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  1. Good evening, Podunkers and the like! I've been gone for a while now, and while I can't promise I'll be as active as I have been in the past, I can make a new promise. This new promise is for streaming games on a daily and weekly basis! Monday - Friday I'll be streaming around 4PM EST and then again at around 9PM EST. Right now, I'm streaming Overwatch during the 4PM time block and then the new Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age during the 9PM block. However, I'm open to suggestions on things to play and bringing in new users and the like all the time. Below will be some of my personal handles and ways to reach me through social media as well as see when I go live among other things. Twitter - @royzoga Twitch - https://www.twitch.tv/royzoga123 Well, that's pretty much it for now! I certainly hope to see some of you guys around and the like sometime soon! Be sure to stop by when you get the chance, even if it's only for a few moments. And most importantly, have fun!
  2. For those who weren't watching the Sonic 25th Anniversary party last night and somehow didn't catch the news elsewhere, we're getting a new 2D Sonic game in the form of Sonic Mania, and...IT LOOKS FANTASTIC!! From what they talked about, it basically has remixed/reimagined levels from the original Genesis trilogy along with brand new levels. More importantly, it actually looks like a Genesis Sonic game, and I don't mean the graphics. The brief looks at the stage design and physics all point to this being the real Sonic the Hedgehog 4, because it looks like it will play and feel like a classic 2D Sonic game and not a cheap imitation. I'm super excited to play the game when it comes out in Spring 2017, but what about the rest of you? Looking forward to what could be the best Sonic game in years? Not interested because you've been burned by Sonic too many times? Or just don't care either way? Speed down to that reply box to let me know what you think.
  3. So, as most of you have probably heard by now, Disney Infinity is being discontinued as Disney shutters its publishing arm (it'll still license its properties to other publishers though) and Avalanche, the developers, close their doors. It's pretty sad news all in all, and a bit surprising considering Disney had the likes of Marvel and Star Wars to get people interested in the games. Knowing that something with that kind of power behind it could fail, do you think this could be the beginning of the end for the toys-to-life genre? Could Lego Dimensions, Skylanders, and, dare I say it, amiibo be next? To be honest, I'm surprised Infinity was the one that went down first. Of all of them, Skylanders would have been my guess as the first to fall simply due to the fact that it's the only one without recognizable branding behind it (unless you count Spyro as a recognizable brand, but they basically distanced themselves from that after the first one anyway) and there was already a precedent with Activision and plastic peripherals after Guitar Hero. I haven't paid attention to reviews or sales numbers or anything relating to these types of games, but I'm still pretty sure that other publishers are going to see what happened and start to consider whether it's worth carrying on with any plans they might have had for the genre. Nintendo might be able to keep amiibo profitable a while longer as long as they stick to the most popular series and spread the releases out a bit, but I'm expecting Lego Dimensions and Skylanders to follow suit any day now. How do you all feel about it? Worried? Happy that the obvious cash grab of selling toys that work with games might be ending? Don't care either way? Sound off with your thoughts!
  4. It's that time of year again - a time for holiday happiness, heartfelt hospitality, and of course, hefty humbugs from the Scrooges among us. If that last one sounds like you, then you're in luck, because I've got a sure-fire way for you to give a little Christmas cheer this year while still being a complete jerk to all around! So before you head out for your last minute purchases of framed self-portraits, take a look at this handy guide for giving your enemies what they deserve most - a holly-jolly helping of games they're sure to hate! ____________ For the fighting game fan...Mortal Kombat: Special Forces Though difficult to pull off, The Worm isn't a useful special move in a fight. It's probably safe to say any fighting game fan worth his or her salt knows about Mortal Kombat, if they're not a fan of it themselves. If they are, you can change that for good this year by dropping this hot lump of coal in their stocking and watching the Christmas tears roll! Rather than sticking to the one-on-one fighting he's good at, Jackson "Jax" Briggs takes on a third-person action shooter that tries to combine Mortal Kombat with Metal Gear and ends up an unrecognizable mess instead. The game is basically anti-fun, and you can feel yourself aging as you realize your own mortality with every moment spent playing this abomination. Perfect for letting your worst enemy know their time is running out! In a pinch: Mortal Kombat Mythologies: Sub-Zero will also do, as it is soul-crushingly terrible in every conceivable way. For the platformer fan...Bubsy Two-Fur Bubsy: something to sneeze at. Like a stray cat that you put out food for one time, Bubsy just keeps coming back. His infamy will always live on thanks to the so-terrible-it's-almost-art Bubsy 3D, but someone still thought it was a good idea to say "you know what people want right now? The first two Bubsy games on Steam." And lo, did the Greenlight Gods vomit out this unholy mess of pixels known as Bubsy Two-Fur, and yea, did the people graciously vote it onto Steam, because playing terrible games ironically is apparently a national pasttime. Now you and your hated ones can relive the glory days of horrible controls, cheap deaths, and annoying catchphrases long before Sonic the Hedgehog took up the mantle for all of those things. (ba-zing!) In a pinch: Speaking of our pal Sonic, if your nemesis doesn't use Steam, you can always "treat" them with a copy of Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric or Sonic the Hedgehog '06. These are two games that, had they been released in the same year, surely would have invoked some ancient ritual and caused the apocalypse. For the adventure game fan...MacVenture Series Thanks for paying. The MacVenture series consists of Shadowgate, Deja Vu, Deja Vu II, and Uninvited, and that last one basically sums up how each one feels about the player - it doesn't really want you playing it and enjoying it, and it's going to do everything it can to make the experience as miserable as possible. It doesn't matter which one you're playing; basically everything can kill you or otherwise cause you to lose even without much input on your part. They are the oldest of old-school adventure and each is a veritable exercise in frustration, which is great if you want to be really snarky about getting someone an "exercise machine." In a pinch: the 2014 version of Shadowgate is basically the same thing but with better graphics, so if your enemy refuses to play "old-looking" games, give them this instead. It's just as sadistic and just as fun for you to watch when they fail a puzzle repeatedly! For the action game fan...Ride to Hell: Retribution Drinking game: take a drink every time the player makes this face. If you threw the terms "bikers" "the 60's" and "revenge" into a pot and stirred it, you'd probably come out with a pretty cool game or movie. If you threw those same terms in a trash compactor and turned it on, you'd get Ride to Hell: Retribution. This game had no idea what it wanted to be, so it tried to be everything and ended up as nothing. Stiff animations, disjointed story, unresponsive controls, and just a general sense that the game could collapse on itself at any given moment will have your enemies wrenching in disgust, but at the same time racing to complete the game before it implodes. You can probably find this game in every $1 bargain bin across America, so if you're trying to be evil on a budget, look no further. In a pinch: If, however, you have so much money that you just need to rub it in, pick your enemy up a disc copy of Devil's Third. Due to limited release in the US, the game is already selling way over MSRP, despite the fact that it's probably about as much fun to play with as a broken bottle. At least the bottle can only scar you physically. For the racing fan...Garfield Kart (non-mobile versions) Oh, that wacky Garfield. What will he get up to next? Yeah, I could have just put Big Rigs here and called it a day, but I'm not taking the easy road, at least not for two more entries. Anyway, if you hate someone as much as Garfield hates Mondays, then you just know they'll "love" zipping around the track as one of their favorite comic strip characters. The best/worst part about this game is that there's absolutely no multiplayer at all - you know, the main reason people even play kart racers - so you can cackle maniacally as your new arch-rival races circles around the the AI, locked in an eternal struggle for dominance with a cold, unfeeling computer dictating the behavior of the only friends they'll ever be allowed to have again. Until they turn the game off, anyway. In a pinch: Flatout 3: Chaos & Destruction is the lowest-rated racing game on Steam, and there are a lot of bad racing games on Steam. For a series that prides itself on hilariously over-the-top crashes, this one landed with an underwhelming thud before being towed back to the starting line, where it waits for someone to care. That someone could be your newly acquired adversary! For the RPG fan...Hyperdimension Neptunia Which button do I press to skip the rest of the game? To be clear, I mean the original release, not the Re;birth version. While that version is at least moderately entertaining, the first release of Hyperdimension Neptunia was more of a chore to play than a race to see who can sort the recycling the fastest. It certainly works as a parody of the game industry in one way, in that it proved "if you keep buying them, we'll keep pumping them out" and finally gave the series a chance at mediocrity. But, like the body pillows owned by fans of the series [citation needed], this first one should be shoved in the closet and hidden from from the eyes of decent society. In a pinch: Unlimited SaGa is basically the anti-RPG - freedom of exploration now limited to board-game like movement, combat almost entirely determined by luck rather than proper planning and good tactics, and a story that doesn't care to involve you and instead jumps around as it pleases. In other words, it's a perfect way to make someone you think wastes too much time on RPGs waste too much time on an RPG. For the FPS fan...Duke Nukem Forever In a pinch: Aliens: Colonial Marines (see above) ________ So there you have it, the perfect gift guide for enemies, frenemies, or people you just plain don't like to show them that, despite your differences, you can still be a good sport and get in the giving spirit this Christmas, as long as you're only giving pure agony in digital form. So what do you think? What games would you give to someone you don't like? What games have you gotten as gifts that you wish had stayed on the shelf? Be merry and share your stories in the comments below! You might just give us all the best gift this year - the gift of laughing at other people's misfortunes.
  5. So I did one of these last year, and...wait, has it really already been a year since E3 2014? Because it doesn't feel like it. But indeed it has, and this year was chock full of surprises and megaton announcements topped off with a helping of new IPs and twists on the familiar. With what we saw, most of us probably wanted a place to gush about the things that really jumped out at us. This is my place to do just that. Doom Doom is an icon in the shooter world. THE icon, at that. It put first person shooters in the mainstream and covered the floor with demons and blood long before every other game started doing the same. The series was quiet after Doom 3, but it's coming back in a big, brutal way. Bucking the popular trends, Doom throws out cover, two-weapon inventories, and all the things that have limited us from just running up on some bad guys and shooting the crap out of them with a myriad of increasingly ridiculous weapons, and I'm absolutely stoked about that. FPS games have gotten far too sanitary and clingy to the player, and a game that throws you in with no regenerating health, no shields, and no mercy and expects you to circle-strafe your way to victory is the kick in the pants the genre needs right now. StarFox Zero Yes, I know there are actual screenshots, and no, I don't care. It's about time! While a new StarFox was mentioned at E3 2014, we didn't get any real info about it. Now that we've seen how the game looks and plays, I can't wait to get my paws on it. StarFox 64 has always been the high point of the series and one of my favorite games, and it's about time we get a new entry in the series that looks like it can match or even possibly outdo the high standards set by the N64 game. The fact that it's being at least partially developed by Platinum Games also has me excited, as Platinum has put together some quality action titles and I'll be happy to see them put those skills to work on bringing Fox and the crew to life on WiiU. The best part is that it's coming out this year, so it won't be long until we're doing barrel rolls and finding out what Wolf won't let us do this time. Horizon: Zero Dawn While I'm not a huge fan of Guerrilla's Killzone games, they were competent shooters with a lot of polish, so I'm confident they could deliver a new experience with great mechanics and amazing visuals. That experience is coming in the form of Horizon: Zero Dawn, with its concept of advanced tech vs. ancient weaponry painting a vivid world of clashing architectures and pitting the savage against the sleek. And robot dinosaurs! Don't forget the robot dinosaurs. Even if the gameplay doesn't look like much beyond a fairly standard third-person action-shooter at this point, I still want to dive into Horizon and get lost in the world of the Old Ones. Rare Replay Oh yes. I enjoy collections of past video games as much as anyone, but a collection of Rareware titles is one for the books. Bringing together some of their best games past and present, and also Grabbed by the Ghoulies (joke, I haven't played that game) Rare Replay is giving us some of the most treasured gaming experiences in one reasonably priced $30 package, along with some new features like challenges and achievements. I'm talking greats like RC Pro AM, Banjo-Kazooie and Banjo-Tooie, Perfect Dark, my personal favorite underrated gem Jet Force Gemini, Battletoads Arcade, Viva Pinata, and more. Really, the only problem here is that I don't