FIFA 15: End of Season Review

In the first of our community contributions Max has stepped up to slot home the first penalty with his review of FIFA 15, so without further ado, over to you Max.
I know we're late to the party, but here it is: the FIFA 15 review. Long awaited by all, I'm sure.
First off, the core gameplay is pretty solid. Passing is bearable, but sometimes they do suffer a little from not understanding the offside rule and passing to blatantly offside attackers. Shooting is generally not terrible, you miss a lot less open goals. Also you can't spam crosses anymore into the box with accuracy that puts seasoned sniper veterans to shame, and then have the all important Mario Mandzukińá card head it in with consummate ease, but it is still possible if you're lucky. Another thing you'll be happy not have to put up with is players' face models drawn by a 6 year old on Windows Paint. 

Another thing you may or may not be pleased to hear is that Pro Clubs are back! Buuuuut they're on next-gen only. Remember that disappointment you got as a kid when you open a coconut that you won from a coconut shy for the first time in your short life, expecting to be able to crack it with your bare hands, but realising that it's a lot harder than in the cartoons, and waiting excitedly for litres of coconut milk to pour from the top, and when only a small bit comes out, having your childhood ruined? Yeah, that disappointment. That's the same feeling you get when you buy FIFA 15 on the 360 or PS3 and settle down to get playing, and then realise that Pro Clubs wasn't made for last gen. This is especially bad for me as a religious Pro Clubs player for the last few years, when I realise that I don't have a next gen or the money to buy one. Disappointing feels aside, Pro Clubs hasn't disappointed those who can play it. Up to 36 players in a club are allowed, and all 11 players can be controlled in-game by separate people. Pretty solid from EA in that respect.

That's the positives out of the way; now to offer the opposite side of the spectrum.

One of the biggest gaps in the game this year for FIFA is the goalkeepers. Ooooooohhhhh God. Remember in FIFA 14, the goalkeepers were veteran ninjas with reflexes rivaling that of the Flash? Yeah, those ones - apparently during the making of FIFA 15, those same goalkeepers were shot in the spine by a high-powered rifle and paralysed from the neck down. Seriously, they couldn't catch a cold for love nor money, they can't even collect the ball as it pea rolls towards them only slightly faster than a dying tortoise and they have a fatal habit of punching out the ball just far enough for the opponent's striker to control it and run into the goal and shhhhhhhhhhhh you to death. Although to be fair, that's if the striker didn't contract brittle bone disease by slowly jogging a few feet to collect a pass, and immediately sitting on the pitch crying loudly and holding their injured leg; on the other hand, you have to give marks to EA for realism, because let's be honest, footballers today usually injure themselves more by falling on the ground than they did in the tackle itself.

Keeper beaten, leg falls off in 3, 2, 1...

Price ranges.
Oh God, price ranges.
The bane of pay to win gamers; which I guess is a good thing to be fair. As you may well have heard if you have functional senses and don't live under a rock next door to Patrick of SpongeBob SquarePants fame, EA have added a new feature into FIFA: Ultimate Team that limits the minimum and maximum prices of certain players. For example, a bronze, 39 rated Accrington Stanley player can be listed for a minimum of 150 coins, and a maximum of, at most, 5000. However, legend Pele or 99 rated Ronaldo will have a minimum within the millions, and a maximum of about a few more million (price ranges fluctuate from console to console, and are updated every once in a while). However, this means that cards that people would otherwise kill for, go for a fraction of the price - a shining example is InForm Alaba, the right back for Bayern Munich. He is about the only right back in the entire Bundesliga that is worth more than a Nintendo Wii from eBay, and obviously this translates to MASSIVE hype for his card, let alone his InForm. So when his first InForm card finally came around, his price range was released, and mother of god was he extinct.

