Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Review

Better late than never they say!

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft never stood a chance. Or so I though because my natural instinct was to side with the one trading card game (TCG) I’ve known for years. But the more I heard of this game, the more I wanted to play. 

Days later, I downloaded my free copy.

 I quickly learned that Hearthstone is the most natural free-to-play games out there, and not to spoil the end of this review, but I love it.

It is just absurd how fun this game is. 

Hearthstone’s presentation is very colorful, it gives the game that World of Warcraft look that some players can relate to, but it isn’t for everyone. The cute houses and the pretty waterfalls that decorate the perimeter of the battlefield (or board) can make Hearthstone look like a child’s book. Granted, this is done to achieve that WoW look and feel, but some gamers may avoid it like a plague.

If you look pass Hearthstone’s style, you begin to understand why the developers chose it instead Blizzard’s other games like StarCraft or Diablo. This is a friendly, approachable game that everyone can come into and have fun. The game doesn’t even take itself seriously. At one point, it will be making fun of its own shenanigans. It’s quite funny, actually.

When you first start the game, you’re dropped into a rather lengthy tutorial, but it feels nothing like one. The guys at Blizzard have done an amazing job at teaching you the rules of the game without holding your hand every step of the way.

By playing the tutorial you’ll begin to appreciate the simplicity of Hearthstone’s gameplay. The fast-paced commotion going on all over you as cards take effect gives you a thrilling, twitchy feeling that can’t be matched by other TCG video games. This game is fast, simple, but strategy is at its core, and you can certainly make a comeback with a few well-placed strategic moves.

Don’t judge the game based on the first few stages of the tutorial because after it, the playground is opened wide and the level of strategic planning can get quite deep. Once in a while, though, it will come down to the luck of the draw. Drawing that one card you needed to turn the table at the very last second can completely change the match.

Once the tutorial ends, Hearthstone’s game modes open up. They are shallow, but since it’s a trading card game, I won’t hold it against it. 

Play mode has you duel with another person online on either ranked or unranked matches that earn you levels, in-game currency and sometimes you also get new card packs. Practice mode is basically your single player experience where you can hone your skills, earn a few levels and new cards along the way. Duel mode is the mode where you can challenge your friends within BattleNet.

Then there is Arena, 

Arena is Hearthstone’s very unique risk/reward mode where you have to pay with in-game money or real money in order to participate. The mode has you construct a deck from a random pile of cards and play with that deck for a series of duels. If you successfully accomplish this feat, you’ll earn gold, Arcane Dust, special cards, and golden heroes.

Arena showcases one of Hearthstone’s great uses of the free-to-play model. You can play Practice mode and Play mode for free as many times as you want, but you can buy new card packs and other items with in-game currency or real-world money. This is a smart and natural way to tackle the Free-to-Play model because in the real world, you would also buy extra card packs, decks, and so on. The only concern is that they keep things balanced between the new cards and your standard starting deck.

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is a solid TCG that triumphs over the competition by offering a fun, fast, simple, and progressively intricate experience. While there is not much to buy on the game’s store at this moment, Blizzard will most certainly support the game for years to come, giving us a vast variety of goodies. At the end of the day, Hearthstone will give you an endless fix to your TCG cravings.

The Binding of Isaac Afterbirth Review

The highly anticipated DLC for The Binding of Isaac Rebirth was released on October 30th which is appropriate since Halloween follows the next day. The overall expansion adds even more items, room layouts, bosses, and modes. This will be a relatively short review and I shall point out the major aspects of the DLC.

One of the major additions provided with the DLC are the items. Whether passive or active, the items add even more combinations and synergies that give a multitude of results. Some may benefit you while others may be your downfall, this definitely provokes more thought before picking up that new item. In regards to the items individually, there are a few that I can honestly do without. However, this all comes down to preference as each person will differ based on their gameplay style.

Another major addition provided with the DLC is Greed Mode. Prior to the DLC, we were only provided two modes which are Normal and Hard Mode. The player must clear 10 floors in order to reach mega greed which is a new boss introduced with Afterbirth. The player is presented with a normal room, treasure room, shop room, curse room, and a devil room (if you complete the entire floor) with each level until they reach the boss. After clearing one round, the player can immediately go to the next level if he or she chooses too. However, It is heavily encouraged to clear the floor entirely before moving onto the next floor to gain more powers and items. The level design of Greed Mode definitely strays away from Normal and Hard Mode. The player has more control in regards to the items they can gain and the number of monsters he or she takes on. Overall, the addition of Greed Mode provides new gameplay and an over experience in the event players get bored with Normal and Hard Mode.

The last major addition provided with the DLC is Lilith. Lilith is a new character where her power lies in her familiar. Since Lilith is blind, she relies on her familiar to attach in her place. Lilith also comes with her default item entitled “Box of Friends” which allows her to double the amount of familiars she currently has in her party so the more familiars she gains, the more powerful she becomes. Overall, the addition of Lilith provides more value to those who love to use familiars for their gameplay.

The Binding of Isaac Afterbirth is an overall great expansion pack that provide hours of gameplay with new content. Those who enjoyed The Binding of Isaac Rebirth will enjoy The Binding of Isaac Afterbirth by default. All that’s left is to look forward to the new expansion pack.

A new version of The Binding of Isaac Afterbirth will for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will be released on May 10th.