My Top 5 Tips when Playing Roadhog in Overwatch

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Roadhog – also known as Mako Rutledge – has a similar back story to his companion Junkrat. After the Omnic Crisis, the Australian government created an omnium but Roadhog joined the Australian Liberal Front to stop it. The result ended in a post-apocalyptic wasteland that inhabited the ruthless and less than humane survivors. Roadhog donned a mask to survive, along with his hook chain and chopper. On his travels, he met Jamison Fawkes who was looking for a bodyguard. The two of them teamed up, causing mayhem and death wherever they went.

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Roadhog is a Tank Hero with a one star difficulty.

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Tip #1 – Aggressive or Passive?

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As previously stated, Roadhog is a Tank hero, meaning he can take a lot of damage and deal a large amount too. Tanks in Overwatch have some sort of shield ability to make them more stable (and somewhat fair, depends on your point of view), such as D.Va’s Shield Matrix and Winston’s Barrier Projector. Roadhog is the only Tank hero who does not have a physical shield he can use (he has another ability that works similarly, but we’ll get onto that later).

This means this can aid the enemy team in getting their Ultimate abilities charged faster as physical hits build up the Ultimate charge while shield hits do not. Therefore, Roadhog should not really be used as a meat shield but played much more aggressively compared to other Tank heroes. He is less team focused, which works in the player’s favour.


Tip #2 – Hook, Link and Sinker

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Roadhog’s secondary weapon is his Chain Hook, which is pretty self-explanatory  – he can throw out a chain from his hand that has a hook on the end of it, allowing him to bring enemies close to him. Naturally, it is a good combo to hook an enemy then shoot them with Roadhog’s primary weapon – his Scrap Gun. Tracking will work in your favour too.

The Chain Hook can used to pull enemies off bottomless pits, such as the Well in Ilois, as well drag them when Roadhog himself has fallen off the map (unless it is a character with a movement ability, such as D.Va, Lucio, Genji, Hanzo, Mercy, Pharah and Tracer), resulting in certain death. It is also worth noting that Roadhog’s Chain Hook can interrupt enemies’ Ultimates, such as Pharah’s Barrage, well as save other teammates, e.g. he can hook Junkrat’s RIP-Tire or D.Va’s Self-Destruct, although it may result in the player sacrificing themselves (there is a great video I saw where a Roadhog player hooked not 1, but 2 of D.Va’s Self-Destructs in King’s Row).


Tip #3 – Shrapnel, Naprapnel

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As mentioned, Roadhog’s primary weapon is his Scrap Gun – a fire with 5 shots of shrapnel that be fired in either a spread or as a short-range attack (Shrapnel Blast and Shrapnel Ball). Now, it sounds like Roadhog doesn’t have much ammo, but he reloads quickly (1.5 seconds) and can deal heavy damage (a maximum of 150 damage as a bodyshot with both fires). Both fire modes can headshot and are subject to falloff damage.

To maximize damage, it is recommended to use the primary fire first, hook the enemy, then shoot again (either primary or secondary is fine, but I personally recommend secondary as I am not an expert Roadhog player). The Chain Hook can deal 30 damage, meaning that if every shot is perfect, you could deal 330 damage, which is good against lower-health enemies, especially Supports.


Tip #4 – Take a Breather

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Another one of Roadhog’s abilities is Take a Breather – a container that Roadhog breathes in to regain health (this is what I meant earlier about Roadhog not having a physical shield but a way of protecting himself/self-healing).

Roadhog can regain 300 health and it gives his a 50% damage resistance within a second, however it does have a long cool down (8 seconds). Because of this, use it sparingly and also watch out for enemies as it can be interrupted by other player’s abilities, such as Ana‘s Sleep Dart or McCree‘s Flashbang, so it is a good idea to flee a situation if you have low health and get into cover.


Tip #5 – Hog Wild

Roadhog’s Ultimate is Whole Hog – using the Scrap Fire, he rapidly fires in one direction. This Ultimate is fatal – just one shot could cause up to 110 damage, which is a maximum of 4928 damage of bodyshots. It only lasts 6 seconds but can headshot, making it useful to use to blocked off areas or tight rooms, such as in Hollywood. Much like the Chain Hoook, it can interrupt other Ultimates, such as Reinhardt‘s Earthshatter and can also knock players off cliffs and the such. However, Roadhog’s movement speed is reduced, making him a easy target for snipers.


  • Here is a overview of Roadhog’s abilities.
  • Here is a video introducing Roadhog and Junkrat.
  • Here is the short animation, The Plan: Junkertown.
  • You can read the comic “Going Legit” here.
  • Here is another animated short called A Moment in Crime Special Report: The Junkers.

Thanks for writing, hope you enjoyed! Please let me know if I missed any other top tricks. Until next time, take care!

My set up for Roadhog

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What I’m Looking Forward to this Year (2018)

No need for an introduction as it’s pretty self-explanatory – here’s my top 10 things I’m looking forward to this year (not in order)!


#10 – Increase of Australian Same-Sex Marriage

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At the end of last year, Australian voted Yes to have a pass on same-sex marriages to be legal in (a whopping 61.1% of the country voted Yes) their conutry and already there have been so many proposals and marriages, as well as couples who got married overseas for their marriage to be legally recognised. 

EDIT: I’m amending this on the day same-sex marriages can finally take place (9th January) – GO AUSTRALIA!

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#9 – RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Season 3

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I only started watching RuPaul’s Drag Race about 2 years ago and I’ve absolutely fallen in love with it – glitter and wigs galore! And just a week after my birthday!

All Stars 3 brings backs favourites, such as Aja (Season 9); BenDeLaCreme (Season 6); Chi Chi DeVayne (Season 8); Kennedy Davenport (Season 7); Milk (Season 6); Morgan McMichaels (Season 2); Shangela (Season 2 & 3); Thorgy Thor (Season 8) & Trixie Mattel (Season 7). I wonder who the 10th queen will be? (fingers crossed Adore Delano gets a second chance)

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Here’s my prediction:

  1. Trixie
  2. Shangela
  3. Aja

#8 – The Incredibles 2

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At last, a few months ago a short teaser was released by Pixar, indicating a sequel for the film that was released in 2004 – at last, 14 years later, we get a sequel!

