I showed up opening day to the Baltimore Convention Center for my 1st time ever stepping foot into the biggest comic book convention in Maryland the Baltimore Comic-Con. I had a blast for the four hours i walked the convention center checking out all the wares in “Artist Alley” located in the back of the center. I will within the next few days post interviews with three exhibitors that was kind enough to oblige me with an one on one with them amongst all the hustle and bustle. The featured artist will be Kat Brenowitz of Square City Comics showcasing the Square City Anthology and other comics at Booth# A259-A260 , Gregory Garay of Visual Verbosity showcasing his Jack B series at Booth# A191 , Finally but, not least Colin Lawler & Joseph Grabowski for Spirits: The Soul Collector at Booth#A351 .
To get the word out before the last day comes upon us I will reveal to you several locations at Comic-Con that just might tickle your fancy.
Third Eye Comics – Booth# 307-308, 407-408
One of a few booths with two variants of the latest mini-series of comic “Death of Wolverine” one variant being an rare one. Third Eye has a four block booth jam packed with a wealth of modern comics along with some classics to pick up. The booth’s staff has a welcoming sensibility just like the store in Annapolis, MD the folks are knowledgeable, please stop by and check them out.
Charles Soule – Booth#2309
All I have to say this guy just like the other talented artist are signing autographs. Oh and by the way he too is the person behind the latest mini-series “Death of Wolverine” so, yeah you have that. He also has another rare variant not carried by Third Eyes Comics, make sure you throw some money his way to get a piece of future history. The Death of Wolverine series has been quoted from Charles Sole that a new comic will come
“Once every week, depending on shipping that schedule might slide but, not too far from the once a week scale”
So, keep a look out for the four part series sure to give your heart a tug.
High Grade Comics – Booth# 901-903
Retailing high caliber and rare vintage comic books HighGradeComics.com is here for those serious collectors at any capacity like Buying, Selling or Trade. Check them out the prices vary but, be mindful because of quality and rarity of these collectibles be ready to pay upwards of $20+ for these classics.
That Creative Fox/ Runaway Rosettes – Booth#A44
Their names are totally indicative of what they create on one side you have pleasant Eve Cowan she provides hand sewn plush dolls geeked up to perfection with cute DeadPool cats, Pokemon characters along with Flash & Wolverine. Her prices are reasonable and are well worth the cost. To the right we have Runaway Rosettes headed up by Casie Smith, the Rosettes are ribbon badges with various themes spanning from Star Wars, Harry Potter and DC comics celebrities. These Rosettes are as wild and elaborate as the person who sells them make sure you stop by and chat up the both of them while purchasing their wares.
Josh Lyman – Booth#A377
Josh is a laid back Illustrator deep from the heart of Texas he is also a Concept Artist and I scooped up three conceptual prints based off of one of my favorite movies “Alice in Wonderland” it has the Cheshire Cat on a tree and scrolled on the branches are every line the came from the lofty cat from the movie. Josh Lyman has a ton of other prints all priced at a great price among other art pieces see what he has I’m sure you’ll walk away happy.
Ben Harvey – Booth#A304
Didn’t get a chance to sit and chat Ben Harvey up too long because it was getting time for me to check out everything he had in his booth table but, from what I saw Ben Harvey has some great stuff in store for you. On this last day Sunday the 6th check him out.
RoundStone Publishing – Booth#A179
Casey Caracciolo, the Author of the book Shadow Of The Gauntlet already given high marks around other comic-cons and online outlets like Amazon. Shadow Of The Gauntlet available in print and digital copies are ready to leap off the pages or your tablet screen and into your mind to set your imagination on an epic journey spanning the the galaxy. Go to the Artist Alley and speak with anyone at the both to get more on the story and buy it directly with an autograph of the author or if you are reading this from abroad please go to Scargen’s website and download a free chapter digitally or purchase either copy from them.
Harley Yee Rare Comics – Booth#905-906
If you are looking for classics boy I will tell ya HYRC will take you from Rare collectibles like “Forever People” to “Adventure Comics” yes plenty from the Silver and Golden age of DC Comics. If you have that itch for some ultra rare comics that you remember from your youth (That is if you are 40+ years old) Harley Yee Rare Comics just might be for you. Harley Yee has experience in collecting and enjoying comics for over 30 years. I’m sure you can find interesting convos surrounding this booth on comics, I sure have.
Hot Flips Comic books & Supplies – Booth#3701-3703
While draining your wallets and pocket books at Baltimore Comic-Con it might be wise to stop by this booth to protect your new found treasures. Hot Flips can furnish you with protective sleeves for your comics, posters or bust sketches that you commissioned by one of the many artists in “Artist Alley” Don’t worry Hot Flips won’t knock you over the head with the prices either. While you are there make sure you check out their comic book selection also.
Home of the Pearler Bead sculptures and they sure are a hit! I’m sure you have seen these bad boys all over the interwebz well today you can get your very own. Josh and his brother decided one day to create a comic book series (of course) and with a lack of funding the entrepreneurial bros. surmised a plan to use some loose pearler beads to iron out that financial wrinkle. Reasonably priced at $3, $5 & $10 these themed pieces which are key chains, magnets, table figures, faux potted plants & mini piggy banks. All are from our famous comics, cartoons and pop culture icons like Adventure time, Super Mario Bros. & the cast of the Avengers to name a few. Stop on by and see what this table has in store for you I’m sure something will jump into your heavy bag right after you pay for it (or them)
Now, while I haven’t even scratched the surface of the talent that is here at Baltimore Comic-Con I can attest that these wonderful people and the booths that they are running are top notch and are sure to impress in one way or another. I can also say that even this list is missing some other retailers & artists I just couldn’t fit into my article. Again, if you are near by please stop pass Baltimore to score a ticket to gain entry to one of the geekiest shows in Bmore.
Opening day is among us for The Baltimore Comic Con at the Baltimore convention center. The scene is brimming with an cornucopia of talented cosplayer out front of the Pratt Street entrance at the Baltimore Convention Center. Like previous years at the BCC the lines are seemingly endless and with that the downtown inner harbor area of Bmore is teeming with characters from all over the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) and abroad.
