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Fortnite Bush Camping, 7 Tips to Win

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Fortnite perfect hiding spot
Fortnite perfect hiding spot

Fortnite is huge right now.  I play it, my kids play it, people at work play it, it’s everywhere.  I even heard some mom’s talking about, lol, they were ignoring their son’s basketball games and were gossiping about their Fortnite strategies.  In all my life, I’ve never heard a bunch of mom’s talking about video games in a positive manner, so they must be onto something with this game.

Only one problem.  I’m old.  Slow to build, slow to aim, and generally just not that good in 1 on 1 combat.  Wouldn’t matter if I had the best weapon in the game, pretty sure that most players would destroy me instantly.  I play with my kids so they can carry the squad while I just tag along for the most part.

The one thing I can do way better than them?  Bush Camp.  When I originally started playing, I watched the kids playing, and I told them I bet I could get into the top 10.  They were like, it’s not easy, you’ll never do it.  Then I proceeded to slowly bush camp on the edges of the circle till there were like 5 people left, and of course I finally got discovered and died.  But the kids were impressed that I got 5th without ever shooting anyone or even firing a shot.  Here’s my strategy for staying alive in Fortnite:

When you get out of the Bus, go to the farthest corner you can find

Like way out towards the edge.  By the time you land, the circle may have already been formed.  That’s ok.  There won’t be anyone around, just grab all the loot you can as fast as you can and start slowly making your way to the circle.  It will likely be a long ways away.  You don’t have to bush camp at this point unless you see another player.  If you see another player, don’t shoot him, just hide in a bush or behind a tree and wait for him to go away.  Let someone else deal with him, your objective is to stay alive.

If you see someone landing in the same area, steer your glider off and go somewhere else, stay as far away from them as possible.  There’s no point in getting close to them yet.

Fortnite marking the far off spot
Fortnite marking the far off spot
Sailing to the far off spot
Sailing to the far off spot

When you come towards the circle, make sure you’re crouched

Don’t make yourself a big target.  A lot of times I only spot people because they’re running and jumping around like morons.  If they were more discrete I’d never see them.  Slowly come towards the circle but don’t go too far in, find the bush at the farthest edge.  Also don’t make a straight beeline to it, I try and come around the least obvious way.

Fortnite sometimes a hut will work too
Fortnite sometimes a hut will work too

When moving around, stay on the lowest ground as possible

Don’t be running on top of hills and other high elevation points, it just makes you an easy target.  Stay in the gullies and valleys where it’s hard to spot you from a distance.  Running on a hill is a good way to get sniped.  Bushes near cliffs work really well as people can usually only come from a couple directions so you’re able to see every coming.

Whatever you do, stay out of the middle

Don’t go into the middle of the circle.  Stay at the far edges as much as possible.  As soon as you’re in the middle, you’re a target for every person that’s left in the game.  That’s not the goal here, you want every single player to kill each other until there’s just a couple left.  Staying on the outside keeps you as far away from other players as possible.

Sometimes the storm can help

Even though the storm takes off health, if you’ve got medical supplies sometimes it’s not a terrible idea to be a little slow.  That way by the time the new circle is revealed, all the other players are running towards it, leaving you by yourself.

Fortnite almost at the end
Fortnite almost at the end

Sometimes the storm can hurt

Don’t take off right away when the new circle is indicated.  A lot of times there are people who got caught in the storm who will be running up behind you.  Wait a little bit and make sure that there’s nobody there first.  Also, by waiting, you’ll also have less of a chance of running into anyone else on the way.

Not all bushes are created equal

Only some of the bushes are appropriate for camping, don’t try and get by with one where you’re partially exposed.  If you find a good one, people will just walk on by you.  If you they walk right next to you, should you shoot them?  I would say no, UNLESS they have the default skin and act kind of slow (you can tell the good players pretty easily from their building speed).  With the good players, they’ll just throw up a wall before you can finish them, and then you’re hosed.

Fortnite bush camping
Fortnite bush camping

Hopefully all these tips have helped you compete a little more effectively at Fortnite.  Even though you may not be able to beat anyone 1 on 1, if you can let them run out of ammo and get down on health, you’ll have a decent shot at the end.  Good luck!

Top 5 Data East Pinball Machines

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Tommy Pinball
Tommy Pinball, one of the best Data East Pinball Machines

Data East made some really good pinball machines in the late 80’s and early 90’s even though they don’t get the credit that the Williams machines get.  Part of that is due to the fact that they kind of copied some of the layouts of the Williams machines plus also copied some of the board design.  There was a lot of legal action between the companies during this time period as well.  I’ve put together a list of my top 5 Data East games, I’ve actually owned quite a few Data East games over the years.

