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By Jonathan Balofsky On 12 Feb, 2017 At 10:12 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarI am a massive fan of fighting games and truly hope the Switch will be home to many. We know Ultra Street Fighter II is coming, as is Blazblue title and Dragonball, but there are so many fighting games that would be good for the system. There are many classics like Rival Schools or Power Stone that would be great, but there is one from Capcom that stands out as a perfect fit for the system.

 

Pocket Fighter, or Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix as it was also known, was a fighting game like no other. It was A Capcom crossover game featuring characters from Street Fighter Alpha, Street Fighter III, Darkstalkers Red Earth and more. It featured chibi versions of the characters as seen in Super Puzzle Fighter, which gave it a kiddie appearance, but it had an incredible amount of depth, and was great for people new to fighting games. The game used different types of characters, such as all around, skill, and power types, and it also used a unique gem system ( not like in Marvel vs Capcom Infinite). The game was whacky and zany and characters would have transformations such cosplaying as other characters in their moves . For example, Chun Li as Jill Valentine, and Felicia as Mega Man among others.

Even more than most fighting games, Pocket Fighter was fun and extremely energetic, earning it the approval of longtime Capcom fans and new fighting game players alike. It is my opinion that theSwitch would be the best place for the game to receive a new incarnation. The console has a strong emphasis on co-op which and with the unique button system used in the game, the Joy Cons would be amazing for two player action. If there is a new entry, we could see more Capcom characters join the fight, as well as more cosplay, such as newer characters from fighting games or non fighting games, as well as characters that haven’t appeared in years.

A big reason I feel this is a good fit for the Switch is due to it being a hybrid type game. It is both for experts who can play it competitively in a hardcore fashion, but at the same time, it is great for newcomers and offers much to both groups. This is the exact type of game Nintendo seems to want on the Switch, so it just feels right. The art style would look amazing in either docked or handheld mode and not suffer due to its stylized nature. Best of all, is that this would be a good way to bring people back to fighting games, especially on Nintendo systems. It would also be great to have for modern eSports, just for how insane it is.

I truly hope Capcom considers this. It would be a perfect move for all.

No GravatarThe Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim received a remaster last year, with a  Switch port coming this fall, and ESO is getting a new Morrowind expansion. But what does the future hold for the series? I have some hopes for the next game and I would like to share them here.

1)  Continue The trend of Morrowind and Skyrim: The 3rd and 5th game, unlike the first 2 and 4th, had a very distinctive setting that was wholly unique. They really showed off the distinct cultures the games wanted to show, and I would love for the 6th game to continue this trend. While I would love the rumors of the game being set in Valenwood to be true, I would be fine if it wasn’t, as long as the land of the setting has a distinct feel.

2)  Refine the combat: Elder Scrolls combat is typically a low point for the series, and comes off as a cross between action and hack n slash while not feeling at home in an RPG. A better combat system can be done without sacrificing too much of the series identity and traditions. It just needs to be touched up for a bit.

3) Test out a game with the new engine before Elder Scrolls VI: Every Bethesda game launches with bugs and glitches of some kind. I would like to see Bethesda test out the new engine they will make, on another game before the next Elder Scrolls. that way it can launch with less bugs and less rushing, especially if the engine is better understood.

4) Give us some information about the previous protagonists: We know very little of what happened to the previous protagonists of the series. The Eternal Champion has been the subject of debate among fans, and the Agent of Daggerfall is assumed to have died due to the Warp but we don’t truly know, and the Nerevarine hasn’t shown up again despite being immortal. In fact, only the Hero of Kvatch has shown up in a later game and we don’t have an answer as to what will be of the Dragonborn. Some insight into the past protagonists would be nice.

5) Better marriage and children system: In Skyrim you could get married but it was a very basic system with nothing really to it and it felt lacking. Adopting children was a neat touch but it too missed something. There is a lot that can be done to improve this mechanic for the next entry and make it a part of the game that truly makes it stand out.