David Alaba, also known as El Dorado
Going extinct is a new phenomenon in FUT now, and this occurs when a price range for a player is so godawfully inaccurate that you'd have to have less sense than a paralysed blind-deaf pensioner to not pick up immediately. Then, no one wants to sell him for this price, and holds onto their first owner Alaba cards. 
Anyway, after a storm of negative feedback that bested Hurricane Sandy in the competition to see who could throw things the furthest, Sandy throwing cars, and this storm throwing FIFA 15 star ratings through the floor, EA changed Alaba's price ranges. Within a few days, Alaba went from making dinosaurs cry because he did a better job being extinct than they did, to flooding FUT, KILLING MILLIONS, LEAVING PEOPLE HOMELESS, UNEMPLOYED, AND STARVI-
Sorry, I got carried away.
This means that, yes, coin-selling can't go on the way it used to: paying a coin seller, listing a 150 coin non-rare bronze player for however many coins you paid for, and then having the coin seller buy the player for what you paid for. Simple. Not anymore. Although, don't worry, you can still buy a preloaded 'mule' account that has coins already on it. 
What I'm trying to say is that price ranges were put in place by EA for money-grabbing intent, under the guise of making it fairer for people without money streaming uncontrollably from every possible orifice on their body by stopping pay-to-win - however, it actually turned out to make coin sellers savvier and lose EA more money, and made it easier for the casual player to get premium players at feasible prices.

I can't go any further writing this review until I have mentioned referees. Seriously, the amount of yellow cards they give keeps Howard Webb in the 2010 WC final off of the front pages. I, no lie, can standing tackle anyone in the box, no matter how bad the foul and the referee won't give the penalty any quicker than a stubborn 3 year old would go to sleep early. The other day, I was mid-roulette around the goalkeeper and about to score, when an opponent defender arm-checked my new Di Maria, injuring my player immediately and throwing me off balance. I didn't get a penalty, he didn't get a card, nothing! This has to be fixed next year.

Howard Webb recommends furniture polish before every game for that super shiny look
My last gripe about this year's installment of FIFA, is the servers.

EA servers.

I'm sure all of us here dread those words every time when we put FIFA into the disc tray for the first time for that year. I am sad to confirm that yet again, the EA servers are as dysfunctional as ever, and we will have to sit through another year of the loading circle of death. I can honestly say that I haven't got through all 90 minut- no, sorry, I forgot to take into account the added time when you're winning by one goal and about to concede BS- 100ish minutes of a FIFA game without a lag spike, connection lost or a rage quit. OF COURSE the ragequit is by the the other player because, obviously I'm perfect and never get angry (Ed. you just save that for Warhammer then?), and to be fair to EA, it's not their fault that so many players have tryhard, ragequitting tendencies now. 

To sum up, other than shockingly weak servers, which we have got used to after consistent failure on EA's part year in year out, the sensei-level ninja goalkeepers, the surprise brittle bone disease and the referee decisions, the gameplay is generally solid, there are fun skill challenges as well as Pro Clubs, and the game only really falls behind on the non-gameplay aspects in ultimate team, and connectivity.

3 out of 5.

Please visit Max's YouTube channel TheChickenHouse447

Age of Sigmar leaked... And it doesn't look good

When Obi Wan felt a disturbance in the Force it wasn't because Alderaan had just been destroyed. All those voices crying out in terror weren't afraid of the Death Star, nope, they had just seen the leaked images from the upcoming Age of Sigmar release. Yes Mr Kenobi, something terrible has indeed happened. I was livid on Friday evening and it took the better part of yesterday to calm down enough to form coherent sentences for this article, so here goes.

I sense Ward's hand in this...

I guess that I should start with the positives (Ed. really there are positives in this release?) but I can only really think of the one. The sculpts are nice. They aren't really fantasy but they do look pretty cool if you take them independently of everything else. I imagine for anyone new coming into the hobby they would look like an attractive project to start working on. But for me, and another other long term Warhammer Fantasy gamers, if I wanted to play Blood Angels I would have used them in the 40k setting. As a note, I do have a Blood Angels army but as GW see fit to make them weaker than most other Space Marine chapters they aren't a very appealing force to put down on the table, but enough of my 40k army talk.

 For Baal! Wait! No! I mean... I don't know what I mean

Honestly, I was surprised when I saw a close up of the guy riding the griffon/panther/lizard hybrid and it wasn't Commander Dante. I can only assume that a plastic Dante model will be in week 2 of the release along with some new Death Company models.

