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Found 61 results

  1. Developer: WindThunder Publisher: Winking Entertainment Corp. Platform: Switch, PS4, PC, iOS Release Date: May 23, 2019 ESRB: T Note: This review is based on the Nintendo Switch version of the game The episodic game format is not without its risks. While it can potentially ease the cost of development in creating smaller games released in sequence over a span of time, a lot hinges on the ability to keep the player’s interest for the duration of the full series. If the first episode doesn’t hook the player, they’re not likely to return for the rest. Such is one of the hurdles faced by the action RPG, Heroine Anthem Zero. Heroine Anthem Zero: Episode 1, or Heroine Anthem Zero: Sacrifice, is the first chapter of a prequel to the original Heroine Anthem: The Elect of Wassernixe and Heroine Anthem II: The Angel of Sarem, which released back in 2002 and 2003, respectively. As both of those games are rather old and obscure, it’s fortunate that Heroine Anthem Zero is set thousands of years prior, and thus requires no knowledge of the originals. Episode 1 features the story of Wanin, a young warrior of the Norse-inspired Uzato tribe that works as a Forest Keeper, patrolling the forest near his hometown for danger. He’s accompanied for the duration of the game by the fairy, Mormolia, who assists him in his duties. Most of the game follows the perspective of this pair, who are entertaining, if simplistic, in their writing. Wanin is a brave, capable warrior that cares for his sister, Naire, who has been chosen to serve as the maiden of an important ceremony in a neighboring land, though he’s also somewhat oblivious and foolhardy. The more perceptive Mormolia, on the other hand, is quick to anger, often insults Wanin for his obliviousness, and loves to drink. Unfortunately, there’s not much else to say about the story, as the main plot beats serve as apparent set-up for what comes, I presume, in Episode 2. And despite the short length, it does not feel particularly well-paced. Large amounts of story and exposition take precedence in the first few hours before turning the focus almost exclusively to gameplay broken up with smaller, lighter story beats for the remainder of the experience. To its credit, the game has some interesting lore. Story sequences are enhanced with great character art, as well as painterly illustrations put on display when characters speak of the myths, legends, and history of their land. The characters are all voiced in Japanese, and their acting boosts the experience as well. The bigger faults with Heroine Anthem Zero lie with its gameplay. As a side-scrolling action RPG, it generally controls well. Wanin can swing his sword in a basic combo as well as dash, double-jump, and scale vertical walls. But the combat overall is very basic and generally lacking in challenge, even on the standard difficulty. There are some enemies that can only be damaged by charging Wanin’s sword attack, and enemies can be stunned by sending Mormolia at them. Even the final boss, the most challenging encounter in the game, was little more than a battle of attrition. In fact, I didn’t die to any of the bosses in the game. What killed me far more often, and with far more frustration, was the game’s platforming. Relatively early on, the game introduces spiked vines that stretch across sections of the ground, walls, and ceilings. At that point, these vines are the single most damaging thing in the game and will knock off huge chunks of life every time you collide with one. The game also features instant-death bottomless pits, and while some are clearly obvious, such as when hopping across a rickety bridge stretched across a chasm, others very much aren’t. More than once, I hopped down a hole, thinking it might lead down to an underground cave, only to be met with the 'Game Over' screen. And if you die, you’re forced to retry from the last save point you accessed. Another issue comes from the game’s map and fast travel system. The map itself is of little use and does nothing to illustrate the actual landscapes. It simply indicates how sections in the zone you’re currently in are linked together. Once fast travel is unlocked, most save points will feature a character that will freely take you to most any other save point, but only within the same zone that you’re currently in. This means, for example, that it’s not possible to jump straight back to town from the western woods. But even then, there’s no real incentive to actually make use of the fast travel, as the fast travel character also doubles as the shop with all the best healing items and weapons necessary to beat the game. Possibly the most annoying moment in the game came during a dungeon that serves as the home of the few simplistic-but-required puzzles. In a large chamber, there are four switches that need to be pressed in order to open the way forward. Each of these switches are in turn blocked by gates that open via other switches, and these timed gates will close after a few seconds. After clearing all four gates, hitting the switches, and opening the door ahead, I backtracked to the previous chamber and used the save point, only to find on my return that the switches had all reset and the door ahead had closed, forcing me to redo the entire sequence. Having only played the game on the Switch, I have no idea how its technical performance compares to that of other platforms. Originally released in 2016, Episode 1 was published on the PC, PS4, and iOS before it made its way to Nintendo’s console this year. Aspects of some of the game’s menus feel tuned more for touch, though playing on a TV is just fine. The only real hiccup comes in the equipment menu, where there’s a strangely long, noticeable lag while scrolling through weapons or clothing in the inventory. The game also occasionally encounters odd hitches during cutscenes, and even during the end credits as different images are swapped in and out. For the most part, these graphic hitches aren’t that bothersome, but on rarer occasions, I’ve had similar hitching occur during gameplay. I’ve had to abort more than a couple of jump attempts because of an odd pause in the animation, though I can’t blame any of my deaths on this. On a more positive note, the music in Heroine Anthem Zero is a genuine highlight. The soundtrack, composed by Joe Chou, is comprised of some great music that fits the tone of the world and characters. Tonally, it reminded me at points of games like Valkyrie Profile, and even in the game’s most annoying moments, the music was one element that I always appreciated. Heroine Anthem Zero: Episode 1 feels like a mixed bag. I like the characters, the music, the world, and the general sense of the gameplay. But the pacing, platforming, and technical oddities frequently pulled me out of the experience. I can’t say that I didn’t have any fun, but had there been more polish and fewer annoyances, I could have had a lot more. Based on my experience, I wouldn’t rule out playing Episode 2, but I’d hope that it’s an improvement. Pros + Fun artwork and interesting, if simple characters + Great music and entertaining voice acting + Attractive and colorful artwork and graphics + Combat is in general lightweight and not stressful Cons + Odd pacing of story and gameplay + Annoying platforming with high-damage hazards and instant-death pits + Lack of responsiveness in some menus, and the map is near useless + Odd animation hitches occur every once in a while that can throw timing off while platforming Overall Score: 5 (out of 10) Average Heroine Anthem Zero: Episode 1 is a mixed bag with likeable characters, music, world, and general gameplay but is brought down by its pacing, platforming, and technical oddities. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable code provided by the publisher
  2. There once was a time when the only type of Pokémon storage was a series of boxes within a PC in whichever game you were playing. When you put the game down for good, your Pokémon were doomed to remain in their boxes ‘til the end of time. With the release of the Nintendo DS came a way to migrate Pokémon from the Game Boy Advance games to the DS iterations. And then came Pokémon Bank, which supplied a way to store Pokémon from the DS and 3DS games and move them around between any of the 3DS titles. Times have changed once again. Now that we have the highly popular mobile app that is Pokémon GO, the Nintendo Switch titles Pokémon: Let’s Go, Pikachu! and Pokémon: Let’s Go, Eevee!, and the upcoming Switch titles Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, a new storage method has been born – a cloud-based mobile app called Pokémon Home. Announced at the 2019 Pokémon Press Conference, the app is basically a ‘home’ for any Pokémon you have, housing creatures from GO, Bank, and any of the Switch titles. As the creators themselves explain it, it’s “a place where all Pokémon gather.” Storing and transferring your Pokémon aren’t the only things you can do with Pokémon Home, however. You will also be able to trade with friends, strangers nearby, or people in other parts of the world. They need the Pokémon Home app, too, of course. Pokémon Home will be available in early 2020, so stay tuned. Source: YouTube
  3. Jordan Haygood