6) Continue some plot threads: Skyrim left a lot of lot threads unresolved, such as the Thalmor issue. While the Dragonborn’s tale is done, the next hero can take on the task of helping restore Tamriel to its former glory. if the Bosmer will be the focus of the game, then this is a great way to make the war with the Thalmor a focal point. there can even be conflict among the Bosmer themselves over who to side with. This isn’t the only plot thread, but it is the one that stands out the most, and the one I will use as an example.

7) Expand the cast and design team: Skyrim had limited voice actors and as such, many characters shared an actor/actress. As well, the dungeons were designed by a  small team of people, and this made the game feel very repetitive at times. A bigger cast, and a large design team can do wonders to create a more diverse atmosphere for the next game, so that it does not have that some problem of feeling repetitive and too much the same.

8) And lastly – Experiment with something out of the box: Morrowing and Skyrim are often felt to be the best in the series, and both tried something very different and ended up becoming big successes. Sticking to conventional ideas is okay, but as with Oblivion, it feels too similar to fantasy ideas in general. Do something different and stand out more. Give your game a unique identity and character.

I hope you enjoyed this piece and thank you for your time.

Disclaimer: The above was solely the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Real Otaku Gamer or its staff.

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Recently I had the chance to have a discussion with Brian Diamond and Stephen Froeber of the Materia Collective, regarding their upcoming project ZODIAC: Final Fantasy Tactics Remixed. We talked about how the project came about and what was involved. Have a read below.

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JB: This is a very interesting project, how did it come about?

Brian Diamond (BD): Stephen can probably answer this question more fully than me as a life long fan of the Tactics franchise. I came onto the project as an assistant producer a few weeks after it started, to help with organisational grunt work, though I quickly took on more responsibility as the project took shape. Tactics is a very popular game among members of The Materia Collective, with many chomping at the bit to put their musical mark on the world of Ivalice.

Stephen Froeber (SF): Final Fantasy Tactics was actually the second game that I played in the franchise. I was one of the “late bloomers” that caught the FF series starting with VII and the PlayStation era. I later went back and played all the originals.

Tactics was special to me because of how much more mature it was. The storyline was much darker and more serious, and the gameplay itself was more cerebral.What ultimately grabbed me, of course, was the music. It was so atmospheric and really fit the world so well.

When Materia Collective started with the first album covering VII, I knew it was only a matter of time before Tactics had to be done. I was thrilled to be able to produce the album with Brian. 

JB:  How has the response been for the project so far?

SF: We’ve had a lot really positive feedback, to include a nice comment from Yasumi Matsuno himself, which was a huge, unexpected honor! 

BD: The response has been extremely positive, with many praising the size of the album, its eclectic mix of styles and high quality of arrangers remixes. Everyone has a different favorite and I think that’s a testament to the all the talented individuals who poured their hearts into this project. We even had Tactics Creator Yasumi Matsuno retweet and buy a copy of the album.

JB: Was there any special selection of the musicians for the project?

SF: Many of the arrangers are veterans of the Materia Collective’s previous albums, but we always have new people with each project that request to join. We are continually impressed with the quality of work that arrangers put into each piece.

Each arranger has discretion on using their own musicians for their song, and many times, that is how many people end up getting involved long term.  

BD: Not really, the process of the majority of our projects involves our would be arrangers pitching proposals for the tracks they want to remix. We often ask that they pitch multiple tracks in case they don’t get their first preference. As with all soundtracks there are really popular tracks and hidden gems, and sometimes we have 7 proposals for one track. In that situation we might allow 2-3 versions of a track but we give priority to the first to submit and make sure the multiple submissions are stylistically different enough e.g. (a) Dubstep Remix, (b) Solo Piano and (c) Full Orchestral. It’s important for us to try and cover as much of the original soundtrack as possible, so we try and keep the number of repeated tracks to a minimum.

JB: What kind of future projects do you anticipate?

SF: We anticipate many future projects. 😉 

If you take a look at our current discography, you can probably take some good guesses as to things that are in the pipeline. 

BD: I can’t go into details yet (mainly because I don’t know myself), but would love to do more Final Fantasy albums, maybe some remix albums of Indie Games, I’m really looking forward to Materia Collectives Kickstarted Hero of Time orchestral album – the art work and vinyl design for it looks gorgeous and the work that Producer Eric Buchholz has done with Legend of Zelda Symphony of the Goddesses is stellar.