have an Xbox One, but the minute I get one, this collection is absolutely coming home with it. Mario & Luigi: Paper Jam I love Mario & Luigi. I love Paper Mario. Would I love both of them together? You bet! This game looks to take the fun and frantic action-based combat and exploration of the Mario & Luigi series and fuse it with elements ripped straight out of Paper Mario in what's sure to be one of the most entertaining and satisfying Mario RPGs yet. While it may not be the Paper Mario sequel many were hoping for, it's still going to be a fantastic addition to the 3DS library and should be a huge treat for those who were less than impressed with Paper Mario: Sticker Star as the papercraft plumber gets back to the old ways of beating baddies. Shenmue III Hoo boy. Did anyone see this coming? If you're raising your hand right now, bring it down hard on your face, because you are a liar. After years upon years of hoping, begging, pleading, and praying, fans finally got what they never expected in the announcement that Shenmue III is finally happening, and through Kickstarter, you can make it happen. Naturally, the game is already fully funded on Kickstarter, so as a huge fan of the original game, I'm thrilled to know that after all these years I'll be able to hang with Ryo Hazuki once again when the game releases...whenever. The "estimated delivery" is December 2017, but those can usually be taken with a grain of salt. At any rate, whatever year this comes out is gonna be a huge year for gaming. Fallout 4 Oh man. Ohhhhh man. Ohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohmanohman. FALLOUT 4. IS HAPPENING. THIS. FREAKING. YEAR!!!!!!!!! *deep breath* I'm okay. Yes, friends, loved ones, enemies, and people I don't have an opinion of one way or the other, the next trip to everyone's favorite Wasteland is coming much sooner than I could have anticipated. We saw the first reveal of Fallout 4 a bit before E3 started, and while that was exciting enough on its own, nothing, and I mean nothing could prepare me for the bombshell that Bethesda dropped during their first ever conference, when they announced that Fallout 4 is releasing on November 10, 2015. TWENTY FIFTEEN. THIS YEAR!!!!!!! THE HYPE IS SO REAL I CAN'T CONTAIN IT AHHHHHHHHHHHH (disclaimer for those who will inevitably say the game will miss its release date and slip into next year: shut up) Honorable Mentions: Killer instinct on PC Xbox boss Phil Spencer stopped by the PC Gaming Show to talk about Microsoft's plans for PC gaming, and casually mentioned that (former) Xbox One exclusive Killer Instinct is headed to PC! No other info was given, but it's still exciting news for people like me who wanted to play it but don't have the system. Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash Not the biggest announcement from Nintendo's lineup, but as a fan of the Mario Tennis games I couldn't be happier about this. I skipped on the 3DS Mario Tennis game since I don't play my handhelds much, so I'm glad Mario and co. are bringing the racket to WiiU. Just Cause 3 We've known about Just Cause 3 for a little while, which is why it just gets an honorable mention since it wasn't really revealed at E3 specifically. (yes, neither was Fallout 4, but that's Fallout 4) Anyway, I spent hours roaming around blowing stuff up in the lushly detailed world of Just Cause 2, and I'm looking forward to doing it again when Just Cause 3 comes out this year. Xenoblade Chronicles X This is another we've known about for a while, but the exciting news is that it was revealed to be coming out in December of this year. While I never played the original Xenoblade Chronicles, the footage I've seen of Xenoblade X still has me really excited to take this RPG for a spin. No Man's Sky I wrote about this last year, and, yep, I'm still super excited about it. Can we get a release date so I can whine about how far away it is? While that's not nearly everything at E3 I thought was worth getting excited over, it's a take on some of the things that really made me happy to be a gamer and excited for what's in store over the course of this year and 2016. Now that you've read my babbling, it's time to share your thoughts in the comments! What excited you the most? What disappointed you? What did you hope to see that didn't show? Whatever thoughts you have about E3 2015, let's hear them!
  6. Video game box art. In this day and age, it's not something that people really pay much attention to anymore, mostly because the majority of boxes are populated by Generic Space Marine Guy #4112 or Scantily Clad Bikini Lady #894,722. Even so, its function remains as important as ever - to give someone taking their first look at the box a general idea of how much awesomeness to expect from the game. Most covers do a decent enough job telling you what you'll be doing and who will be doing it, but others opt for the less conventional tactic of not telling you anything, and also not giving you any ideas to figure it out for yourself. Sometimes, though, you'll find it's best not to judge a book by its cover. Book, game, whatever. Let's get started. Golden Axe What you saw at the store: There's nothing immediately wrong with this boxart at first glance - you've got your three heroes seemingly ready for action, and two of them are holding axes, though neither appear to be golden, for whatever reason. It's not until you look longer and closer that the weird details start to show themselves. Tyris looks like she's modeling for a photo shoot, despite not being an actual person. Gilius appears to be having a conversation with his mount that may or may not involve the threat of an axe in the skull. And Ricardo Montalban on steroids at the front there has a look on his face that's less "let's go on an adventure!" and more "let's go change my loincloth, because I've just made a mess of it." But on the inside... Pure hack 'n slash bliss. Golden Axe is the grandaddy of the weapon-based beat 'em up, which admittedly isn't a particularly broad genre even now, but even the more punch-y variety of games like Streets of Rage owe their success to Golden Axe to some degree. It wasn't the first beat 'em up, but it remains one of the most successful and fondly remembered of its time, with a number of ports and re-releases ensuring that gamers can continue to foil Death Adder's plans to this day. The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time and The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask What you saw at the store: I'm lumping these together because they both have the same issue - there's nothing there besides the logo. Majora's Mask is at least courteous enough to include the titular mask, but beyond that, you'll just find yourself staring at the logo on either a nice gold background (a throwback to the NES and SNES games, but come on, box art had evolved a bit by this point) or a multicolored techno rave/LSD trip. But on the inside... Two of the greatest N64 games ever made, or, depending on who you ask, two of the greatest games ever made, period. Ocarina of Time and Majora's Mask set the groundwork for future Zelda titles, and successfully combined compelling stories and fantastic gameplay to create two games that people are still talking about and gushing over today, no small feat for a couple of games from the early 3D era of gaming. The boxes may be boring, but the games inside are anything but. Still, at least the 3DS remake of Ocarina did the box a favor and added a little Link riding Epona down there to jazz the place up a bit. Metal Gear Solid What you saw at the store: This is the same problem as the Zelda games up there, multiplied by boring and raised to the power of meh. Even if you'd heard of the Metal Gear series at this point, and many Americans hadn't (or simply forgot about it), you'd still be hard pressed to get excited over this box. Beyond the promise of tactical espionage action, whatever that means, you'd literally have no idea what you're getting into. Unless, I guess, you read the back of the case, but we're talking about the fronts here, so shut up. But on the inside... Turns out tactical espionage action is actually pretty sweet. Metal Gear Solid rewrote the rules on video game storytelling and use of cutscenes before either of those were really a priority for most developers. The sneaky, stealthy action, punctuated by some challenging and offbeat boss fights, drew gamers into a world of espionage that James Bond could only dream of. While the game may not have aged particularly well compared to its sequels (that's what The Twin Snakes is for, though) it still holds a place in many a gamer's heart and the series continues on just as strongly as ever with the upcoming release of The Phantom Pain. Mega Man Anniversary Collection What you saw at the store: What...WHAT IS THAT?? That is not MegaMan. And even if it is, what is he so happy about blasting? Wily's behind you, dude. Also, take a look at poor Rush: he's absolutely horrified by whatever's happening in front of him. Or maybe he's terrified by the prospect of any self-respecting Mega Man fan plunking this thing down on the counter and exchanging actual money for it. Either way, there's way too many disturbing elements to this box to count. Also, there's a Mettaur floating around for no real reason. But on the inside... A collection of arguably MegaMan's best adventures for one low low price. You've got the first eight Mega Man titles, plus a couple of obscure arcade games that most people never got to play, available to them for the first time. While it's not perfect, it's still a great way to experience the classic Mega Man titles without buying each of them separately on the Virtual Console, or, even worse, tracking down the actual cartridges for a decent price. Fire Emblem: Awakening What you saw at the store: What's even happening here? Is it raining people? How many innocent civilians are going to get skewered on those weapons when the warriors eventually hit the ground? How is one of them going the opposite direction as everyone else? WHY is one of them going the opposite direction as everyone else? This box raises several questions, and none of them can possibly have a reasonable, non-terrifying answer. But on the inside... Awakening takes everything Nintendo has learned over the 24 years they've been making Fire Emblem titles and rolls it into one amazing package. The gameplay is top-notch, and the story doesn't disappoint either. Awakening is probably Nintendo's most successful Fire Emblem game in the West, which is really saying something, because it overcame that boxart to become a fan-favorite 3DS title and a critical darling. Batman: Arkham City GOTY Edition What you saw at the store: Alright, this one has been beaten to near-death already (thankfully, Batman doesn't kill) but I'm here, and I'm doing it again. The first time you saw this thing sitting on the shelf, you'd be forgiven for assuming a troupe of drunken video game critics had swept through your local Gamestop and vomited on every copy of the game. It's also worth noting that the logo for the game is smaller than literally everything else, so, other than Batman's mopey mug, there's little to indicate what the hell you're even looking at. Is it an interactive Batman comic called "10 out of 10?" A scathing critique on games journalism by the artists at DC Comics? A real-world clue left by a real-world Riddler? But on the inside... Anyone who somehow looked past all that text to find they were looking at an actual video game was rewarded with the ultimate version of an already fantastic game. Arkham City is the best of the three current Batman: Arkham games, and you can argue with that if you like, but you won't win, because it's Batman, and Batman always wins. Seriously, if you haven't played it, don't let the terrifying red text scare you away - be like Batman, master your fear, and take that box to the counter. Just Cause 2 What you saw at the store: "Hello, 911? My right arm has just spontaneously exploded and is now bleeding an immensely detailed cityscape and half a helicopter, and-what? No, I haven't been doing drugs. Why do you ask?" But on the inside... See, if they'd put a picture of Rico surfing an airplane on the boxart, that would tell everyone right there that they want this game. No, that they need this game. (Incidentally, they did put exactly that on the game's Steam page.) Anyway, Just Cause 2 is a ridiculously over-the-top action game with a penchant for destruction, very little of which comes across in the boxart. You'll have an absolute blast tearing through the city in any number of vehicles, bailing out with an infinitely reloading parachute, and grappling onto anything and everything with your trusty hook. You will not, however, stand in a blank room while someone paints a nice picture just behind you, so if that's your thing, go ahead and pass this one up. Resident Evil 4 What you saw at the store: Leon? Uh, Leon... LEON THE ENEMIES ARE BEHIND YOU WHAT ARE YOU DOING?? Aside from Leon's horrid sense of direction, these boxes just seem so...boring. So typical, so cliche, like the boxes for straight to DVD B-movies. Leon kinda looks like he's just pasted in, which might actually explain why he's not looking at the enemies, because he was never really there in the first place. But on the inside... Survival horror goodness oozing from every exploded Ganado head. Okay, sure, there was a lot more action than horror, I guess, and you do spend most of your time looking at Leon toting his gun around. Still, the game definitely had the creepy atmosphere and terrifying enemies to keep things nice and unsettling, and there's really none of that on the boxart. At any rate, RE4 is generally considered the kick in the pants the series needed to become relevant again, and, countless re-releases or not, it would still stand tall as the favorite Resident Evil game of many a fan and critic alike, so at this point I suppose it doesn't really matter what they put on the box. We're going to (re)play it anyway. These are just a few of the numerous examples of good games hiding behind boring or just plain terrible boxart. Just as good things tend to come in small packages, or so we're told, sometimes great things can come in ugly packages. Or something. Anyway, what are some great games you've played that came in a terrible box? Sound off in the comments while I go write the opposite of this article, "Terrible Games Hiding Behind Great Boxes."
