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By Kira Nance On 5 Apr, 2017 At 10:03 PM | Categorized As Featured, Movie News, Reviews, ROG News, Videos | With 0 Comments

No GravatarI have never been a fan of home invasion thrillers, not one bit quite frankly. The whole cat and mouse aspect is played out for me and in my opinion the best stories have already been told, manipulated, and told again… or so I thought. Roughly ten minutes into Hush and my chest is already tight and it will remain so for the duration of this brilliantly intense flick.

*spoilers*

Conceived over dinner, Hush is the brainchild of husband and wife writing team, director Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Absentia) and leading lady Katie Siegel (Oculus). Siegel shines as Maddie Young, a deaf novelist who has retreated to the calming seclusion of the woods in hopes of finishing her latest book. Not entirely isolated, plucky neighbor Sara (Samantha Sloyan) pops in for a visit, giving insight as to the inner workings of Maddie’s mind and providing us with a large amount of the film’s mere fifteen minutes of dialogue. Sara’s next appearance is nothing short of nerve-racking when our unnamed killer played by John Gallagher Jr. (The West Wing, 10 Cloverfield Lane) brutally steps into the scene. A quick chat with her sister Max (Emma Graves) via FaceTime further connects us to Maddie and distracts her just long enough for the killer to begin his unnerving game of terror. The killer seems almost invigorated by his curiosity of Maddie, her handicap after all, allows him to employ new methods of psychological torture. Neighbor John (Michael Trucco) enters the story only to provide a sense of false hope to the naive. I feel inclined to note that there is a moment of irony here that I utterly and I suppose morbidly, appreciated. Maddie, despite her handicap or rather thanks to it, exhibits an incredible ability to adapt and displays a will to persevere that is so strong that I almost felt sorry for Gallagher’s character at points.

As expected in a film with such limited dialogue, the sound design plays an important role and Flanagan implements a few creative techniques here. The choice to apply ambient sounds in lieu of complete silence to capture Maddie’s perspective was not just ingenious but fluidly executed. The sound effects or lack thereof, do not distract from the visual storytelling but enhance it. There is no shortage of gore in Hush but it’s not overplayed either, the violence comes at a steady pace and is portrayed in a realistic manner. The plausibility of Hush is really what kept me enthralled. Gallagher captures the air of a killer wonderfully, there’s a twinkle in his eye, a curve of his lips that completely sells the killer’s passion for inducing fear. Siegel is a breath of fresh air in the role of female protagonist, a role that usually leaves me rooting for the bad guy and screaming obscenities at the screen in disgust of repeated bad decisions. Hush takes the home invasion thriller to a whole new level and I look forward to Flanagan and Siegel’s next twisted conception.

*trailer*

By Kira Nance On 24 Mar, 2017 At 02:33 PM | Categorized As International News, News, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarMicrosoft has announced April’s Games with Gold lineup and you don’t want to miss out on the chance to add these hits to your library.

Ryse: Son of Rome April 1-30 on Xbox One

Hack and slash your way through this beautiful, dismemberment filled third-person action-adventure in Ryse: Son of Rome. Immerse yourself in a campaign for blood and vengeance as roman soldier Marius Titus or strive to prove your worth as a true gladiator of Rome in the merciless Coliseum.

Darksiders April 1-15 on Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Grab the reigns as War, first of The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in this third-person action RPG. In Darksiders, falsely accused of upsetting the balance between Heaven and Hell, War begins a brutal journey of redemption and revenge. Wielding an impressive array of weapons and powerful magic-based attacks, seek out and mercilessly destroy those who stand in your path.

The Walking Dead: Season 2 April 16-May 15 on Xbox One

The Walking Dead: Season 2 is a five-part, episodic interactive drama graphic adventure game, and sequel to The Walking Dead. Keep your wits about you as you guide young Clementine through an unforgiving “world gone mad”, encountering fellow survivors and exploring new zombie-infested locations.

Assassin’s Creed: Revelations April 16-30 on Xbox 360 and Xbox One

This beautifully immersive third-person action-adventure is the fourth major installment in the Assassins Creed franchise and the direct sequel to Assassins Creed: Brotherhood. In Assassins Creed: Revelations jump into deep open world exploration, utilize stealth and unique combat skills, as master assassin Ezio Auditore seeks to uncover the secrets of his predecessor Altair and defeat the Templar army.