JB: What kind of approval process was there for the songs recorded?

SF: We have a pretty wide variety of skillsets and experience levels within the Collective. It’s always a delicate balance between being inclusive, and keeping our quality level consistently high. 

We have periodic check-ins throughout the production process for us to give feedback on demos and mixes. By the time the final tracks were submitted, they were pretty polished. 

BD: Outside of the initial proposal process, we try and get our arrangers to check in periodically with updates on how their tracks are doing, whether they’re having any problems, making sure they submit stuff on time. The most important thing we strive for is making sure that everyone involved give the best that they can give and that they can look back on the project with pride.

JB: There are a lot of tribute albums to video game soundtracks, how will this one stand out?

SF: One thing that makes all of the Materia Collective albums unique is that you really don’t know what you’re going to get from one track to the next. We have such a diverse range of musical influences, and you can hear that front and center in the music…. and yet, in spite of that, the album stays surprisingly unified and consistent. There’s something musically for everyone. 

BD: One thing about Materia releases that I have always enjoyed has been the sheer size of them and eclectic mix of styles – ZODIAC: Final Fantasy Tactics Remixed has 63 tracks and 4 hours long. And that isn’t even the largest one – our Undertale tribute album FALLEN that we released last September was 97 tracks 

JB: Have there been any difficulties in the making of Final Fantasy Tactics remixed?

SF: All large projects have challenges, and this was no exception. Life still happens even when you’re making awesome music. 

We had some artists that had to drop out of the project, as well as some growing pains with project management tools.

We try to take each problem as a point of learning to bring into the next album.

BD: I found it surprising how smoothly it went considering Stephen and I were dealing with 60 odd arrangers and by extension 100+ musicians throughout the process. Sometimes working with musicians can be like herding cats (speaking from past experience) however I’m delighted that we had very few issues on this album and all the musicians and vocalists were wonderful to work with.

JB: What is it about the music of Final Fantasy Tactics that stands out the most to you?

SF: Tactics, more so than the other FF series, was much more focused on atmosphere. There are several ambient, dissonant, haunting tracks all throughout, as well as some large orchestral pieces. 

I initially thought that would make this a challenging album to cover…. but when I started hearing the renditions of each track, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. It breathes new life into an already amazing soundtrack. Many times, it put a unique spin on a piece that gives it a whole new meaning.

BD: For me it’s the rich and luscious scores of Sakimoto and Iwata, the interweaving themes, the tapestry of storytelling conveyed through their music. My first experience of Sakimotos wonderful composition style was with the music of FFXII – I grew up on Uematsu sans gorgeous arrangements from the mainline Final Fantasy entries of the 90s and early 2000s. I came late to Final Fantasy Tactics playing it more recently on Android devices, but I had heard the soundtrack long before playing the game, and it’s unique style has stayed with my ‘til this day.

JB: Do you have anything you would like to say to the readers of Real Otaku Gamer?

SF: The one thing that I really enjoy about the VGM cover scene is the deep passion for the source material. 

These albums give us a chance to connect with fellow fans of these amazing games, and (hopefully) add something personal to the conversation of how we experienced the music that other people can connect with.

BD: Even though we’ve just released ZODIAC: Final Fantasy Tactics Remixed – Materia Collective has got a lot of cool projects coming out this year; so if you want to keep up with all our goings on – follow Materia Collective on Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and Bandcamp for updates on all our releases and general VGM goodness.

 

JB: Thank you again for doing this.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 3 Feb, 2017 At 01:47 PM | Categorized As Comics You Should Read, Editorials, Featured | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThis edition of Comics You Should Read is a little different. Normally I discuss individual collections of comics, but this time I am discussing an entire series.

Usagi Yojimbo is a legendary comic series by creator Stan Sakai about Miyamoto Usagi, a ronin in Edo era Japan. But there is one thing very different about this comic. Almost all the characters are anthropomorphic animals. Usagi is a rabbit for example and there are characters like Gen, who is a rhino. But do not be fooled by this, as this is not just a comic for kids but one that can be enjoyed by everyone.