Today I Sean Jacobs will be roaming the Comic-Con landscape on the lookout for the bizarre costumes, interesting comic book finds and anything that might surprise me. This is my first Comic-Con I am excited to spend four hours covering the spectacle that will unfold upon my virgin eyes. I have seen documentaries and have read articles on these events but, on this day I will witness hopefully a panel and whatever else that is planned in their itinerary.
Stay tuned as Real Otaku Gamer peers into this event and shares with you our experiences at The Baltimore Comic Con.
“The games aren’t shiny enough, the frames aren’t moving fast enough, Where is my multiplayer?”
The first day of Electronic Entertainment Expo, better known as E3, has drawn to a close. While catching up on Nintendo ingenious Digital Event, I start thinking on year two of the Wii U resting in our homes and the looming one year anniversary of Microsoft and Sony’s 8th generation consoles. What spurred these thoughts was a couple of conversations I’ve had with my buddies on Miiverse and voice chat on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. What we talked about was how good or bad of a job UbiSoft, EA, Microsoft and Sony have done with their press conferences. Today, while checking in with my teammates here at RealOtakuGamer.com in our Google Hangout room, our PR rep – better known to you viewers as Gehennakat – spoke on how the E3 vendors have promised much and have fallen short of those said promises. My head started to fill up with a plethora of bullet points beneath subjects of my personal concern and delight started to accrue in my head. This is where the purpose of this lovely editorial rears its head.
Is this supposed to be NXTGEN? Many gamers have probably thought or said this question since their purchases of Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft’s 8th gen flagship consoles. Many have came to the agreement that this generation just isn’t Next Genny enough. Too many remastered HD ports, digital only Indie titles and sub-HD games that have been delayed to high definition heaven. “The games aren’t shiny enough, the frames aren’t moving fast enough, Where is my multiplayer?”
I must say I get it, but I just don’t get it…
In my view, gamers today are just too jaded. I’m sure our very own Andre Tipton would agree and I am honestly trying hard to find their inspiration in playing games these days. I do agree with the distemperment of the gamers out here who are mad at the lesser 60FPS & sub 1080P games being released in this day of 8 core consoles in our midst. The game companies in question have prepared this trap for themselves nice and neatly. When they stepped out on the grand stage in the city of the Lost Angels to proclaim they are soon to release the most shiniest 60 frame per second title in superior HD resolutions. They failed to realize they should have tested, played, tested and played these titles before they stood on the tallest hill of the year to make such proclamation. For that they were wrong.
I believe that the 8th generation is pretty RAD. What the freak? did I just say RAD well, yes, yes I did. I said that to put into perspective of where my head is at as a gamer. If you haven’t read up on my BIO yet I’ll save you the eye strain and let you know that I’m an 80’s gamer and have been gaming since I was five or six, pretty much the beginning of Nintendo’s dominance. I grew up in an age where graphics and speed were the last thing on our minds when gaming was concerned. Things like gameplay, controls, and story were pinnacle of what the 1980’s had decades ago. What I am here to express to you all is how NextGenny our PlayStation 4’s, Wii U’s and Xbox One’s truly are. Yes, the developers have dropped the ball on relaying the truth about tech specifications in a world with companies like Digital Foundry around (Can someone show these developers what these fellas do, please?)
“These dreams have created tons of classics that even the most feared fanboys/girls would jump at the chance to have these beautiful, magical titles on their consoles of choice.”
We have the Wii U where you have a innovative controller like the gamepad. While it’s technically an inferior tablet when referencing the screen tech but, be mindful that this is the first of its kind for consoles. We the players have the ability to play off the television screen with most games available for the system, which I’m sure is over one hundred by now. We can let the family take back the TV or go take a potty break while never needing to pause or save your game to come back to later to continue enjoying the game. Let’s not forget while this is not a new thing, the Wii U is backwards compatible with the original Wii console. What the Wii U does add to the Next Gen pot is a little social thing called MiiVerse – look at this badboy as Nintendo’s very own hybrid of Facebook and Twitter. This platform is for gamers by gamers and is a loud engine behind the success and demise of a title released on this console. You will get a mixture of responses, some good some bad, but you will come out informed none the less. The Wii U is a HD version of its older sibling, but don’t be deterred by the sins of its brother if you were one of the many whom were burned by it. This console is silent and very powerful designed by the crazy geniuses of Nintendo. Wii U is the least powerful of them spec wise but, they are backed by a team of developers/ game makers that still dare to dream and work big magic. These dreams have created tons of classics that even the most feared fanboys/girls would jump at the chance to have these beautiful, magical titles on their consoles of choice. There is plenty of more to share about this lovely console, I could go on and on, but I must move on to the nest NEXT Genny console out here.
“I am talking about the tech that makes this console NEXT Gen.”
The Xbox One, a system that has gone through more changes in its first year than its predecessor the Xbox 360 has in its lifetime. Though the Xbox One is packed to the gills in NEXT Genny goodness! You have the User Interface that mimics the Windows 8 platform used by PC & Tablet markets. This big boy aims to control everything that runs through your TV in a nice non nefarious way. What you will get if you decide to go this route is a system that can record your gameplay, edit it, and even add borders and voice over to your mini gameplay movies. This is not just it. You also get to have the industry’s most advanced multiplayer system around town. We the gamers can talk to the console via the Kinect 2.0 and request for it to search the internet, suspend a game by asking it to watch TV, only to go back home and start playing your game once more. The Xbox One has an updated control, blasting the older gen controls out of the water – let’s not forget the hand gesture we can do while playing games or watching TV or scrolling the one guide TV guide. The Xbox One is the one place you need to be if you want to watch music videos through Xbox Video or watch movies or listen to music. Add in smart glass and your TV can be controlled by a tablet/smartphone just in case you lost your TV remote. The Xbox One does deliver of course in the games department, but I am talking about the tech that makes this console NEXT Gen. When you have all this going on and you still can blaze along while commanding, by voice, for your system to broadcast to Twitch or record the gameplay footage without hardly a hangup. This is where next generation screams loudly to me.
