We here at the SLN Videogame Depot welcome back correspondent Jax Hamleg, who has returned from extended medical leave as a broken yet very opinionated man. Take it away, Jax.
Look me in the eye and tell me something, motherfucker. How many loot boxes have you purchased? With real money. Real dollars that could’ve put food on your family’s fucking table. You make me fucking sick.
Ironically, it was in being sick that my spiral into gaming and despair began. Sick with a case of legs torn off by hurricane force winds and a penchant for buckling my belt four or five notches tighter than was necessary. Sick with a case of hubris. Without my legs or my work but with a steady paycheck and benefits package, I wasted away into a horrid little gremlin, spending hours playing terrible videogames on my overpriced Razer laptop (replete with rainbow light-up keys) and my durable but off-brand android smartphone.
I have seen things that would make a normal person laugh awkwardly and find an excuse to leave. Things that would send a chill down your spine if I also explained the very esoteric and technical context surrounding them. I will never again be able to look in the mirror and see a man. I only see something so disgusting it shakes my belief in a loving God. I see a gamer.
Before my Kafka-esque transformation I used to travel to interesting places with a talented and brave cameraman, and I too was brave, because I delivered the news live, as it happened. What do I deliver now? Advice. Advice that comes from a place of deep suffering, in the hope that I can save you from the hell I have made for myself. Advice on which videogame loot boxes offer the best value.
What follows are five rusty nails in my coffin, and a random sampling of what three loot boxes from each of them contained.
Quake V Arena: Coliseum of Pain
PS4, Xbox One, PC
They called it a return to the glory days of classic arcade shooters, and what that means is that you need the reflexes of a 16-year-old to have any hope of playing competitively. An acquired taste.
1. Quake II-style skin for your severed spine when you die
2. Viking helmet cosmetic for the Vince Klortho: Space Deather playable character
3. Profile icon of playable character Sexica: Lust Marine displaying both her ass and boobs simultaneously
Unreal Championship 2018 Playable Early Access Alpha QA Test [Unfinished]
One map, three player models, and 61 cosmetic items to find in a loot box. Gotta have your development priorities straight, I guess.
1. Aviator sunglasses cosmetic
2. Cigar cosmetic
3. Ticket for free access to the closed beta test in 2019
Xbox One, PC
It’s a third-person MOBA with some shooter elements and art direction so generic it looks like the default assets that ship free with an engine license. That was a scathing criticism, originally, but since February the game’s assets literally do ship free with the engine license.
1. “Azure” armor dye for the hulking space marine character
2. “Sapphire” armor dye for the hulking space marine character
3. “Navy” armor dye for the hulking space marine character okay lets roll one more this is just silly
4. “Cobalt” armor dye for the hulking space marine character well fuck you too
Battle Royale EX Ultra: Arcade Edition
PC, Android, iOS
The smash hit competitive FPS about running aimlessly around a huge island until some fuckwad snipes your head from three klicks away in a heavily fortified bunker and wins a turkey dinner or something. Not to be confused with Death Battle DX Mega, which is the same except with minecrafting.
1. Camo beret cosmetic
2. Aviator sunglasses cosmetic (gold rims)
3. Brightly-colored cosmetic T-shirt with the logo of one of the game’s sponsors (it is visible from miles away and assists the fuckwads in sniping you)
Eternity Joust Heroes: Tactical Anime Suckfest
Android, iOS, Raspberry Pi, Apple Pippin
Actually not a shooter at all, refreshingly! It’s a grid-based tactical strategy game based on the Hellghost sagaverse of animes, with a story based on the crossover film Hellghost Eternity Joust: Last Wish//Last Breath. Technically part of the Tactical Anime Suckfest franchise as well, but with hellghosts and such instead of the typical complexly-statted giant robots.
1. Jan Killblood playable hero (five-star rating)
2. Hellghost Prime playable hero (five-star rating)
3. Chie the Kawaii Yokai playable hero(three-star rating, uguu~)
Do you see it? Do you see that the best value is not in loot boxes, but in letting go and embracing death? No? Then I can’t help you any further.