The stories contained in the comic range from funny to epic to tragic, as Stan Sakai presents a look at the life of the Samurai, albeit with some fantasy elements. The stories pull no punches with how the culture worked, with numerous examples of deliberate values dissonance between Edo era Japan and the modern west. There are amazing characters like Tomoe Ame, Lord Noriyuki and Usagi’s nemesis, the demon spearman Jei, the blade of the gods.

The series has been going on since the 80’s and has crossed over with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles more than once, but new readers do not need to be worried. All the stories have been collected by both publishers Fantagraphics and Dark Horse Comics and are available for all to read. I suggest starting from the beginning though, so you will understand just who these characters are.  Some disappear a bit into the comic, as others make their debut, but all are unique in their own way.

There have been video game adaptations of Usagi in the past, including one way back on the Commodore 64, and one recently on mobile devices. The latter is one I am actually familiar with and has mostly hack n slash elements but also an original story. I suggest checking it out if you are curious.

Usagi is a comic I will be discussing a lot more in the future but wanted to just give a brief overview of first. The stories are amazing, whether they be about Usagi stopping criminals, defeating bandits, transporting a sacred sword to a shrine, or even just making a pot. They all have that special something about them that many comics lack. Usagi is an incredible character, but by Stan Sakai’s own admission, he is an unusual samurai in how he interacts with people. But this isn’t just an idealized storytelling, and the comic makes it very clear why Usagi is who he is when it shows his mentor Katsuichi, This is a comic that has all the pieces fit together just right and even years after being read, it will stick with you.

I suggest checking it out.

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Note: The author wishes to thank Real Otaku Gamer for allowing him to write this piece on the website, given its personal nature.

This is one of the more personal things I will be writing for this site. This is because I will be discussing some things that affect me on a personal level. I like many others in the world, suffer from depression and anxiety. I have had bouts of depressive periods and anxiety struggles for a number of years now and they take their toll on me.  An escape has always been video games, but video games don’t always work. I often feel scared, lost and confused. That is until one series ended up helping me in more ways than I could have imagined.

When I first played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, I was not expecting much. I knew the game had a strong reputation, but felt I would be underwhelmed in comparison to the amount of hype its fans had built up around it. What I found instead was a therapy for my troubles. Skyrim, and the other games in the series, provided not just an escape, but an outlet. When I was at my low points, I could slip into the games and feel better. That may sound like escapism, but it wasn’t. And it wasn’t, because after I would play the games I would feel more confident in my life. It helped me deal with my anxiety and I could manage better as a result.

I used to write a lot of poetry, and had a desire to publish a collection. However, when depression nd anxiety took its toll on me, I began to lose all motivation to continue writing. Playing around in the world of Tamriel helped return that motivation to me. The way it did that was not conventional either. I had discovered game modding and was amazed at what I could do to the games. It seemed like the games had become more than games, they had become a canvas for creators. Bethesda always made the games open to modding and that generosity they showed the fans, ended up helping me rediscover my love of writing. Since playing the games I have resumed writing poetry and have written two short stories.

I am not one of those people who becomes obsessed with the games to the point that they lose themselves completely into it.. I don’t see the characters as anything other than fiction, but that is what appeals to me. I am a person who needs to be creative in order to feel fulfilled and imagined what can be done to the characters by modders and series writers of future games makes me realize I have my own stories to tell. I have struggled with depression and the loss of motivation that came with it, and feel this gave me a way out of that dark hole. I see this as a way to inspire my own creativity in a helpful manner and that leads me to a better state of mind.