It is a high anticipated sequel, especially by me who was OBSESSED by The Incredibles (granted I was 9/10 years old) – I had all the action figures, books, food labels (yes, really), games, EVERYTHING.

  • The Incredibles 2 will be released in cinemas on Friday 15th June.

#7 – Soulcalibur VI

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As a Tekken fan, I have been introduced to the Soul Calibur series (I‘ve only played 2 and Broken Destiny) as it is produced by Tekken’s director Katsuhiro Harada and has elements borrowed from the game. Soul Calibur started going downhill a little with Soul Calibur Legends (2007) & Soul Calibur V (2012), but now after a long absence and a new director (Motohiro Okubo has replaced Hiroaki Yotoriyama), I have high hopes for this game. It will be released on PC, alongside the usual platforms of PlayStation and Xbox and by the look of the teaser trailer, it may possibly be a prequel due to Sophitia‘s return and a very young looking Mitsurugi.

  • There is no release date for Soul Calibur VI apart from this year.

#6 – The Tomb Raider Movie & New Game

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I’ve already written about this when Alicia Vikander was announced to play Lara Croft in this article here, so I won’t go into much more detail. Trailers have been released since, showing a lot of comparsion between the film and the game (Tomb Raider (2016)). I’m looking forward to what Alicia brings to the table and how the story is adapted.

Square Enix also announced that a new game will be released this year, completing the trilogy that was leaked after Rise of the Tomb Raider was released. More Tomb Raider, yay!

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  • The film will be released on Thursday 15th March but a release date has not been announced for the third Tomb Raider game yet.

#5 – Wreck it Ralph 2

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Again, I really enjoyed the first Wreck it Ralph movie (2012) not just for it’s Easter eggs and nods towards video gaming, so I’m happy that there will be a sequel. Ralph Breaks the Internet: Wreck-It Ralph 2 will follow Ralph and Vanellope again as they try to fix Sugar Crush after a wifi router is plugged into an arcade machine. Previous characters will return, such as Calhoun and Felix, along with the Disney princesses (along with their original voice actresses, apart from Snow White, Cinderella and Aurora) and Star Wars characters.

  • Wreck it Ralph 2 will be released Wednesday 21st November.

#4 – Dragon Ball FighterZ

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While Dragon Ball Z games are not bad, this is a game that is much needed and wanted. It looks like the show and has a long list of great characters:

  • Android 16
  • Android 18 (with Android 17)
  • Beerus
  • Captain Ginyu (with Ginyu Force)
  • Cell
  • Frieza
  • Gohan (both Teen & Adult)
  • Goku (Super Saiyan and Super Saiyan Blue)
  • Goku Black (with Zamasu)
  • Gotenks
  • Hit
  • Kid Buu
  • Krillin
  • Majin Buu
  • Nappa (with Saibaman)
  • Piccolo
  • Tien (with Chiaotzu)
  • Trunks
  • Vegeta (Super Saiyan and Super Saiyan Blue)
  • Yamcha

There has been a Beta and it has been received well, so I’m looking forward to it.

  • Dragon Ball FighterZ will be released on PC, PS4 and Xbox One on Friday 26th January.

#3 – Attack on Titan Season 3

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I talk about this anime WAY too much on this blog, so I won’t type out a whole paragraph but basically it’s one of the most anticipated, popular, confusing, mysterious, amazing anime in the short history of anime. It first premiered in August 2013 and we had to wait another 4 years for season 2. Thankfully, season 3 will take around a year later.

  • Attack on Titan Season 3 will premiere in July 2018.

#2 – All the Marvel stuff

2018 will be another good year for Marvel with 7 films (along with 20th Century Fox and other companies), one of them being one that has been highly wanted and the trailer became The Most Watched Video on YouTube last year.

  • Black Panther will be released Monday 12th February
  • The New Mutants will be released Friday 13th April
  • Avengers: Infinity Wars – Part 1 will be released Wednesday 25th April
  • Deadpool 2 will be released Friday 1st June
  • Ant-Man and the Wasp will be released Friday 6th July
  • X-Men: Dark Phoenix will be released Friday 2nd November
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse will be released Friday 14th December

#1 – New Things for Gamer_Angel!

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Currently, I’m having a break from my YouTube channel (until 28th January) but I’m currently in the works of doing new things as well as going to new conventions, doing new unboxings and playing new games. I’m currently working on a project with a friend that I’m hoping I can reveal soon – just watch this space!


 

My Top Picks of 2017

Now that we face the end of 2017, it’s time for me to judge want my top favourites of TV, books, films, games and more.


Top Video Game 

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I was really hoping that I could list Tekken 7 as my game of the year as a huge fan girl, but honestly it’s probably one of the worst games of this year. If you read My Top Picks of 2016 article last year, you’ll know I voted Overwatch as the best game of the year and really wanted to do it again, but it wasn’t until August, my mind changed completely.

Hellblade: Seuna’s Sacrifice by Ninja Theory was an unexpected but welcome surprise. Now, we are living in a world were mental health is slowly becoming more and more discussed in everyday life and media, making it more acceptable and talked about. When I heard that there would be heavy focus on mental health in a video game, I was highly doubtful due to previous portrayals of mental health in video games – most characters end up being perceived as crazy and as the villain, which is pretty upsetting. Thankfully, this was not the case, as evident by Hellblade’s Accolades Trailer that used quotes from fans rather than reviews from media. If you will the read more about the game, you can read my full review here.


Top TV Series

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On 16th July, I found the advert for the job that currently have. That was the day also that my favourite TV series of the year aired – Game of Thrones, Season 7.

I had never read the books and only watched the series for the first time last year, but I jumped on the fan train and really enjoyed it. Naturally, I watched 6 seasons within 3 months (or so) and season 7 was announced for another 6 months, I was truly devastated. But 6 months rolled around and somehow I managed to balance catching up with TV.

I didn’t really enjoy GoT season 6 for a lot of reasons (you can read my article on it here) so my hopes were high that season 7 would be great, otherwise I may have had to drop it. Thankfully, this was not the case. I won’t go into massive details, otherwise we’ll be here forever, but my favourite thing about S7 was that there wasn’t just one great episode that made my jaw drop, made me choke back my tears and left my mind racing – there was two. Usually I find with TV series/seasons, there’s always one episode that stands out and is your favourite, and so far I’ve only known GoT to have more than one fantastic episode (The Spoils of War and Beyond the Wall if you’re wondering). Let’s pray that next season won’t be in 2019 like the rumours are saying.