GW's newest game - 40K or Fantasy?
On the Chaos side things don't appear to be getting much better. I can only assume that the Hellbrute model is either selling really well, or really badly, because they have decided to create a fantasy version of it. What I can only guess is the commander of this force appears to be wearing terminator armour and all of the regular troops appear to have been rejected for the part of Bolg in The Hobbit. Now I really wish this was the part where I could turn to the long term fantasy players and go, but here is where it gets better. Really, I wish I could.

Unfortunately, the light at the end of the tunnel appears to be getting further and further away. If you are a fan of the lore of The Old World then you may want to turn away now. I think we all knew at the conclusion of the End Times that the old world was gone, but I for one didn't expect all of the lore to go up in smoke with it. When Mannfred decided to screw over all of the Incarnates he also screwed us over at the same time. From what little I have seen and heard "Bubble-Hammer" does indeed appear to be the route GW are taking. The setting for this set that is being release is that Sigmar's knights (AKA the Blood Angels) are jumping through one of the portals to take the fight to Chaos and free the other realms. Every WFB player's nightmare is coming true.

Perhaps one glimmer of hope is that someone has mentioned catching sight of a map in one of the books for this new release and it does appear to show the old world... Although there are some changes. Some of the Empire's cities still stand but others have gone, and Ulthuan has completely disappeared which would suggest that it is set some time after the end of End Times: Khaine. I haven't seen these images myself so I can't verify their accuracy but considering how everything else has gone I wanted to share something with you that may yet give us hope.

To wrap this up, there is someone I know at GW and they have never lead me wrong before. They have advised me not to panic, that this one set doesn't make up all of the release and GW won't throw 30 years worth of models and investments down the drain in July. But, even with his comforting words I am still finding it difficult to be positive about these changes. I'm not opposed to change but I also can't help but feel that change is not always a good thing. I guess I will just have to be like that lone figure at the end of Archaon, holding on to that glowing orb of hope for dear life and maybe, just maybe, it won't be as bad as we all fear.

Joker pulls one last gag, Batman: Arkham Knight is pulled from the (PC) shelves

Maybe Warner Bros and Rocksteady were suffering from a sense of nostalgia. Maybe they just don't like PC gamers. But, for whatever reason, they decided to release a poor port of Arkham Knight on the PC which brought back the horrific memories of George, Arnie and Chris O'Donnell fumbling their way through the catastrophe that was Batman & Robin.

That might sound a bit harsh but at least when Batman & Robin came out you didn't have to listen to your friends saying "wow my version of Batman & Robin is awesome, sorry yours is unwatchable dude". Nope, we all just suffered through it together.

 Holy nightmare Batman, I think they may have screwed up more than we did!

Everyone really dropped the ball here, and I would expect companies of their, respective, size to at least carry out a degree of QA testing and realise that the port just wasn't carrying over from the console. Then, after realising just how bad the backlash was, they decided to pull the game from the shelves while they try and fix the glitches and 30fps issues that have plagued it since release. Apparently Warner Bros consider post-release to be the time that you "address these issues to satisfy [y]our quality standards".

Perhaps WB should have taken a page out of EA's book after they announced that they would delay the release of Star Wars Battlefront should the game not be ready for all platforms (thankfully this doesn't seem to be the case and all systems are go for the next big Star Wars game). Although EA do have their own history with buggy releases, yes Battlefield 4 we are looking at you! I guess it is pretty easy to paint yourselves as the knight (Ed. as this is a Batman review shouldn't that be Dark Knight) in shining armour when one of your competitors is laying down in the gutter and telling gamers this is as good as it gets.

If WB and Rocksteady decide that games aren't for them they could probably get a job in the circus

Now I have been fortunate enough to see Arkham Knight on PS4, and it is really good, but it does make me question why a big studio cannot bring that level of quality to all platforms. PC gamers have given studios a good kicking before when PC titles have been delayed while their console siblings hit the shelves, and rightfully so in my opinion. But to release an unfinished should be an an even greater sin that upsetting a few gamers. Sure gamers will be upset with a late release but at least they know they will be getting a good product. But if you are porting your product across from one platform to another you are going to lose some of that quality, and I don't know if that compromise is worth it just to get the game out a bit sooner, I think WB and Rocksteady may agree with this statement now as well. Well so far as letting a third party port their product, if they had ported it themselves then perhaps they could have kept the required level of quality.

