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Joe Mangum

  • Registered 11 years ago
  • Last active 3 months ago
  • Post count 28
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Recent comments

  • Avatar for MojoBox MojoBox 6 months ago

    Anthem's E3 reveal did absolutely nothing for me. It was a non-starter as far as what I want out of Bioware, but combine that with the dismal failure of Andromeda and this most recent EA news and I think Bioware is not a company that is able to produce a game that holds any interest for me.

    GaaS may be raking in the cash now, but I suspect it may well be a market with limited scope. As more and more titles crowd in to it we may well see something like the great MMO bust of the late Aughts. It will hit a natural upper limit to it's user base, a big winner or two will dominate with a few stragglers, and eventually it will all peter out as the predatory nature of the model starts making people feel like marks.

    I could be wrong though.

    Posted in Ex-BioWare Developer Says Anthem is an Example of EA's Monetization Plans

  • Avatar for MojoBox MojoBox 8 months ago

    The lock and key point is one of the main things that I find elevates it above a lot of games after it's fashion that have come since. The Castlevania games have a fairly heavy reliance on skills and items that have little function beyond unlocking the next area, and one of the biggest knocks I can make against the Prime games is that they are littered with literal keys that are no fun to collect.

    Super Metroid's commitment to gating progress behind player empowerment helps the whole thing feel more organic, more like a real place and less like an artificial labyrinth purpose built for the player.

    Posted in Metroid Game By Game Reviews: Super Metroid

  • Avatar for MojoBox MojoBox 9 months ago

    The single mission in the Destiny 2 beta is certainly a step up in terms of storytelling from Destiny 1 (which would be hard not to achieve, considering), but it's still incredibly bare-bones. An NPC you can't interact with shows up in front of you and does something scripted to enemies you also can't interact with and then goes away. It's not exactly brilliant, it wouldn't have been brilliant a decade ago. Based on what we've seen and what I've played, I'm not expecting them to evolve the formula much passed chatty Kathy's in your ear during missions. Let's just hope those missions are more interesting and full of varied objectives then the first Destiny.

    I'm also keen to see if they've done enough to address the large scale structural problems of the first game. Their general caginess and vacuous PR fluff speak in previews hasn't really been inspiring a lot of optimism in me though.

    Posted in Remembering That Time I Accidentally Beat Destiny, And Didn't Know It; Plus, Little Witch Academia's Charms

  • Avatar for MojoBox MojoBox 11 months ago

    They said a lot and showed little. Most of the time was spent boasting about basic improvements that really should have been there in the first game (an applause break for not having to return to orbit to go to a different destination? Yeesh).

    So far this has the distinct feeling of a glorified expansion. It'd be nice to be proven wrong, but then they've got a lot to prove.

    Posted in Bungie's Destiny 2 is Shaping Up To Become the Ultimate Online FPS RPG

  • Avatar for MojoBox MojoBox 11 months ago

    I've put hundreds of hours in to Minecraft on PC on a shared online world and it was magnificent. That said, I eventually burned out and moved on. It's been long enough for me to be ready to jump back in, and a very good portable version is exactly the thing I need to get back to it.

    As for the Switch version I'm very happy they chose to target 60fps over a larger draw distance. The thing about draw distance in Minecraft is that even if you have a very powerful PC and push the draw distance way far out it's impossible to ever make it not an abrupt transition from something to nothing. It's not like a lot of modern games that use a variety of techniques to mask the transition from high LOD to low LOD to not rendering, Minecraft either renders something or it doesn't.

    Posted in Minecraft: Switch Edition Review: The Best Damn Portable Version Yet

  • Avatar for MojoBox MojoBox A year ago

    It's incredibly refreshing to play a game that has a control scheme that is unlike any game I can think of. I feel like we've had going on two generations of games simply remixing and refining existing mechanics. Sure, Snake Pass can be difficult, but it's a type of difficulty that I haven't experienced in awhile, that of trying to learn and internalize new game mechanics. I'm not going to argue with the review score, the text supports it and is fair, but I'd encourage people to embrace the challenge if the game piques your interest.

    I'm already thinking a Snake Pass 2 would be incredibly welcome though, bigger and more refined.

    Posted in Snake Pass Review

  • Avatar for MojoBox MojoBox A year ago

    My personal beef with map icon clutter, which is the heart of the problem with the Ubi tower, is the same beef that I have with minimaps with GPS guidance: You aren't learning anything, you're just doing what you are told.

    A large part of the joy of games to me is the ability to exercise the spatial orientation muscles of my brain. A new game, a new location to learn, a whole new set of navigational problems to internalize. It's fun to me! The problem with modern game design to my tastes is that Developers have become terrified that anyone get left behind. Despite a mountain of evidence that most players don't finish games no matter what you do, Developers keep cranking up the hand holding in order to try and make it as easy as possible to get through the core of the game, and with most open world games easy to make sure you've wrung every drop of capital C "Content" out of a game (another scourge to discuss at another time).

    I know there are people out there who get a thrill out of doing everything, collecting everything. But I'm not one of them. In fact, I can't help but view that sort of mentality as a sort of messed up compulsive pathology (kidding. kinda.)

    BOTW is brilliant to me because it's confident in my ability to learn it through play and values my inherent desire to explore and play. It has no problem cutting me lose to tinker, explore, and play on my own terms. And that confidence manifests itself in more ways than just how the map is presented.

    Posted in Exploring and Uncovering the Dreaded Ubisoft Tower

  • Avatar for MojoBox MojoBox A year ago

    $70 is a lot for a controller. That said, the DS4 runs around $60 and the build quality is garbage. I'm currently on my third and it's days appear to be numbered too. So long as Nintendo sticks to their typically high build quality, and considering the extra tech packed in, I'm not gonna be too irritated with spending $70 for a Pro.

    I just hope the JoyCon Grip is comfy enough to get me by until the sting of buying the console fades enough for me to get a Pro.

    Posted in After Finally Getting My Hands on the Switch, I Feel Better About My Preorder

  • Avatar for MojoBox MojoBox A year ago

    The whole "4 divine beasts" thing sort of lines up with the old "there's only 4 dungeons" rumor, no?

    Some people will have a problem with that. Not me! A: Majora's Mask is one of my favorite Zelda's and it had 4 dungeons and B: Twilight Princess has the most dungeons and that's my least favorite. The game seems absolutely massive, 4 dungeons along with the 100+ shrines is just fine, so long as the dungeons are well designed.

    Posted in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild's Backstory Revealed

  • Avatar for MojoBox MojoBox A year ago

    The visual design on this is really bad. It looks okay in stills, but in motion the combination of the comic book cel shading with realistic lighting and shadowing is really off-putting.

    The entire point of cel shading is to remove gradient lighting so you have a stark cartoon style lighting with few shades representing light and shadow. This is an awkward middle ground where it either looks cartoony or realistic depending on where you're looking.

    Posted in The Walking Dead Season 3 Premieres With Two Episodes on Dec 20