Top Movie

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I’ll be honest, I didn’t really go to the cinema all that much this year (reminder for myself – for 2018, I need to go to the cinema more than three times. Good job I am going at least once in January). Now, my movie of the year I did not go to the cinema to see it, but I did on DVD release day.

John Wick: Chapter 2 is a what a sequel should be. It sticks to the roots of the original of having great drama, great comedy moments and snappy action. It adds more characters played by great actors (Keanu Reeves was reunited with Lawrence Fishburne along with Ruby Rose), a great storyline that is not overused or becomes overstale. It had me (and my family) captivated from minute one, just like the first movie, only Chapter 2 does not undermine or outshine it – it’s just as good. I’m looking forward to Chapter 3 and the possibility of a prequel TV show.


Top Book 

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OK, I cheated a bit on this one – this is a series of book that I’m currently reading, but really enjoying. Again, like with films of this year, I haven’t read many books this year (again, New Year’s resolution).

At my new job where I work in a secondary school (or high school, whatever you prefer) and because I’m a staff member, I have access to the library, which I love. Outside on the library, they have a world map and examples of books site in different countries that students can read. In the region of Japan, a book called Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn (the pseudonym of Australian author Gillian Rubinstein) was there, and from the blurb, I was really interested. Only recently have I started to read non-fiction historical Japanese stories, such as Lesley Downer’s books and the Tale of Genji (which I didn’t finish) so to have another series that is similar, I was pretty pleased.

Across the Nightingale Floor is one of four books in the series called Tales of the Otori that follows a young man name Takeo who is rescued and adopted by the famous Shigeru Otori and a young woman Kaede whose lives get entangled together in a world of politics, romance and betrayal. I’ve only read the fisrt book and currently halfway through the second book, Grass for His Pillow, but I’m very enjoying it.


Top Album

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The singer of this album is someone that I’ve followed for many years and have always enjoyed their music, but this album is different from their previous work and has even helped me through the bad times of this year.

Rainbow by Kesha is a great sounding album, mainly for how varied it is – there some songs that make you want to cry; there are some songs that make you want to dance and there are some songs that make you laugh.

My favourite tracks have to be Let Em Talk, Learn to Let Go and Boogie Feet but honestly, Praying is worth it for the album alone. Kesha’s career has reached peek after peek after all she’s been through, and I’m sure it will continue in 2018. Thank you Kesha not only for your music, but for your work and deviation to the mental health community.


Top Anime

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This anime is a recent one (it began airing in October) but has cut about what I initially had as a tie between Gamers! and Tsurezure Children.

Net-juu no Susume (Recovery of a MMO Junkie) is a story of 30 something Moriko Morika (yes, that is her real name) who quits her unsatisfactory job to become a NEET and gets addicted to a MMO where she plays a male character. She soon gains ‘internet’ friends but gets tangled up in real life.

The reason why I love this anime is not because it is video game related, but mainly because Moriko is so relatable – the times I have laughed with this anime is simply because Moriko has thought or done something that I – and I’m sure many other people – have done. Words cannot do it justice – just watch for yourself.


Top YouTuber

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This is a YouTuber that’s been around for a while, but a friend sent me one of their videos, and since then I’ve become a fan – I even met them at MCM!

Gigguk is an anime YouTuber, which I tend to stay away from – I find many anime reviewers/YouTubers to be very prestigious as they only bother watching anime that has a great art style and nothing else – they consider my favourite animes such as Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, Attack on Titan and Seraph of the End to be utter trash, therefore as a anime fan, I am too.

Gigguk embraces many aspects of the good and bad anime – take his latest ‘obsession’ with Eromanga Sensei (which I have yet to watch) – and has different types of videos – from dubbing to a summary/parody whatever anime in a certain amount of minutes. Attack on Titan in 9 Minutes is the video that made me subscribe to his channel and watched every one of his videos since. Plus, he is lovely in real life and just as funny!


Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed! Stay tuned for next week where I’ll be discussing everything I’m looking forward to in 2018 🙂

My Top 5 Tips When Playing Pharah in Overwatch

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Pharah – real name Fareeha Amari – is best known as the daughter of Ana Amari, one of Overwatch’s most known captains. Naturally, she wished to follow in her mother’s footsteps to serve in Overwatch, but before she even had the opportunity, Overwatch was disbanded. Instead, she joined the Helix Security International – an armed protection service – but still has a heavy sense to carry out justice.

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Pharah is an Offense Hero with a 1 star difficulty rating.

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Tip #1 – Shot Down

Pharah’s primary weapon is her Rocket Launcher – it launches rockets in a linear fashion that deals a large radius damage (20 – 80 splash damage, 120 with a direct hit). She only has 6 rounds, but it takes 1 second to reload, meaning she can spam rockets. This is extremely effective to use on points themselves (either Attacking or Defending), as enemies will make sure they avoid any hits by fleeing the area (especially lower-health heroes, such as Supports, so target them first).

Be careful when spamming rockets though – they can inflict self-damage (up to 40 damage) and knock Pharah back. Be wary of Genji as well – he can easily use Deflect and send the rockets back.


Tip #2 – Jumping into the Sky

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One of Pharah’s abilities is the Jump Jet – Pharah’s suit is installed with thrusters, allowing her to propel into the air. This is best used to escape an enemy’s line of sight or give her a height advantage. Combining this with her rockets can be a great advantage.

However, be careful not to spam Jump Jet too much as it means Pharah will no longer have a means of escape and can be picked off easily from a Hero who has a height advantage.


Tip #3 – The Knockback Effect

Another one of Pharah’s abilities is her Concussive Blast (but not similar to Junkrat’s Concussive Mine). It is a rocket that Pharah fires from her wrist that also travels in a linear fashion that knocks enemies back within a 8m radius.

Depending on what kind of player you are, the Concussive Blast can be used best in 2 different ways. The first is to knock enemies off the map (it works wonders on Eichenwalde’s Bridge before the last payload checkpoint), so use it when they are close to an edge and clamped together (but some Heroes can save themselves with their own abilities, such as D.Va and Mercy). The second way to use it is to save other teammates when they are in a pinch and being cornered by the enemy. And don’t worry, it will not affect your teammates, so don’t worry about accidentally knocking them off the map.