#5 Star Wars

This game is kind of a mixed bag.  Mechanically, it isn’t the greatest shooting machine.  And the rules aren’t particularly strong either, especially the initial ones where shooting the middle ramp was worth ridiculous amounts of points (a later ROM update fixed that and a lot of other issues).

The death star is the coolest thing on this game, it has a little trapdoor that comes down where it allows you to shoot it during multiball.  R2D2 moves but doesn’t really do anything besides that.

The sounds and music are a little over the top at times, like it feels like there’s way too much going on.  But the game is pretty fun overall, although shallow compared to all the others.  This is the game that would probably get boring the fastest out of all of these, as there is no wizard mode to shoot for.

#4  Guns N Roses

From a theme and coolness factor, this is definitely the top Data East machine you can buy.  It’s the most expensive one as well.  Most GnR’s will run you $4k to $6k depending on condition.  They only made a little over 3000 of them, so there aren’t many of them around.

So if it’s so expensive, why isn’t it the top game?  Well, the problem is that in home use it’s just not as fun as it should be over the longer term.  The upper flipper is part of the issue, it basically only has one shot, and the modes always start with the same one every time.  The modes aren’t stackable, the video mode isn’t that great, and you can start a mode every new ball (which makes it too easy to get to the wizard mode).

If there would have been stackable modes, another ramp for the upper flipper, and slightly better software the game would have been the top game for sure.  As it is, it doesn’t really have any major toys besides the magnets in the middle of the playfield, leaving it kind of bland to shoot as well.

It’s a little too easy to get to the wizard mode unfortunately because of the mode start every ball.

#3 Last Action Hero

Ok, so the movie was pretty bad, and Arnold’s head is giant on the front of the game, but the game still is pretty awesome.  Last Action Hero feels like the game where they just threw everything they could in at once.  From the crane to the drop targets to the magnets to the shaker motor the game just has a ton of stuff going on.

Is it cohesive?  Eh, maybe not all the time, but it works pretty well for the most part.  It feels a little overboard when the shaker motor is going off during the crane, like just settle down a little, lol.  The modes are pretty good, sounds are ‘eh’, and the challenge is pretty high.  I never owned this game but have played it quite a bit, I think I’ve only made it to the wizard mode once or twice.

This game is probably the most affordable on this list, but not by a huge amount.  It’s still going to cost you over $2k to buy one unless you get really lucky.

#2 Jurassic Park

Who doesn’t like a ball eating dinosaur?  Jurassic Park has one of the best pinball toys ever created, the ball eating dinosaur.  Every kid loves the game, if you’re looking for the best Data East family game this is it by far.  On top of having the great dinosaur, Jurassic Park also has a great ruleset and some great modes.

The multiball start is pretty classic as is the chaos secondary part of it.  Shotwise it’s pretty fast but it doesn’t feel like it’s engineered quite as good as some of their later games.

The wizard mode is pretty awesome on this game as well and is achievable (though not easy for sure).

#1 Tommy

Tommy is the best Data East game I’ve played by far.  It really doesn’t have any weaknesses, I think it’s one of the best games of the 90’s.  I owned mine for 8 or 9 years before finally selling it, and if I had more room I never would have sold it.  Good shots, good modes, and excellent toys like the mirror and blinders.  Good music as well.

It’s also very challenging, so making it to the wizard mode is a somewhat rare occurrence.  Even with the stacking of modes it’s pretty hard to get there, the side drains just eat the balls too much most of the time to make it to the end.

Tommy is a lot like GnR only better in most aspects.  Music/cool factor is probably the only thing GnR has over Tommy.

 

 

Autographed Basketball Wall Display

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Wall Mounted Basketball Display with Autographed Ball

Have you or your child ever gotten an autographed basketball and wondered how exactly you were going to display it?  My son got a Thunder basketball signed last month (ironically mostly by Spurs players, lol) and he wanted to show it off in his room.  The problem?  Well he didn’t have a lot of desk space and all the glass cases for basketball display were kind of expensive, more expensive than the ball itself.

The Wall Mounted Basketball Display Hoop

In comes something I’ve never seen before, a wall mounted mini-hoop from Amazon.  I put the Amazon Affiliate link below here:

WALLNITURE Wall Mount Sports Ball Holder Display Storage Rack Steel Black

Very reasonably priced, way cheaper than the display cases.

When I got it in, it came with the hoop, 4 screws, and 4 drywall anchors.  Since I was only using the hoop for display where it wouldn’t be disturbed, I didn’t use the wall anchors and just used the screws (for now at least, if it weakens some then I may be forced to go the anchor route).

Wall Mounted Basketball Display

How does it look?  Pretty awesome in my opinion.  My son was also very happy with it.  The only thing I noticed that was a little weird is that the hoop didn’t seem to be perfectly aligned with the mounting bracket, which means to get perfectly level your screws might not be perfectly level either (or you could bend it possibly if that bothers you).  I just decided to mount it as is and just live with the slight screw unevenness.