There is no cure for depression. It is a cancer that eats away at the mind and stays with you. I have fought it for over a decade, with my ups and downs, but with The Elder Scrolls series, I found something that was able to let me find my own way sorting my issues. It isn’t the only way but it is one way. So therefore I must say thank you to Bethesda Softworks. Your games have helped me so much. I look forward to your future games, and I hope the rumor of Elder Scrolls VI being set in Valenwood is true. The stories that are there to tell, will help me and others. But whatever story you wish to tell, I will be there and I will be inspired by it in a good way. Thank you got helping me and others more than you realize.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 18 Jan, 2017 At 09:20 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThere were many games shown off during the Nintendo Switch reveal presentation, but one that stood out was Arms. The game has been compared to Wii sports boxing but is closer to Punch Out, much with its unique characters. Everyone who has played Arms has raved about the motion controls being amazing, but the game also can be played without motion controls, and like a standard game.

I have long felt Nintendo needed to make a new fighting game IP and given that this is Nintendo, they wont just make a typical fighter. Arms is a fighting game that has a truly unique nature to it, from the fighting to the characters, everything just feels fresh. Nintendo compared this to a boxing game with shooting elements and that made me think of something. This is a character based fighting game that will be an introduction to fighting games for many, and given that Nintendo is pursuing eSports, they might push Arms as an esports game of sorts.

That is all well and good, but this does draw parallels between another game. Blizzard’s Overwatch is a character driven multiplayer FPS game that has served as a gateway to the genre for many. Arms comes across as a fighting game parallel to that game, both in terms of how it plays to bring in people, and how the characters have been received. If Nintendo plays it right, the way Blizzard has, Arms could be one of the biggest new franchises in recent years.

You may laugh at this idea, but the fact is, Nintendo is applying what they learned from Splatoon to the fighting game genre but are taking it a step further. Every aspect of this game just oozes character and personality, and people want to know more about it. The fan art of characters like Ribbon Girl and Spring Man is growing by the day, and the other characters are also extremely well received. There are already calls for the game to have a representative in Smash, and while they started as a joke, they have become serious now. Arms has developed a major fan following in just a few days, and it will not be released for a few months. If the game has a good story to it, both good online and singe player, and continues to build on the awesome characters shown, there is no limit to what Arms can achieve. Splatoon was a breakout hit on the Wii U, but I believe Arms will far surpass anything else.

 

The above was the opinion of the writer and not necessarily that of Real Otaku Gamer or its staff.

No GravatarThis is another special episode of “Geeks on the Internet Having a Beverage” with EGM alum Trickman Terry Minnich. We talk about old times at EGM and all of the work he did back then. We discuss how he found the tips and tricks for games. He talks about the process of coming up with the infamous Shen Long trick. He got in the ins and outs of making the layouts and other aspects of the print industry. It is truly an honor to chat it up with him.

No GravatarThe following is an opinion piece and only reflects the author’s views and not neccesarily that of the rest the Real Otaku Gamer staff.

 

2016 was a big year for gaming. Some new franchises came into being, and some series received amazing sequels. Join me as I list my top ten games of 2016. Just a note, I will only include games that I have actually played, so no Overwatch or Uncharted 4. This list will also include indie games.

10) AVGN II ASSimilation

Angry Video Game Nerd adventures was a brilliant indie game and spoof of bad retro games. AVGN 2 picks up where the first game left off and builds on it to make a game that is bigger and better in everyway. A full worldmap, a lot more levels, new powerups and ecouraging of replays, and tons of crass humor that just makes you laugh. The game referenced more games, the AVGN movie and even Board James, and is a treat for fans of James Rolfe. I cannot say enough good about this game, it is a brilliant parody of bad games while being awesome in its own right.

 

9) Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

The sole Nintendo game on the list, TMS #FE was a great RPG for a sytem starving for more of that genre. What was thought to be a fusion of Shint Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem’s play styles and elements, it actually turned out to play much more like Persona for the Wii U with the Fire Emblem as the personas and enemies. While some were put off by what the product was, it ended up being one of the best Nintendo games of the last decade. This was a brilliant game with a fun combat system and detailed plot that a player could lose themselves in for hours. This in many ways is a new IP with guest appearances from the FE characters, and hopefully this gets a sequel. Nintendo got themselves a brilliant RPG and this is one to be remembered.