Tip #4 – Speed is Not on Your Side

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Pharah is an extremely slow character – even though she has Hover Jets, they only have a 2 second duration, meaning Pharah can hover for a certain amount of time before her fuel runs out. Be wary of Heroes that can predict movements (such as good snipers) and have a height advantage, such as Doomfist.


Tip #5 – Death from Above

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Pharah’s Ultimate ability is her Rocket Barrage – a rapid fire of rockets that can destroy groups of enemies. It has high damage (around 40 damage per rocket with a max of 3600 damage), meaning that direct hits can be fatal (30 rockets are fire per second in a duration of 3 seconds, meaning you’ll have to avoid nearly a 100 rockets in one area).

Her ultimate is best used a crowd control, so pairing it up with Gravational Surge (Zarya); Halt (Orisa) or Blizzard (Mei) is a great method to stop or eliminate enemies on the point. It is also worth pointing out that standing on a moving piece of the environment, such as the floating pads in Volskaya Industries) will allow Rocket Barrage to spread out more. Be wary of where you are firing rockets as Pharah can end up damaging or even killing herself by accident, or her Ultimate finishing abruptly from being killed by a Hero with good predicting skills and/or height advantages.


  • You can watch a Pharah Gameplay Overview video here.
  • You can watch a Pharah Abilities Overview video here.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed! Let me know if I missed any good tips. Until next time, take care!

My set up for Pharah

Don’t forget that Overwatch’s 2nd Winter Wonderland Event is live now until January 1st – get as many of the over 50 items and play the new mode as soon as you can!

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My Top 5 Tips When Playing Orisa in Overwatch

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Orisa is a robot created by Eifi Oladele – a child prodigy with gifts in robotics and engineering.  After Doomfist’s attack on the Numbani’s Adawe Airport, many parts of the OR15 Defence Bots were left behind.

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Eifi recovered them, and began to build a new robot – a robot that would become the ‘new hero and protector of Numbani’. She added modifications when needed and added a personality core, resulting in Orisa.

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Orisa is a Tank hero with a 2 star difficulty.

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Tip #1 – Never be Alone

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As with most Tanks (if not all), Orisa should never Attack or Defend by herself. Reliable healers, such as Mercy or Lucio, should stick with her at all times. That way, she can still defend her teammate(s) and can stay in the same spot if she is healed continuously.

Again, with Tanks, Reaper is a very good counter against Orisa, as well as snipers such as Hanzo or Widowmaker due to her size and hitboxes.


Tip #2 – Spread Out

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Orisa’s primary weapon is her Fusion Driver that consists of 150 ammo, meaning she can fire continuously for 12 seconds. To balance this, Orisa also has the slowest reload for any Overwatch character (so far) of around 3 seconds.

Because of her shooting abilities, it is wise to spread Orisa’s shots across the environment, rather than just one place. Reload sparingly and make the most out of her bullets. The melee attack at the right time will allow Orisa to reload too.


Tip #3 – Your Safety is my Primary Concern

Another one of Orisa’s abilities is her Protective Barrier – a 900 HP shield that can be fired in a projectile fashion, similar to Widomaker’s Venom Mine. It is probably her most essential ability as it is useful for both Attacking and Defending. It does have a 8 second cool down, meaning that as soon as it’s on the ground, it can be felt for a while before being repositioned. It can be used to protect teammates far away due to it’s large reach and is best used around most – if not all – teammates backing Orisa up.

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Pairing this with Orisa’s Fortify ability makes it hard for Orisa to move, therefore cannot be moved by Lucio’s Soundwave, along with:

  • Flashbang (McCree)
  • Chainhook & Whole Hog‘s knockback (Roadhog)
  • Sleep Dart (Ana)
  • Concussive Blast (Pharah)
  • Boosters (D.Va)
  • Halt! (enemy Orisa)
  • Jump Pack & Primal Rage‘s knockback (Winston)
  • Concussion Mine & Steep Trap (Junkrat)
  • Charge & Earthshatter (Reinhardt)
  • Any firing from the Endothermic Blaster & Blizzard (Mei)
  • Gravition Surge (Zarya)

Tip #4 – Stop Right There!

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Orisa’s last ability is Halt! – a beam that can pull enemies into one space once donated up to 20m. It is partially large, therefore can be used to pull people into a AoE or off edges, such as cliffs.

It can be detonated at any time and – if timed precisely – can be used for an environmental kill (Volskaya Industries is a good map to do this on).


Tip #5 – Cease Your Resistance!

Orisa’s Ultimate Ability is the Supercharger – a device that increases all surrounding teammates damage by 50% within a 25m radius. It lasts around 16 seconds, by can be destroyed by enemies or hacked by Sombra.

The Supercharger is best used when escorting the payload and actually placed on the payload itself. This way, it can be a moving fortress and sticks all teammates in one place – having a Reinhardt, Bastion and/or Mercy gives you a great advantage, as well as protecting it with Orisa’s Protective Barrier.


Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed! Let me know if I’ve missed any other good Orisa tips. Until next time, take care!

My set up for Orisa

Your Name Review

[WARNING OF SPOILERS AHEAD. PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON WATCHING THE FILM. OTHERWISE, ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT ALL OPINIONS ARE MY OWN – THEY ARE NOT CORRECT, THEY ARE JUST MY OWN. THANK YOU]

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Now, back in July, I watched Koe no Katachi (A Silent Voice) for the first time and proclaimed it to be one of the best anime films I’ve ever watched. I will confess that this has changed since watching Kimi no Na wa (Your Name) – A Silent Voice is still a spectacular piece of cinema and a must watch, but Your Name has to be above it if both are put on a list. At first, I wasn’t going to write a review for Your Name as I imagine every anime fanand then somehas seen this film at some point and heard so much about it, I may as well fade in with the rest. But I can’t – this is an out worldly fantastic film that my opinions must be made with everyone else.

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This film overcome my expectations but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect – it does have a few things that bug me, but they are things that can be somewhat ‘overlooked’ and simply left alone.

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Before you read any more of this review, just know this: Your Name is just as amazing as everyone else says but it is something you have to watch yourself in order to truly understand why this is one of the bestand highestgrossing animated films that may even beat Studio Ghibli.