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By Kira Nance On 22 Mar, 2017 At 09:35 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, International News, News, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarArmy of Darkness fans rejoice! Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the beloved cult horror film Army of Darkness, Dynamite Entertainment (Red Sonja, The Shadow) has announced the upcoming launch of Ash Vs. The Army of Darkness, the next installment in the already successful comic book franchise. With issue #0 boasting a “S-Mart Special Pricing” of $0.99 Dynamite is hoping to appeal to AOD fans new and old who are always susceptible to a good “impulse buy”. The creative genius of Co-Writers Chad Bowers and Chris Sims (X-Men ’92, Awesome Hospital, Swordquest) along with artist Mauro Vargas (Crossed: Badlands, Destiny’s Fate) will lead us into the next phase of the Chosen One’s journey.  In Dynamite’s official press release, both publisher and writing duo expressed an almost childlike enthusiasm for the project.

“Army of Darkness, and really Sam Raimi’s entire filmography, is such a major influence on how we approach storytelling,” says co-writer Chad Bowers. “Being turned loose inside that sandbox and having a chance to add to the AOD mythology feels like something we’ve been working toward for years, and hopefully it reads that way, too. And I dare anybody to tell me Ash Williams isn’t the toughest ass-kicker in horror! What he lacks in brains, he more than makes up for by having a chainsaw for a hand. That’ll get you a long way in this world!”

“I saw Army of Darkness when I was nine, and I’ve literally described it as a life-changing experience. It might’ve been the most influential movie I’ve ever watched — in terms of the stories that I like and how much I love smartass everyman heroes that stumble into having to do the right thing — and almost everything I’ve written has had a variation on that idea kicking around in it,” says co-writer Chris Sims. “One of our big goals whenever we sit down to write a new story is to keep things moving fast enough that nobody has a chance to get bored, and with Ash, escalating those situations was so much fun.”

“Chad and Chris bring such vibrant life to their scripts; they translate their own enthusiasm so incredibly to the work, and they are Army of Darkness fans through and through. Teaming them with Mauro Vargas, an exceptional rising star (especially in the realm of hardcore horror), will ensure that longtime fans and curious newcomers are more than satisfied!” says Nick Barrucci, CEO and Publisher of Dynamite Entertainment. “Celebrating AOD’s anniversary with a 99-cent introductory-priced #0 issue is a great way for our retail partners to welcome as many customers as possible to the world of Ash Vs. The Army of Darkness with minimal risk. Put copies on your store shelves and watch as impulse buys ensue — Ash is back, and we couldn’t be happier!” 

Ash Vs. The Army of Darkness will hit the shelves in June featuring a cover by artist Nick Bradshaw (Wolverine & The X-Men). Additionally, five variant covers will be available, with artists Pasquale Qualano (Doctor Who), Reilly Brown (Deadpool & Cable, The Amazing Spider-Man) and J. Scott Campbell’s “13th Anniversary Flashback” cover edition, making contributions.

By Kira Nance On 17 Mar, 2017 At 10:07 PM | Categorized As Animation, Comics/Manga, International News, Movie News, News, News, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarNetflix Japan has released a teaser trailer for Devilman crybaby, a new anime adaptation of Go Nagai’s iconic manga Devilman, said to be coming spring 2018. Known for it’s graphic violence, Nagai’s Devilman has inspired countless adaptations since it’s 1972 debut. In Nagai’s story, we follow Akira Fudo, a pure of heart youth who, embracing the fight fire with fire advice of his best friend Ry? Asuka, willingly integrates with an unlucky demon to prevent an impending resurgence of demons.

To fight a demon, one must become a demon“.

The official Netflix description is as follows:

A demon possesses a boy’s dead body to do evil. But after falling in love with a human girl, he has a change of heart. Based on Go Nagai’s hit manga.”

