Rogue Content: Star Wars Battlefront II’s Missing Features

Planet-specific skins and Starfighter arcade are among the MIA

Delving into Heroes versus Villains mode for the hundredth time, waiting patiently for players to join the showdown – a worrying sign of lacking activity – upon loading the character selection screen, the mode feels improved. Yet, I can’t help but feel like something is still lacking.

Stepping back, why does Heroes versus Villains feel better? Well, this is the result of the introduction of two shiny new heroes; Finn for the light, and Captain Phasma for the dark, providing 16 total heroes split between the two sides. Alongside a brand-new Galactic Assault map, Crait, and a Starfighter Assault map, D’Qar, these new slices of content arrive for free to all players as part of ‘The Last Jedi Season’, the first batch of content in place of a season pass. Releasing adjacent to the debut of the latest blockbuster Star Wars Episode XIII, the content intends to uphold EA and DICE’s promise to maintain a unified player base by bringing fresh experiences and making them available to all.

Following micro transaction controversy early on, efforts to rekindle excitement in Battlefront’s sequel have, to some extent, failed. The damage is already engraved deep beneath the core, with the in-game Crystal currency pretty much redundant, and a page that clearly meant to operate as a place for buying more with hard-earned cash empty and blank. It’s almost poetic, really. Areas of the game that have been cut as a result from sincere hatred towards pay-to-win structures, a failure on EA and DICE’s part, leave a sour taste. In a way, the game almost feels broken without it.

As a die-hard fan of Star Wars and the Battlefront series, I can’t help but compel myself to soldier on. I defended the 2015 reboot with the hope of seeing similar visually stunning Star Wars titles land onto my Xbox Dashboard, but it’s hard to feel amped for a game that’s been torn apart by the press and players, rightly so in most cases. It’s led to significant adjustments by EA and DICE as they backtrack and attempt to recover from a media sh*tstorm. Unfortunately, I believe they’ve already lost.

Where’s old man Luke? Draped in a fraying grey cloak, grey beard and grey Jedi ways (kinda), wielding his green lightsaber and shooting witty and grumpy comments at his foes. I’m not even kidding, where is he?

Battlefront II is in serious need of skins. Skins, arcade content and more seasons. At the time of writing, there are no announcements for the second season, leaving fans half excited to see what’s coming (Grievous, Grievous, Grievous… Come on!) and half concerned that the damage inflicted early-on has impacted development for upcoming content packs. It’s embarrassing that the community is being forced to create mods for skins and characters before the developers do. In the last week alone I’ve seen skins for Kylo Ren, Rey, Darth Vader, Boba Fett and new heroes such as Anakin and Count Dooku – all of which make me more excited than any official announcement from DICE. That’s just not right. It can’t seriously take that long to implement Han’s Hoth outfit and Leia’s Endor attire, two skins that already exist in the first game.

Has the backlash damaged the game’s reputation as well as planned seasons? Is there any point in adding new maps and heroes if the player base is already in rapid decline (evident in my experience by the lack of players when match finding)? The situation might be more complex – involving blunt conversations between EA, DICE and Disney of which we, the public, will never hear. The Battlefront II community eagerly awaits for a spark of hope.

In the meantime, I’m going to continue to force push Captain Phasma off Wookie platforms on Kashyyyk…



Trump and Truth

What’s the deal with my computer screen?

On every website I visit, no matter where I look, I see these strange pixels. They resemble something I’ve seen before in one of those old-timey horror films. Distorted orange flesh and blonde frail hair that floats in the wind. It hurts my eyes if I look at it too long, but I can’t avoid it, it’s everywhere I look.

Whatever this monstrosity is, it appears to be frozen in a constant state of discomfort and anger. Maybe it’s frustrated with how disgustingly orange it looks? Maybe something sharp stabbed it in the backside? I scan the bold text that rests below the creature. “Donald Trump says he knows a guy who delivers very trustworthy information about foreign diplomacy which is very good, and everyone loves it”.

Donald Trump? Have I heard of him before? I begin searching the most desolate parts of my headspace. There must be something on this guy. La La Land epic fail at the Oscars, Brexit appeal vote defeated, numerous protests around the world on International Women’s Day. There’s even a small space where my BA dissertation goes. Oh, here it is. Donald J Trump fails to reveal tax returns. Donald J Trump falls short on providing a valid reason behind his quick judgement on claiming news organisations churn out “fake news”, but advocates sources of information which cannot be verified. There’s also calls of shutting down the press.

That doesn’t seem right. Maybe this poor creature is yet to grow a mature enough brain to comprehend how basic freedom of press works, because no sane or developed member of us homo-sapiens would suggest something so clearly dumb and obscene. It’s scary. It seems to believe what it’s saying.

The more it spits “Mexicans”, “China” and “Make America great again” the redder he becomes, like a birthday balloon ready to pop. It’s even got a couple hundred minions that chant and wail in unison to the sound of this nonsense. They wear baseball caps atop their big fat heads, sheltering sweaty plains of skin exposed from relentless balding. They’re white. White until the shouting begins. Then they scream at the top of their lungs in a devoted act of becoming as strangely off-colour and monster-like as their leader Donald J Trump.

If my mushy brain hadn’t pumped back into action before seeing any more of this horror-show, I probably would have convinced myself I was visiting an undiscovered alien planet. Full of testosterone-raging idiots who can’t tell right from their left, or north from south. They probably don’t know how to tie their shoes laces, for trumps sake!

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!


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.


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!


The Beautiful Canadian Rockies: Part 3 (Photos)

For the third installment of this rather amazing collection of photos I’m going to share the bear essentials (…ha?). Prepare yourself for a selection of decent pictures, that didn’t end up being blurry or just plain obscure, in which I hope you can enjoy. On our journey through the Rockies, we were lucky enough to witness 15 bears – 3 grizzlies and 12 black bears, including one cub. Not all of these bears were captured with decent pictures or video, though. There’s definitely a bear behind that berry bush, trust me.

Alexander Jones

P.S. If you’d like to use my photos for any reason, please contact me first!


The Beautiful Canadian Rockies: Part 2 (Photos)

Here is the second part of my Canadian Rockies photo collection. I’ve uploaded all of my photos to my computer and guess how many I took – over 1600. That’s a lot of photos, so luckily I’m only going to share the highlights in these blog posts. As I stated in my last post, I really hope you can appreciate the natural beauty that the Rockies have to offer.

Alexander Jones