Story

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The story itself is nothing particularly ‘special’ – we follow two teenagers with slight dilemmas. First, we are introduced to Mitsuha Miyamizu who lives with her grandmother and younger sister, but isn’t very popular at school due to her being the mayor’s daughter. We also meet Taki Tachibana, a boy who works part time and has a crush on one of his coworkers, Miki Okudera. Mitsuha – dissatisfied living in a rural mountain town (Itomori) and embarassed by her family tradition of kuchikamizake (the making and fermenting of sake by chewing it), she wishes to become a handsome boy in her next life. She and Taki begin body swapping a few times a week, leaving eachother journals of what they have done while helping eachother with their (respective) problems. Then one day, they no longer body swap. Despite Taki trying to contact Mistuha, all evidence of their interactions disappear. In fear of losing all of his memories about her, he travels to Itomori (from Tokyo, bearing in mind) to find her, only to find that a comet killed the entire village three years ago. Taki manages to find the sake Mistuha made before she died, drinks it and manages to body swap again. They meet in kataware-doki (‘twilight’) where Taki warns her of her fate. Their first meeting is cut short, but Mistuha – with the help of her friends Tessie and Sayaka – come up with a plan to save the people. You do not know if the plan worked as Taki watched the comet fly past in Tokyo, however they meet again as Taki has a job interview, presumably a few years later, despite not remembering eachother.

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So, there is a bit of fantasy mixed in there, but I suppose because the comet is never really mentioned in the synopsis of the movie at any point, the film seems like a teenage, body swapping, romance story that has been told a few times at this point. But because of the twist of the comet, then the twist of Taki and Mitsuha’s timelines being off by three years, it makes the story much more interesting and actually – to a certain extent – a bit more suspenseful. With the story also cutting back at forth to the future and the past, it never gets dull.

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There are some great themes too: suspense; growing up; romance. Unfortnately, the romance aspect does fall a little flat for me in a way that I thought it was a romance movie before I watched it, then I thought it wasn’t as I was watching it, then knew it was after watching it. However, that scene where Mitsuha finds that Taki wrote “I love you” on her hand instead of his name really hit my heart (in a good way). Romance anime is my thing, so maybe I’m just a snob.


 Art 

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Hands down, this film beats any of Studio Ghibli’s animation with a sucker punch. There is no scene that is not fully animated (aka, Seraph of the End or Yuri on Ice stills that are pretty derpy). You can tell a lot of skill and love went into making this film look as beautiful as it should. And honestly, I think that’s why one of the best things about this film is because it’s animated – how else do you catch the beauty of a falling comet or a rural Hedian-era inspired landscape? Had it been live-action (which there be in Hollywood with J.J.Abrams and Eric Heisserer), I don’t think certain scenes would have been ‘pulled off’ as brilliantly as they were.

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This movie was produced by the CoMix Wave Films studio, who are well known for their beautiful scenery and crisp-clear animation (sadly, I have not watched any of their other work, so I cannot compare).

Many of the backdrops were inspirited by real-life locations for the fictional town of Itomori (Hida of the Gifu Prefecture is said to be the main inspiration, which would make sense with it’s many mountains and forests).


Sound

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I love the soundtrack for this movie (I actually listened to it as I was writing this review) as it has a mixture of upbeat piano music for those light-hearted moments, twinkly orchestra-like ambiance for those tense moments, and the voice Yojiro Noda of RADWIMPS fame to create such a unique and beautiful (yes, I know I’m saying that word a lot) soundtrack that blurs my eyes with tears from just hearing a few notes. RADWIMPS songs especially – Yumetōrō (“Dream Lantern“); Zenzenzense (“Past Past Life“); Supākuru (“Sparkle“); Nandemonaiya (“It’s Nothing“) – are memorable and have been stuck in my head ever since I watched it. I may not understand all the words, but I understand the feelings that come across in these songs – what love is truly about.


Characters

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Sadly, this is where the film is let down a little bit. While I did like all the characters that appeared in this film, I didn’t really…feel anything for them particularly, like I have with, say, the Kumo brothers in Laughing Under the Clouds. I think what I’m trying to say is, when the characters had particular things happen to them – like the small flashback to Mistuha’s backstory of how her mother died and her father walked out on them –  yes, I felt sad for them, but it wasn’t overwhelming. I think because so much was going on, there was no real time to bond with the characters, especially Taki and Mistuha.

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But that doesn’t mean I didn’t feel anything for them – I felt so sad for Taki when he discovered what happened to Mitsuha – and cheered them on as they got through life, but they just weren’t special in my eyes. Mitsuha is the typical-misunderstood-but-trying-to-do-her-best type of girl, while Taki is the happy-but-shy-knows-what-he-wants kind of boy.

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The same can be said for the support characters – I don’t remember Taki’s friends’ names and Mitsuha’s sister and grandmother appeared less than often that I couldn’t create a interest for them. The characters are good, but they are not the strongest point of the film.


Overall Conclusion

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This film is a true beauty in many aspects – visually, in sound/musically, storytelling and just overall feeling. Yes, I have pointed out that some of the romance aspects and the characters are a bit of a let down for me, but I still think this is the best non-Ghibli animated film I have ever watched. Despite being “there’s not much romance and suddenly Mitsuha and Taki belong together” and “I know I should feel bad for Mitusha because of her parents, but I don’t really”, it tells a story of a human bond in such a gorgeous blend of emotions and visuals, it is impossible for me to feel like any part of this film is bad. I haven’t seen or heard many of Makoto Shinkais’ works, but I will be watching more after watching Your Name.

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Skinkai himself stated that the film is far from perfect and believes that it would have been better with more time and a large budget, which I agree (to a certain extent with). This film is only 107 minutes, in which to tell such a large-scale story as this in is not a lot of time. Had the film been longer, then maybe my issues of character development and romance aspects would be ironed out.

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Your Name is a film about falling in love in the most unexpected places and doing your best to make sure no dream – or bond – dies without a fight.

Rating: 10/10


Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed! Until next week, stay tuned! (And yes, my Overwatch Character Guides will return next week, I just needed a break).

I highly recommend listening to Your Names’ soundtrack too. Just whenever – studying, writing, messing around on the internet, background noise, anytime.