    Pokémon Sleep Turns Snoozing Into Gaming

    For the past few years, millions have been enjoying the best excuse to get out of the house since a burning house, fittingly titled Pokémon GO. As the name implies, you play by...well, GOing places in the real world, doing all sorts of Pokémon-related activities, such as catching the creatures, battling with them, hatching eggs, and collecting items. It was a brilliant idea, to say the least. Now, it's time to take the idea a step further. No, we won't be playing in space or anything crazy like that. Instead, we'll be playing in our sleep. Nope, nothing crazy at all. Announced at the 2019 Pokémon Press Conference, we will be getting a brand new mobile app known as Pokémon Sleep, which will "turn sleep into entertainment." So basically, while Pokémon GO tracks movement to reward you for being active, Pokémon Sleep will track your sleeping habits and reward you for getting the sleep you need. In the end, the folks involved with these apps really want us to be as healthy as possible by using the Pokémon IP. And what better way, right? Coinciding with Pokémon Sleep will be a new gadget to play with. Remember Pokémon GO Plus? Maybe not. It's a little pokéball themed gadget that connects with GO to add a new and simple way of playing that didn't require looking at your phone. Well, get ready for a new version called Pokémon GO Plus+. No, you read that right. It's a bigger pokéball themed gadget (still small enough to stick in most pockets) that does what the original Plus did, only you can also put it next to your pillow when you sleep to use with Pokémon Sleep. Both Pokémon Sleep and Pokémon GO Plus+ will release sometime in 2020, so stay tuned. Source: YouTube
  4. Today's Apple event brought a lot of news and info with it, but perhaps the biggest headline for gamers was the announcement of Journey developer thatgamecompany's next game: Sky. The game was initially teased last Fall with an image of a candle lighting another candle, but now we know the game will seemingly follow in the same steps as Journey, if the teaser trailer for Sky is any indication. Not much is shown, but it does reveal that the player will control a character that's vaguely similar to the robed character from Journey, except this one has a cape-like clothing that might also be wings. The teaser ends with the character joining others of its kind and leaping off the floating island and flying into the sky. Notable industry insider Geoff Keighley sat down with thatgamecompany to discuss what the game was about, and creative director Jenova Chen mentioned that the key theme in this game is that of 'giving,' whereas in Journey it was more about connecting with people. Also interesting to note: Chen and his team decided to bring Sky to mobile platforms first because the biggest feedback he got from Journey was that lots of people that were new to gaming wanted to experience the game but didn't have a console, so to remedy that with Sky, the game is being brought to a platform that is most accessible to people. Hence, the release on mobile phones first. You can check out the full interview below. Sky doesn't have a release date just yet, but thatgamecompany says it's coming soon to iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. Source: thatgamecompany What are your first impressions of Sky?
  5. First of all, if you haven't played Monument Valley, you should definitely do so. It's one of the best mobile games out there and one of the most stylistically beautiful games, period. Also, SURPRISE. The hit game got a surprise sequel that was announced at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference and released at the same time. How developer UStwo managed to keep this under wraps until now is beyond me, but kudos to them for sustaining the surprise. Monument Valley II features more of the same mind-bending puzzles but also focuses more on storytelling through the use of character animations and the environment. Also, the main characters (yes, there are two this time) are a mother and daughter, and the narrative will focus on their relationship through the game. Will it directly tie into the first game's narrative? It doesn't appear to at the outset but you'll have to play the game to find out. Check out the trailer for the game below. Monument Valley II can bought on iPhone and iPad today for $4.99. An Android release is coming soon, though no release window has been detailed yet. Source: The Verge, Polygon Will you be checking out Monument Valley II?