Sony comes in doing a lot of what the Xbox One does to a lesser extent, except for releasing a great amount of games – spanning from in-house AAA titles to multiplatform titles down to indie game support of great proportions and the new advanced Dual Shock 4 controller with its touchpad in the center. Sony’s PlayStation 4 has a camera that is available at a separate cost that has some hand gestures within some games that are available at the moment for free in the PSN store. The PS camera has voice recognition for longer gameplay recording than its competitor and can access apps and games from its home screen. The PS4 is not a media/ entertainment hub for living room, yet it can still be used for streaming services like Netflix and Hulu Plus. PS4 also has the ability to multitask without a hitch like the XB1. While Sony’s PS4 doesn’t attempt to take over your living room, it does aim to push your game play experiences to newer heights by giving us brand new stories or fresher perspectives on older ideas.
” if you crave new experiences step out of your box and try newer ways to play invest in companies you normally don’t you actually might find something new to love.”
Enjoy the new experiences brought to you by your favorite developer or support an indie title. I’m sure you will believe in this movement. Moving forward, AAA titles will be far and few between and you will be hard pressed to find a megaton of them like in the past. Indie games are the new norm. These companies are comprised of ex-AAA studio developers that create games like the upcoming Secret Ponchos, No Mans Sky, The Witness, C3, The Dead Linger and The Guns Of Icarus. Games that push the envelope of new thinking and spit in the face of the routine yearly affairs of titles that get spawned faster than Master Chief after getting blasted in Halo 2.
Is this supposed to be NXTGEN?
Hell yes! You might just be too jaded to notice it. Next Gen, now current gen, is in full effect. I suggest you sit back, try to remain calm, and play games. If you crave new experiences step out of your box and try newer ways to play. Invest in companies you normally don’t – you actually might find something new to love.
“A showcase of video games and the creators who make them”
Artscape is a weekend arts festival where part of the Baltimore City downtown area is filled to the brim with all sorts of sights and sounds of famous and local musical artists to world renowned talents in Rap and R&B. While walking the streets, you will also bump into locals to share a beer with or find a new food dish to NOM NOM on. What you normally wouldn’t find until this year is GAMESCAPE, where you can interact with international and local game developers. You get the opportunity to play new games created by the very ones displaying them – think of a more intimate PAX convention. There will also be classic arcade titles there for your enjoyment for the first time for you younger gamers, or for nostalgic purposes for us not so older gamers. With roughly 20+ developers and games available you will find games geared towards all ages from basic color match games and mind puzzles, up to 2D platformers and beyond you will be entertained. I would suggest if you have children and/or nieces and nephews this too might be a place to bring them to while you’re in town. The fun doesn’t stop after ARTSCAPE ends at night, later you can ham it up with gamers and other lively folks featuring live performances of video game music. The scheduling for this particular event is July 18th & 19th from 11am to 9pm and July 20th from 11am to 8pm. Below is a list from the ARTSCAPE 2014
Participants University of Baltimore:Aaron OldenbergGame: Student WorkCurrent work from students and faculty in University of Baltimore’s Simulation and Digital Entertainment program, including senior capstone projects, Global Game Jam competition entries and faculty creative work.CAVE Team:Jonathan MoriartyGame: CAVECAVE is a 2D-platformer where the player has to manipulate their perspective on the environment in order to solve puzzles and progress through the cave.BrinkBit:Bryan BamfordGame: Playing FavoritesPlaying Favorites was conceived around a campfire in September of 2013. The designers wanted to take the laughter and fun of a house party with best friends and capture that feeling in a mobile game.Earthborn Interactive:Hadar SilvermanGame: Flutter BombsFlutter Bombs is part of a much larger project exploring physics based player control through the travels of a butterfly.OriGamic:Shawn PierreGame: Henka Twist CaperHenka Twist Caper: 1/2 twisting, 1/2 caper, 3/2 madness. Twist your body. Twist the controller. Stay in the box. Find the sweet spot. Stop everyone else.Critical Gameplay:Lindsay GraceGame: Black Like MeWhat are your color matching skills? Black Like Me is a simple puzzle game. Match the color to win. The longer you play, the more the colors look alike. The game starts easy, but doesn’t stay that way. This game is mesmerizing, simple and fun. Can you really tell your colors apart, or in the end does everything just look black to you?LelexSoft:Alejandro RodriguezGame: Dungeon DiveDungeon Dive is a dungeon-crawling game show in which players take on the role of contestants in pursuit of wealth, power and survival in a dungeon that is constantly changing, never providing the same experience twice.Nice Nice Games:Alexander GrubeGame: X-Zip-ItThis is a mobile game about unzipping zippers. The game takes advantage of touch controls by having obstacles that require certain gestures to remove. The goal of the game is to unzip the zippers as fast as possible on each stage and earn gold!Salokin Games:Andrei ShulgachGame: Elite ForceThis is a survival game, but players can use a unique set of weapons to defeat the enemies that spawn each round. Players can upgrade their abilities like in a standard survival shooter, but a few unique aspects like and make the experience more enjoyable and memorable. The experiences in battle are carried over to the main menu where statistics are updated live on holograms. All of this is to make the world and atmosphere feel authentic and exciting.Seven Hills Games:Greg AringGame: Battle PrismDesigned around the theme “We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are,” Battle Prism is a multiplayer battle and objective game where you can only interact with tiles and other players that are your color. Players can switch between three colors (red, green, blue) strategically to navigate colorful, Tetris-like levels, escape and attack opponents, and score points in objective games (capture the flag, oddball, and more.). Three dimensions of color make for interesting multiplayer interactions and adds a new element to the multiplayer arena battle genre.Cameron Reigle:Game: Pizza Robot Rush“The genesis of Pizza Robot Rush was attempting to connect my studies of illustration with affection for the 16-bit games of the nineties. I wanted to explore the unique visual elements that came to be out of crafting of games working under imposing technical restrictions, while also provide an interactive experience to the audience that would be allow them to be interested in what they were seeing, but could be played and quickly moved on from and talked about. Hence, we have a brightly-colored game with a goofy narrative and sci-fi elements that involves a trio of misfit robots delivering Pizza as quickly as possible.”UMBC Game Developers Club:Michael LuengGame: Student Projects“Each year, our student run club produces 2-4 games after stages of pitching, prototyping, and