Thor: Ragnarok Review

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[WARNING OF SPOILERS AHEAD. PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON WATCHING THE FILM. OTHERWISE, ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. THANK YOU]

 

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Now, I’m a huge fan of Marvel films and follow many of the Avenger spin-offs, such as Iron Man and Captain America, but I never really followed the Thor movies. It’s not because I don’t like Thor, because I do (and Chris Hemsworth has nothing to do with it…well, not much…OK, about 75% of the reason why) but I think it more’s about the fact that I don’t find Thor…that interesting. Or maybe because I’m jaded due to Thor being loosely based on the Norse myth Thor.

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I’ll give a Synopsis of the Film; What I Did Like About the Film; What I Didn’t Like About the Film and then a Conclusion.


Synopsis

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Thor: Ragnarok follows 2 years after Avengers: Age of Ultron in which Thor (Chris Hemsworth) has been unsuccessful in searching for the Infinity Stones and has been captured by Surturn (voiced by Clancy Brown), a fire demon who commences Ragnarok (in Norse Mythology, Ragnarök is an event that involves a great battle; the deaths of many Gods and many natural disaster). Thor quickly defeats Surtur and returns to Asgard.

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Upon his return to Asgard, Thor notices something is different – especially a play his father Odin (Anthony Hopkins) commenced of how Loki sacrificed himself for Asgard (the play Thor was played by Chris’ brother Luke Hemsworth and the play Loki was played by none other than Matt Damon). Thor soon discovers Loki himself (Tom Hiddleston) had disguised himself as Odin and sent their father elsewhere. With the help of Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch), they locate Odin in Norway. Odin reveals that he is dying and fears that his first borntheir sisterHela will be released.

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Hela (Cate Blanchett) once fought alongside Odin in his conquest of the Nine Realms but as they continued fighting, Odin grew more and more worried about her ambitious nature and eventually sealed her away. Odin rewrote history so she would be forgotten about. Odin dies, the magic he had used to seal her broke and she appears in Asgard after a ranged absence. She immediately claims her heir to the throne as the right of the first born, to which Thor and Loki disagree to. The three of them fight – in which Hela destroys Mjolnir – and forces the duo to flee via Bifrost Bridge. Hela chases after them and forces them to die in space. Hela takes over Asgard by killing rebels with the Warrior Three, resurrecting her previous warriors and Fenris (Hela’s giant wolf pet thing) and appoints Skurge (Karl Urban) as her executor. Thankfully, Heimdall (Idris Elba) takes the sword that controlled the bridge that Hela needed to expand Asgard.

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Thor finds himself on a planet called Sakarr – filled with wormholes and barbarians. Without Mjolnir, Thor is easily captured by cannibals who are killed by a mysterious woman (later revealed as Valkyrie and played by Tessa Thompson), recaptured and taken to The Grandmaster (Jeff Goldblum). There, Thor is reunited with Loki and forced to participate in the Contest of Champions (not before having his hair cut by Stan Lee) against The Grandmaster’s current champion – the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).

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After Thor and Hulk’s fight (which was a draw), Thor requests Hulk’s help, to which he disagrees. Thor finds the Quinjet, which he tricks Hulk by turning him back into Bruce Banner. With the (eventual) help with Valkyrie; Banner; Loki (despite his betrayal when stealing one of The Grandmaster’s ships); Korg (a gladiator Thor met at the Contest of Champions) and other rebellion gladiators. They fly back to Asgard, reunite with the surviving Asgardians that Heimdall saved and fight Hela. Thor loses his eye to Hela, but in Thor’s self-defeat, he receives a vision from Odin and discovers that only Ragnarok can stop Hela. Surtur’s Crown is placed in the Eternal Flame, bring him back and destroying Asgard, seemingly with Hela too. Thor becomes the new king of Asgard…well, I don’t want to the spoil the post-credit scene (or is it scenes?).

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What I Did Like About the Film

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With a Marvel classic, you expect a few things: great action; great humour; great names. This film was no exception – the action was good (I would still say that the fighting and stunts were better in Civil War and I don’t think it will ever be topped with that Captain America and Bucky vs Iron Man fighting scene).

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Chris Hemsworth definitely played Thor differently – Thor is known to be authoritative, a bit of a comedic point at times and strong; both in will and physicality. He’s a straight up character who is feared for being a God. But, Thor in this movie had a much better sense of humour and seemed more understanding and accepting of his failures – as the director Taika Waititi said that he wanted Thor to be stripped back to a refugee and Hemsworth took a Big Trouble in Little China‘s Jack Burton’s take on the comedy side on things.

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All gags hit the mark, but there was a particular scene that tickled my funny bone (let’s not forget the Matt Damon and Chris Hemsworth brother fake Thor and Loki scene) – when introducing Doctor Strange, there were a LOT of Sherlock Holmes references (in case you don’t know, Benedict Cumberbatch plays Sherlock Homles in a BBC series that is very good).

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Also, the inclusion of Cate Blanchett was somewhat unexpected but not unpleasant – she was a great addition to the film (and the Marvel Universe). She played Hela amazingly – many times, we’re used to seeing Blanchett playing a beautiful character (Galadriel, Gran Mamare, Elizabeth I) that it’s a surprise when she plays a horrible character, especially Hela (who is the Goddess of Death) who she can still play well and be likable.

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From the first showing of the trailer, it very much seemed to take a step back and kind of rewind itself back into the 80s with it’s neon lights, quick-paced fight scenes and awesome soundtrack.

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What I Didn’t Like About the Film

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One of the strengths of the film is it’s humour, but it’s also a downfall –  most of the humour was predictable. Yes, I did laugh when it happened – I mean who wouldn’t laugh when Thor threw a ball at the window and it bounces back to hit him – but it is slightly worrying. I fear that Marvel’s humour may become predictable (which it did for me when I watched this in the cinema), therefore losing that ‘Marvel’ magic. Hopefully, it will not go down the DC movie route *cough* Justice League *cough*.

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Another problem I had was the CGI with Hela – the CGI was totally fine everywhere else in the film, but during the fight of Hela, Thor and Loki on Asgard, the CGI on Hela was heavy and very noticeable. I know Cate is a bit of an older lady, but that doesn’t mean she can’t have some fight training/fighting choreography.

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Conclusion

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Overall, Thor: Ragnarok is a great film and an absolute must see, even if (like me) you’re not Thor’s biggest fan. But missing this film out will not bring you too much confusion when Avengers: Infinity War comes out. Like a Marvel film, it delivers great comedy and great action and improves each time.