  7. Alright, I've been wanting to do another one of these for a while, but I wanted to write some other stuff to space these "Revised for Accuracy" entries apart. Now that that's out of the way, I figured "why not dip back into that same old well again?" "Why not see how much longer I can stretch out this joke before no one cares anymore?" "Why not ask the same questions I asked last time, but with quotation marks around them to make it look like someone else is asking them?" "Why not indeed." So anyway, here's part 2...or...3...or whatever. Far Cry 3 Revised title: Cars Die 3 This uh...just washed ashore like that. Have you tried to drive a car in this game? Did you travel farther than 30 feet or so before you crashed into a tree, careened off a cliff, or tumbled down a steep incline and landed upside down? If you said yes, you are a liar. Your punishment is to write a full essay on why Blood Dragon is so awesome. Grand Theft Auto IV Revised title: Grand Theft Fun IV "Stop, or I'll *phone rings* oh, hang on, it's my cousin. I gotta take this or he'll get mad." I know that's not very good, but this is titles revised for accuracy, not betterness. GTAIV was a notable game in a lot of ways, but, for me at least, it was notable in doing everything it possibly could to prevent you from having fun. The driving controls were awful, the missions were either boring or shootfests where you'd die every 5 seconds, and the cops, oh LORD THE COPS, they did everything in their power to prevent anything even remotely resembling fun. After a while, I gave up on GTAIV and waited for Saints Row 2 to come out, and that was the best decision I've ever made regarding anything. And hey, speaking of Saints Row... Saints Row 2 Revised title: It Only Took Saints Row 2 Games to be Better than GTA Unlike GTA, you could easily survive this. The first Saints Row was a fun game, sure, but it was still a pretty standard GTA clone. After GTAIV came out and everyone fawned over the realism, Saints Row developer Volition, Inc. took one look and said "let's do the exact opposite of that." The game is so ludicrously silly and over-the-top that it basically becomes more of a parody than a clone, and most importantly of all, every single second of it was an absolute blast. The Ballad of Gay Tony and GTAV may have eventually brought back some of the lighter and funnier elements of the GTA series, but Saints Row ratcheted up the hilarity and fun so much in Saints Row: The Third and Saints Row IV that GTA is barely a blip on my radar anymore. Just Cause 2 Revised title: Just Because 2 Because why not. I know the actual title is pronounced more like "caws" than "cuz" because you have justifiable cause for blowing everything up, but even if you didn't, I'd still be doing it anyway. Just because I could. Sonic: Lost World Revised title: Sonic: Lost Momentum Through the dark, to the light, it's a super Sonic flight... This works in two ways, but I'll start with the most obvious: Sonic Generations was pretty dang good. It was basically the first Sonic game that could appeal to fans of both the 2D style and the 3D style, while retaining all the speed and bright colors and snappy one-liners of games past without any of the boring stuff. But, if Sonic: Lost World is any indication, it was also the last game that could appeal to both fans, because Lost World doesn't have the brilliant stage design and tight controls of Generations, nor does it play the "switching between 2D and 3D" field very well. It doesn't even copy Super Mario Galaxy well, the thing it clearly set out to do. The other way it loses momentum is in the game itself, because it's far too easy to either run into sections of the stage that slow you down, or parts of the stage are intentionally designed to make you move at a pace a turtle would consider a tad sluggish. It has its moments, but Sega clearly couldn't keep up the momentum after the awesome Generations. Ride to Hell: Retribution Revised title: Why the Hell??: Much Confusion I made this exact face several times while playing. Why the hell should I care about this character's past right at the beginning? Why the hell am I suddenly on a turret? Why the hell am I chasing these guys? Why the hell do I care about his brother? For that matter, why the hell should I care about ANY of this? WHY THE HELL AM I PLAYING THIS WRETCHED GAME?? BONUS revised title: Tried to Sell: Bargain Bin Retailers tried to pawn this awful game off on people for about a week, gave up, and tossed it in the $5 bin hoping someone would buy it blindly or just for the lulz. 1001 Spikes Revised title: 1001 $?!%&$ I fell enraged. Repeating the words I've uttered while playing 1001 Spikes would be enough to get me banned from this site 25 times over. The game is ridiculously and purposely difficult, to the point of almost trolling you every time you think you're about to beat the level but get killed by that one sudden spike trap or falling block you didn't expect. There are so many ways this game can kill you, and only a couple that you can actually see coming. And since there's no checkpoints, it requires a lot of memorization to make it through a level...and you'll spill equal amounts of blood and obscenities along the way. Dragon's Crown Revised title: Dragon's Frown "No, no, no! The LARP Costume Contest is in Keep 3-C!" Look at that dragon. Not only is he not wearing a crown, he is also quite unhappy. What's wrong, Mr. Dragon? Are you upset about all these adventurers busting into your keep and trying to kill you? It's probably the adventurers. Hey, you kids! Leave poor old Mr. Dragon and his vast treasures alone! Batman: Arkham Origins - Cold, Cold Heart Revised title: Arkham Origins: Old, Old Boss Fight "I had the mouthpiece installed so you can't see the faces I'm making at you." Everyone already knows Mr. Freeze is the main villain of Cold, Cold, Heart, so it's not spoiling anything when I say he's the final boss. What I will spoil is how you beat him...and it's the exact same way you beat him in Arkham City - by hiding and using the different environment takedowns to attack him. As an added kick in the face, unlike Arkham City, Freeze doesn't learn your attack and keep you from doing it again, so you could just pop out of the same vent 5 times and he'd be none the wiser. The only thing cold about this DLC was the lack of love it had for the fans who bought it. Destroy All Humans!: Path of the Furon Revised title: Destroy This Franchise! Path to a New Studio They could keep either the PS2 era graphics or the fun. Guess which one they chose. If you've never played the original Destroy All Humans! or its sequel (imaginatively titled Destroy All Humans! 2) you could be forgiven. The games never really got a lot of hype, and aliens just weren't "in" when the games released. But if you did, you probably had an absolute blast playing them, which is no surprise since they were handled by Pandemic, who, as their name implies, were great at making chaotic and entertaining games. But after the first two games, the sequels/spinoffs were handed off to new studios, who did nothing to improve or expand the gameplay of the originals and instead just made games that were clunky and a chore to play. This 2008 Xbox 360 game in particular is notable for looking even worse than a PS2 game and having horrid framerate issues, and worse physics, despite being on a more powerful console. If aliens ever do invade us, it will be because we took a fun series about them destroying us, and turned it into utter garbage. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Hyperstone Heist Revised Title: TMNT 4.5: Hypercloned and Spliced This is definitely either TMNT4 or Hyperstone Heist. Don't ask me which one. Let me go ahead and get one thing out of the way - I love both TMNT4: Turtles in Time and TMNT: The Hyperstone Heist and enjoy playing them both...but not back to back, for fear of intense déjà vu. For those that have never played it, Hyperstone Heist is, to put it bluntly, almost entirely slapped together using assets from Turtles in Time. It reuses backgrounds, music, character sprites and animations, and other things, even when they don't make sense - a pirate ship fits in fine when you're time traveling, not so much when you're supposedly in the present day 1990's. To be fair, the stages aren't exactly like those from Turtles in Time, and include several new areas alongside the recycled content. Hyperstone Heist also features mostly new boss fights, except for the final one. Still, you have to wonder why they didn't just do a straight port of TMNT4...but regardless, the gameplay is still just as fun, and you'll be happy the heroes in a half-shell didn't skip the Genesis entirely save for that one fighting game that no one cares about. inFamous: First Light Revised title: inFamous: Fetch Quest Sure, I mean yeah, that works just as well. The main character's nickname is Fetch, and she goes on a quest of sorts. It was handed right to you and you dropped the ball, Sucker Punch! So there's part 42 or 87.3 or whatever number I'm on. What did you think? Accurately revised yet again? A sequel that could never live up to the original? Terrible in every way? Sound off in the comments, and be sure to stay tuned for Part 754!
  8. E3 2014 has officially come and gone, but the hype for the games shown is just beginning. We saw new entries in huge franchises like Halo, Mass Effect, and Super Smash Bros., and we saw a number of new IPs taking form as well, like Bloodborne, Splatoon, and whatever it is that Criterion is working on. Everyone saw different things that excited them the most, so today, for no particular reason, I'd like to share with you some of the things that really caught my eye and got me excited! The following list is in no particular order, but you'll know just by reading which ones I'm looking forward to most. And if you know me, most of it will be Nintendo. Infamous: First Light I'm a little disappointed they didn't call this Infamous: Fetch Quest, but I suppose silly puns don't set the tone for this game very well. Anyway, let me just say that I never get excited about DLC. The vast majority of it is pointless, and often too expensive for my tastes. So it's strange that I'm eagerly awaiting this stand-alone DLC for Second Son, which focuses on Abigail "Fetch" Walker instead of the original protagonist, Delsin Rowe. Fetch was a fun character to be around, and while she explained a bit of her backstory, it wasn't enough to really evoke much feeling. That looks to change with First Light, which will explain how she gained the power to control neon, her capture and imprisonment by the antagonist of the main game, and her subsequent escape. Even if the story doesn't turn out to be interesting, I'm still looking forward to having a reason to get back into the world of Second Son when First Light releases in August. Super Ultra Dead Rising 3 Arcade Remix Hyper Edition EX Plus Alpha I'm going to bodyslam all the zombies. ALL OF THEM. Jeez, try saying that in one breath. Once again, here's a piece of DLC that's caught my interest, even though it's currently on a console I don't own and thus I can't even try it out. But I'm still hoping for the chance to play it anyway because it looks ridiculously over-the-top and is absolutely filled to the brim with Capcom goodness. You can dress up as Mike Haggar and (presumably) perform jumping pile drivers on zombies, or throw on a Chun-Li costume and hit them with the ol' Hundred Rending Legs. To see all the references to Capcom series past and present makes me want to fall in love with the company all over again, despite the fact that they haven't really released or announced anything notable lately. The DLC is available as I type this, for those that are interested, but I'll be hoping it launches alongside the PC version of Dead Rising 3 later this year. Captain Toad's Treasure Tracker We're not responsible if you have SMB2 flashbacks and start throwing turnips at your friends. It's no secret that I absolutely love Super Mario 3D World. I pretty much wouldn't shut up about it for a while (also, if you haven't bought it yet, stop reading and go do that) but what I never really gushed about was the Captain Toad segments of the game. Does that mean I didn't like them? Heck no! I loved the Captain Toad mini-stages in 3D World, and now Nintendo has seen that others did too and decided to give us an entire game full of puzzling goodness. It's clear that they started with the basis of the gameplay from the 3D World version, but there was so much more on display that you'd never see in the originals, showing that Nintendo has put a lot of hard work and care into making this a worthwhile game for WiiU owners and not just a quick cash-in on a popular minigame. Look forward to tracking treasure when the game releases (no word on whether it's a physical release or eShop yet) this holiday season. No Man's Sky The Lorax is probably in there somewhere. Wow. To say No Man's Sky looks impressive is a huge understatement. While not much was revealed about the game beyond the fact that players can travel between randomly-generated planets and explore them, and optionally take parts in dogfights along the way, that's honestly enough for me. I suppose it also helps that these worlds show off strange new life forms and exotic, colorful plants, which is naturally a nice change from the brown and grey of the majority of games. The game shows massive promise, and, while that's usually just a good setup for failure or falling short of expectations, I have confidence that the team at Hello Games can pull it off and make one of the most beautiful, amazing, and immersive titles in recent memory. Look for more on the game in the coming months, because it unfortunately doesn't have a release window as of now. Code Name: S.T.E.A.M. Everyone who looked at this picture just got naturalized as a US citizen. Strike Team Eliminating the Alien Menace. That tells you pretty much everything you need to know, but I suppose I should elaborate a little more. This was a new IP revealed by Nintendo for the 3DS, and it looks brilliant. It's a strategy game being designed by a team at Intelligent Systems, known for their work on the Fire Emblem and Advance Wars series, so you can be sure they know what they're doing. As you might guess from the acronym, the game revolves around steam, so naturally it has quite a lot of steampunk flavor. It also draws from the H.P. Lovecraft mythos, so those elements, combined with the usual Nintendo charm, should make for quite a spectacle. From a gameplay standpoint, it borrows from the strategy RPGs the developer is known for, but also incorporates elements of a third-person shooter. It should be a lot of fun to play, so look for it when it launches sometime in 2015. Batman: Arkham Knight "I'm still not seeing why they delayed my game until next year, Oracle." We've known about Arkham Knight for a little while now, but that doesn't make me any less excited to play it. In fact, seeing it in action at E3 only made me even more anxious to slip back into the Batsuit and lay the beatdown on some thugs. Arkham Knight is being developed again by the original creators at Rocksteady Studios, which is great news for anyone (like me) who was more than a bit underwhelmed by Arkham Origins. The new game also introduces a drivable Batmobile, so you can bet if Batman needs a set of wheels to get around, the size of Gotham has increased quite a bit from previous games. The