voting. We then form teams of artists and programmers from a variety of majors at UMBC, and build our games over the course of the year. After the year ends, we look for opportunities to share our work with the community at events such as Gamescape, Magfest, and URCAD.”Nice Nice Games:David KimGame: Null X VoidNull x Void is a 1D Fighter with the objective of trying to push your opponent off of the stage. Contrary to other fighting games which involve two or even three dimensions of movement, Null x Void is restricted to only one dimension. This forces players to either just push the opponent off the stage or to swap the opponent off the stage as they are getting pushed against. Players will have the choice of choosing from multiple characters that each have their own unique ability, as well as multiple stages, each with their own twist, to spice things up in battle.Jacob Fleisher:Game: The Adventures of CrocduckCrocduck is a 2D sidescroller in which you play as a half crocodile, half duck, who spits bees from his mouth, who fights hordes of ghosts, crabs, and clouds, controlled by an evil, sentient, space-faring fern.BatteryStaple GamesLChris KingGame: Echoes of EriduEchoes is a love letter to Mega Man X, and remixes it with full multiplayer (local and online) and roguelike elements, including randomized level generation, powerups, enemies, and bosses.Pie for Breakfast Studios:Chris TottenGame: Dead Man’s Trail“We created Dead Man’s Trail after a historical research survey of zombie media and literature. We wanted to take elements of what makes zombies so terrifying and embody these elements in game mechanics in a survival game. With DMT, players travel across the country while keeping their party of travelers happy and healthy. These travelers each have a specialized job that aids the journey, so each is a valuable resource that must be preserved. Players may also loot towns in 3D dungeon crawling levels where they must get in and get out before a horde arrives.”MABNanZ:Micah BettsGame: Combat CoreCombat Core is a 3D arena fighting game that borrows elements from games like Power Stone, Custom Robo, and Super Smash Bros. It focuses on multiplayer combat using customized fighters, weapon pickups, powerups, and environmental hazards.Critical Gameplay:Lindsay GraceGame: YouYou is a game about play and the illusive pursuit of meaningful play. Each level of the game is about problem solving a space for You to meet objectives while making sense of the in-game content. Using the player character, You, the player is both making meaning out of nonsense and finding meaning where it is absent. The game is designed as a light-hearted critical reflection on the intersection of narratology and ludology.Mindtoggle:Lindsay GraceGames: Penguin Roll and My Child Knows ChinesePenguin Roll: A simple, kid friendly game where players must tilt their device to roll a penguin home. This game hit the top 100 ranking for Action and Arcade games in 3 countries on iOS.My Child Knows Chinese: A collection of mini games and digital toys to teach toddlers (age 2-3) Mandarin Chinese.11:11 Studio:Denver CoulsonGames: SuperTrip and UDLR:SwipeSuperTrip: This game is not for the faint of heart. This is for the adventurers, the go getters, and the true heroes of this world. With SuperTrip, you and your friends will travel to locations you never thought were there. You may even find hidden gems in your own hometown you’ve never noticed before! The goal of the game is to reach all the destinations. You’ll choose how many waypoints you’d like to discover, how long of a game you’d like, and go! You can race your friends or go as a group. The mechanics of the game will push you a little out of your comfort zone as you travel through possibly the innards of a city or perhaps the backwoods of the country. Even more, a sense of camaraderie will be built with your team as you share unique experiences that, before SuperTrip, never would have happened.UDLR:Swipe is a a game focused on the satisfying feeling of swiping.Pixel Bomb Studios:Jonathan PilleyGames: Croq and Brain Blazer“Our approach to games relies heavily on making games that we enjoy developing and that we know gamers will enjoy playing. We’re particularly focused on mobile at the moment, but expansion onto other platforms (such as Steam or consoles) certainly isn’t out of the question in the future. Right now, we’re working as hard as we can to make the best games we can and would love to be part of an event such as Gamescape with like-minded and committed groups and individuals.Starogre:Jon SchubbeGame: InterCubesIntercubes is an installation of suspended cubes and projected graphics, driven by live performance and audio-visuals. The installation is interactive, and each player controls an arcade button that is connected to one of the three cubes, and plays a social, head-to-head version of Simon Says with a twist and more planned.Curator Ben Walsh Ben is the CEO and founder of Pure Bang Games. Ben is also the founder of Gamescape, and co-founder of Innovate Baltimore, a community development organization aimed at connecting Creative Tech entrepreneurs with the people they need to build and grow their businesses.
Sound off if you will be going to Baltimore’s ARTSCAPE come July 18th-20th. If so, maybe you might bump into a couple of RealOtakuGamer.com staff while you are enjoying the city’s festivities!
The brilliantly deranged minds at KrillBite Studios have collaborated within the shadows of their confines to come up with a freakish survival horror title sure to rattle the players cage. Brought to us in a very new and unique perspective we play as an frightened two year old boy, in first person… Yes, you play as a toddler in first person! Me being a horror story buff I instantly clamored at the chance to play Among The Sleep whichwill be later released on PlayStation 4. On the KrillBite Studios Website you can download Among The Sleep onto your PC, Linux or Mac platforms.
“Brought to us in a new and very unique perspective”
Among The Sleep begins off with a blank screen with only ambient noise coupled with the soft pitter patter of rain drops rapping against the window pane. You begin to hear the voice of a mother softly whispering to you sleep all the while a gentle, slightly freaky song begins to fade in. Soon afterwards you the protagonist the two year old starts to blink slowly giving us a brief glimpses of the surroundings which is inside a crib inside a child’s room. As the blinking persists you start to see how your confidant Mr. Teddy is being whisked away by an unseen force to outside the crib down to the floor eventually out your bedroom door, it closes and now your game truly begins.
“Remember, this is the EARLY ALPHA BUILD”
Controls are the basic PC variety you have WASD for your movement then you your mouse for looking around and interacting with the worldly items like toys, furniture, doors etc. Your character being an toddler hasn’t mastered walking so he still crawls around when he needs too. To get into the stand and crawl positions there are two ways to attempt this; Using the CTRL key & the SPACE bar with these two keys you can also climb obstacles in your way. Oh one neat animations in Among The Sleep is when you pause the title by pressing the ESC key your character places his cute little toddler hands over his face to cover his eyes to show game options. While the object interactions when grabbing items within the world is sometimes spotty this early Alpha build plays well enough to get the general idea of where the final build will be.