Rating: 9/10


Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy! Let me know your thoughts!

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My Top Five Tips When Playing Lúcio in Overwatch

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Lúcio (Correia dos Santos) is a international musician that uses his music as a weapon as well as a force for good.

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Lúcio grew up in Rio de Janeiro, which was struck into poverty after the Omnic Crisis. In his sorrow for his country and community, he created music and became a street performer. Sure enough, Vishkar Corporation sought to become the world’s saviour, but instead exploited people into a cheap labour force, enforced curfews and used lawless behaviour. Lúcio soon had enough, broke into Vishkar and stole their technology. This soon became his tool to drive them out, making him an overnight star. He used his popularity as a positive social movement.

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Lúcio is a 2 star Support Hero.

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Tip #1 – Boop!

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Lúcio’s main weapon is the Sonic Amplifier – this allows the player to either heal or boost the speed of any teammates within a raidus highlighted (either yellow/gold or green, depending of what buff he is using).

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And – as mentioned on many of this Character Tip Guides – the Sonic Amplifier has two different types of fire. The first being Sonic Projectiles – they deal little damage (4 – 20 damage, max of 80 with a bodyshot) but is good to finish off withered down enemies.The secondary fire – Soundwave – produces a shot of soundwave energy that can knock enemies back. This, naturally, is a huge advantage on corners, chokepoints and ledges that insta-kill enemies by making them fall off. Maps that this advantage should be used on are:

  • Ilois‘s Lighthouse
  • Ilois’s Well
  • Nepal‘s Sanctum
  • Lijiang Tower‘s Night Market
  • Lijiang Tower’s Garden
  • Oasis‘s Gardens
  • Eichenwalde‘s bridge
  • Route 66 (before the last checkpoint)

Tip #2 – Crossfade: Speed Boost

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As mentioned previously, Lúcio’s Sonic Amplifier has 2 buffs – healing and speed. The Speed Boost increases teammates speed by 30% within a 10 m radius for less than 1 second (0.5 to be precise).

The Speed Boost the default mode whenever playing Lúcio for the first time during the match and/or respawning. This is essential for Control Maps (but also good for Defense and Attack) as Lúcio can speed up all teammates (so long as they are in his radius) to get back to the point quickly, especially teamed up with Amp It Up (we’ll talk about that in a minute). Naturally, this is also good to help escape enemies.


Tip #3 – Crossfade: Heal Up

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Lúcio’s other buff is a radius of healing (16.25 HP per second on teammates while 13 HP per second on self). While his healing is not as good as Mercy‘s or Zenyatta‘s, he can heal more teammates at one time than other supports.

Healing radius is better for Defense maps, making Lúcio an all-around hero. Switching between healing and speed allows for a fast, on-pace healing radius that can benefit all teammates.


Tip #4 – Amp it Up!

Another one of Lúcio’s abilities is Amp It Up – this gives a boost to either Lúcio’s healing or speed boost. Unlike either of these abilities, it does have a cooldown (12 seconds) and lasts for 3 seconds, meaning it should be used wisely.

If you choose the speed boost, it increases speed movement by 70%, meaning it is best used after respawning (and waiting for teammates if most have died) to get back to the fight faster than usual (mainly benefiting Control and Attack points).

If you choose healing, it heals 46. 8 HP per second (and 35 HP on self) meaning it is best not to waste it on just one teammate but rather most (or all if possible), benefiting Defense points.


Tip #5 – Let’s Break it Down!

Lúcio’s Ultimate ability is the Sound Barrier – within a 30 m radius, Lúcio can provide a personal shield to a teammate, giving them a +500 temporary shield. This works best when all teammates are with you either pushing to escort the payload on Attack, or protecting the point in Defense. It can protect most heroes from most Ultimates, such as Junkrat‘s RIP-Tire or Soldier: 76‘s Tactial Visor, but not all that deal heavy damage at one time, such as D.Va‘s Self-Destruct.

Another good tactic is to pair healing with Amp it Up either before or after (depending on how damaged your team is) to make it harder for the enemy team.


  • You can watch Lúcio’s introduction video here.
  • You can watch an overview of Lúcio’s abilities here.
  • You can click here and here to listen to 2 tracks from Lúcio’s album (that are also used for the healing and boosting song, respectively).

My set up for Lúcio

My Top Five Tips When Playing Junkrat in Overwatch

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Junkrat – AKA Jamison Fawkes – is a explosive-obsessed criminal paired with Roadhog who suffers from ‘a touch of madness’.

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After the Omnic Crisis, the Australian government hoped to restore peace by building a race track (yes, really). However, some residents rebelled and attacked the omnium’s fusion core, destroying the Outback into a post-apocalyptic scrapheap. Those who survived called themselves the Junkers and made their living by scavenging for what metal parts remained, and passing the time with mech battles.

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Junkrat discovered a vast amount of treasure, leading him to be hunted by other criminals, bounty hunters and gangs. After running and hiding for so long, he came across Roadhog (who had also been on the rebels to the omnium being built) who he hired as a body guard (and partner in crime). They left the Outback, never looking back at the trial of mayhem they left behind.

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Junkrat is a 2 star Defense Hero.


Tip #1 – Bouncing Off the Walls

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Junkrat’s primary weapon is his Frag Launcher – somewhat looking like a rocket launcher, it hurls grenades in whichever direction they are fired in, in a arch like projection that explode upon impact of an enemy (or the ground). Granted, there is only 5 grenades per ‘clip’ but each can do a high amount of damage (up to 120 damage if a direct hit). It cannot head shot, inflict self harm but can knock Junkrat back.

These grenades can bounce around, making them perfect when having an enemy trapped in a small space and on corners. It’s also worth noting that the Frag Launcher can used a sort of ‘spy check‘ to see if enemies are hiding around corners (which is why you often see Junkrat’s just unnecessarily shooting at the beginning of rounds).

However, Junkrat is not very good against ‘mobile’ heroes, such as Pharah or Genji (Junkrat actually has a hard time reaching targets above him), so it better against stationary enemies, such as Bastion or Reinhardt.


Tip #2 – Get Concussed, Son!