  6. With Telltale Games having finished up their episodic run with Batman: The Telltale Series back in December, and looking to finish up The Walking Dead: A New Frontier (aka Season 3, which Episode 3 just released a few days ago), the developer is now looking ahead to its next release: Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series. The good news? It's coming a lot sooner than you think. Like, very soon. As in two-and-a-half weeks away soon. Yeah. As such, Telltale has shared the trailer for Episode One: Tangled Up in Blue, and it showcases the same humor that James Gunn infused into the movie from a few years back. Thanos, who most will know as the big bad behind the Marvel Cinematic Universe currently, is also shown to have a part in the episodic series as an antagonist. The plot as detailed by Telltale reveals that the Guardians discover an artifact of unspeakable power in the wake of an epic battle, with each of them having a reason for desiring it along with a new, ruthless enemy who is the last of her kind. Take a look at the trailer below. Given that the game appears to be set in its own canon (separate from the MCU), it's possible Telltale might throw a couple of curveballs at fans with some unexpected reveals, similar to what they did with Batman: The Telltale Series. Also, Nolan North plays the voice of Rocket Raccoon, so get hype! Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series is set to release on April 18 on PC, PS4, Xbox One, Android, and iOS. Source: Press Release Are you excited to play Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series?
  7. Roughly speaking, Nintendo appears to be off to a pretty good start with their smartphone games. SURE, there was a bit of outcry over the fact that Super Mario Run was $10 and people who regularly play free-to-play games weren't quite used to that but it also ended up energizing sales for Super Mario Maker 3DS and other Mario titles since its release. And y'know, there's the whole Pokemon GO thing as well, even if that's actually developed by Niantic and not Nintendo (though they have some stakes in it), but that's neither here or there. At any rate, you can expect Nintendo to keep up the smartphone releases for the foreseeable future. Nintendo president Tatsumi Kimishima stated in a recent investor Q&A that the company plans to release "two to three" games a year and that they would primarily serve as a way of introducing the company's intellectual property to a wider audience. So far the company has released three games on smartphones since March 2016: Miitomo, Super Mario Run, and the recently released Fire Emblem Heroes. An Animal Crossing game was expected to release before the end of this March, but has now been pushed back to the end of 2017. Given that two games have been announced for this year so far (and one has already released), it's likely we'll hear about a third at some point. Source: Nintendo (via Gamasutra) What are your thoughts on Nintendo's smartphone games so far?
  8. Last year, we were met with a Harvest Moon game that wasn“t actually part of the long-lived Bokujou Monogatari farming series. You see, XSEED is now publishing the Bokujou Monogatari games in North America. But because Natsume owns the rights to the Harvest Moon name, XSEED couldn“t title the recent Story of Seasons as such. Natsume decided to take advantage of the fact that they still had the Harvest Moon name, and so they delivered their own brand new creation called Harvest Moon: The Lost Valley for 3DS. This Minecraft-esque farming simulator paled in comparison to the Bokujou Monogatari series and was extremely repetitive and empty. It seems Natsume hasn“t given up hope, however. They“ve listened to fans“ criticism of The Lost Valley and are aiming to make a (hopefully) better game with Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories. Very eager to see how different this upcoming title from Natsume would be, I had the lucky opportunity to try Seeds of Memories out at E3. Natsume boasts that Seeds of Memories is “inspired by the old-school gameplay of the very first games.†If you couldn“t guess from that, yes, Seeds of Memories has a top-down 2D view like the older Harvest Moon games versus The Lost Valley“s completely 3D one. The graphics alone already show a definite improvement over those of The Lost Valley. While it“s not a complete throwback to the days of old with pixels and such, it“s still a nice 2D cartoony art style that suits the game. Unfortunately, Natsume“s demo for Seeds of Memories at E3 didn“t really go into gameplay such as taking care of crops or animals. All it had you do was go around the town and talk to villagers. “Wait, Leah. Did you say ”town“?†I most certainly did! If you played The Lost Valley, one of the first things you probably noticed was the lack of a town, which was one of the biggest factors in making the game feel terribly empty. Thankfully, Natsume realized how important such a thing was in these types of games and implemented one in Seeds of Memories. Seeds of Memories“ plot is pretty basic as far as Harvest Moon games go. Basically, you must “unlock the titular Seeds of Memories†by performing tasks such as giving a villager their favorite item or catching a giant fish. In a way, this premise sounds very much like collecting musical notes in Harvest Moon: Magical Melody for the GameCube. If you liked that particular Harvest Moon title, then Seeds of Memories might be right up your alley. Natsume hopes to release Harvest Moon: Seeds of Memories sometime this winter for Wii U, Steam, iOS, and Android. While the demo that Natsume presented at E3 didn“t really show much to judge it properly, I am really hoping that Seeds of Memories is a lot better than The Lost Valley.