8) King of Fighters XIV

While Street Fighter V got all the attention this year, it was actually SNK’s fighter that was the superior game. A complete experience and not barebones at launch, KOF XIV had something for everyone. It had good signle players modes as well as multiplayer modes, and there as inceintive to play the arcade mode with different teams to unlock secrets. The new characters were mostly fun and engaging and even some of the ones receivess less warmly turned out to be well thought out. SNK has been quick to fix any issues with the game, including fixing the online, and an upcoming patch to upgrade the visuals. As well, they have been evaluating fan interest in DLC characters for the game, so expect to see this title be supported for a while at least. This is perhaps the second best fighting game of 2016.

7)  Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

A late entry into this list, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero was a major surprise to me in terms of how much of an upgrade it was over the previous entries. The visuals were bright and beautiful and the game was nothing like I expected. I don’t know why, but I believed this would just be a game on the scale of Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, just with better visuals. It turned out to be a dramatic leap for the series and showed that Shantae can be a heavy hitter in gaming. Excellent power-ups, tons of replay value ( with even more coming) and a fun, engaging narrative, made this one of the best indie games of the year.

 

6) Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator

The greatest fighting game released in 2016, Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator did something so few fighting games do these days, and did as much as it could to make itself accessible. The tutorial was unlike anything else and truly taught you how to play the game. The fighting was top notch and perfected from previous iterations, and the online was much better than ever. In fact the lobby system in the game was extremely innovative and helped make the experience much more worthwhile. While the story mode lacked the English dub of the previous title, it still was a welcome experience and did its job in answering details about the Guilty Gear story. This was just the most refined fighting experience in a long time and needs to be played by all.

5) Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2

This game can be best summed up as bigger and better. Bandai Namco took all the positives of the first game while taking a look at what didn’t work, then went about fixing those issues.  The fighting feels more epic, the visuals are far better, and the story mode feels a lot more engaging this time.  With a large amount of characters, including some from Dragon Ball Super, Xenoverse 2 has something for everyone. Even the online is overhauled and this time it feels far more worthwhile to do co-op. It does reuse much of the original game but that isn’t a bad thing. This just feels like a better version of the first game.

4) Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth

This one caught me by surprise. A game that combined the world of Digimon, with the design and feel of the Persona series, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is a bold departure for the series. This game is one that I would recommend not only for Digimon fans, but also non-fans, as it is extremely accessible to all. The game feels like nothing else Bandai Namco has done with the Digimon series yet and I want more of this.  A detailed story, deep combat system and likeable characters, Cyber Sleuth has a lot to offer players of the RPG genre, especially those who are still waiting for Persona 5. This game was a hidden gem this year and I recommend it for all.

3) Shadow Warrior 2

This one is good. The previous Shadow Warrior was a game that helped get first person shooters out of the rut they were stuck in. It successfully revived the series while not compromising on what the original was, and made it a great experience. Shadow Warrior 2 makes the first game seem like a tech demo in comparison. Everything is on a grander scale, with vastly improved graphics and combat. The game uses a procedural generated level system to ensure no two replays are the same and it is better for it. This time around, there is a co-op mode that allows you to team up with 3 others and coordinate your playthrough differently. The best part about that is that the gameplay is scaled for co-op so it is never too easy or too hard. Also important is that the game does not act condescendingly towards people who play on easier settings. That is something that is sadly not common anymore.

2) Dishonored 2

Dishonored was an amazing game but this one takes it to the next level. Dishonored 2 is an epic experience that offers so much more than the previous entry. You can play as Emily or Corvo, with both having unique playstyles. This allows for a lot more replay value, especially when you are given multiple ways to play with those characters. The visuals are far better and the overall presentation is excellent. Even the music is great and helps bring you deeper into the gameplay. This is the best stealth game released in a very long time, if not ever and the action elements are so expertly woven in, that it just feels completely natural to shift to attacking. The various abilities you get in the game just make you feel like a badass and that is a welcome feeling. The game brings so much to the table that I cannot say enough good things about this