I really can’t believe that nobody had come out with this product before, it’s really quite ingenious.  Probably the biggest downside of this is that your basketball will eventually get dusty, but so would a display case.

Top 5 Underrated Pinball Machines

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Big Hurt Pinball
Big Hurt Pinball

Everyone knows about the top pinball machines on the market, but what about the hidden gems?  Those are a lot harder to figure out.  There are a lot of pinball machines which are dismissed when they’re first released either due to code, theme, etc and are completely forgotten about for years, only for people to discover how good they are years later.  I’ve compiled a list of the top 5 underrated pinball machines that would be worth checking out.  Often these games are a lot cheaper than other games of the era but also might be hard to find due to production numbers being much smaller on a lot of them.  This list isn’t in any particular order.

Congo

The pinball machine made after the terrible movie, lol.  I remember going to Congo in the movie theaters, it was supposed to be that summer’s big blockbuster but it fizzled pretty quickly.  If I remember correctly the movie wasn’t close what I was expecting based upon the commercials.  Luckily the pinball machine is much better.

The pinball machine features a pretty awesome layout and pretty good rules (unless you’re a very advanced player, then it might be too easy).  Basically the goal is to try and collect 100 diamonds on the playfield, and this can be done through a bunch of different ways, through shots, video modes, etc.

The back features an exploding volcano, which is pretty sweet.  The gorilla under the playfield though isn’t anything too spectacular.  Most games are so dirty you can barely see him down there.  🙂

Stargate

The pinball machine made after the great movie.  It’s problem though isn’t the theme, it’s the manufacturer.  Nobody collects Gottlieb System 3 games.  Everybody avoids them like the plague for the most part, mainly because they don’t feel the same as the Williams/Bally games and are generally a step behind overall compared to other games of the time.

Stargate though is the exception.  Featuring a fantastic ruleset and really good shots, Stargate is a game that can keep you challenged for quite a while.  I owned one for over 5 years, the 8 multiballs, 2 wizard modes, and interesting shots kept me coming back to it.  If I had a bigger basement I’d still own one, it was really fun.

The pyramid shot is the coolest shot in the game, a fun shot that takes some skill to make.  It’s probably one of my favorite shots in pinball, it just feels great every time you hit it.

The ramps can be problematic on this game if the flippers aren’t at 100% strength, they’re very steep and shots that aren’t full power won’t make it up them.  Also, sometimes the upkickers have issues getting the ball back up.

X-Men

This pinball came out with the most hype I’d ever seen at the time.  Everyone was thinking that the game’s Limited Edition was going to skyrocket in price and that it would be 10k by Christmas.  Then it came out and the code was completely unfinished, leading to review after review railing it as the worst game.

This bad code continued on for a couple years until they finally got it fixed around version 1.50.  By this time though, everyone had completely written X-Men off as a lost cause, a game nobody cared about.  The production of the game at Stern also appears to have been small, the number of users who own it on pinside is quite small compared to other Stern games.

So how is it now?  Basically, I think it has one of the best rulesets of the modern Sterns if you like mode based games.  There are two separated paths, heroes and villians, and you have to complete them to make it to each wizard mode.  Completing the 8 heroes will get to Danger Room, a pretty awesome wizard mode.  Completing the 7 villains will get to Dark Phoenix, a very hard and also awesome wizard mode.

I find X-Men to be a great game because it’s not as linear as most games, when you start the game you don’t know whether you’ll be completing Heroes or Villians more (you almost never complete both in a game, as it’s hard to complete even one side).  This adds a lot replayability to the game.

The biggest downsides to X-Men is that it has tight shots and some pretty bad voices for Beast, Storm, and Rogue.  Also the multiballs aren’t the greatest overall due to the lack of jackpot callouts.

NBA Fastbreak

What, a sports game on a pinball list?  Yes, most collectors will poo-poo all over NBA Fastbreak.  Evidently people who collect pinball machines do not like sports, as almost all sports based pinball machines are among the lowest valued games on the market.

NBA Fastbreak though is hidden gem.  The cheapest Williams/Bally game of the late 90’s, you can pick one up for $2000 to $2500.  The scoring is all basketball based (1, 2, and 3) instead of the usual millions, so that also pisses off a lot of collectors.  You can change it to million based scoring but I find the basketball scoring to be a lot better.

The best part about the scoring is that everyone who comes to play it understands the scoring right away.  On a normal game, it’s confusing what scores points.  On NBA Fastbreak, the points are pretty obvious…it’s whatever goes into the basketball.

The goal is to reach the NBA finals by accomplishing a series of goals that include some multiballs, combos, and even trivia (from 1997, which makes it hard for everyone born after 1985, lol).