  9. It's a safe bet to say that even if you haven't played the popular party game, Cards Against Humanity, that you have at least heard of it. While a fun game to play with family and friends, those who might not have warm bodies to hang out with in the comfort of their own home have to miss out on the fun. Thanks to Cards Against Humanity being licensed under a Common Creative license, the ability to bring the game to PCs and mobile devices is possible. In fact, this weekend will see the launch of Cards Against Originality. Cards Against Originality is a web app that contains all the cards currently available in the Cards Against Humanity game. To play, all you need to do is visit the website and set up a game. Once set up, you will be given an URL link that you can message to your friends online. Cards Against Originality might not be the official app but in a day where toting around a full set of Cards Against Humanity cards or finding enough local people to play with, it definitely looks to give everyone a shot to show just how awful their card choices can be. Source: Business Insider, Cards Against Originality
  10. Despite being a flawed game, Magic 2015 still keeps me busy. Figured I should start posting screenshots from the game. While it's certainly not a cheap ($) experience, it's still a lot less expensive than playing Magic in person. To get into this year's Magic on iOS, you are looking at a $20-$40 investment. Here's a screen capture from my latest deck build which relies heavily on small token creatures and an enchantment which makes them huge.
  11. So there are a few Pokemon apps on iOS so far, but what if you are a die hard Sony fan? Well Sony Santa Monica Studios just released Fat Princess: Piece of Cake on the app store, a mobile game featuring the confection crazy, crown carrying princess from the PSN title Fat Princess. Fat Princess: Piece of Cake is a blend of RPG elements and match-3 gameplay that is free-to-play and utilizes in-app purchases for things such as special in-game items and stamina refills. What sets this game apart from the many others in it's genre however is the promise of a free download code for the original Fat Princess for any player who completes level 15. https://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/fat-princess-piece-of-cake/id874611551?mt=8 So if you missed Fat Princess, Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake for PSP, or even Best of PSN Vol. 1 (which features Fat Princess among other notable PSN titles) this may be an easy (and free!) way to check out this classic Sony title, while wasting a bit of time on your phone, no less. Right now the game is only for iDevices but Santa Monica promises an Android version is in the works. Do you already own Fat Princess or is the promise of a free PSN title enough to motivate you to try this mobile game?
  12. While I do enjoy playing Magic The Gathering on my iPad and PS3, it seems good sportsmanship exhibited by other players rarely exists. I'd estimate that in 80-90% of the multiplayer games I'm in where it's obvious I will win the match, the other player will exit the game which causes a slow down waiting for the computer to take over for them. I'm not sure where the lack of sportsmanship comes from. Anytime I know I'm going to lose, I give my opponent the satisfaction of finishing me off and completing the game. It's a real shame the game doesn't punish those who quit out. Even worse than people who "quit out" is people who will take the maximum time for every move they make likely in an attempt to get you to quit once you lose patience. Magic 2015 definitely gives players way too much time to make moves. Perhaps the anonymous nature of online interaction encourages rudeness...who knows...
  13. So, in case anyone hasn't heard yet, Dong Nguyen's successor to Flappy Bird has been out for a little while now. Has anyone here played it yet? Out of curiosity, I downloaded and played it for a bit yesterday. It's basically a vertical version of Flappy Birds but with a little bit of variation to it, and much harder. If anyone is interested, I can do a short writeup about it. But yeah, anyone else played it yet? If so, what do you think? And what's your highest score so far?
  14. San Diego Comic-Con is underway this week and Bandai Namco have announced that two Pac-Man games will be coming to mobile devices later this year. The first is a well-known entity—the highly addictive Pac-Man Championship Edition DX, which released on PS3 and Xbox 360 a few years back. In addition, a brand new game in the series was introduced as Pac-Man Friends and will feature tilt controls as you guide Pac-Man through challenging mazes to rescue his friends from the Ghosts' castle. It will feature 95 levels across 6 worlds and also include 9 unlockable uniquely powered friends. Pac-Man Friends will release on mobile devices first in September with Championship Edition DX following in November. Source: Press Release Are you interested in either of these new Pac-Man games?
  15. Sailor Liztress