1) DOOM

The absolute best game of the year bar none ( that I’ve played), DOOM shows you how to revive a classic IP. We were all worried about this game based off the beta, which only showed the multiplayer, as well as the fact that the game wasn’t given to critics in advance. The fears were for naught luckily as DOOM is amazing. Fast paced shooting, with gory action, yet a well developed character who doesn’t need to say anything. The game perfectly marries story telling and gameplay into one in a better way than Half Life ever did, and the result is amazing.  This just feels like a proper return to form, not only for the Doom series but for the FPS genre in general. Many have been too dragged down in storytelling or rote gameplay, but DOOM shows the right way to do it. An amazing soundtrack that really gets your heart pumping for battle, and an amazing arsenal that keeps things fresh. The game’s SnapMap function also brings a form of modding to consoles, as well as giving you an endless amount of content to play through. Bethesda and Id software have been consistently updating the game with both free updates and DLC and all of it is welcome. This is an absolute must play for everyone.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 29 Dec, 2016 At 10:25 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Uncategorized | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar2016 has come and (almost) gone and with it has gone another year of gaming. We all have our lists of best games, but what about the games that were great but didn’t get the attention they deserved?  So to do our part to correct this, here is our list of 5 games that got overlooked during 2016 in no particular order. This does not include indie games as I plan another list for those at a later time.

 

5)King of Fighters XIV

Street Fighter V got all the attention this year, but King of Fighters XIV was a complete game at launch. Multiple modes for single player and SNK handling the issues with online in a prompt manner made this a must have game. With a large roster and actually moving forward in an interesting way that will most certainly affect the future games in the series, KOF XIV was a turning point for the series. Sadly too many people saw the visuals and looked away and missed out on an amazing game in the process. I must emphasize that this game felt like a game meant to be played by both hardcores and casuals, with the game doing its part to help get new players in without alienating veterans. With the visual update coming soon, I hope this game can get the attention it deserves.

4)World of Final Fantasy

This one sadly was the victim of bad timing. Final Fantasy XV had such a large amount of hype and momentum behind it that World of Final fantasy ended up being almost completely ignored. This is a shame because aside from a long opening sequence, WoFF is a great game that uses both classic Final Fantasy gameplay along with mon collecting and a good dash of humor. With tons of classic characters appearing and likeable protagonists, as well as intelligent writing and great visuals, this game has something for everyone. I feel if this had come out another year, this would have gotten a lot more attention. The sad thing is that this could have been marketed well to fans of the classic style of Final Fantasy but Square Enix didn’t, and I feel that was a missed opportunity. If you feel Final Fantasy has drifted too far into another direction, then I suggest this game.

3) Shadow Of The Beast

Shadow Of The Beast originated on the Amiga and was made by Pysgnosis, who were later acquired by Sony. The game was a sidescrolling platformer that was noted for its difficulty and amazing visual effects. The game received a remake on the PlayStation 4 earlier this year and like the others on this list, it was sadly not given the attention it deserved. A brilliant game that used beat em up elements along with rhythm game elements. It had amazing visuals and engaging gameplay and even included the original game as a bonus. It was brutal and fun and should have been a much bigger deal than it was. Even if you do not know much about the original game, that is fine since the game is very inviting. This is a game that is short but designed for replays and allows it to be done in new ways. I suggest checking it out.

2) Odin Sphere Leifthrasir

This game actually had a lot of hype before it came out, especially from fans of the original game. Once the game came out however, it seemed to utterly fall from the public mind.  This game was utterly brilliant with amazing visuals, refined combat and excellent RPG mechanics and storytelling. A beautiful metroidvania, Odin Sphere Leifthrasir was the complete package. A game that requires multiple playthroughs to understand fully and appreciate, and it is fun each time. The original game also did not get the attention it deserved and so it was hoped that this re-release would be a different story, but it sadly has gone the same way. I cannot understand why that is, as the game has so much to offer and it should have been a hit.

1-  Exist Archive

This one hurt the most. A spiritual sequel to Valkyrie Profile that went completely ignored. After we posted our review, I heard from people who told me they love what they read about the game and are disappointed that they had not heard of it before the review. I am going to quote this from the review.