game also looks great too, which it should, since it's not being developed for last-gen consoles - only PS4, Xbox One, and PC owners will get to play Batman: Arkham Knight when it launches in 2015. Hyrule Warriors Me? Excited for Hyrule Warriors? How could you tell? Kidding aside, it's going to take a lot for me to talk about this game in a coherent manner without bursting into capitalized ramblings on how awesome it's gonna be, but I'll do my best. Hyrule Warriors, if you haven't been paying attention since the game was revealed a couple of months ago, is exactly what it sounds like - a mash-up of the Zelda franchise and the Warriors (Dynasty, Samurai, you know) franchise from Tecmo-Koei. This means massive maps filled to the brim with puny enemies just waiting for a good slashing, which you, as one of a number of Zelda characters, will be all too happy to give. However, it's not just Dynasty Warriors in a Link costume - there are also Zelda elements to be found, such as sub-items you can carry and use in battle, chests which contain yet more sub-items, and even huge bosses to take down by hitting their weak point with whatever sub-item you acquired on that map. Being a huge fan of both franchises, the marriage of the two gameplay styles looks like it will be an amazingly fun experience, and I hope you're all as excited as I am (well, maybe a little less, because I'm insanely excited) to play Hyrule Warriors when it drops on September 26. Super Smash Bros. 3DS/WiiU My entire childhood and then some is in this game. Oh boy, here we go. Remember how I said I could barely talk about Hyrule Warriors without wanting to explode with fanboy delight? Well, go ahead and multiply that by about 1000, because I don't know how long I can wait to play the next entry in the Super Smash Bros. series. The huge lineup of newcomers, the fan favorite returning characters, the inventive and interactive stages, the insane number of items both new and old, the new modes, the...EVERYTHING! Nintendo dropped some megaton announcements at E3 (Pac-Man! character customization and power ups! October 3 for 3DS!!!) and every single one just made me wish I could skip ahead to the day the 3DS version releases, because nothing could possibly excite me more than taking that game home on release day (there's no way I'm buying it online and waiting) and popping it in my 3DS to get down to smashing. And of course, once the WiiU version comes out, I doubt anyone will ever see me again because I'll be too busy playing Smash Bros...you might have to just join me in an online battle to make sure I'm okay. Look forward to smashing your friends on October 3 for the 3DS version and sometime in Winter 2014 for the WiiU version. That's just some of the things I saw that really got me excited, that really made me say "wow, I cannot wait until that game comes out!" Of course, if I listed every single game I'm interested in, you'd never finish reading this. So what about you? What games are on your wishlist and watchlist? What surprise reveals gave you the inexplicable urge to hop up and dance? Sound off in the comments so we can both be excited!
  9. Or maybe it's technically Part 2. Either way. A few days ago, I revised the titles of upcoming games to make them more accurate. But why stop there? Why not include games that have already been released in the fun? Why not see how many times I can rehash the same joke before it gets old? Why not indeed. So here's a selection of video games that have had their titles updated to be more accurate, with maybe more to follow! NHL Hitz Revised name: People Only Watch NHL For the Hitz Anyway This image bleeds excitement. The NHL Hitz "series" (all whopping three games of it) is the NFL Blitz series' Canadian cousin. The basic premise is that it's hockey, but more arcadey-style and with more hitting. So basically, it's exactly like real hockey, but maybe with less rules. Or maybe more. No one's really sure because no one knows what hockey is supposed to be. The only reason people watch it is for the violence, because that's the only way to keep the audience (and the players, probably) from getting bored. EA took that and put it in video game form, and Hitz was born. And then died a few years later. Putty Squad Revised name: Whutty Squad? Gaze upon the true power of the PS4. Did you know there was a Putty Squad remake on PS4? Did you know they're releasing it as a boxed retail game for $30 instead of releasing it digitally for like, a normal price for that type of game? Actually, better question: Did you know that the original Putty Squad for SNES (Super Putty in the US) ever existed? Because the developers apparently forgot that nostalgia only works on things people actually remember. inFamous Revised name: inFamously Repetitive Missions *zap* Go here. Zap these guys. Go over there. Zap those guys while maybe not zapping the guys who aren't bad guys. Go get that package from the guy you zapped. Go get that package and THEN zap that guy. Go back three spaces and zap those guys. Do not pass go, unless you zap those guys first. DID YOU ZAP THOSE GUYS YET COLE??? Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons Revised name: Blunders: A Tale of Two Sticks Which button makes the older brother cram the younger one into that cage? Have you ever played a game where you had to control two characters at once with one controller? If you have, it was Brothers. Or maybe Ibb & Obb if you don't have any friends, but that's not the point. Brothers has two brothers (who'd have guessed?) but the game is single-player only, so you have to move both of them around with each thumbstick and perform actions with the buttons assigned to them. If you've never played a video game drunk, play this, and you'll get the same feeling. Castlevania: Lords of Shadow Revised name: Castlevania: Lords of the Franchise "Excuseth me, English, but mightn't I take this fork to your horse?" Because Konami has pretty much just handed MercurySteam the keys. It's unlikely we'll see the franchise going back to its 2D roots (Mirror of Fate doesn't count and you know it) anytime soon, if the words of the LoS series producer are anything to go by. Aliens: Colonial Marines Revised name: Aliens: Colossal Mistake I will make any excuse to use this GIF. Truth time: I've never seen Alien. Or Aliens. Or the other movies, which are terrible and I'm told I shouldn't see them anyway. But I have played a couple of Alien video games, and Colonial Marines is the only one I consider to be a mistake that should have been terminated halfway through development. Like, seriously, someone walking in and seeing that game on the screen should have just destroyed every devkit and computer in Gearbox's (or whatever company actually did most of the work) offices. But instead, this thing burst through the chest of the gaming scene, ruining everyone's dinner and fond memories of the franchise in one fell swoop. And hey, while we're on the subject of Gearbox's terrible FPS games... Duke Nukem Forever Revised name: Duke Nukem Should Have Been Delayed Forever Of the porcelain throne. Too easy, I know, but I'm doing it anyway. DNF was already a dead horse before it came out, so by this point I'm only beating on the skeleton. But it really, really should not have ever been released. It took 14 years to not get finished, and then they released it anyway. 3D Realms and 2K should have just washed their hands of the whole thing and moved on to more important, less bank draining matters. But alas, much like the aliens who keep invading Duke's city, some people never learn until it's too late. And then they come back and do it again anyway. Pocket Fighter Revised name: Slightly Smaller Than Usual Fighter Behold, the treasure of Shinbeard. Look at Sakura's head! It's like the size a cantaloupe! And look at freakin' Zangief! There is no way you're getting any of these fighters in your pocket, unless you are a kangaroo. Killzone 2 Revised name: Whack-A-Molezone 2 A glimpse of the elusive Helghast in a rare moment of not being in cover. Those Helghast sure look pretty menacing, don't they? With their glowing orange goggles and their...breathing apparatuses. And their helmets! Don't forget the helmets. That must be why those guys feature on the cover of the first three games instead of the actual heroes. They're totally badass! Except when they're actually, you know, in the game. Once you see them in action, you'll see that once they get behind cover, their orders consist of "pop out and shoot, duck, pop out and shoot, duck, etc. etc. until you're dead." Killzone 3 was a little better at least, in that some of the enemies were programmed with loneliness and would come find you if they couldn't see you. Watchmen: The End is Nigh Revised name: Watchmen: The End Can't Come Fast Enough Your rage meter fills up in real time as your contempt for this game rises. This game is absolutely awful, and playing it is a chore. If you soldier through to the end because you want achievements or because you hate fun, you'll find yourself wishing the game would end every step of the way. The game isn't really that long (taking into account both parts) but everything, particularly the combat, is so slow and plodding it feels like it drags on forever. Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots Revised name: Movie Gear Solid 4: Hours of Talking About Guns and the Patriots Legend has it you get to control some of this occasionally. Come on, this was unavoidable. So what do you think? Accurately revised? Not even close? What the hell is a Putty Squad? Whatever you have to say, feel free to say it down in the comments!
  10. This started out as a couple of dumb one-off jokes I made earlier today, but then I realized...why not go further with it? Why not make it a number of dumb jokes? Why not indeed. So, in today's post, I'll be talking about some upcoming video games that are taking way too long to come out. But not just that - I'll also be revising their names to more accurately portray their current state and poking a little fun at them along the way. I've got my poking stick set to "stun" and my jokes set to "kill," so let's get this thing on the road! Agent Revised name: Undercover Agent This is literally the game's entire existence. Do you remember Agent? No? No one does, so if you said yes, go sit in time out, Mr. or Ms. Pants on Fire. It was announced in 2009 or so, and since then there's been nothing - total radio silence. Suffice it to say, it appears Agent has gone deep undercover, so until Rockstar pulls him from active duty, he won't be seen in the public eye unless he's in disguise. Let's just hope Momma Agent doesn't get a letter saying he was KIA. Final Fantasy XV Revised name: Final Fantasy 2015, At the Earliest Revised revised name: Pretty Boys with Sharpened Toys At first they were going to call it Final Fantasy Versus XIII, which is a heck of a mouthful. Makes sense to shorten the title a bit, especially after it's completely failed to show up on store shelves since its announcement in 2006, right? But Squenix wasn't just shortening the name, they were telling us something. Something to do with 15...what does it mean? Well, I've deduced that it means 2015 is the absolute earliest we'll see this game on store shelves. So if they rename it to FFXVI, be prepared to wait another couple of years, at least. The Last Guardian revised name: The Last Guardian of the PS3's Legacy "Woof! I mean...meow! I mean...hold on, let me think about this." Let's pretend for a moment that The Last Guardian is still coming to PS3, because that may be the only way for some of you to hold back the tears. Got rid of the sniffles yet? Good, let's move on. The Last Guardian has been "in development" for a while, being announced in 2009, and has always been slated to come out on PS3. Since it looks like the PS3's lifetime will expire before this game ever comes out, I've taken the liberty of crowning it the Guardian of the PS3's Legacy. Once every PS3 game that will ever be released has come out, ol' Trico will finally spread his wings and soar onto the system to secure the console's legacy with one final, amazing game. Unless it turns out to be terrible, like most games that stew in development hell for years, but let's just do what it takes to keep from crying and hope for the best. Beyond Good & Evil 2 Revised name: Beyond Good Graphics and Evil Executives 2 Still waiting. BG&E was a fan favorite and a critical success, but it didn't really do well commercially, so fans were ecstatic when it was announced the game was getting a sequel in 2008. And yet now they've been waiting...and waiting...and waiting. At this point, I'd like to think that by the time the game finally does come out it will have amazingly advanced graphics, probably powered by the Playstation 5, Xbox Two, and Wii U Me, and the developers will have finally found a way to convince the publishing bosses that the game will turn a profit. Prey 2 Revised name: A Longer Development Cycle than Prey, 2 Now with twice the prey! Prey 2 was announced in 2011 or so, but they've been pretty quiet since Bethesda told everyone that it was being polished up to their standards. What standards those are, exactly, we'll never know, but it probably involves releasing it with a host of hilarious glitches. In any case, the original Prey took around 12 years to finally see the light of day, and while Prey 2 has only gotten a few years in, the complete lack of any new info points to the developers trying to match or exceed that cycle. I'm pretty sure at that point it stops being "development hell" and turns into "development hell frozen over." Kingdom Hearts 3 Revised name: We Ran Out of Kingdom Hearts Spinoffs 3 I'm confused about those 3 things behind the logo too, Sora. It finally happened. After so many long years, we finally have confirmation. It's what we all expected, all hoped, all secretly knew. And our waiting has paid off as Square Enix has revealed...that it has finally run out of Kingdom Hearts spinoffs. Half-Life 3 Revised name: No-Life 3 While you wait, enjoy this mockup that took someone literally seconds to make. Because people who are still going around looking for clues of this game's existence have no life. That, and the game itself doesn't have a life, since it doesn't exist. It's a double whammy of painful realization! Starcraft: Ghost Revised name: Starcraft: Ghost I don't know if this is an actual screenshot. No one remembers what the game looks like. Oh, wait. Some of you may be saying that these are the same games I featured in a past article (welcome back, Señor or Señora Pantalones de Fuego) but I talked about them differently this time, so it makes it new. So nyah. So what do you think? Did I hit the nail on the head with my revised names? Do you have a better name for any of these? Or do you not care either way and just want to sound off in the comments about something else? Whatever the case, head on down there and speak your mind!
  11. Guest