    Review: Monster Legacy

    Developer: Outplay Entertainment Publisher: Outplay Entertainment Platform: iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch Release Date: March 20, 2014 Rated: 4+ Everyone has heard of Pokemon these days—a popular game series that has gamers collecting different monsters and battling trainers in order to have the best team. You can also find many clones of the series on mobile devices, and while most are blatant rip-offs or feel like really poor imitations, Outplay Entertainment's Monster Legacy hopes to offer a familiar gameplay style that brings some new features to the mix. It should be noted that even though you can see some resemblance to Pokemon, Monster Legacy does offer enough to stand out on its own. You play as a keeper who travels through the vibrant world of Arborea, catching monsters to use against the evil Lord Ardur and the monsters under his command. During your travels, you will meet other keepers and villagers. With over 100 monsters ripe for the picking, any keeper who puts in enough time can make a formidable army. The story premise is one we've seen in books, movies, and other video games. But as this is a mobile game, having a good and enticing story is just an added bonus. Those who have played any of the Pokemon entries will understand the basics of Monster Legacy's gameplay. You have a nice number of monsters you can battle and catch with box shaped traps. Not much can be more satisfying than to successfully catch a monster that would bring your team the upper edge in random and trainer battles. Monster Legacy does give players a bit more with quests within each area. Doing those will help you level up your trainer which in turn gives you coins, energy, and gems. Monster Legacy is a free-to-play game with the ability to purchase in-game items to help your journey. Do you need to spend money within the game? Not really. Leveling up your character will net you a nice amount of gems. These gems are used to purchase traps that guarantee a capture when used and to pull off the special attacks each monster has. They are also valuable for purchasing new monsters, boosting their attacks in the status menu, and for those who want to bypass leveling a monster to the level needed to evolve them. However, one will need to have patience in order to stock up on the gems, coin, and energy. The graphics are pretty nice as they're colorful and the monsters stand out. Animations don't feel real clunky, though I did experience a slight lag during some attacks. Each area varies enough to not seem like they are basically reused maps. Granted, you are likely to get bored of visiting the same area over and over when trying to level up your monsters. As with any freemium title you can find on your mobile device, Monster Legacy allows players to buy gems and coins with real money via in-game purchases. As said above, you don't have to spend money to progress through the game. But it definitely does help you get through the story and level up your monsters much quicker. If you're jonesing for an experience like Pokemon but don't have the handheld for it, Monster Legacy does offer more than enough to warrant playing. Pros + Crisp, clean, and colorful monster designs + Easy to control + Plenty of monsters to catch and quests to complete Cons - Grinding can get tedious and boring - In-game purchases with real money can make the game go by quicker Overall Score: 7 (out of 10) Good Monster Legacy might look like another Pokemon clone but the additional features give it a leg up on any other similar styled games out there.
  16. Developer: Telltale Games Publisher: Telltale Games Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360, OSX (PS Vita and iOS coming at a later date) Release Date: April 8, 2014 Rating: M for Mature Note: As this is the halfway point in the story, some spoilers are discussed in this review We're finally at the halfway point in the The Wolf Among Us, and by now, most stories usually give the audience a good idea of where the plot is heading. While Episode 2 was still a solid episode, this was one aspect that it failed at as the whole episode just felt more like a sub-plot then it was actually advancing the story, at least until the end. Fortunately, Episode 3 picks up the pieces and manages to do something interesting with them, all the while introducing some new characters that shake up the situation a bit. Episode 3: A Crooked Mile begins with the fallout over the revelation about Crane that was revealed at the end of Episode 2, leaving Bigby determined to track him down for answers. The evidence discovered against Crane so far is pretty convincing, and he feels the need to let Snow White know at once; however she's already tied up with another matter tied to the previous episode; the timing of which couldn't be worse due to what's going on. Adding to the fuel on the fire is the fact that with Crane having disappeared, Fabletown is now without proper leadership, a fact that Bluebeard points out when he barges in on Bigby and Snow in the middle of their investigation in the Town Hall. Bluebeard's insistence on helping with the case throws a figurative wrench into the gears as Bigby and Snow can't be certain of his intentions and if he has ulterior motives in all of this. Unfortunately, they're left no choice but to agree to his inclusion on the matters and the three are left to investigate Crane's apartment, what the Brothers Tweedle are up to, and who Crane's black market glamour supplier is. There are some intriguing moments throughout that especially stand out, such as two separate instances that have Bigby dealing with a person that is under the influence of medication and/or alcohol. Naturally, the way you respond is crucial since someone without their full thinking faculties is more opt to make rash decisions, and interestingly enough, you can play along with their delusions and game their expectations to further your cause. The moment with Holly in particular is an interesting one, as you come to learn a little about the relationship between her, The Woodsman, and her sister, Lily. Some of the decisions Bigby must decide in this episode feel like they have a lot more weight given to them as well, with at least two of them seeming like they may have major ramifications down the road depending on your decision. The conclusion to this episode is also much more well done than the previous two. Whereas the first two episodes went more for quick shock value, Episode 