Isometric action RPGs fans normally use the Diablo II series as one of the gold standards. Who blames them? Like really, no need to go much farther. A studio who took that too heart was Grinding Gears Games when they dropped Path of Exile in 2013 following a lengthy development cycle and open beta. The free-to-play project was so good, that Gamespot called it the game that out “Diablo”d “Diablo” when the outlet gave it its’ PC Game Of The Year. Since then, Path of Exile averages around one million players a month with the average session lasting five hours long. Members of “The Master PC Race” obviously love it. Though freemium games get a bad rep for being lower quality than titles requiring single transactions, Path of Exile has always set an example of how to properly pull it off.
However, how does one translate that to consoles?
Both console version of Diablo III struggled to hold everything together control wise and still manages to damn near hold retail value even in second-hand markets. Outside of that, there isn’t much to fill that void of multi-class multiplayer dungeon crawlers. For the upcoming Xbox One port of Path of Exile, the game still remains free while featuring all the update’s including the upcoming Act 5: The Fall of Oriath endgame. From the time played during a press day in Culver City, it plays just as well as the PC version thanks to controls that at time feel more inspired Dragon Age: Inquisition and Gauntlet. All the character and weapon customization remain intact as well. As far as the visuals, it’ll probably go hand-in-hand with Smite as the best looking free-to-play title available for the console.
So yes, Path of Exile gets the console treatment without missing a step both mechanically and visually. And did we mention it was free and will retain its eight-player multiplayer? Though Microsoft’s second place console may be missing that killer AAA title, this might be exactly what they need instead.
Today marks the availability of the Legion Pre-Expansion for World of Warcraft. Servers will be down today until 11:00 PDT, so lets take a look at a few of the changes being made to the game.
Transmogrification is getting an overhaul and will closely resemble Diablo III’s system. Under the new system, whenever you have collected an equippable soulbound item, the appearance of that item will now be stored in a new collections tab called Appearances. Items under that tab will be account bound. You will be able to save outfits and swap them at the Transmogrifier. Also, whenever you change your character’s spec, your outfit will automatically change. Currently under the interface options you can hide helm and cloak. Those options will be moved to the transmogrifier along with the new option hide shoulders.
Player vs Player
A few changes will be made to PvP to prepare for Legion. Starting today, Honor Points and Conquest Points will be removed as currency. Items that were able to be purchased with the old currency will now be purchased with Marks of Honor, which can be earned through Battlegrounds, Arenas, and Skirmishes. Gear will be normalized during PvP combat. What this means is you will receive a pre-determined set of stats for your class specialization. Your item level will give a small boost to those stats. The goal of these changes is to provide a more balanced PvP experience to all players.
Other Notable Changes
Gnomes will have the option to be hunters, however there is no word on whether or not their pets will scale down to gnome height. The talent system will undergo some big changes. Dual specialization will be removed. Players may now change from any three (or four) specializations at any time, as long as they are out of combat. Major Glyphs will be removed from the game, as well as most minor glyphs.
The Legion Pre-Expansion Patch should get players hyped up for the new expansion, which releases August 30. World of Warcraft: Legion is available for pre-purchase starting at $50 USD.
I recently had the chance to talk with Ezekiel Rage, developer of Citidale: Gate of Souls, and discuss the upcoming indie game. Please have a look at our conversation
JB: Where/How did you get the idea to make your game Citadale – Gate of Souls?
ER: It actually started as a Castlevania fangame. I wanted to do a remake of Castlevania Legends. It was my first time using the engine I use and as such I figured creating a remake would teach me a lot about the program. And as development kept getting more complex and different from the original, I decided to make it its own thing instead of a remake.
JB: Obviously Citadale takes influence from the Castlevania series, but are there any other game series that Citadale was influenced by?
ER: There is a rather obscure NES game called Faxanadu that inspired me greatly. Another influence was the SNES game Demon’s Crest.
JB: Konami’s reputation has taken a beating over the last while. Do you think that will help you with promoting a game that is essentially a spiritual sequel to the classic Castlevania games?
ER: To be honest, I have no particular thoughts on that subject. I hope that the game will be doing well but whether the success of the game is influenced by Konami’s decisions or not is not something I am concerned about. I suppose this discussion would probably be worth having after the game has been released.
JB: You have some interesting ideas for this game, such as it being primarily played on the gamepad, while the TV screen shows a bigger map. What made you decide to do that?
ER: When I decided to port it to Wii U, which was in 2014, I thought that it would be an interesting way to play the game. Of course you can switch views at any given time or not use the GamePad at all, and we do support most input devices on Wii U. The main idea I had was a boss fight that would take up more vertical space than the TV can give you. I realized this boss fight in Stage 3, by the way.
JB: Besides Castlevania, what were some of your favourite games growing up?
ER: I am a HUGE Zelda nerd. I have a Zelda shrine, so to speak. I own all the games with packages and manuals, lots of merchandise, and I even have a Zelda tattoo. There was also game on Super Nintendo (and Sega Genesis, but the SNES version was better) called Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow – I love this game. Terranigma and Lufia are among my favorite games, along with the aforementioned Faxanadu, the classic Mega Man series and of course the Metroid series.