Directing the new anime is Masaaki Yuasa (Adventure Time, Ping Pong, Mind Games) and he appears to be embracing the Devilman spirit with open arms. Yuasa is well known and respected for his off-model deranged animation as well as his use of Gainax Endings.  Produced by Aniplex and Dynamic Planning (Go Nagai), Devilman will be available in 190 countries/territories, dubbed in 9 languages, with subtitles in 25.

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By Kira Nance On 17 Mar, 2017 At 03:01 PM | Categorized As Animation, Editorials, Featured, Movie News, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarJumping into the world of foreign horror films can be a daunting task. There is always the chance that the message will be lost in translation and odds are you will be halfway through the movie when you realize it’s been stealing not just your time but your soul. To save you the anguish of such an occurrence I recommend the following flicks.

 

Dumplings 2004 (Hong Kong)

This one is definitely not for the squeamish, unless of course the thought of aborted fetuses garnishing your dinner plate gets your gears going. Director Fruit Chan (Tales from the Dark 1, The Midnight After, Made in Hong Kong) serves up the evils of human vanity on a silver platter. Fallen actress Mrs. Li (Miriam Yeung) is desperate to regain the love and affection of her adulterous, cradle robbing husband (Tony Leung Ka Fai) and maintain her status as an elite housewife. To regain her youth, Mrs. Li seeks out former mainland gynecologist Aunt Mei (Bai Ling), who specializes in restorative services through means of rare culinary delights. Mei’s rejuvenating fetus-stuffed dumpling’s fall short of Mrs. Li’s high expectations however and Mei must procure something a little more potent. Just like with a good whiskey, age is everything and when a very pregnant victim of incestual rape shows up on Mei’s doorstep begging for an abortion… well, you can do the math there. Soon after the potent dish is served Mrs. Li begins to suffer some unsavory side effects as her life takes an unexpected turn.

 

Blood Glacier 2013 (Austria)

Practical effects and B-movie charm get the blood flowing in this creepy crawly eco-horror directed by Marvin Kren (ABC’s of Death 2, Rammbock, Schautag). A group of scientists in the Austrian Alps are violently confronted by the next phase in evolution after a glacier emitting a blood like substance begins to mutate the local wildlife. While much of the research team is concerned about the negative impact the discovery of these genetic hybrids may have on their funding, site technician Janek (Gerhard Liebmann) is adamant about the dangers of keeping such a thing secret. Things really get messy when Janek’s former love interest Tanja (Edita Malovcic) enters the scene with Prime Minister and company in tow. Oblivious to the dangers ahead Tanja leads her group right into the hands or mandibles rather of the bloodthirsty hybrids.

 

Baby Blood 1990 (France)

Beautiful show of Kensington Gore as an art medium in this parasitic blood festival by director Alain Robak (Adrenaline, Vertiges). After an “unborn” parasite takes up residence in her uterus, abused and dejected Yanka (Emmanuelle Escourrou) embarks upon a mercilessly bloody journey to return the parasitic creature to the sea. The two quickly come to terms with their symbiosis, although it’s really more of a standoff if you ask me. As the snarky little parasite baby grows, so does Yanka’s taste for murder and she wholeheartedly embraces her new role as victimizer. Through quirky bouts of dialogue, and an intense shared bloodlust the two form a seriously peculiar bond and leave a respectably bloody wake.

By Kira Nance On 1 Mar, 2017 At 08:40 PM | Categorized As News, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarMicrosoft has announced March’s Games with Gold lineup and it is a good one.

Layers of Fear: March 1-31 on Xbox One

A first-person psychedelic horror game that places serious emphasis on exploration and story. In Layers of Fear you navigate through the horrors of not just an ever changing Victorian-era mansion, but through the slipping mind of a painter as he desperately strives to complete his masterpiece.

Borderlands 2: March 1-15 on Xbox 360 and Xbox One

An action RPG first-person shooter or Role Playing Shooter if you will, Borderlands 2, the second game in the Borderlands series takes us back to Pandora. Level up, unleash your abilities and harness the power of badass weaponry as you battle your way across the living planet fighting off anything Handsome Jack, or Pandora throws your way.