3 presents a more organic ending by introducing new characters that quickly establish themselves as a major threat and dish out consequences for the actions that take place. By the time the credits roll, the plot escalates immensely, not because of shock value, but because a true villain is finally established. And with the underlying themes of poverty, gradualism, racism, and such being discussed, combined with the fact of a larger conspiracy going on, the next two episodes look to pay off in a big way. If there's one thing that's unfortunate about Episode 3, it's that the gameplay itself still doesn't quite live up to what was presented in the first episode. It's still very much a linear affair, with you only having to click on most of what's on the screen in order to proceed, though there are a few action scenes, especially one important one at the end that triggers a major decision you'll need to make. Still, it's a shame there isn't more actual detective work and deducing that happens, like when Bigby cross-examined Mr. Toad's story in Episode 1. After a slightly faltering second chapter, Episode 3: A Crooked Mile really picks up the plot once again and sets it on the path that it needs to be going down. Things are continuing to be built upon - characters, themes, and the plot, and it feels like things are continually moving. It still doesn't quite live up to the highs of the first episode, but it's a great continuation in its own right with plenty to take away from and leaves you excited for the remaining two episodes. Pros + Story pacing is much better this time around + Developments that occur are more interesting and feel like they're going somewhere + Ending does a great job of setting up the final two episodes Cons - Still not a whole lot of investigation/puzzle solving and such Overall Score: 8.5 (out of 10) Great Episode 3: A Crooked Mile is a return to form for The Wolf Among Us. Its developments mark a significant part of the story and will leave you hungry for more. Disclosure: This game was reviewed using downloadable Steam code provided by the publisher.
  17. If you're looking forward to the next episode of The Wolf Among Us, the good news is you won't have to wait long! Episode 3, subtitled "A Crooked Mile" is officially slated for release on April 8th for PC/Mac (worldwide) and PS3 in North America, and on April 9th for Xbox 360 (worldwide) and PS3 in Europe. Telltale also mentions the iOS version is coming next week as well. A Crooked Mile looks to be the first episode where Bigby fully loses control and takes on his more wolf-like appearance if the trailer is anything to go by. Expect more revelations and story reveals as well. You can check out the trailer . Source: Twitter/Telltale Are you looking forward to Episode 3 of The Wolf Among Us?
  18. Legendary tactical RPG developer Yasumi Matsuno took to Kickstarter just a month ago in order to fund his newest and latest effort (along with developer Playdek), Unsung Story: Tales of the Guardians, and now the game looks to have narrowly completed its funding just 20 hours before the final deadline. Unsung Story was already being developed for iOS/Android, and now thanks to Kickstarter, it will also be released on Linus, PC, and Mac in July 2015. The project ultimately surpassed its $600,000 goal with a final total of $647,098. Unfortunately, none of the stretch goals have been reached yet (which start at $750,000); some of the notable early stretch goals would see the game being ported to PS4, Vita, and 3DS. Just a few days ago it was also revealed that Matsuno's longtime friend and collaborator Hitoshi Sakimoto would be joining the development team as the game's composer. Sakimoto is most famous for his soundtracks for Final Fantasy 12 and Final Fantasy Tactics as well as its spin-offs. Source: Kickstarter (via Polygon) Are you excited for Unsung Story?
  19. Even if you haven't been following all of the brouhaha over Flappy Bird, you've likely at least heard about the hit game which has managed to become a causal game phenomenon over the past week or two. But alas, it looks like the end is in sight for the game. Dong Nguyen, the game's developer, mentioned on Twitter that he will be taking the game down tomorrow. Why? "It is not anything related to legal issues. I just cannot keep it anymore," Nguyen tweeted. An earlier tweet of his from today elaborates a little more on his motive behind this, saying that while he can call Flappy Bird a success, it also "ruins his simple life" so now he hates it. Although he still doesn't go into detail over why that is, an interview with Tech Crunch revealed that he is the only person working on the game and "has no resources to do anything besides uploading the game." Kotaku also noted that Nguyen mentioned on Twitter earlier in the week that Flappy Bird's success is giving him unwanted attention and it is "something he never wanted." As such, he's no longer doing interviews and avoiding the press. So there you have it. If you're interested in downloading Flappy Bird, you have about 20 more hours to do so before Nguyen has it taken down for good. Source: TechCrunch Are you surprised that Flappy Bird is getting taken down?
  20. Developer: Neko Entertainment Publisher: Ynnis Interactive Platform: Wii U, PC, 3DS, and iOS Release Date: November 21, 2013 ESRB: E for Everyone A Wii U downloadable code was provided by the publisher for this review I have a confession to make - before going into this game, I honestly had no clue what The Mysterious Cities of Gold was. And for those of you who don't know about this 1980s animated series, you might want to catch up if you plan on playing this game, as the story is a bit more confusing if you're new to it all. Nonetheless, there are plenty of other factors to this kickstarted game that you don“t really need to fully understand the story to enjoy it. But while The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths does have pleasing visuals, decent music, and a few tricky puzzles, is it really worth it? The game follows Esteban, Zia, and Tao – three children who have some connection with the Cities of Gold – and the (adult) navigator Mendoza. Though to put it bluntly, the story itself is pretty uninteresting. At least as told by the game. As I stated earlier, The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths is based on an animated series from the 80s. Or should I say, it's the video game adaptation of its second season. The original anime series had