I will not speak anymore on the technical issues like the system freezes every so often because KrillBite Studios is obviously abreast on that issue. Remember, this is the EARLY ALPHA BUILD.
“I can already see the silver lining of a potential masterpiece”
What really drew me to Among The Sleep is the idea of what KrillBite could think of imaginatively with this genre this is NEW territory. I can’t wait to dig deeper into this title as development progresses. So, far I have enjoyed the dark and freakishly frightening ambiance they have going on it in this average home in suburbia. I always told my wife what scares me the most in horror films/ video games are children & kiddie music. Though, at this point there is only one child the main character the music is definitely there or not. See its the slightly drowned out noise of the house that gets me it gives you the false idea that everything is OK. All I have to do is find mommy though, mommy as you will figure out is hard to find. Among The Sleep aims to be one of the best atmospheric survival horror games released. This early alpha build I can already see the silver lining of a potential masterpiece, lets hope KrillBite Studios delivers when the final build launches to the public on PC, MAC, Linux & PlayStation 4.
To get in on the action of building this potential classic, keep a close eye on Among The Sleep for its future releases up to its final launch. If you would like a taste of the action now go to KrillBite Studios Among The Sleep’s website and download the Alpha PC build or whatever available platform of your liking.
Stay tuned for upcoming news!
UPDATE: As of May 29th Among The Sleep has been released (so that means you wont be able to play the Alpha build) it is available on www.SteamPowered.com it is available for $17.99 GO NOW and try out this game it is sure to please all my survival horror fans!
STAY TUNED FOR RealOtakuGamer.com’s full review of this final build!
Wii U update 5.0.0U is finally among us and it is packed with features to make our Wii U experience more pleasurable. Mainly built around more gamepad functionality, Nintendo has been hard at work pumping out more ways for us to utilize this sometimes disliked & highly underused controller. I’ve created a short video below showing off what this new update will look like and some of the features that will be in store for you when you finally get up to date. Below is the a direct quote from www.nintendo.com Wii U system update page…
“Some of the other new features:
An improved user settings and selection experience.
System updates can now be downloaded and installed when the Wii U console is in standby.
Full-screen alerts and notifications on your Wii U GamePad controller, even if the system is in standby. They’ll tell you about new updates, game releases, and promotions from Nintendo. You can adjust how you receive them.
Easier Nintendo Network ID setup for new users.
To update your Wii U system:
The system update will be downloaded automatically when you are connected to the Internet. Once the download has completed, a prompt to install the update will appear on-screen. System updates can also be performed manually if the console is connected to the Internet by starting System Settings from the Wii U Menu, and then selecting System Update. Note: If you have never performed a system update, connect your Wii U system to the Internet, and find the System Update option in System Settings.“
One of many upcoming Unity engine games developed by independent studios. Press Play presents to us Max: The curse of brotherhood heads the way on Xbox One’s indie showcase 1st class. Just like the title infers this title is based on a tale of two brothers. One is a seemingly tween aged boy who is starting to outgrow his slightly younger sibling, just like the old story goes. Max the older brother decides to very early in the game (Actually, the beginning sequence) to go online to his worlds popular online search engine humorously named “Giggle” Max has one goal in mind, getting rid of his little brother. Max finds an odd website geared towards witchcraft he then recites the words to a spell on the sorcery site of ill will. Surprisingly to Max a portal opens up behind his brother and a creepy looking hairy armed beast snatches scrappy little brother Felix from their realm to another dimension. Max instantly understood his misdeed and goes after Felix right before thee portal closes.
Max: The curse of brotherhood is a solid puzzle/platformer, it is the best platformer available on Microsoft’s flagship console to date. This title is endowed with great puzzle solving elements and classic gameplay mechanics that made this genre the most go to genre to date. This title has its moments of difficulty and I probably at the time of writing this review have logged in 11 hours to beat the game. I have yet to 100% complete the game currently my completion is at 52% progress in game objectives and 82% XBL achievements.Max: The curse of brotherhood was perfect in mostly all areas, I will give you what I liked and what I didn’t. I will start with the worst elements of the game.
The only part of the game that was lacking, while this title is littered with voice acting keep the game interesting and progressing the narrative of the game. My biggest gripe with the story element of Max is that the story is bare bones in terms of the epic journey Max is obviously on. The story progression is only pushed forward by in game animations and short game engine video sequences. The character progression is also leaving me wanting more, out of the five characters focused in on in this game zero characters backstory was moved forward if built up at all Max really did not impress. I must strongly say that’s while for me story in a platformer or any game is considered one of my four pillars of a solid game whereas Story, Gameplay, Controls & Art direction take precedence above anything else. Max’s other three pillars transfers the weight onto themselves helping you to forget the lack of story and focus in on everything that makes this game awesome!
“…the best platformer available on Microsoft’s flagship console to date”
One of the most premier pillars of this game, Max: The curse of brotherhood really shines. As Max you will utilize the power of your marker endowed with magic (pun not intended on my end) This “Magic” marker Max has will gain multiple powers which all are derived from nature. Earth, Trees, Vines, Water and Fire will all be at your disposal soon as you unlock them from their temples. Each power adds to your arsenal and can be used at anytime to traverse your way through each level. You will use Earth to create platforms to lift Max up to get past or trap enemies. You will be able to create bridges and platforms with the powers of the Tree,Max will also be able to create customized shapes of branches like steps, ramps, rafts and any weirdly shaped object to get you through the levels. You can snap off and drag your newly created objects across the stage for puzzle solving purposes. Vines can be used to cross chasms by swinging or by crossing over them hand over hand also, you can ascend or descend within the stage. One great thing about all of your powers is that you can combine them in inventive ways to Solve your way through the end. One such way is creating a tree branch then drawing a vine connecting it to the branch either helping you cross something or maybe you can find other ways to utilize this new object to further your goals. Water will allow you to draw custom shapes to ride the waves or direct them at molten lava to turn it temporarily into stone creating platforms to get out of a flaming hot situation. You finally get to have fun with Fire when you create projectiles to pummel some of your enemies into a powdery dust or use the projectiles to break down barriers. I’m sure with all of these powers available to you by this time in the game you will be able to find other tricks to barrel your way to the end.