I think I can turn to Adam Hills to close out my non-review today. Next time a big game studio decides to release a poorly ported game for us PC gamers, please can they just remember this:

Don't screw it up, do a proper job and...

Warhammer: A painting tutorial for Dwarf Hammerers

Hello and welcome to this tutorial on painting Dwarf Hammerers. If you are a seasoned veteran of Warhammer Fantasy (WFB) or just starting out you probably know that you have to build, and paint, quite a collection of models to field an effective force on the tabletop.

What I would like to share with you today is a quick and easy paint scheme for Hammerers that will allow you to field a nicely painted army in next to no time. This paint scheme should also transfer over to any other armoured unit although you may want to change up the brightness/darkness of the colour scheme to represent the army you're going for. You should be able to work through a lot of models in batches in no time at all. 

To begin I will quickly list the paints you are going to need, these are all available at your local Games Workshop. We will start with a base of Chaos Black spray paint and then work up through Leadbelcher, Balthasar Gold, Runefang Steel and a Nuln Oil wash. For the beard we have Zandri Dust, Agrax Earthshade, Ushabti Bone and Screaming Skull. The face requires Cadian Fleshtone and Reikland Fleshshade. And finally, the glow effect is made with Sotek Green and White Scar. With that done lets get down to the painting. 

So here is our hammerer, sprayed in chaos black ready to begin. When you spray your models make sure you give the can a good shake before you start. And only do a light layer so that you don't lose and of the detail on the model. (this can happen far easier than I'd like to admit)

The first thing you want to do is break out the Leadbelcher, grab your dry brush and go over the whole model. I like to use a medium dry brush and some kitchen roll which I use to work the paint onto all of the bristles while also removing most of the paint from the brush. As you can see from the picture you want a good coverage of Leadbelcher but you do want some of the black still showing through. (I've used the flash on my camera here to try and show where the Leadbelcher is)

Next up is the Balthasar gold. We are going to dry brush across the whole model but a bit lighter than last time. We want a good coverage of the bronze paint but also for the earlier metal colour to still show through. 

The last dry brush stage for the armour is a very light layer of Runefang Steel. You need good coverage on the model but, again, you want the earlier layers to still show through. The next stage will bring all the layers together nicely.

A wash of Nuln Oil across the whole model, using a wash brush, will bring the armour paint scheme all together. 

Now you want to use your standard brush to paint a base layer of Zandri Dust across all of the beard area. Keep it neat around the armour, perhaps switching to a detail brush to make sure you don't cross over onto the armour.

Clean your standard brush and prepare an Agrax Earthshade wash. Cover the whole beard area, making sure that it settles in the recesses but doesn't run onto the rest of the model. 

Grab yourself a fine detail brush and paint some ushabti bone on the raised areas of the beard, this will add some depth to the beard. 

Finally highlight the ushabti bone with some screaming skull. You don't want to cover all of the ushabti bone, just work along the most raised parts to add a final layer of depth to the beard. It is possible to do other beard colours in a similar style and I will cover these in another tutorial at a later date. 

Paint Cadian Fleshtone on the areas of the face that you can see with a fine detail brush. 

Next you want to wash the face with Reikland Fleshshade but be careful not to run over onto the armour or the beard. You then want to highlight the raise areas with another layer of Cadian Fleshtone. 

Now we move onto the glowing runes on the Hammerers armour and weapons. Grab your dry brush again and work the Sotek Green into the bristles before clearing most of it off on some kitchen roll. Lightly dry brush the Sotek Green onto the front of the helmet, shoulder pads, top of the gauntlets and the detail on the hammer. This will form the base of the glow effect. It can also be accomplished with an airbrush. 

The last part of the paint scheme is to lightly dry brush white scar on top of the Sotek green. Focus on the centre and work out towards the edge of the blue/green glow. You don't want to cover it but enhance the glow effect with the White. 

It takes some practice but once you get it down the effect is quite impressive.

Thanks for sticking with me through to the end and I hope you have found it useful.