only lasted a single season before concluding, with its revival finally happening after about 30 years. And while the footage I“ve seen of both the original first season and the newer second season make the show look awesome, the game simply doesn“t do it justice. One reason I found the story so disappointing is due to the game being severely rushed. Each 30-seconds-or-less cutscene has a billion things happening and it gets to the point where you wonder what the hell is even going on. One thing happens in five seconds, and before you know it, the story just jumps ahead to what may very well be a few episodes later in the show, and then it jumps again in another five seconds. They rush through the story too fast in order to get to the levels, which might not sound like a big problem considering this is a game, but it often feels like the cutscenes should have just been left out. Another reason, albeit a small one, are the minor characters. Characters are randomly introduced before they just disappear. Perhaps the cartoon gives these characters a bigger, more on-screen role, but they seem to matter very little in the game itself aside from merely helping the main characters out with something in order for them to continue their journey. This may be linked with my previous criticism about the game rushing through the story, as these characters might have an episode or two dedicated to them for all I know. The voice acting is pretty laughable in this game - the English voice acting, at least. Other languages could have it much better for all I know, but in the language I speak, the voice acting hurts my ears and soul. The music is good, though, with some pretty nice Chinese-style ambiance during levels, but nothing really stands out too much aside from the opening theme song, which is the very same one from back in the 80s with a Chinese spin on it. Not that that“s a bad thing, as that song is actually kinda catchy. As far as the gameplay goes, it can be fun. There's indeed some level of challenge, which rises as the game progresses, yet it still never becomes all that challenging. The puzzles are sometimes pretty creative, with each of the three playable characters (seriously, Mendoza, why don“t you ever help them?) having their own unique abilities, although they can typically be solved without a whole lot of brain power. There are also enemies you have to sneak around, but it's damn near impossible to get caught by them. You could literally be seen by several enemies at once, hide in a barrel, and then it's like you were never there. Guard 1: "Hey, I just saw some kid jump into that barrel, and now they're suddenly gone! I also heard a parrot screaming, but the sound mysteriously disappeared!" Guard 2: "What? Well, I don't see them, so just turn back around and stare at that wall for a few seconds before turning around again. At the same time as me, of course." Seriously, these lousy enemies don't feel like a threat at all. Especially since, once caught, they put you back merely a few seconds before the capture. The only real challenge here is if you're a completionist, as there are certain objectives to fulfill in order to 100% a level - one for keeping from getting captured a certain number of times, one for clearing the level under a certain time limit, one for collecting all the scrolls scattered throughout the level, and one for finding the secret chest in that level. There are two different ways to play this game, for the Wii U version at least. One way is to go the point-and-click route and use the Wii U GamePad's touchscreen to tap where you want the characters to move after tapping their icons to switch between them. The other way is to use the ol“ stick-and-buttons layout to control each character. Both ways are fine, but the latter control scheme is a little flawed, as moving a character along certain paths seem to be really clunky, with the characters themselves moving strangely as if confused. The art is probably the game's strongest point, with its cartoony nature being quite pleasing to the eyes. In addition, the cut-scenes look nice, as are the assets used during actual levels. They seem to have taken the art style of the first season back in the 80s and updated it for modern times without changing it a whole lot. Though from what I understand, the cutscenes in the game are simply clips from the show's second season (although maybe jumping ahead in the story a bit too quickly). The art in each level is exclusive to the game, though, and it still looks nice. Oh, and by the way, lemme take a moment and point out that THEY CUT THE GAME SHORT UNTIL THE ENTIRE SHOW IS DONE AIRING! Now, I'm not about to factor that silly decision into my score, as it has less to do with the quality of the game itself and more to do with them not wanting the last third of the story told before the show told it (maybe), but if you don't like getting incomplete games, feel free to subtract a point for that. Although I will have to cut the score down a tiny bit due to the bugs this game has, such as one that causes the camera to jump to a completely random part of the level on its way to show you what a switch does, and another that causes a character to just run through walls. I guess there were certain kinks the developers failed to work out, though thankfully not a whole lot. The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths isn“t a terrible game, but it“s not that great, either. It“s just pretty average. It has its good points, such as some pretty good music, cartoony visuals that are pleasing to the eyes, and puzzles that can be pretty tricky at times. However, its bad points weigh it down. With a poor way of telling a possibly great story, bad voice acting, lack of challenge, and some various bugs and control issues, Secret Paths is really just a game for fans of the series and kids just now getting into it with its revival, rather than gamers looking for a quality experience. Pros: + Nice, cartoony visuals that are pleasing to the eyes + A pretty good soundtrack that matches the game's mood + Puzzles can be fun and tricky at times Cons: - A potentially great story told pitifully - Laughable voice acting - Lack of any real challenge - A few noticeable bugs and control issues Overall Score: 5.5 (out of 10) Average While not a terrible game, The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths isn't that great, either. It may have its good points, but the bad points weigh the experience down.
  21. Jordan Haygood