Evolve Ultimate Edition: March 16-April 15 on Xbox One  

In Evolve, A 4v1 first-person shooter, you battle it out on Shear an industrialized alien planet. Choose to take control of a powerful monster, consuming wildlife and evading the hunters or team up with other hunters to track down and eliminate the monster.

Heavy Weapon: March 16-31 on Xbox 360 and Xbox One            

A side-scrolling shoot ‘em up retro style arcade game, Heavy Weapon provides you with a vast assortment of heavy artillery to make blasting away enemy tanks and planes truly satisfying. Gun your way through 19 peril packed missions.

This is a great month for games via the service. What will you be getting.

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By Kira Nance On 28 Feb, 2017 At 01:40 PM | Categorized As International News, News, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Phil Spencer, Head of Xbox announced the introduction of a new game subscription service to debut this spring, Xbox Game Pass. For $9.99 per month Xbox Game Pass will give subscribers access to more than 100 Xbox One and Xbox 360 backward compatible titles. Halo 5: Guardians, Payday 2, NBA 2K16, SoulCalibur II and LEGO Batman are said to be among the “favorites” that will be available upon launch. Microsoft has reportedly teamed with some hard hitters to fill their catalog.

“With great games from top industry publishers such as 2K, 505 Games, BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Capcom, Codemasters, Deep Silver, Focus Home Interactive, SEGA, SNK CORPORATION, THQ Nordic GmbH, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and Microsoft Studios, there’s something for everyone to enjoy and you will always find something exciting to play across a variety of genres.”

Game Pass subscribers will see new titles arrive monthly while old titles cycle out allowing access to a broad array of games. The service allows you to directly download games to your Xbox One. Spencer praises the benefit of direct download, “that means continuous, full-fidelity gameplay without having to worry about streaming, bandwidth or connectivity issues.” If your subscription expires or is cancelled, any Game Pass downloaded title will be unavailable. This does not remove achievements or progress attached to your account. While the base game is in the catalog, Game Pass members will receive a 20 percent discount on games they wish to make a permanent part of their collection and 10 percent off related add-ons. Microsoft expressed their desire to provide “an enjoyable and seamless experience” and announced beta testing on a small amount of titles has begun with select members of the Xbox Insider Program. Xbox Live Gold members will also receive early access to the program later this spring.

 

By Kira Nance On 27 Feb, 2017 At 02:37 AM | Categorized As International News, News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarChange is essential for forward progress. What better way to usher in that change than with a rebranding. Enter Ghost Story Games. In 2014, to the dismay of fans and staff alike, Irrational Games, the studio responsible for titles such as BioShock, BioShock Infinite, SWAT 4 and System Shock 2 announced it would be “winding down”. Consequently, Co-founder Ken Levine would leave us with a glimmer of hope, a new studio and new project were on the horizon.

“While I’m deeply proud of what we’ve accomplished together, my passion has turned to making a different kind of game than we’ve done before. To meet the challenge ahead, I need to refocus my energy on a smaller team with a flatter structure and a more direct relationship with gamers. In many ways, it will be a return to how we started: a small team making games for the core gaming audience. I am winding down Irrational Games as you know it. I’ll be starting a smaller, more entrepreneurial endeavor at Take-Two. That is going to mean parting ways with all but about fifteen members of the Irrational team.”

Fast forward three years and welcome Ghost Story Games. Ghost Story released a short but sweet introduction on their new website,

“Ghost Story was founded by twelve former Irrational Games developers and our mission is simple: to create immersive, story-driven games for people who love games that ask something of them. While we believe our new games will have strong appeal to fans of BioShock, our new focus allows us to craft experiences where the gameplay is as challenging as the stories.

 We are not yet ready to share any more on our new game, but we invite you to join us and take part in our community”

Ghost Story did not take its renaming lightly, it’s meant to be a reminder of the studios mission, to be “immersive, exciting, and steeped in community”. Quite fittingly it also conveys a sense of mystery, as details regarding the studios maiden game have not yet been released. However, in a 2015 interview with Game Informer, Levine dropped a few hints. The new title would be a science-fiction themed, first-person RPG, exploring the boundaries between artificial intelligence and its programming. Levine stressed this examination of “what it means to be programmed, that you are a thing that was created by programming. That’s a big theme in the new game. And how much agency you have outside of what you are as a piece of programming instructions.” Ghost Story currently boasts a team of 25 industrious members, with two positions still available.