If you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below (or on any of the other platforms available) and I will get back to you as soon as I can!



Suffering from Game of Thrones withdrawal? We've got you covered!

 Hi all,

So, last night, the clock was ticking round on its inexorable march towards tomorrow. 9pm came and went and there was a hole in my evening. No thrum of the title credits, no blizzards in the cold, hard North and no wisecracks from my favourite witty Dwarf. Game of Thrones was well and truly gone.

Now I will be the first to admit that I was not the biggest fan of the TV series, especially after all of the changes in the last series (I'm a bigger fan of the books) but it did make for good Monday night entertainment and so I decided that I needed to replace it. I had given the online episodes game a go but it just didn't resonate with me, I have always been more of a strategy game player at heart. So when I heard that someone had turned Crusader Kings 2 into the world of A Song of Ice and Fire I knew I had to give it a go, and if you just take a look at the next picture you can see just how much effort they have put in.

To create George RR Martin's world in such detail requires an enormous amount of time and effort and as you click through the different provinces and family trees you begin to realise just how much detail has been recreated in this world. At this point I feel I should add a disclaimer to this post, if you aren't a fan of strategy games or those that are very action orientated then this game may not be for you. For example, you don't get to control or watch the battles as they take place although *SPOILER* if you watched last week's finale this might give you a sense of nostalgia. But if this doesn't bother you then the level of detail available in this game is definitely worth the effort.
So to start the game you can pick one of three eras to begin in, I will choose the War of the Five Kings as this will be the era that most readers and viewers will know. As you can see the creators of this mod have gone to the effort of providing us with a quick summary of the background to the conflict.

The game suggests some interesting characters that you can take command of but I don't see the character (or family) that I want to command, really there is only one option here, we need revenge.

That's right, I'm taking charge of Dorne! Unfortunately Oberyn himself is not landed (he holds no titles) so I chose to play as Prince Doran. A bit like Arya I have my list and I will see them all dead before I am done.

I boot up the game and straight away I know I have made the right choice.

Yes we will have our revenge, I will just have to beat Tyrion to *SPOILER* killing Tywin Lannister, but there is someone I must deal with first.

The Mountain killed Elia (and he could kill Oberyn if I don't act!) so he is the first name on my list. I have enough influence to have him assassinated without finding other interested parties but if I truly want to sow discontent in the Lannister holdings then I should look for those who will support my cause. And this is the beauty of the game, it is not canon and therefore every decision you make will make this your very own story, you can take the story in any direction you choose and even reach beyond the books towards the *SPOILER* War for the Dawn.

Now that the first die is cast I shall step away from the game and we can return to my story later, if you would like to create your own story you will need two things:

1. Crusader Kings II, the Paradox game on which this mod is based. Even if you don't want to play GoT this is a great historical simulator (starting in 1066 or early if you get the DLC) available for a great price.

2. Game of Thrones Mod, the mod that brings the world of ASOIAF to life. This is free to download and easy enough to install.

I look forward to sharing this story with you.



Welcome to Jon Does Gaming

Hello and welcome to Jon Does Gaming!

I look forward to working with you, sharing ideas and discussing new developments, and some classics, in gaming of all sorts. When I first envisioned this website I knew that I did not want it to be just another average reviews website, instead I want to create a community that will encompass gaming and our hobbies in all their forms.

Those things that make each and every one of us unique and masters of our own little hobby worlds should be brought together, thrown in the melting pot and out comes Jon Does Gaming! A world where each of us can come and read and talk about our hobbies, have a laugh and generally have a good time.

Each and every form of gaming is welcome here and I hope that I will get to join in with them and share my experiences. Maybe you like to play video games online, or you spend your evenings and afternoons painting tabletop miniatures before hurling them into the ongoing warfare of a world like Warhammer Fantasy or 40k. Some of us may like to relax at the weekend with a board game, or you are a part of a LARP society and fight your battles in person in worlds only your imagination can create. Each and every one of you is welcome here, and I hope you will all welcome me into your worlds as well.

Over the next few days the first content of the website will become available and I look forward to sharing it with you. Until then, I wish you all the best and hope to speak to you again soon.