borders are locked down, deadly jets fly low above the city of Istanbul, soldiers seize local news networks and other establishments. At this point I began losing hope. In the back of my mind I keep thinking: when will it be us? When will the United Kingdom become the victim of the next terrorist attack? When will innocent British lives be brought into danger? It’s a scary thought, but one I try not to linger on for too long. 84 lives were taken during Bastille Day, more than a hundred were taken in Turkey a few days after. It’s times like these that make you think the whole planet has gone mad.

Beneath all this madness I believe that there is hope for the French, and the Turkish. People unify over events that are shared among them – after every terrorist attack there’s a vigil; and we are reminded that despite these small smudges of hate, we all share hope for a greater good.

 

Alexander Jones

 

A long summer

University is such a strange thing. You go away to continue learning sophisticated progressions in topics dabbled in from school, and you’re more often than not expected to end it all with a shiny new degree and life experience. No doubt, each and everyone’s ‘university experience’ is different – some people drop out, some struggle, some find their dream opportunity and others continue as normal, delaying the inevitable revelation that is real world problems. It’s an exciting period of anyone’s life, no matter the events that take place.

These thoughts throb in my mind endlessly as I sit back at home, away from the hustle of the Big City, contemplating my next moves. The last three years have passed at an impressive speed, it’s hard to comprehend how swiftly these ‘best moments of your life’ really come to an end. I sit here searching the web for answers; job prospects, social endeavours, and developing my own skills. Soon I’ll begin learning to drive, I’ll also begin a work placement, but sadly it may not last the whole duration of the holiday season, and again I attempt to sell myself to the World. Of course, I’m enrolling myself on an MA course in magazine journalism come September, but that doesn’t diminish the gloomy feelings that grow in-between those two segments of my life. My final year in university emphasised to me the realness and desperation that many students struggled with in finding a place to go after it all. Problems that were ignored prior such as overwhelming debt, lack of relevant job vacancies, and becoming fully independent became very grounded issues. Two years of boozing into comas, and being lazy with education deadlines didn’t completely convince people that they should be planning ahead, instead, they lived in the moment. It’s only at the last hurdle that one realises that this time did matter, and maybe it should have been more productive. In many ways this is how I feel about myself and my university experience, there are many opportunities I did not take up, and now I feel some regret. However, like numerous of fellow students, I go on.

Without question the burden of guilt of not succeeding lingers on my shoulders constantly, but I’m moving on to the next chapter in my life. My MA will be tough, but I bring with me three years of semi-independent experience, and believe that this will set me up for the future. The worries of lacking funding, and job prospects in the future scare me, but you only get out what you put in, so hopefully with some determination I can still succeed.

 

Alexander  Jones