    Hide

    From the album: Jordan's Review Images - Part II

    © Neko Entertainment, Ynnis Interactive

  22. Jordan Haygood

    Guards All Around

    From the album: Jordan's Review Images - Part II

    © Neko Entertainment, Ynnis Interactive

  23. Jordan Haygood

    Dragon Statues

    From the album: Jordan's Review Images - Part II

    © Neko Entertainment, Ynnis Interactive

  24. Jordan Haygood

    A Dragon On The Wall

    From the album: Jordan's Review Images - Part II

    © Neko Entertainment, Ynnis Interactive

  25. Telltale's latest game, The Wolf Among Us, just debuted on PC, Mac, XBLA, and PSN recently, but it'll be coming to a few more platforms yet. Those who enjoy handheld gaming will be glad to know the game is also coming to the PS Vita and iOS later this Fall. Laura Perusco, Telltale's community lead, gave a few details on the Vita version on the PlayStation Blog, saying that you'll be able to switch between analog and touch controls on the fly (similar to The Walking Dead on Vita), as well as the ability to invert the controls (invert Y option, that is). No pricing or release date info for either version just yet, so stay tuned. The Wolf Among Us is based on Vertigo's Fables comic book series, where fairytale characters and creatures live in our world albeit in a very gritty and realistic way. The story specifically focuses on protagonist Bigby Wolf as he sets out to uncover a murder plot and more. You can expect to see our official review of the game's first episode soon.
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