    Change of Heart

    What are some characters you thought you where going to dislike or be annoyed by. When you first started the game or saw videos of it. But after playing the game those characters really grew on you? Or what are some characters you got excited about and thought you where going to like but you ended up disliking them. I thought i was going to be meh about Noel from Final Fantasy 13-2. But the more i played the more he grew on me. I cant really say why though considering he was exactly what i expected him to be lol. Navi from Ocarina of time. When i first met her as a child i thought. "Cool someone to help me and accompany me on my journey" after a few "hey listen!"s I wanted to stick her in a bottle like a health fairy but instead of keeping her ditching the bottle in the lost woods. What about you guys? Any characters surprise you in a good way or in a bad way?
  12. Thanks to a group of Europeans stealing land from Native Americans once upon a time, people in the land of the free have a holiday where we give thanks for being able to consume very large amounts of food. This holiday is, of course, Thanksgiving. But as gamers, we have certain other reasons to be thankful. Whether a bad game got an overhaul and became good, a game was localized that we weren“t expecting to be, or a game is just sooooooooo good, there are plenty of games we can be thankful for. So let“s take a moment and give our thanks for 10 games that came out of 2013. Note: This list is in no particular order. They“re still numbered, though, because SHUT UP AND JUST GO WITH IT. #10 Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Did you ever play Final Fantasy XIV when it was first released? Remember the disappointment? The anger? The murderous thoughts flowing through your mind? That wasn“t just me, was it…? Whether it was or not, there“s no question that many gamers were disappointed, and for many different reasons. So then Square Enix goes and listens to the angry letters and just sorta “rebirths†the game, breathing new life into it to create what is essentially the “A Realm Reborn†version. And guess what – the game is good now! So good, in fact, that I must give Squeenix my thanks. 14 of my thanks. ​ #9 Fire Emblem: Awakening A fact you may not be aware of, Fire Emblem: Awakening was almost the very last entry into the series. Prior to that game, sales were spiraling downward with each new entry. But all that changed when this 3DS title became a massive success in both Japan and the U.S. One could say Awakening was a big “awakening†for the franchise. …Okay, that was bad… But of course, the level of success this game was met with was met with for good reason – it kicks ass. If you think about it, this game kinda pulled a Final Fantasy, as it was almost the final game until it became more successful than expected. Though in Fire Emblem“s case, there were other entries before it, but that“s beside the point. And while we should all be thankful for this game being so good, I“m sure Nintendo themselves are very thankful for it saving their beloved franchise. ​ #8 Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch Ever watched a Studio Ghibli film? You“ve sure been missing out if you haven“t. In fact, as a gamer who has been a big Ghibli fan since the days of Hayao Miyazaki“s Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away, I“ve wanted to play a game made by the studio, in the same style as something they“d make, for a very long time. With Ni no Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch, that dream finally became a reality. Obviously, Studio Ghibli didn“t create the game themselves, as Level-5 played a big part in its development, but still. It“s by no means a perfect game, but just the way it looks and feels gives me that Ghibli level of joy. And for that, I am truly thankful. ​ #7 EarthBound Sure, EarthBound actually came out for the SNES back in the 90s, but have you seen the price it goes for these days? You certainly can“t give anyone $100 and expect to walk away with the game, I“ll tell you that much. Well, maybe if they were old people selling it at a garage sale without doing any research, in which case BUY IT, BUY IT, BUY IT! Other than owning a legitimate copy, your only real option was always to, y“know, break the law. But in 2013, it finally happened. After gamers everywhere begged Nintendo for a re-release, whether through the Virtual Console on the Wii, Wii U, or 3DS, or just some collection thingy, the Big N finally gave it to us through the Wii U eShop. Thank you Nintendo. Now I can finally stop breaking the law. And for around $10, that ain“t bad. ​ #6 Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies Remember the sequel to Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth? I wouldn“t be surprised if you don“t, seeing how Capcom refused to translate the game into English. And because of that, many gamers were wondering whether the 5th entry into the core series would suffer the same fate or not. Especially with Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney taking so freaking long. But alas, it happened. We were stuck with a digital-only release, keeping us English-speaking peoples from having a choice in the matter, but it happened. And not only was the game given a release that would allow to play it, but it ended up being a fantastic game in its own Wright right. Seriously, Capcom, I owe you one. Actually, I owe you about $30 plus tax. Which I paid. So I guess we“re even. Thanks anyway, though. ​ #5 Pokémon X/Y Pokémon was born way back in 1996. And ever since the first entries, whether you knew them as Pokémon Red and Green or Pokémon Red and Blue, the style of the following generations has largely remained the same, while receiving updates to accommodate the advancements in technology. And while the 5th generation, which included Pokémon Black and White, followed by Pokémon Black 2 and White 2, received a certain level of 3-dimensional upgrades, it wasn“t until the following generation that the series made its true transition into 3D. As far as 3-dimensional transitions go, Pokémon X and Y was seamless. The series was transformed while not taking away all we (the fans) had come to love from the series. It was time for an upgrade, and Game Freak, Inc. not only pulled it off brilliantly, but ended up creating quite possibly the greatest Pokémon generation to date. Thanks, guys, for making something so awesome. ​ #4 Tomb Raider There are times in a franchise“s life when its parents/guardians must make the decision to either keep it running the course it“s on or give it a reboot. And once Tomb Raider received its new guardians in the form of Crystal Dynamics, it seemed it was time for the latter option. And while some franchise reboots are…questionable (did you know Sonic “06 was intended to be one?), others manage to pull it off fairly well. In Tomb Raider“s case, we got a reboot that was actually a pretty fantastic game. No more was protagonist Lara Croft known as just some badass chick with some, uh, noticeable features; she was actually a deep, compelling character that the player could feel for (assuming they have emotions) in “Tomb Raider Reborn.†The game still has its flaws, but I still found the game to be quite a bit better than the original. Thank you for making a successful reboot, Mr. and Mrs. Dynamics. I appreciate that. ​ #3 Rocksmith 2014 Before you call me a cheater for throwing a 2014 game into a 2013 list, hear me out! Rocksmith 2014 was most definitely released this year; in October, in fact. The name of this game/educational tool/jam session? seems to fall in line with all those sports games that have the following year tacked onto the current year“s game title. But that“s not what“s important here. What IS important is the fact that Rocksmith 2014 is just plain awesome. It“s essentially the same thing as Rocksmith, but turned up to 11 (see what I did there?). Seriously, never have I had such an easy time attempting to learn guitar while also having a similar level of fun as when I play Guitar Hero or Rock Band. What Rocksmith helps me accomplish, Rocksmith 2014 does better. And for that, I am grateful. ​ #2 The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds Many a Zelda fan who was alive in the 90s will tell you that if they had to choose a favorite, they would choose A Link to the Past. Some will likely go with Ocarina of Time, but there“s no denying that A Link to the Past was a compelling game for a lot of people. So it“s exciting to see a sequel that takes place in the same world(s) (unlike the Oracle games and Link“s Awakening) and plays so similarly. And you know what? It might just be as good, too. Nintendo always has a knack for introducing new mechanics into a game, basing the game around that mechanic, and ending up with something truly magical. The whole Link drawing thing is actually really cool and adds an interesting level of challenge. There“s a lot more I could say about this game, but I“ll refrain from drawing out why I“m so thankful for this game. Just my saying it“s a sequel to A Link to the Past should be reason enough. ​ #1 Super Mario 3D World Back at E3, when Super Mario 3D World was first announced, many gamers were a bit disappointed by the way it looked. Unimpressed, a lot of people were asking Nintendo to just give us another Galaxy instead. But then more trailers were released, and people began giving their opinions a 180. And now that the game is out, we now know just how freaking fantastic this game is. Not only is Super Mario 3D World a really, really, really fun game for solo players, but when you play it with family and friends, the level of fun rises tenfold. Seriously, the sheer level of enjoyment I get from playing this game reminds me of why I got a Wii U in the first place. This game is bliss, Nintendo, and I am truly thankful for that. Do you agree with any of the games in this list? What games are you thankful for this year?
  13. Royzoga