JB: What Castlevania games influenced this game the most? That is, besides Legends, what other games inspired the design and gameplay?
ER: Well the very first NES Castlevania was not only hugely influential on this game, but also on my younger gaming self. I also took some inspiration from Dracula X on SNES (yes, I know, Rondo is better), in that you can’t upgrade your main weapon for example.
JB: What were your favourite Castlevania games to play?
ER: Obviously I love Symphony of the Night. I am also very partial to Legacy of Darkness and Simon’s Quest. Super Castlevania 4 and Portrait of Ruin also rank among my favorites.
JB: With regards to the last question, what were some of your favourite game genres growing up?
ER: I love action adventure games, really. I like to explore interesting settings – be it old castles or intricate dungeons.
JB: Making this game focused on the Wii U could be considered risky at this time. What led you to that decision?
ER: I have been a huge Nintendo fan growing up. I always wanted to create a game for a Nintendo system so this was really an easy decision to make.
JB: What do you think of the indie scene on the Wii U?
ER: It is far bigger than most people think, and from what I can tell quite popular. Of course there are positive and negative examples but overall most Nindies are actually very good games.
JB: Do you have any plans to integrate Miiverse into this game?
ER: We actually do support Miiverse. We also have stamps in the game.
JB: What are your hopes for this game? Would you want to make a sequel if this does well?
ER: My hopes are that it does well enough to warrant a release of story DLC. I could do a sequel but I’d much rather release the continuation of the story as DLC – a sequel would use the same graphics and graphical style anyway, because I am a one man development team (well, one and a half, I have an amazingly talented programmer/publisher friend) and creating complex graphics is simply not within my field of expertise.
JB: Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of Real Otaku Gamer?
ER: Well, obviously I hope you check out my game and my upcoming projects. I would also like to thank you for taking the time for me and I wish you all the best 🙂
Thank you for taking the time to do this interview and good luck with the game.
You can follow Ezekiel Rage on twitter here and check out his website here
11 Bit Studios announced a new game at PAX Prime . The game is Jameson The Pilot!
According to 11 Bit Studios and the developer Rezoner, Jameson The Pilot is described as follows:
Jameson The Pilot is a space sim in which the players can do almost anything they want. They can be explorers, miners, traders, pirates or even… space bus drivers! Countless possibilities and the extensive system of customizable ships, guilds and quests create huge universe full of potential.
Check out the reveal trailer below:
Jameson The Pilot is set for Steam Early Access this fall!
Electronic Arts granted the Sims 4 Create a Sim Demo to some fans who signed up last month. If you were not lucky enough to get the demo, here are some things that you can look forward to when the full game comes out September 2:
I ran the demo on my laptop without any issue. It is an HP Pavilion dv6 Notebook with an AMD A6-34200M with an integrated graphics card and six GB of memory. This is the same device in which I typically play Sims 3, though I definitely cannot turn up the graphics. The laptop is nothing fancy, especially for gaming, but it was able to chew right through the Sims 4 demo without any issues (I also was also toggling back and forth between social media sites, a couple of Microsoft Word documents, and the demo). I did notice that the game automatically set me to the lowest graphics and put me in a “laptop mode,” so I’m assuming that it will look awesome on a much better computer. Overall, I thought the demo was very stable. There were no hiccups or bugs to report and everything actually ran very smoothly. I was impressed, considering how slow Sims 3 Create a Sim works. However, this is also with every expansion packet included.
This is the Sim I designed, based off of myself in the lowest graphics setting. It still looks great.
Ease of Use
The sliders of the past are now gone. Sims 4 utilizes a more natural approach to creating a Sim by allowing the player to click on a part of a Sim and working from there. Of course, there are pre-set body types, faces, and whatnot, but you can still customize a Sim without a lot of hassle. I was easily able to choose traits and create a Sim without looking at a tutorial or feeling lost for very long. I felt like most of it was very intuitive. I was also able to quickly create the Sim that I wanted without a lot of issues. Overall, I was impressed with how this demo functioned, and I hope the rest of the game feels the same way.
Just click on the body part you want to modify. The game is very intuitive.
Although there aren’t a ton of hairstyles and outfits (not sure if this is what we’ll get with the real game or if this is just for the demo), there was enough to feel like a “full” game. I was able to create a cool character with the selection of traits, styles, and clothing, which is all I really care about at this point. One of the coolest aspects of the demo was the introduction to the gallery, which looked to be in full swing already. I was able to upload my created Sim to the gallery and look at other people’s Sims as well. If I chose to use someone else’s Sim as my own, it was easy to select it and place it in my own game.
Traits or “aspirations” did not have as large a list as Sims 3, but it still had a really good selection to get my Sim’s personality right.
I was starting to get a little disheartened over some of the news I had heard about Sims 4 (i.e. no toddlers, no cars, not an open world), but if the rest of the game is anything like the Create a Sim Demo, I think the game will be alright.