The Current Demise of Destiny 2

So, we need to talk about Destiny 2.

Destiny has been my favourite game for the past several years.

Destiny was the game that I loved so much, and was so devoted to that it caused an issue in my marriage.

Then Destiny 2 came out and things… were different. Technically everything was there, and everything looked so much better, but there were little things that felt wrong. At first it was the shader controversy – which I was okay with at the time but definitely was a sign of things to come.

By the time Curse of Osiris came out I, much like a lot of the community, was pretty fed up with Destiny 2. Bungie had three reveal streams scheduled to show off CoO, but only made it through two of them before the community laughed them off the stage.

The second stream is now infamous for its “Two Tokens and a Blue” scandal. Bungie has promised up and down that their newest Public Event on Mercury was not only the biggest but also the most rewarding, only to be shown off that the rewards were only two planetary tokens and a common quality piece of gear. The third stream, which was scheduled to show off the new gear you could acquire in the DLC, was cancelled. I for one, would have loved to see what they had planned to showcase, because when the $20 expansion was released, there really wasn’t much gear to speak of. I can’t even imagine the reaction the community would have had to Bungie showing off an armour set that had to be purchased with Additional money, a set of guns that are no more powerful than the guns we already have but are twenty times more difficult to acquire, and yet another set of impressive ships, sparrows and ghosts that have to be purchased with Additional money.

Honestly, what did they think the $20 price point was buying for us?

Last week, Bungie returned from their Christmas holiday with their tails between their collective legs to see how much hate they had garnered during the holiday when they left us with a seasonal event – The Dawning – which again came with a flurry of new pieces of gear that had to be purchased with real money. This was their Christmas present to us. At the same time, games like Overwatch were giving out free loot boxes to players that played during Christmas.

Bungie released an apologetic update that showed us what they were planning to fix the problems with the game.

It did not deliver.

Basically, “here are a bunch of fixes that are only fair to the players, but only if they stick around to the next event in February.” There goes January.

This update only serves to show me that Bungie doesn’t really know what they want. They were the ones that implemented the micro transaction system. They were the ones who changed the PvP system to 4v4, before giving up and putting 6v6 back in. They were the ones who developed the lacklustre Masterwork system and the abysmal mod system.

Destiny 2 has become a game that has no identity. It isn’t the game that was promised by the end of Destiny 1. It isn’t the game that the fans want. And it obviously isn’t the game that the developers want.

In my opinion – which doesn’t mean much at this point – Bungie needs to focus more on taking their time with the expansions and improving the actual game, rather than trying to keep content fresh through the whole year. Other games are out there, if people drop in and out of Destiny that’s fine, as long as there is something to come back to. If Bungie continues to focus on disappointing seasonal events, the community will leave all together. Like I have.

I am interested to see if this update is an actual fix for the micro transaction disaster, or just something to placate the fans until the next expansion comes out. Honestly, I want this game to be the kind of game that I am way too in to. I miss the days when I hooked up with my clan on Tuesday nights.

See you all at Valentines Day.

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice Review (It’s a Little Late)

A couple months ago I was visiting with a good friend of mine. He’s a pretty popular twitch streamer so he always has tons of games that I haven’t played. Looking at his collection I saw a game I had seen a little press for, but I had no idea what it was like. I asked him how the game was and he said it was okay. According to him, it was interesting, but more of an experience than a traditional game. With no reason to believe otherwise I didn’t bother to borrow the game from him at the time.

On Christmas Eve, I was looking for something to fill the hole that Destiny 2 was leaving in my gaming time. At the time I figured I might as well try out that experience game, so I grabbed it and started it up. It turns out, he was right about it being an experience. What followed was one of the most surprising gaming experiences of my life. The game was Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice.

Like I said, this game is months old by now (originally coming out in August 2017), but if you haven’t heard about it: Hellblade is a 3rd person adventure game revolving around a young Celt warrior girl named Senua on a quest into Hell to rescue the soul of her lover after he was killed by vikings from the North. The twist: Senua is suffering with severe psychosis throughout the course of the game.

I could tell I was in for something different with Hellblade when the opening text explained that this was a game that dealt with the subject of psychosis, warning me not to play it if I had psychosis as well, and urging those who did to seek help from professionals.

Way to set the scene!

The next warning was even more helpful. Wear Headphones!

Part of Senua’s psychosis is she hears voices. With the headphones on, it felt like I did too. The whispering voices are relentless, and not shy about what they think of what you’re doing in the game. Go the wrong way, they’ll tell you to turn around. Get lost in a maze, they will mock you. Get in a fight, they’ll scream if you’re about to get hit from behind. In a way, they’re a very useful game mechanic. When you’ve got headphones on, it feels like they’re right beside you. I kept having to take the headphones off because I thought my dog was crying. After a while, I unplugged my headphones to show the game to my wife, and without the surround sound whispering, things felt so stark. It no longer felt like the voices were in my head, and it felt like I was missing things they were saying.

Narratively and mechanic-wise, the game does a phenomenal job of not teaching you too much, but leading you to everything you need to know. The narrative unravels slowly, every time Senua defeats one of the puzzles, you get a peak behind the veil to see how this was all just a personal victory over one of Senua’s inner demons. Discovering what the events were, leading up to her psychotic break that sent her on this quest.

In terms of the mechanics, there is no HUD. There are no button prompts. No quick time events in boss fights. You are just one girl against a physical and mythological world. I got through one of the boss fights without figuring out how to go into berserker-like Focus mode to slow down time to devastate your opponents. In retrospect, the voices kept yelling at me to focus. Not because I kept getting hit, but because I just had to press the Focus button.