I don’t think there’s really a weakness on the game, it’s either you’re going to love it or you’re going to hate it.  I can’t see ever giving mine up, it’s just too popular with guests and it honestly might be my favorite WPC-95 game as well.  However, if you don’t like the NBA, you’re probably not going to like this game.  It’s ironic that one of the most popular arcade games of this period (NBA Jam) has a sister pinball that is one of the most least popular of the same time period.  Just goes to show what different collectors like.

Frank Thomas Big Hurt

What, another Gottlieb?  Yes, another Gottlieb.  Like NBA Fastbreak, you have to like the sport in order to like this game.  Nobody who collects pinball machines likes baseball, so its value is also very low.

It’s a game very similar to Stargate in that it has a great ruleset, but also just like Stargate it’s penalized for being a Gottlieb.  Sound and graphics are subpar for this era, but the shots are great and moving through the innings is a lot of fun.

There’s some decent strategy with the baseball cards thing in the game, you can earn them and trade them in for different rewards.  Some are pretty good, it’s one aspect where you can really have an advantage over another player if you know all the minor intricacies.

Conclusion

That’s the end of my top 5 underrated pinball machines.  I hope my list has helped you consider some games you may not have looked at otherwise.  Good luck in your hunting for games!

Xbox Game Pass Review

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Xbox Game Pass Game List

If you’re like me, when the Xbox Game Pass was introduced a while back at $10 a month, you didn’t really pay that much attention to it. It’s not that there weren’t good games on there (there were), but they were all older and likely titles you already played through (or got for free with your Xbox Live subscription). I for one never looked into that much until they made the announcement last month that all future first party Xbox games would be on it. That was a huge game changer for myself and many others.

New games

Yes, that’s right, Xbox Game Pass subscribers now get those $60 games on release for $10 a month.  It doesn’t take very long to see that if you normally purchased two of those games a year (most people do between Gears, Halo, and Forza) that it would easily pay for itself.  The driver for me to subscribe in this case was Sea of Thieves, the game I’d been waiting for.  I figured now was the perfect time to try it out rather than spend the $60.  If I liked the game but didn’t like Game Pass, then I could go buy it for $60 and unsubscribe from Game Pass.  Or if I didn’t like the game, then I’d saved myself $60.

Ironically, I didn’t like the game that much but did like Xbox Game Pass a ton.  Right of the bat, I downloaded Sea of Thieves, Super Lucky’s Tail, Sky Force Anniversary, Brothers, and Ninja Gaiden Black.  It’s ridiculous how much stuff you get for $10, there’s enough there to keep you busy for a long long time.

I could see though that if they didn’t add the new games you might eventually catch up on all the other games you’re interested in.  Like some of the awesome games (Rise of the Tomb Raider, Halo 5, Mad Max, etc) I’ve already played through, so those don’t help me much.  Others though like Super Lucky’s Tale I was going to spend $29 on, so game pass saved me a ton.

Drawbacks

Honestly, there aren’t many.  I couldn’t believe how many good games there were available.  It actually allowed me to start thinking about selling some of the physical copies I had because there wouldn’t be much reason to hold onto Halo 5 if I used Game Pass forever.  Probably the biggest drawback is that there aren’t a huge amount of AAA titles in the pass currently.  Most of the games are older or indie titles, which may or may not interest you.

Probably the biggest drawback would be is if you had multiple consoles or if a big role playing game came out that consumed all of your time.  In that case, you might be spending $10 a month for nothing, as you might be playing Witcher 3 all that month and nothing on game pass.  You can always cancel and resubscribe though, so that probably isn’t much of a concern.

Advantages

There are some huge advantages.  I would bet that game pass is probably going to end up saving me a couple hundred per year, as I’ll always be able to go on there and download another game when I’m bored of what I’m currently playing.  That happens a lot for me, as I tend to jump around playing about 5 or 6 games at the same time in small time increments.

Like Casey Powell Lacrosse 16 for example.  I was NEVER going to buy that game for sure.  However, would I try it out on game pass?  For sure.  Would that cause me to buy in the future?  Possibly, if I really liked it.  There are a lot of other games like that, where playing the game for free now my cause me to buy a sequel later on.  So there are a lot of advantages for developers in the scenario as well, especially ones looking for exposure.

Conclusion

Am I going to continue to subscribe to Xbox Game Pass?  For sure, at least until the end of the year when I can re-evaluate what has come out and whether it has been worth it.  Already though I’ve got to play a bunch of games that I previously would have never bought, so that in itself is worth a lot.

Hopefully this Xbox Game Pass Review has helped you make a decision on the service.  They offer a free 14 day trial, so that’s a pretty window to try it out for free before having to make a final decision.  I think though that most people are going to love it after trying it out.  I’m hoping that they offer a year subscription for $100 at some point, I’d totally do that, or maybe combine it with Xbox Live for one total package.