The key to saving your little brother Felix is you “Magic” infused marker this is how you will draw your way through each stage and you will find that when it comes to control this element is spot on. You as Max will start the drawing process by pressing RT+A buttons while using the left analog stick to draw the shape you want your select power to turn into. You can then cut/ erase your object by holding RT+X button and crossing the objects path using the left analog stick. While playing I have had zero experiences where these controls were anything less than superb while, you will understand the control scheme early on it will take more time for you to master them later on within the game. Later you will get more imaginative battling your way through each level creating strings of power combinations making you feel like you are ready for anything. Max: The curse of brotherhood animations moves smoothly with seemingly cruising at a steady frame rate. Press Play has created this puzzle/ platformer with speed runners in mind in my opinion.
“…this is a pleasant platformer sure to please”
I love the pre-rendered design the character models have. Each stage has its own unique feel they reflect what powers you will use or obtain as you delve deeper into each environment. The dramatic camera angles immerses you into the game along with having background, mid & foreground activity happening all at once or separately. As small as Max is in scale to the world he is apart of the camera plays a large part in bringing you close into the excitement or show you the grandeur of the environment. The large, lush, beautiful environments coupled with bright visuals and particle effects Max: The curse of the brotherhood’s graphical fidelity and camera work is unbelievable for the measly $14.99 you will pay for this small and jam packed title.
I must admit that I am a newcomer to the XBL lifestyle I am typically drawn to Nintendo and Sony’s consoles yet I have kept an eye on on the games out, Last Xbox I owned was the original one two whole generations ago. This generation I have all three eighth generation consoles with that being said out of all three consoles Max: The curse of brotherhood is one of my top 5 puzzle/platformers so far available.This outer dimension out world that Max sent his brother into has a history I would like to sink my teeth into further. I only hope this game does well enough to garner yet another return to this franchise. If you have any apprehension about trying this games out I highly suggest you purchase this title right from the Xbox Store this is a pleasant platformer sure to please.
Two years ago when a couple guys wanted to come back to their 1st love they created at the beginning of their careers, they decided to take it to Kickstarter and hoping that that the fans would help bring what they love back to life. After surpassing their goals by $17,232 Zojoi has cleared the path to recreating the game two generation of gamers loved and now so shall this current generation of gamers. Zojoi, thats right the studio behind the classic point and click adventure, Shadowgate from the days of NES has taken the time to answer a few questions about their upcoming title and the re-imaging of that decades old title of might and magic. These Questions were answered by Karl Roelofs, Design Director at Zojoi
What made you guys come back to this classic series; was there an outcry from your faithful supporters?
Dave and I always had the desire to bring back the original game and tell the other stories from the world of Shadowgate we have written. When we saw that retro-gaming was being embraced by fans again, we decided that the time was right to re-introduce the franchise. So we reached out via Kickstarter and found that fans of the original game (especially the NES players), as well as new enthusiasts, were excited about what we had planned.
When designing this updated version what from the past titles did you want to redesign and what did you completely scrap?
Well, we definitely did not want to do a port – we had done this about ten times before – so we spent a lot of time looking at each puzzle, deciding whether it was something we wanted to keep. I would say that 95% of the puzzles are either completely new or use the same location but are altered in some way to fit with the storyline better. There are a few puzzles from the original that we completely scrapped since they really didn’t fit into our narrative anymore. We’re pretty happy with the outcome.
What added features and or content have you added?
We weren’t constrained by a disk or a cartridge, so we were able to add some of the things that we always wanted to. New to this version of Shadowgate is an in-game map that tracks the locations you have travelled to as well as records the cryptic clues found along the way. We provide 45 in-game and Steam-based achievements that range from experiencing all the deaths in the game to beating the game within a certain amount of turns. We have several side quests and new creature interactions, a full-blown interactive soundtrack by Rich Douglas and three difficult levels that change the puzzles in the game based upon your skill level. Really, there is a ton of new stuff here.
When designing this game have you placed any Easter eggs of sorts giving a nod to your fans of the past games?
Absolutely! We pay homage to several things from original game that didn’t quite make it in this version. Players may get to finally find out what is behind that locked door in the well room and we also give a shout-out to fans of Déjà vu and Ace Harding. Also, should you choose, you can switch from orchestral music to the original 8bit NES music (composed by Hiroyuki Masuno). Additionally, we’ve elevated the role that death plays by scattering a number of hidden deaths throughout the game. These offer several particularly nasty yet humorous ways to meet your end.
Who from the original development staff came back to help with this iteration?
Dave and I are the only members from the original team (we designed the original game as well as created all the art). We then reached out to a team of folks, many whom we had worked with in the past and they were just as excited to re-imagine this game as we were. Our team is really an awesome group and for the last year and a half has been pouring their hearts and souls into making Shadowgate every bit as memorable as the original.
How excited was it for you to have the chance to have better orchestrated soundtrack for Shadowgate this time around?
We are ecstatic to have Rich Douglas provide not only the soundtrack for Shadowgate but an unbelievable sound design (sound effects, ambience, etc.) Rich took his inspiration from the original soundtrack but went way beyond that, creating both familiar orchestrated themes and brand-new epic compositions. Additionally, the game supports multiple tracks of instrumentation that can be added or removed to enhance the ambiance of a particular room or situation. This really amps up the intensity when you are encountering deadly traps and monsters throughout the castle.
What do you think is next for your studios?
Well, from a Shadowgate perspective, we just made the game available for pre-order at www.shadowgate.com and should have the game out on Windows and Mac this summer. After that, we will release the game on iOS and Android before moving on to doing localization for other languages. We’ll then be looking at other console platforms and since we’ve built the PAC (point and click) engine, making developing other games easier, we plan to re-visit the world of Shadowgate very soon. In fact, we have the story-arc planned for the next two games.