But despite Hellblade’s name, it’s not a fighting game. The best mechanic in the game is its puzzles. Predominantly, you’ll come across a door locked with several Norse runes. Once you find the door, you have to look around the area to find the runes’ shapes in the world. Maybe in the shape of a tree or a shadow on the wall. Like the rest of the more mythological aspects of the game, you get the sense that this is more of a mechanic in Senua’s mind than in reality. After a while, the voices in your head start to complain that you spend so much time searching for runes instead of trying to save your boyfriend’s soul. Canonically, it makes sense, since finding the runes doesn’t do anything to unlock the door in your way, but if you try to open the door before finding all the runes, Senua gets too distressed to bring herself to open it.

In order to get the right vantage point to find each rune, there are a number of reality altering mechanics. One of the coolest are a set of magical arches. When looking through the arches, they peal away an illusion, so you can see a solution to your problem. Stone wall in your way? Look again! There’s a hole in it now. Walk through the arch, now you’re in that altered reality with a hole in the wall. It’s so smooth and integrated, it feels like real magic.

But the real strength of the game isn’t the fighting or the puzzles. It’s the experience. If Senua is afraid, you feel afraid. One section of the game has you running through the dark, convinced that there is a monster waiting in there to get you. Without a torch to protect you, it feels like you could die at any second and it just gets more and more distressing.

Speaking of dying, the game tells you something close to the beginning. Growing on Senua’s arm is a black rot. It’s a physical manifestation of the darkness that Senua is fighting inside her. In the only ‘gamey’ moment of the game, the camera floats away from Senua to show you a message that every time you die, the rot on her hand will grow up her arm, once it reaches her head the game is over and you lose all progress. It makes things extremely tense. As you go further in the game, the rot grows up her arm getting closer to your head. After playing the game for close to six hours, you really don’t want to have to start over if you lose.

Spoiler Alert: it never reaches her head.

It’s a bluff.

That last hour of the game is insanely stressful because it feels like you could lose it all with any mistake you make. But you can die as many times as you want, you never lose your progress. But that’s how Senua feels. She’s come this far, she’s made it into the depths of the underworld, but at any time she could fail and lose it all.

In order to be fair and not just endlessly praise this game, the puzzles are not as inspiring as they felt when I was immersed in the game. As I said earlier, even the game gets a little tired with the runes after a while. Were it not for all the other mechanics it takes to get to the proper vantage point to see the runes, the constant seeking would get very tiresome. But in my opinion, the balance is just right to make this a great game. Puzzles are broken up by combat, the combat is followed by a small tidbit of Senua’s story, the story is driving you through the next puzzle.

If you haven’t had the chance to play Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, give it a chance. The story is pretty brief, and really pulls you in while wearing headphones. If for no other reason, Playstation players should give it a play for a pretty easy Platinum trophy.

My rating system is pretty simple. Rather than using a scale of 1-10, something is either Great!, Awful!, or What?

For example, The Lord of the Rings trilogy is Great! Meaning it’s an overall, amazing movie.

Suicide Squad is Awful! For obvious reasons, it was objectively terrible.

Something like San Andreas is …What? As in, it’s the kind of thing that doesn’t really make any kind of impact (name any character in that movie, I challenge you). It that kind of thing that makes you said “What movie was that?”

Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice is a Great Game.

Season 3 – Issue 1 – I’m Back

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Welcome back everyone! It’s been five years since anyone last saw anything from Johnny and Landie! For some of you, this may be your first time hearing from us. If that’s the case, you’ve picked a good time to jump on board. If you want to go back and read all of the old issues (from Seasons One and Two) you can visit (we lost the domain name a couple years ago) and go through the whole archive!

But even if you’ve read everything that came before, you still won’t be caught up, because five years have passed, both in real life, as well in the comics. Landie can’t remember anything that’s happened, and neither can we. Maybe in time, we’ll find out what we’ve missed, but for now you’ll have to keep coming back to find out.


You may have noticed that the art style looks a little different, that’s because Johnny is no longer illustrating the adventures, but these won’t be like the travesties that the old Landie Comics were. I look forward to sharing more of the laughs and adventures with everyone!

Minimal Effort – Mash Ups (December 13, 2016)

It’s Christmas time in the city and that can only mean one thing: I’m getting less sleep and doing less for fun.

For the past couple weeks – and for a couple more – my life is full time retail selling people cameras they don’t need and trying to sell them accessories they don’t want. Getting out the door before my wife wakes up, and coming home long after the sun disappears doesn’t leave long for extracurriculars to occupy the creative side of my mind. What creative time I do get is divided between video games and working on art that is most likely inspired by said video games.

This week I tried something new. Starting with Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers of Marvel Comics) and Mercy (the angelic healer from Blizzard’s Overwatch) I launched into a new series of minimalist portraits where I mash two characters together –  Glee style!

Captain Mercy, as I affectionately labelled the piece, was an idea that originated while I was stuck at work on a Saturday afternoon. My phone background was Mercy when the screen was locked and Captain Marvel when it’s unlocked on the home screen. All it took was unlocking my phone a couple times to see that these two blonde women, with bright yellow energy surrounding them, were quite visually similar. They were just begging to be made into a single image. It didn’t take long, but after thinking about what the image would look like all day at work, it was extremely satisfying to see that come to life in front of my eyes.

Since I graduated from Ryerson last year, I have had to spend so much time working that I haven’t been able to devote much time to pursuing more of my creative endeavors. When I actually put aside the time to actually sit down and work on stuff like this, it helps to scratch that itch that can really build up throughout the year.

The support that I get regarding these, both from my friends and family, has been a huge blessing and very encouraging.

I will hopefully be posting regularly throughout the year showcasing the different things that I’m working on. If I’ve figured out this whole ‘website’ thing properly, you should be able to leave a comment below telling me what you think.

Thank you to everyone who’s read this far, I appreciate all of your continuing support.