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Another one of Junkrat’s abilities is his Concussion Mine that is pretty self-explanatory – it’s a mine that he can place and trigger. Junkrat can now hold up to 2 mines (instead of 1) which do 120 damage within a 3 m radius.

A popular tactic is to place the Steel Trap, then a mine ontop of it so enemies cannot move and get killed quickly. Another tactic – similar to Soldier: 76’s Helix Rockets – is to use the Mine as a final blow – lob a few grenades at the enemy, then the Mine. The Mine does knock Junkrat back if he is close to it (but does not inflict self damage), which is an advantage to reposition yourself in mid-air.


Tip #3 – It’s Made of Steel

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As mentioned previously, another one of Junkrat’s abilities is his Steel Trap – he will throw out a metal-toothed trap that clamps onto an enemy when triggered, keeping them in place for 3 seconds while inflicting some damage too (up to 80).

This ability is all about placement –  a good place for Defense is actually on the point incase one stray decides to get the point early, such as Genji, Tracer or Sombra. It’s also good if an enemy is chasing you – lead them to a small, enclosed space that is far away from teammates.


Tip #4 – In Death, Still Make it Funny

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The last of Junkrat’s abilities is Total Mayhem – when Junkrat dies, a cluster of grenades will fall and inflict any damage on enemies within a 2m radius. This is great for kills when dead and many players forget that it happens – the amount of times I’ve died to this when killing a Junkrat is frustrating.

It is worth noting that if Junkrat dies in mid-air, his body and grenades could land if different places.


Tip #5 – Fire in the Hole!

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Junkrat’s Ultimate is the RIP-Tire – a bomb that is controlled by the player (while Junkrat stands mobile, so it is possible to die when using it, but the RIP-Tire will still be usable) that can deal up to 600 damage within a 10 m radius. It’s good to find a hiding spot first before using it.

Needless to say, this is best used on a cluster of enemies to take them out in one swift move, however it only lasts for 10 seconds, so if you’re not quick, it will be wasted. It would also be a wasted opportunity if used on just one enemy. The RIP-Tire does have health (100 HP), so it can be destroyed before denotation.


  • You can read the comic “Going Legit” here, which involves Junkrat and Roadhog.
  • You can watch one the animated shorts, “A Moment in Crime” here.
  • You can also watch another animated short, “Junkertown: The Plan” here.
  • You can watch an overview of Junkrat’s abilities here.

Thanks for reading – hope you enjoyed! Let me know if I missed any vital tactics. Until next time, take care!

My set up for Junkrat

My Top Five Tips When Playing Hanzo in Overwatch

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Hanzo Shimada is the eldest son of the Shimada clan – a family empire built on assassination, power and crime. Hanzo, as his duty, worked under his father to lead the business, which did sadly come true when Sojiro died suddenly. Hanzo is also the brother of Genji, who did not take his families’ business seriously and instead, lived a leisurely lifestyle. Genji refused to play any part in the business when their father died, leading them to fight where Genji was nearly killed. The Shimada Empire fell apart and Hanzo disappeared without a trace, always believing he had killed his brother.

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Hanzo – similarly to his brother – is a 3 star Defence Hero.

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Tip #1 – Scramble to the Top

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As mentioned in the Genji Character Guide, Hanzo has the ability to climb walls, but unlikely his brother, he cannot jump mid-air. This ability allows him to reach places that neither sniper heroes Widowmaker or Ana can make. Neither does it have a cool down.

It is also worth noting that high positions are an advantage (especially when defending) but at long range, it is worth firing an arrow slightly above the target’s head, as the arrow travels in an arc.


Tip #2 – No Spam Allowed

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Hanzo is one of the very few heroes who has unlimited ammo. Understandably, it takes little time for him to reload or charge an arrow to full power (less than 1 second for the arrow to be fully charged). Spamming arrows will not be successful, as a good Hanzo player needs to be patient and estimate where targets will move in order to defend.

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It is also worth noting that using the middle dot on Hanzo’s reticle will give more consistent shots at both short and long range. Again, with targeting, shot an arrow slightly ahead of an enemy rather than aim exactly as shots will not work (and be a bit frustrating).


Tip #3 – See Through the Dragon’s Eyes

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One of Hanzo’s abilities is the Sonic Arrow – this, similar to Widow’s Ult – allows targets to be seen through red heat signatures within a radius (10 m), even through walls. It is always good to use at the beginning of the round (either Defending or Attacking) and before you wish to use Hanzo’s Ult. It only lasts 10 seconds, so be sparing when you use it.

Unlike Widow’s Infra-Sight however, enemies do not know when it is being used by a voice line (Widow usually states “No one can hide from my sight” which is heard by everyone, whereas Hanzo may use a voice line only heard by teammates nearby).


Tip #4 – Scatter Across the Floor

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Another one of Hanzo’s abilities is his Scatter Arrow – this is an fragmented arrow (around 6 fragments) that can ricochet off walls and other objects, allowing him to damage (and/or kill) multiple targets at one time. The arrow can headshot, but the fragments cannot. They can still deal a hefty amount of damage (22 – 75 per fragment, whereas the initial arrow can deal up to 125 damage, which is the same as a regular arrow).

The Scatter Arrow is used shot at the floor infront of an enemy to inflict high damage but a flat surface means no other obstacles can curve or bump the arrow, changing its movement. These arrows can also kill tanks like Zarya or Orisa and are Hanzo’s only effective tool at close range.


Tip #5 – The Dragon is Sated

Hanzo’s Ultimate Ability is Dragonstrike – Hanzo shots an arrow that releases 2 spirit dragons (or wolves, depending on what skin you have enabled) that travels through the air in a straight line. The arrow itself can inflict 125 damage but the dragons themselves can cause 200 damage per second, making it a devastating Ult (especially when you avoid it, only to walk in the dragons/wolves path).

This Ult is best used when defending and the enemies are capturing the point, even if they are on the other side of a wall. Teammates can easily pass through the dragons, allowing some sort of camouflage for a surprise attack if they are not killed by the initial attack. It is also worth noting that the Ult is slow, so where the Ult travels is vital.


  • You can watch a overview of Hanzo’s abilities here.
  • You can watch a preview of early Hanzo gameplay here.
  • You can watch the animated short that gives the story behind Hanzo and Genji called “Dragons” here.

Thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed! Let me know if I missed any tips that you use. Until next time, take care!

My set up for Hanzo