    First Impression - Tales of Xillia

    So, after playing around 15 hours of Tales of Xillia, I feel there has been enough time to write a first impression. Now, if you know me, you know I love the Tales of series, favorite being Symphonia. It seems rather inevitable at this point, but I have a feeling that I will not be able to keep myself from relating this to other games in the series. I guess you“ll see that momentarily though! When it comes to a Tales of game, it always feels impossible not to relate characters, story, combat even, to its predecessors. Sadly, I can“t help feeling that“s the vast majority of the time that I“ve been playing Xillia, I“ve been comparing it to others. Now luckily, this doesn“t mean that I don“t like the game. No, far from it. I rather enjoy it, but for a large chunk of the 15 hours that I“ve played I can“t help but feeling I“ve seen it all before. But then again, this the Tales of series 15th anniversary game. There has to be some similarities right? Let“s talk combat first, one of the things I love about Xillia. It“s fluid, there are simple tutorials, it feels like I can really mix and match whatever I want and not just a set combo, and most importantly, I don“t, or at least haven“t dreaded going into random encounters yet. I remember with Legendia, by the 15 hour mark I was already starting to run from every other fight! But no, Xillia combines an interesting link system with a multitude of different partners, adding tons of combinations of link artes and then chain artes to follow. Something else worth noting is the level up system. A grid based almost skill tree set up showing prerequisite orbs and nodes needed to learn new abilities. It reminds me of the crystarium system for Final Fantasy XIII. God, I love these. Being able to choose how my character levels up in a JRPG is such a nice feeling. I mean sure, in the back of my head I know that all the characters are going to get all the nodes eventually, but just the feeling of choosing certain ones first feels...empowering? Sadly, this is also where I have a problem with the game. Being able to choose how my characters level up, combined with constant combination of artes and link abilities tend to make battles a bit easy. I mean, I“m only playing on Normal, but I still expect some sort of challenge, like there was in Symphonia and Vesperia. Now, when I say easy, I mean I“m 15 hours into the game and have yet to lose a single character in battle. No one has died, I haven“t received a game over, I haven“t felt the need to grind. However, I might just up the difficulty to adjust for this feeling. Just for the sake of mentioning them, the graphics are nice, cell shaded looks gorgeous as well as the animated style cut scenes. Not to mention the battles, skills and artes look great. The music as well, it sounds incredible, the transition from field to battle is just pleasant. Compared to other games like Symphonia and Vesperia, the music is a tad of a let down, but still pleasant. In terms of story and characters, I feel like Xillia undercuts rather harshly. From the beginning of the game I couldn“t help but feel rather lost. There was no world exposition, no explanation, no time lapse given and after 15 hours of playing, I can still say the world is rather...aloof to me. Meaning that this deep back story that characters refer to rather often has yet to be fully explained. At least that“s the feeling I“m getting. The story reminds me heavily of Symphonia, but that“s not good. And the fact that you can choose to play as either Jude or Milla feels completely pointless and merely a way to get people play through the game twice. Jude is much more interesting anyway. When I say not good, I mean more disappointing than anything. Characters as well, with the exception of a few. Milla is a boring Collette Brunel, Jude is a less serious Senel Coolidge, and the list can go on. Oddly enough, I rather enjoy Alvin as he reminds me heavily of Zelos Wilder and Yuri Lowell. This combined with the overarching feeling of...“why the hell am I going here, when the main objective is over there“ syndrome. Not to mention all of the port towns look exactly the same, and the lack of an actual overworld is incredibly disturbing. Now like I mentioned before, I“m not having a bad experience with this game. I“m rather enjoying it, but I feel as though I“m starting to recognize a pattern with the Tales of series, a lack of originality. If this is the future of the series, I“m a bit nervous. Current Score: 7 / 10 Good I look forward to finishing Xillia, I just hope Milla develops more into the main female character I“ve come to expect from the Tales of series.
  14. Royzoga

    Summer Trip Shtuff 2013

    So, seeing that my partner in crime, Ludono, has already posted his swag collection, I figured I should finally get off my lazy butt and take a few pictures of my own. Now, I'm a little different from him, being primarily a gamer first, and then an anime lover. My purchases clearly reflected this, as you will see, but that's not to say you won't see some anime. But I guess I'll just show you then! So, yeah. I got like 30 games, and I believe only about 19 of them or so are for me. I'll note which ones I'm keeping and which are gifts or give away type shtuff for the time to come. PSP Games (L to R) - .dotHack//Link - Semi-Limited Edition (There was a DVD and BD version, I got the DVD one) - Tales of the Heroes: Twin Brave - Limited Edition - Horizon on the Middle of Nowhere - Limited Edition - Sword Art Online - Limited Edition - Tales of VS - Tales of the Heroes: Twin Brave (Have both LE and Standard, the latter of which will most likely be given away!) - Tales of the World Radiant Mythology 2 - Tales of the World Radiant Mythology 3 - Nise no Chigiri Omoide no Saki e (Visual novel thing? No idea, gonna be awesome though!) - Jikandia: The Timeless Land - Ragnarok Tactics - Mana Khemia: Student Alliance Oh hey, did I ever mention that I'm a big Tales of Series fan? No? Well, now I have almost all of them! Well, all of the PSP ones now at least. Anyway, on to... PS3 Games (L to R) - Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Japanese Collector's Edition (A gift for a friend) - .dotHack//Versus (Also with the movie, luckily on the same disc!) - Tales of Xillia 2 (A gift for a friend) - Dragon's Crown with Art Book (Kinda cheating, but it was there when I got home!) - Tales of Xillia - Collector's Edition (Same as Dragon's Crown) Just started playing Xillia yesterday too, luckily I have a few days off so I can sink a ton of time into it, as well as anime and catching myself up on GP life! Wii / PS2 / X360 Games (L to R) - Little King's Story - Namco X Capcom - Capcom Fighting Jam (Came with some sort of DVD, a gift for a friend) - Secret of Evangelion (Um...give away game?) - The Last Remnant I didn't feel like I got enough of any of these games to warrant their own section so I just combined them. PSP really seemed to dominate my purchases. Oddly enough all these next ones are gifts, I have a lot of older friends and co-workers that'd really like this stuff haha. Super Famicom Games (L to R) - Chrono Trigger (A gift for a friend) - Final Fantasy V (A gift for a friend) - Final Fantasy VI (A gift for a friend) - Fire Emblem (A gift for a friend) - Super Mario RPG (A gift for a friend) - Street Fighter 2 (IN BOX, a gift for a friend) Surprisingly, none of these games are particularly rare over in Japan, making them good 'collector's' items instead of just something to play. Or at least that's what I was going for. Luckily at least one of these next ones are actually mine! NDS / PS1 Games (U to D, L to R, sorry weird picture) - Fire Emblem: Shin Monsho no Nazo ~ Hikario to Kage no Eiyu - Spectral Force Genesis - Brave Fencer Musashiden (A gift for a friend) - Soul Edge (A gift for a friend) Alright so maybe most of those were friends too, but hey, they got me Christmas presents, only fair to return some sort of favor right? And these last ones are the anime related things I got, models to be specific. I was never too fond of figure collecting, but something about building a model seemed rather cool to me, especially when they're from anime I loved or greatly enjoyed. Models (L to R) - Valvrave Unit 1: Hito / Red - Valvrave Unit 3: Hikaminari / Yellow (Only two released at the time or would have gotten Blue and Purple, maybe just Green as well to complete the set!) - Shining Gundam I plan on building those sometime in the near future as well. And that's pretty much it, so what do you think? Good or bad haul, did I waste my money or take advantage of my time over seas?
  15. Code of Princess is an action RPG for the 3DS system developed by Agatsuma Entertainment and published by Atlus, and is considered a spiritual successor to the Sega Saturn game Guardian Heroes. I received the game today and played it for a while, and here's what I think so far. The story starts out pretty standard RPG fare - men and monsters have lived separately in peace and never really bothered each other, until one day for some (as yet unexplained) reason the monsters decide to wage war against the humans. Cities are in panic, armies are falling, etc. etc...you've heard it all before. As monsters are attacking the kingdom of Deluxia, the king commands his daugher, the Princess Solange Blanchfluer De Lux, to take the legendary sword Deluxcalibur and escape the castle. As it turns out, monsters aren't the only problem - a group known as the Distron Army is out to find Deluxcalibur for their own purposes. Being an Atlus RPG, the story is told through still-portrait dialogue and text, most of which is voiced, but not all. The writing is good so far, and has the usual dash of humor you'd expect from an Atlus translation, like two characters named Emble and Semble who can't remember which one of them is which.The characters all have different personalities, and they're all fairly likeable, from the Princess herself to her first companion, a female thief named Ali, to the gloomy necromancer/zombie Zozo, who, despite being made of "spare" body parts, claims she is not a zombie. All the characters you meet in the first hour or so, hero or villain, all have some defining feature that sets them apart from each other, and in some cases, sets them apart from most other typical RPG characters. As for the overall look and feel of the game, the graphics are nice, with large, detailed sprites and nicely drawn character portraits. The character designs so far are pretty typical of RPGs, but they're still nice to look at. The sound, meanwhile, took a backseat to the action most of the time. The voice-over work is done well for the most part, and the sound effects do their job, but the music doesn't really stand out. During dialogue and menus was the only time I really heard the music, in battles it may as well have not been there because it was subdued by my concentration on what was happening on screen. So how does the game actually play? Well, at it's core, the game is a 2D beat 'em up with RPG elements. You choose your character, choose some equipment that affects your stats, and jump into arena-style battles against several opponents. I say arena style, but some of the levels are fairly open, but it's not the same type of beat 'em up as say, Final Fight where you travel through long levels. You perform attacks with A and B and can mix them up for combos, and L or R block incoming attacks. Pressing the Y button performs an attack that, if it connects, will lock you on to that opponent, and opponents you're locked on to take extra damage. Pressing X puts you in Burst mode, which is standard "overdrive" mode where your attacks do more damage, and sometimes your equipment gives Burst mode other effects such as healing. Each stage has three "planes" that you can jump between, meaning you can jump to the foreground or background of the stage, or in the middle. The only real advantage to this is escaping enemy attacks, since enemies sometimes take a second to follow you, which gives a bit of breathing room, because there will often be a large number of enemies. Sometimes this many, sometimes more than this many. Which brings me to my one gripe about this game so far - the more action happening on the screen, the slower the game moves. There are framerate troubles abound, which really takes away from what would have benefited from being fast-paced experience. It's worse with the 3D slider turned up, but, fortunately, the 3D effect doesn't really add anything to the game, so you'd do better to play with the slider as low as possible. It's not enough to break the deal, mind, but it definitely hinders the overall experience somewhat. Getting back to the topic at hand though, once you finish a brawl, your selected character is awarded XP points, and leveling up allows you to boost your characters stats - the usual stuff, HP, MP (used for special attacks, which are done via fighting game-style button combinations) defense and so on. You're also awarded new equipment, which changes your stats in various ways, or simply provides extra benefits like defense against fire or added effects to your Burst mode. If you spend a lot of time with one character and level him or her up constantly, then decide to switch, you may find your new chosen character isn't strong enough, and that's where free play mode comes in. It's pretty much what it sounds like - play any level you've already cleared, with any character. There are also multiplayer modes, versus and co-op, neither of which I've tried or probably will try. All in all, Code of Princess is a fun game so far, one only hindered by some framerate issues that don't ruin the game, but certainly detract from it. But I've had a lot of fun with it so far, and I can see myself spending some quality time with it. If you've been on the fence about buying this game, I hope my impressions will help you reach a conclusion.
  16. Developer: Slant Six Games / Capcom Publisher: Capcom Platform(s): Playstation 3, Windows PC, Xbox 360 Release Dates: March 20th, 2012 for Consoles, May 18th, 2012 for PC ESRB: M Note: This review is based on the Playstation 3 version of the game. Alright, let's stop for a second a breath. No this isn't going to be an attack, no it's not going to be a complete bash, and with Resident Evil Revelations HD right around the corner it felt relevant. That being said, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City (ORC) is by no means a great game, but not necessarily a terrible one either. Fans of the series will no doubt be rather turned off by the third-person, cover based shooter, as opposed to the traditional tank controlled horror survival of the classic Resident Evil entrants. As I mentioned in my Resident Evil 6 review, different isn't always bad, maybe not great, but certainly not bad. Capcom needs to make fresh with the zombie slaying franchise, especially after 8 main entries (yes, Zero and Code Veronica count), a ton of spin offs, and even rail shooters. Right off the bat, the game takes place during one of the most popular times in the Resident Evil universe, around the second and third entries. Kudos for at least understanding that a lot of fans wanted to return to this time. Even characters like Leon S. Kennedy, Jill Valentine, Claire Redfiled, and Carlos Oliviera make appearances, although unsure whether all their appearances were considered canon or not, are least nice to see. Something important to remember about the game as well is that the squad the player belongs to are not survivors. They weren't stranded in Raccoon City, they weren't infected are trying to find a cure, they are a highly trained, armed to the teeth rag tag group of soldiers trained to deal with this kind of situation. The game never felt like it wasn't either, at least it had some continuity to how the game feels! Campaign missions for Umbrella's personal clean up squad, the Wolfpack, prove to be quite challenging at times and rather entertaining, as well as lengthy. Chapters can take upwards of 45 minutes, and as fast as 20, sometimes less depending on skill. Add in another equally long campaign through DLC and you've sunk at least 20 hours on a coherent, co-op ride. Something else worth noting is the level of customization. Each campaign has six characters to choose from, of which only four will follow into the fight. The six classes those characters represent are the tank like soldier, the Bio-Organic Weapon (B.O.W.) controlling field scientist, the infection curing medic, the stealthy cloaking recon, the enemy spotting surveillance, and the explosives expert demolitions. Each class has 1 of 3 powers to choose from, as well as a huge array of primary weapons and secondary hand guns. On a related note, the AI actually prove to be extremely helpful, especially during the professional runs of each chapter. Even the online multiplayer seems fun, containing four different modes ranging from a death matches, to capture the flag, to surviving until a rescue helicopter arrives, and heroes mode, where characters will duke it out with their favorite heroes and villains from the series. Unfortunately, as experienced recently, the game does suffer from some...odd net code design, making it hard for people to join other's games. Even the lobby's, private and public alike, have an extremely small timing window for other players to join! Sadly, the negatives don't end there either. While sometimes the AI act like you want, you'll find a lot of times where they walk in front of your shots, grenades, or refuse to heal you despite being on your last bit of health. This is further worsened by the fact that there is no way to instruct them or command them to do actions, which the game claims there is. After nearly 30 hours of campaign play and trying these commands, Ludono and I can assure the others that it is impossible unfortunately. With a game like this, that's trying to branch out and break away from the norm set by the series, it's crucial that all the game plays right. That there are no bugs, that things work the way they were designed to work, and that the game is fun. With Operation Raccoon City you'll be lucky to get two of them from time to time. While the hate of this game from the fans of this series feels a little unwarranted, there have definitely been moments where the game has made me stop, almost unsure if I wanted to continue. I can say now, after playing such a long amount of it that I'm glad I did not stop, that I continued to play. Despite having some easily noticeable flaws, Operation Raccoon City still has a certain charm to it, that continues to pull back to it from time to time. Pros: +Tons of playtime to be sunk into campaign as well as a relatively fun multiplayer +Great Co-Op experience +Incredible amount of unlockables and customization with six different classes to play as Cons: -Easily noticeable flaws with AI and lack of control -Feels buggy at times especially when zombies can attack you during cut scenes -Rather annoying squad system to invite friends to play any game type Overall: 6.5/10 Decent Operation Raccon City may not be the Resident Evil game we all wanted, but it's still quite enjoyable, especially with a partner. If you haven't already, please head over to http://afgg.wordpress.com/ for more gaming reviews and related things. Or if you're in the mood for anime, head on over to http://monthlyanimereview.wordpress.com/ Thanks for reading!
  17. I remember Gai posting the game depression quest a while ago. It was a pretty good game and this video really gives an inside in to the blurred line of being depressed and playing video games vs playing video games and getting depressed. I'm glad gamespot did this video most gaming sites don't want to even bring light to this kinds of topics because it's "bad for business" but gamespot took it head on with a non judgmental way. I hope to see more of this kinds of videos from them as I learned a lot and could relate to some of the things they where going through.
  18. Royzoga