Zen Pinball 2 from Zen studios is known for their beautifully themed play tables. These pinball tables span from Plant vs Zombies up to expansive sets based off some of Marvel universe classic characters like the Avengers and Doctor Strange. Now Zen Studios have shot into a galaxy far far away…
To our enjoyment Star Wars: Heroes Within Includes a set of four tables that are available on PSN for PS3, PS4, PS Vita, Xbox 360, Steam, iOS, Google Play and the tablet from Kindle, Fire TV also available on Mac App Store, I had the pleasure to review the PlayStation 4 version.
Let’s begin with the first of the sets of course, Star Wars:A New Hope The scene is set in the epic storyline with sound bites littering your speakers from this iconic classic flick. You will notice animatronic characters placed in the front of the table from the movie too in the upper left corner on the play tables you will see the LED screen showcasing off their dot matrix monochrome video of scenes from the film & high scores rankings, Score multipliers & Obi Wan’s wisdom filled quotes will harken you back to the the days of yesteryear when this movie originally released amongst other things. The game table centerpiece is decked out with the infamous Darth Vader, Princess Leia, Luke Skywalker & Obi Wan beautifully painted onto the virtual table. Lining the outside of the tables you will find hints of this movies characters and settings like the animatronic foes the Tusken Raiders & their sand dunes on one side then the Temple of the Jungle moon of Yavin 4. The action really occurs where the platform changes six ways all because of the game tables missions, objectives that are only accessed by certain trigger activation like hitting a panel several times to spell out a word, name or phrase. I was able to access several but, two of them I will reveal to you readers the rest I’m afraid you must find out yourself. I will start with scene 6 one in which you enable a multiball challenge and if you can get one of those steel balls into the platform that opens up to resemble the galley run into the Death Star. You can enter and destroy the Death Star via paddling the ball into its treacherous crevices. The second scene I will share with you all is scene 4 where you have to uncover Princess Leia’s location in the prison just like in the movie. In the game several spots will have to be uncovered on the play field to find her afterwards you will reveal the trash compactor minefield to shut it down your steel ball is your only hope.
Star Wars: Droids This play table’s theme is following the story of Star Wars two most famous robots journey, this mainly wide open play table is set inside the busy sand crawler, R2-D2 & C-3P0 are present providing dry-witty quips along with the bells & whistles we are familiar with. While this play table is one of the more open displays this amazes me with all the dizzying rails and ramps crisscrossing the table. The ramps of this table are pushed deep back into the back of the set yet, they all are steep & highly curved making the ascent onto these conveyor belt ramps very tasking, slight mastery will be needed for this portion of the table. The missions for this table are located in center behind 3 yellow panels that will be unlocked after you successfully hit them with your pinball several times later these panels will drop below the surface of the table then allowing you to gain access to tables missions. First of the missions will have you salvage C-3P0’s body parts after an accident caused by the curiosity of the golden droid. The mission is straightforward just like Princess Leia’s prison mission except you just have to recover the exploded body parts scattered around the entire table. If you fail to obtain all the body parts the Head, Torso, Arms & Legs of C-3P0 by losing the ball R2-D2 will finish the job for you while your score gets tallied up as you move on. There are a set of five missions and the following is mission 5 where you are put to the task to immobilize the sand crawler you attempt this feat by unlocking these scrap metal looking balls that you aim towards the middle of the ramp where you initially unlocked your missions for this specific pay table. Playing this one is a delight from the openness of the center to the crazy rails, so far this is my favorite, I love also how the physical pinball machine is the sand crawler dredging through the sand dunes on the outside of play table.
Star Wars: Han Solo This nicely designed table is set inside the Millenium Falcon this busy table is by far out of the Heroes Within pack the most difficult of them all, definitely a table to be reckoned with. Filled to the brim with activity from the faithful sidekick Chewbacca & Han Solo in his captains chair done up in their pleasant animatronic form, while a roulette of bad guys surrounding the bar table at Mos Esly’s cantina in the back of the machine are seething at the opportunity to score that bounty on your head. The centerpiece is comprised of two objects; The Millennium Falcon & the dark sides Mother ship of destruction The Death Star. There is an abundance of buttons to trigger and ramps to ascend and rails along with flippers tucked into hard to see corners this suicide run of pinball machines will make you a master of the virtual pinball culture scene for sure. Lined within the nook and crannies of the game table you can flick your ball into a unsuspecting spot only to reveal an electric bumper raise from the surface of the table to garner you added points. From the flurry of fast moving, multi ball challenges to hard to reach jackpot panels & quick shot ramp opportunities located in the back of the table this game table provides feats of skill damn near impossible for a pinball novice such as myself,lol. This by far is the most challenging & the most rewarding of all tables with hard to reach objectives/missions available around the borderline of the table are so hard to find & get to, I applaud the ones who takes this challenge head on and reaches for the hidden treasures this table makes you work every second for. I love the mini games play table provides one in which I encountered was one where the game zoomed into another screen scene only to show up into an asteroid field in outer space, you take the helm of the Millennium Falcon being chased by TIE fighters from the evil empire. The objective is to lure your foes into the massive floating space boulders for of course big points at the end if you get through this mission alive. Each time I play this eye-dizzying table filled with gadgets and action I bump into another activity involving the Millennium Falcon lifting up out of its place, rotating and revealing another parlor game tapping into the gambling spirit of Han Solo. This Han Solo table will challenge you until your eyeballs are drier than the Mojave desert and your fingers are cramped up like Redd Foxx in Sanford and son (I think I might be too old, lol) regardless of your physical strain that might occur, if you can master and uncover all of its secrets you will be known as the pinball Jedi of the universe or just receive a self high five.