 

By Kira Nance On 22 Feb, 2017 At 11:05 PM | Categorized As Conventions, PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThe creative genius of John Smedley has found a new place to call home. Amazon Game Studio (AGS) announced the addition of a San Diego studio headed by none other than EverQuest co-creator John Smedley. AGS enthusiastically stated

“John’s pioneering work helped define the modern MMO, and his influence can be felt in thousands of games that followed. He helped create the blueprint for fusing massive game worlds with vibrant player communities, a vision that we share at Amazon Game Studios. That’s why we’re excited John has joined Amazon Games Studios to lead this new team.”

Smedley certainly does bring a wealth of experience to the growing company, as well as an incredible passion for game development. In 1988, after only two years attending San Diego State University, Smedley dropped out of college. “I was having too much fun making games” Smedley writes on his LinkedIn page. John Smedley spent well over a decade as the president of Sony Online Entertainment (EverQuest, PlanetSide, DC Universe Online), before overseeing the shift of SOE into Daybreak Game Company in 2015. Battling an extreme case of online harassment Smedley would leave Daybreak later that year. A mere three months after this departure Smedley announced the launch of Pixelmage Games, an indie studio that would close shorty after its first birthday.

AGS has quickly capitalized on this failed opportunity, gaining not only Smedley but a few familiar faces from the Pixelmage team as well. There has been no information regarding what project we will see from Smedley and his team first but AGS assures us they’ve got their noses to the grindstone,

“His team is already hard at work on an ambitious new project that taps into the power of the AWS Cloud and Twitch to connect players around the globe in a thrilling new game world.

From the high-fantasy role playing of EverQuest, to the intense FPS action of Planetside, and the brutal survival sandbox of H1Z1, John is no stranger to bucking trends and creating unforgettable games. It’s early days, but we can’t wait to see what John and his team create, and share it with you.” 

In an email interview with GamesIndustry.biz Smedley voiced his eagerness “to do really big and ambitious games that just wouldn’t be possible without the amazing backend of AWS that’s easy to access thanks to Amazon Lumberyard.” Smedley also praised the utilization of Twitch, stressing the importance of connecting players and developers to truly better the industry.

By Kira Nance On 19 Feb, 2017 At 04:48 PM | Categorized As International News, PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Earlier this month, Valve announced plans to remove the Steam Greenlight feature. While Greenlight has been an invaluable platform for indie developers and the Steam community alike, it has been a deeply flawed system. In 2016 we saw the release of over 4,000 titles to Steam, that’s quite an increase over the 1,500 plus released back in 2015. Due to this mass influx of games, countless subpar titles found their way onto the Steam Store, while other more promising titles slipped through the cracks seemingly unnoticed. To tackle this and the numerous other issues that the Greenlight system has showcased, this spring, Valve will be introducing Steam Direct. “A better path for digital distribution” Steam Direct will replace the voting system used by Greenlight, with a simple application process.

 “We will ask new developers to complete a set of digital paperwork, personal or company verification, and tax documents similar to the process of applying for a bank account. Once set up, developers will pay a recoupable application fee for each new title they wish to distribute, which is intended to decrease the noise in the submission pipeline.”

 Currently, Valve is looking to developers for suggestions on a reasonable publishing fee. Recommendations ranging from $100 to $5,000 have been made however Valve stated: “we’d like to gather more feedback before settling on a number”. Steam Direct’s recoupable application fee will be applied per project, unlike Greenlight’s one-time fee that allowed multiple games to be voted on.

Steam hopes to finally close the gap between customer and content. Fine tuning in Steamworks and the recent Discovery Updates, per the Steam Blog, have already shown some promising results. They report that game time logged on Steam after the first Discovery Updates launch, has been climbing steadily. This growth is complimented by the average number of titles being purchased by single consumers on Steam being doubled. Valve is striving to bring some much-needed improvements to the Steam Store and with the coming release of Steam Direct, it seems they are on the right path.