    Review - Resident Evil 6 + DLC

    Developer: Capcom Publisher: Capcom Platform(s): Playstation 3, Windows PC, Xbox 360 Release Dates: October 2nd, 2012 for consoles, March 22nd 2013 for PC ESRB: M Note: This review is based on the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 versions of the game. Capcom's beloved 'survival-horror' franchise makes its new entry with Resident Evil 6. After the controversy and mixed opinions on Resident Evil 5, Capcom continues to try and evolve the series pasts its origins. Sadly this desire for the new leaves a lot to be desired. Anyone ever gone to start a game and instantly been thrown into it, no menu, no choices? As soon as the player starts the game they are forced to play through a single player tutorial, somewhere much later in one of the main protagonist's, Leon Kennedy, campaign. This forced learning proves to be a little awkward, as the pacing for it doesn't seem to make much sense. One minute the main characters are limping, barely able to fight with no ammo in their handguns, the next they are completely fine, every weapon in the game at your ready to fight a random zombie horde. What a strange and awkward transition, not to mention that the majority of those weapons won't be at your disposal until much much later, it just feels like a big tease. Then when the player finally completes it and they are able to navigate a main menu, a sigh of relief can almost be heard. Never had I been so happy to see a main menu, letting me actually decide what I want to play, and wow, there is a lot to play. The game offers three different main campaigns that albeit a weird and complicated story, are fairly entertaining, long, and fun to play, especially with a partner. A fourth campaign can even be unlocked by completing the other three, which actually fills in a lot of the gaps of story quite nicely. Mercenaries mode also makes a comeback, with three different maps to play from as well as additional ones which can be purchased for as low as a dollar a piece. Even after completing mercenaries with every character, as well as every campaign, my co-op partner, Ludono and I had sunk around 35-40 hours in, but we had barely scratched the surface it seems. With Resident Evil 6, there are a few downloadable modes that incorporate online cooperative and competitive play. These modes range from a competitive version of mercenaries called Onslaught a kind of prey versus predator mode aptly named Predator, a competitive versus mode called Survivors, and an escort type mission called Siege. The maps earned and bought for mercenaries mode will also be used for these, really stretching that dollar bill of the player. Despite multiple frustrations, Ludono and myself continue to play, well into the 50-60 hours range. Guess Capcom found a way to keep players playing! Unfortunately, tons of play time doesn't completely make up for the hiccups the game seems to suffer so badly from. Gone are the merchants from Resident Evil 4 and 5 so upgrading, or even purchasing weapons is impossible. If the player misses it in the completely linear campaign levels, they'll have to replay the entire thing. The upgrade system is instead replaced with a skill system, and with the exception of a few skills, seem to do just about nothing. These skills can be purchased after or before every mission, points being found from killing enemies or breaking jars, pots, barrels, etc. Capcom even removed the shared inventory system and seemed to pollute the area with herbs and ammo, making it nearly impossible to ever really run out. I recall one time, only one time in the entire time Ludono and I played through our 35-40 hour campaigns, on both PS3 and X360, where either of us complained that we didn't have ammo or healing. As much hate as Resident Evil 5 receives, at least the shared inventory and partner system seemed relevant, it proved to be rather difficult to solo the game, at least the first time around. Resident Evil 5 was actually a pretty well constructed game, at least when I played with Ludono. Bosses were difficult, or had a certain trick to beating them, the story made sense, weapons could be purchased and upgraded and even shared! Even if the horror element was taken out of the game with the addition of co-op, it still added the constant dread of hearing your partner go down or run out of ammo completely. Hell, even BSAA emblems were more fun to find than Serpent emblems. I would actually even give it game of the year when compared with Resident Evil 6. In a long running game franchise like Resident Evil it's important to add diversity, to change the game a bit. Resident Evil 4 did and it turned out to be a huge success. People today still claim it as their favorite. This always struck me as odd, mainly because people complain about how bad the fifth and sixth games are automatically for adding co-op. Co-op doesn't make a bad game, it doesn't make a good game, but it is something I value. Honestly if Ludono wasn't my partner through Resident Evil 6, I doubt I would have been able to stomach it, but since I played a co-op developed game with a co-op partner, it was fun and at least somewhat enjoyable to say the least. It's not fair to the company or the game to write it off because it's changing things, at least try before you criticize. Pros +Enjoyable co-op experience +Hours upon hours of content, even without DLC +DLC is actually fun and worth the few dollars! Cons -Uninteresting, linear, and confusing story and campaign -Forced tutorial at start is annoying -Too many healing items and ammo around -Lack of upgrading weapons and sharing inventories makes diversity between players difficult Overall: 6.5/10 Decent Despite Resident Evil 6's obvious flaws, it still proves to be fun and definitely worth the time and extra money as long as you have a partner to play with.
  19. Royzoga