Last but definitely not least is Masters of the force, designed to be harmonically balanced between the two sides of the force. On the left red representing death and destruction and on the right you have blue harkening the spirit of justice and peace. Beautifully set up with a set of masters of all signifying the constant struggle, rebirth for universal balance Masters of the force is one of the best to look at tables in my opinion. When first glancing at this play table it doesn’t seem as if it is filled with all the bell and the whistles like our previous affair like Han Solo’s table. Though as you delve deeper into this bad boy you will reveal the mysteries of the two sides. On the dark side you will find floating pyramids that can magnetize and spin your pinball into a frenzy in midair propelling it across the table. Now on the light side, target the Holocron and you will activate one of a few different activities one in which will have you gain access to a crazy puzzles that will have you target your ball into multiple target switches tucked into pocket holes some hidden by sharp corners or strategically positioned curved pathways. All of this of course is all for those beautiful, beautiful points, I honestly couldn’t tell you because out of countless attempts (actually 7) I couldn’t activate all switches inside of this puzzles. Now back to the dark side you will find yourself uncovering many secret passageways to gain entry to so that you can push your ball into unknown spaces, As you set your eyes on the path ahead many revelations will be brought before you. The main attraction of this play table is located front and center, controlled by the Force-meter the legendary fights of classic saga will play right in front of your eyes in two ways. First, you will notice cut-outs of members of Jedis of both dark and light sides sliding left to right attacking one another while you attempt to hit them with your ball while trying to pop off some points while they’re in the thick of it. Second, you will see a full motion video display at first you will notice a still shot of a scene or character from the films watch while this come alive right smack dab in the front of the table directly above the paddles this display is visualizing what the cut out characters or playing out. Zen Studios set out to create a perfectly balanced play table in design they succeeded by giving us a beauty to look at with footage of the epic story on a nice sized screen while having live cut out action dance about the play table centerpiece. We are given plenty to discover and much to stand in awe over Masters of the force is a shout out to great pinball artistry of long, long ago.
All in all while not being a virtual pinball enthusiast I must say that Zen Studios like before with games like Castle Storm (Here’s my past review on it) has opened my eyes to new, fun ways to play classic genres. I now am a fan of the Zen pinball 2 franchise and look forward to all future play tables yet to be released.
Hi, Sean Jacobs here I would like to present my interview with Switchblade Monkeys the wonder team behind the upcoming title Secret Ponchos. I would like to apologize for the delay but, I went Clark Kent and transcribed my interview via my handy digital voice recorder. Lets get into this tasty treat why don’t we.
Me: Hi, Sean Jacobs here from RealOtakuGamer.com can you Please introduce yourself to our readers at realotakugamer.com
Yousuf Mapara: Hi, I’m Yousuf Mapara and I am the Creative Director (and President of Switchblade Monkeys) of Secret Ponchos.
Me: Well, you just answered my second question because I was going to ask you what you’re relation to Secret Ponchos was!
Me: What inspired Switchblade monkeys to create such a unique game like Secret Ponchos?
Yousuf Mapara: We really wanted to make a game that takes us back to multiplayer fun, That’s just fun to pick up and is not this huuuge learning curve of like 30-40 hours just to be able to have fun. We are all hardcore fighting game kinda fans and so we love that depth but not the (inaudible) Though, the main thing is that we wanted to make a Spaghetti Western game so, that’s where it all started, ya know? its just such a cool genre. Basically our musician and I were sitting playing Soul Calibur and we had um, were playing Ennio Morricone in the background at the same time and all of a sudden everything just magically synced up the music, the epic trumpets and uh ya know the drama from the music and it felt like everything we felt like everything we were doing was just choreographed to the music so, we were like “WOW we really need to make a fighting western game”
Me: Isn’t it weird how things just come together like that?
Yousuf Mapara: I know, I know it wish there was a cooler version on how the game started but, its stupid but, that’s how it came together.
Me: That’s OK because that is the most organic way to come up with an great idea.
Me: Were there any other influences drawn from other games pulled into making Secret Ponchos?
Yousuf Mapara: We really wanted to make a game that has this competitive, you pick it up and we want your adrenaline to start pumping, that kind of fun. You pick it up and we want it to feel competitive, fun kind of game… I remember lining up to Street Fighter and getting our quarters and this is the type of game that we wanted to make so you could enjoy. A lot of games recently are awesome experiences but, they have also have became like interactive stories with a lot of cinematic experiences
Me: Yeah, like watching a movie you sometime play.
Yousuf Mapara: …and we wanted to take a step back from that, we have developed plenty of projects like that at AAA studios and we wanted to get to the feeling of “ah man you got me this time I’m going to go home and practice to get the best of you”
Me: Given the multiplayer nature of Secret Ponchos when it is released will Switchblade Monkey launch some sort of DLC to compliment that element?
Yousuf Mapara: You know uh, so our model for DLC is very interesting we don’t want to be very aggressive with dlc. When you buy Secret Ponchos its a complete experience on its own you don’t need to pay more money or buy stuff to be able to fulfill your experience, with that being said the genre is such an interesting genre for character archetypes that we only scratched the surface with our characters so, we are going to keep expanding on the Secret Ponchos Universe and that’s a better road to DLC. As long as the fans want to see the game universe expanded we will keep have new guys and use DLC to fund new characters.
Me: When I was doing research on you guys on YouTube that’s what I was thinking. I was like They could be in a good position to be able to spin DLC in a good way if infused correctly. I don’t like the aggressive DLC, I don’t like aggressive salesmanship at all so like, if your company create a great package its going to make us the fans want to buy it.
Yousuf Mapara: Yeah don’t want people to have their defenses up when playing our games as if we are trying to pitch them, if they bought the game its a fun universe, right? we hope people are looking forward to new expansions and new characters and we could use DLC to fund that. When you are really excited for a game, like Diablo and you are really looking forward to the expansion and its a worthwhile purchase that is the type of feel we want to lean towards.
Me: What about this game excites you the most and what can you tell people about secret ponchos that haven’t heard of it?
Yousuf Mapara: The two things we are the most proud of is the art style we really tried to focus on a great art style but, secondly when you look at team shooters and fighting games and there is a lot of them and they are all feeling kind of similar it was really exciting that we have found a new twist a new presentation for a combat game in this genre hey we are a small indie company and just by moving the camera over top we kinda made our own type of combat game and that’s what we are excited about it doesn’t have this superficial feel of a slight change on an existing shooter game it has its own thing and that’s what we are most excited about.
Me: Thank you again Yousuf and it was a pleasure standing here with you and playing with your staff on multiple matches. I can’t wait for Secret Ponchos and the many ways you will possibly expand its universe.
*Before our scheduled interview Yousuf and I had several conversations one that revealed that Secret Ponchos will be on the Steam for early access. Secret Ponchos was originally slated for PS4 release but, after the outcry of the PC community Switchblade Monkeys have decided to appease the masses and give the Steam community an early shot of the former PlayStation 4 exclusive.