    Review - Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time

    Developer: Sanzaru Games Publisher(s): Sony Computer Entertainment Platform(s): Playstation 3, Playstation Vita Release Date: Feubary 5th, 2013 ESRB: E 10+ Note: This review is based on both versions, played simultaneously. After years of anticipation, fans can finally bring Sly Cooper and the gang home again. It has been almost 11 whole years since the last! Luckily, Sanzaru Games brings back the joy of quasi stealth platforming with some extremely interesting cross playing features with their systems. Players may notice Sly's brand new look, although noticeably weaker on Vita, still shows a fresh take on older hero. Despite the fact that a brand new company has taken the thieving raccoon's reigns, it feels like Sucker Punch is still there in heart. A funny, interactive, and charming universe awaits anyone willing to give it a try. Game play returns as solid as ever and veterans of the series will have little to no trouble readjusting. The combination of stealth, combat, and platforming proves to be a fresh and invigorating sensation. Sadly the game seemed to 'baby' the player maybe a little too much. Whenever gamers encounter something new, the game forces an awkward cut scene in which one of the Sly gang will explain to another the proper way of doing things. Now that might not seem like a huge problem at first, and certainly didn't to me, but as the game stretches on, new gadgets and items are purchased, or new characters are used, it definitely gets a bit annoying being told that X is used to jump. That being said though, it doesn't make any of the game's core mechanics any less appealing, or the hub worlds. Before starting any story related mission, the player is first thrown into a world that accurately portrays the different time line they might be visiting. This sense of freedom is almost overwhelming at first. The over worlds are expansive, detailed, riddled with items, clues and various secrets that when obtained open different unlockables for players to obtain. This alone made replaying levels and the game a must and a rather enjoyable sequence. Furthermore, when searching for these items, the cross play between the PS3 and Vita really shines. The PS3 version of the game actually has a feature in which the player can prop up their Vita (Which if the PS3 copy was purchased they'll have both anyway,) and use it as a sort of item detector. The hub worlds can be seen in an almost infrared vision, causing items to stand out more and make it easy to find them. Not bad for a free eh? It actually gets better! Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time has an incredible cloud upload and download feature, making the transition between the two effortless. Furthermore, for all the trophy hunters out there, both versions have separate trophy lists that will unlock at the same time upon downloading their file from the cloud. Nice to see someone actually supporting cross play effectively between the PS3 and Vita. The last thing worth mentioning has to be the story. Veterans of Sly 3 will instantly recognize where the story takes place...directly after the ending to the previous one to be exact! After 11 years players can finally learn what happened to Sly, how he lost his memories and how it all plays out when Carmelita realizes he's up to his thieving tricks again. The characters, the plot, the random movie references and pokes at humor are all like a breath of fresh air. It has been a long time since a game has felt this easy going, this easy to sit down and enjoy with out getting overly frustrated r worried about deep and convoluted plots. Not to mention it's nice to have almost all the same voice actors from the original Sly games from 11 years ago! Pros: +Engaging and easy to follow story +Open world and tons of freedom as well as replayable missions +Well crafted cross play and cross buy Cons: -Sometimes holds your hand too much -Noticeable graphic difference between PS3 and Vita -Too many Sanzaru Games logos everywhere! Overall: 8.0/10 Great Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time is a welcome entry to the long thought dead series, showing to everyone that platformers, especially one's with thieving raccoons are most certainly not dead. If you enjoyed this review, head on over to http://afgg.wordpress.com/ it'll really help us out if you dropped a like
  20. After recently getting into a heated debate with a co-worker of mine, I wanted to get other peoples opinions. The cause of the discussion was sparked by both of us commenting on how long it had been since we played Etrain Odyssey 4, my time away being much longer than his. When asked about it I explained that I was bored and the game had pretty much failed to capture my attention due to a lack of story, 15-20 hours in I expected a little more than being a random guild doing errands for everyone. He nearly lost it and told me story was deep and expansive...as you continued to go through the game. 15-20 hours in though, I expected more, especially out of a JRPG. So my question to you guys is what do you expect or need from a JRPG to consider it good? Is the game play enough to sedate you till the end even with a sub par story, or can the mechanics be terribly flawed, so long as the story is the most wonderful thing you've ever heard? I personally go with both, I need both to work together fluently and cohesively, none of this 'oh the story gets really good 2X hours in!' If a game doesn't keep me interested then it'll just get put back into the 'To Complete' pile.
  21. Royzoga

    Review - Injustice: Gods Among Us

    Developer: NetherRealm Studios Publisher(s): Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Platform(s): Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U Release Date: April 16th, 2013 ESRB: T (Note: This review is based on the Playstation 3 version of the game.) So after several hours of pummeling superheroes and super villains the time feels right to construct a review. NetherRealm Studios newest project, Injustice: Gods Among Us, a brutal fighting game containing heroes and villains from the DC universe and boy does it pack a wallop. Right off the bat, the entire concept of this game made tremendous amounts of sense. Seeing as DC has recently rebooted their entire comic universe with The New 52, a fighting game containing some of the canon material of this new series ties in incredibly well. Because of this, characters and even stages are easily recognizable because of this, revisiting locations like Metropolis, The Bat Cave, and even Arkham Asylum! Firstly, the game mechanics themselves should feel quite familiar to anyone who has played the newest Mortal Kombat, and this proves to be a great thing. Combat is simple for newcomers to understand as well as having a certain level of complexity for the more hardcore. Frame advantages, recovery frames, active frames, and even damage can all be found from the incredibly easy to maneuver moves list. Characters feel and play almost exactly how they would be expected to play. Batman uses a bunch of nifty gadgets, Nightwing has his staff and electric sticks, Bane punches harder than the steel of a tank, and Green Arrow shoots...arrows. However, the roster did feel a little underwhelming after finally getting one's hands on the full game. Characters like Black Adam and Killer Frost may elude some players, while others like Martian Man Hunter and even Hawkman seem to be missing in action. In terms of content however, Injustice delivers big. The single player story mode takes between 5-6 hours to complete, and also follows the example of its predecessor in which gamers can sample different heroes the game has to offer. Albeit, it was a tad disappointing to play as Batman for two and a fourth chapters of which there are only a total of 12. It would have been nice to been able to play as a few others, or even involve them in the story a tad more. Sadly, by the end of story I felt a little confused as to why certain characters were even present. That being said though, the story wasn't bad by any means, nor are any of the single player experiences. Injustice allows players to first play through story, an arcade mode similar to that of other fighters, a mission mode where the player must complete certain tasks or win fights under certain criteria, tutorials, and of course practice mode, which is a highlight of itself! The amount of options the player can use in training mode is staggering, allowing them to see exactly where certain attacks connect, how much damage they do relative in a combo and so on. Oh, and there's also an online practice mode in which you can practice with a friend. Online mode feels about as good as anyone would expect. There aren't any crazy modes, no resoundingly incredible lobby features, just the standards, but that's good. It's a good thing to see a game not try and go too crazy, to polish the basics and do well on them, rather than have tons of extra sub par content. King of the Hill and Survivor work as they need to, but aren't overly impressive. What is overly impressive however was the fights themselves or rather the connection of them. Out of the 50 or so matches played online, only one, just a single match had button and input delay. That and after playing against what felt like the entire cast, it's hard to find one or two characters that can be defined as 'broken.' Sure there are things players do that make the character seem cheap, but it felt like no matter whom I was personally fighting, there was always a reason as to why I was defeated, mainly due to my lack of skill or misreading or misjudging moves. As players continue to trek through the different modes and challenges of the game they are rewarded with XP. Once a receives enough and levels up they are then given various in game items or keys that can be used to unlock extra costumes, concept art, and even music from the game. Players can also unlock extra emblems, character images and backgrounds for their player cards, just in case you didn't look cool enough beating Superman with Harley Quinn. All in all, Injustice: Gods Among Us may have played it a little too safe. The game plays well, works just how you'd expect it to, and feels well polished, but I can't help but feel it could have pushed some boundaries a little further. Perhaps this will change with the expansion of the roster of fighters as there are four character planned to still join the Injustice ranks. Pros: +Copious amounts of modes and game types to play +Accurate portrayal of characters and universe +Very few technical hiccups or flaws with game play Cons: -Played it a bit too safe, really lacks the wow factor -Relatively short story that relies heavily on the player having knowledge of the DC Universe -No Marc Hamill as the Joker! Overall: 8.0/10 Great Injustice Gods Among Us may not be winning any game of the year awards anytime soon, but it is definitely one of the most solid built games I've seen in a while.
  22. Royzoga

    Review: Record of Agarest War

    Developer: Idea Factory Publisher(s): Aksys Games Platform(s): Playstation Network Digital Download, Xbox 360 Release Date: April 27th, 2010 ESRB: T (So, I recently made an extremely long reply to a news article pertaining to this game possibly being added to Steam. After conversing with a few friends and reviewing the post I decided to make the post into an actual review. It is my first of hopefully many for the site and I haven't really written one in a while, so if you believe I can do better, please message or speak with me detailing how I can be a better reviewer.) Record of Agarest War can be easily described to those whom haven't played it before. Imagine Disgaea was combined with the most simple aspects of a dating simulator. Throw in a few light side/ dark side decisions as well as some risque static pictures of girls scantily dressed just for some flavor too. The end result is a game that can be equal amounts of pain as it can be pleasure. Pain feels like it sticks out a bit more obviously in the beginning, middle, and end of the game, however one cannot exist with out the other, or at least in this game they cannot. The intro to the game provides an interesting and fresh idea unheard of in the JRPG universe, in terms story that is. A general in an army decides to break orders to try and save a young elvish girl and is thrust into a destiny that forces him and his next four generations of children to fight an unknown evil. The story actually proves to be one of the most enticing things about the game. That being said though, combat is where the game starts feeling a little bland, and in a Tactical JRPG, a bland combat system can doom it from the start. The grid based system should be all too familiar to people whom have played games like Disgaea and Final Fantasy Tactics, but the newer things, AP costs, SP, combined attacks, EX fields, feel a bit overwhelming and unmanageable until much later into the game. Sadly, combat also fails to be much of an eye catcher as the beautifully rendered character models. Instead of hi-resolution models the characters and enemies look like PS2 era pixelated sprites, similar to the early Atelier games. This aspect is relatively disappointing because when in town or conversing with party members involving the main story or just even purchasing things at the shop, they are represented by attractive character models. That being said though, after playing the game for long enough, the story and music and even the level of customization outweighs the sub-par graphic level. Customization can even be seen as one of the highest and best parts of the game. Throughout the entirety of each of the five generations, the main hero, you, make choices that will result in different battles, different character relations, dialogue, and can even impact the next hero! For example, at the end of generation one, based on whom you decide to wed, if you can even, will result in a different character model, weapon types, and even skill affinity for the hero of the next generation. And luckily, this feature is apparent up until the very last generation. An even further level of customization permits pertains to party members. Not only does each generation yield multiple heroes and heroines of different shapes, sizes, colors, and skill sets, but also monsters. Record of Agarest War has a unique monster capturing system introduced later on in which you actually use monsters in battle or in exchange for useful items and equipment. Unfortunately, being that there are five different generations, as well as a secret true ending generation, the game can start to feel like a massive time sink at times. Completion of generation one typically takes between 15-20 hours, and by the end of generation five, players are more than likely to be in the hundreds of hours. That doesn't even cover the end game content which can then stretch on even longer! Furthermore, plenty of the fights in the game can feel like they drag on, especially towards the end. Especially if the party you're using is under-leveled. Generation five for example, can have multiple boss fights, single bouts, that lead into hour long wars, maybe even two depending on what the party's level is. Even random encounters in dungeons can lead into the half an hour region if you're not careful, and might not even yield even one level for any party member. Not to mention the game fails to explain what each level stat does or how each one works in sync with each character. If you're not careful, you could accidently turn a tank character into a glass water gun, instead of a rough power house. Sadly, messing up character's stats early on in the game can almost make them useless for later on. In the end game especially, if any boss senses a weak character, they're usually the first target. Record of Agarest War can definitely be classified as a hard core JRPG in that sense, and very similar to Disgaea even as the game goes on, enemies stats, as well as damage output becomes so ridiculously high that in the end, the player will only be able to measure it as 'a lot,' or 'not enough.' This aspect though made the last hundred or so hours more enjoyable, and even the start of the second play through. New Game Plus mode does exist for the game and it is glorious, almost enticing players to try again. If players choose to play on the same difficulty they will receive pretty much everything they had in the last play through, minus levels. If they choose to go up a difficulty tier then they will be able to retain money, extra skills, and upgrade points for characters and equipment. The player can also complete a certain in game tasks that will net them extra equipment, money, skills, and even upgrade points. What's really great about those is, all the rewards reset after a new game plus, but are still technically completed and just need you to claim the reward back at town. All in all, Record of Agarest War had the potential to be something incredibly, truly redefining for the JRPG genre with it's intricate story and bride customization, but ultimately lacks the proper base components to make it amazing. Pros: +Intricate and original story + Expansive customization +Large array of party members and monster system +Beautifully done voice acting and background music Cons: -PS2 Era graphics while in battle -A huge time sink -Not for casual JRPG Gamers Overall: 6.5/10 Decent Record of Agarest War proves to be an okay JRPG with a ton content that will definitely soak up large sums of time. However, due to flaws with combat and non-newbie friendly battle systems, the game seems as though it can only really appeal to the hardcore Tactic style gamers.
  23. Jordan Haygood

    Console Wars

    From the album: Kaptain's Gallery

  24. Jordan Haygood

    Console Family Tree

    From the album: Kaptain's Gallery

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