Exist Archive is played in a side scrolling 2D plane, much like the earlier Valkyrie Profile series, along with metroidvania elements as well. The world is one of the most beautifully detailed video game worlds this generation, with artwork and visuals that truly must be seen to be believed. The music is also excellent, especially by JRPG standards, and I recommend listening to it fully as best as you can. In addition, both Japanese and English voice acting is included, which is great for fans of Japanese voice acting.

The game actually delivered something to the gaming world that people had been asking for. It was a brilliant RPG when many RPGs had gone stale, it was a spiritual revival of a classic IP, and it brought something new to the genre. I wish this had been promoted more, because this is a fantastic game. Since I wrote the review originally, it has grown on me even more and many of the flaws I had seen in it, I don’t see anymore. This is a truly unique masterpiece and the fact that it has been overlooked this year is a travesty. This is the most overlooked game of 2016 in my opinion.

 

No GravatarFor those of you who know me, I am a HUGE Animal Crossing fan. I have been playing since the release of the GameCube version. So when the Animal Crossing Nintendo Direct on November 2nd was revealed, I was excited. Once the Direct was over, there were still some questions, and since this is the second day after the direct, some of the online Animal Crossing community came up with a list of details not included in the Presentation. Here are a few of them.

Let’s clear up the selling of your town. You have to be Level 4 town to sell it. acnlnook

  • You can sit on rocks
  • New Fortune cookie items (including Wii u and 3DS)
  • You can interact with things in front of you while sitting down
  • MEOW Coupons can be exchanged for 3000 bells each
  • Ability to silence people in Club Tortimer
  • New island minigames
  • Ability to sit on pillows
  • New villagers brought back from older AC games
  • Free weed removal  service if you haven’t been to your town in a while by talking to Leif after returning
  • Nintendo 3DS image share can now be used in-game to upload pictures to Facebook/Twitter
  • Balloons no longer exclusively contain balloon furniture and can now drop any kind of furniture
  • You can now shake trees with a net/watering can/fishing rod equipped
  • Your character’s arms will now match the color of your mii mask
  • You can now interact with furniture items while sitting near them
  • Glitches have been patched
  • Villagers now have extended time on when they will move out varying from 7 – 10 days (more time to convince them otherwise)
  • New fertilizer from Leif can now revive dead trees and bring them back as ordinary fruit trees
  • You can now place furniture on top of stools
  • Timmy/Tommy no longer explain how to use wrapping paper when purchasing
  • New villager animations have been added
  • Cyrus now waves after you pick up a customized item
  • You can now stack fruit while in storage
  • Two tile furniture items can now be placed on tables (you can place masks and plates of food on tables)

Wisp Functionality

  • Wisp appears at a random location and can be found by walking around until you are called by an unknown voice at least a day after the update.
  • Amiibo villagers can be talked to, invited to camp, or invited to live in your town permanently from Wisp
  • Wisp can only grant one wish per day and can only be found once a day, meaning only one character can get Wisp each day unless you Time Travel (adjust the time)
  • If your town is full but you want an amiibo to move in, you can kick out one of your existing villagers by choice
  • You can use amiibo cards to move a villager back in even if they have not cleared the cycle

Happy Home Designer Functions and Designer Tips

  • HHD’s decorating mechanics added once you have the necessary upgrades.
  • Requires house to have a second floor and no unpaid debts before you can build storeroom. After the storeroom is built you can talk to Lottie at Nook’s Homes in order to unlock
  • Clothes can now be hung on walls
  • Storeroom upgrade provides tons of new storage space
  • Special items and furniture can be obtained if you link up save data from HHD from the start menu

storage

MEOW Coupons and  RV contents

  • MEOW coupons, a new currency from doing tasks. Used for purchasing items at the RV park store and furniture inside RVs
  • MEOW coupons can be exchanged for bells at the ATM at a rate of 3,000 bells per coupon
  • Only 3 furniture items can be ordered from campers each day
  • Furniture items can be purchased in RVs from another person’s town, however, it’ll take 5 coupons per item instead of 3
  • Tasks are now displayed on your Town Pass Card along with how many coupons they reward

Amiibo Functionality

  • The following figurines give the following villagers along with their furniture:
    • Toon Link – Medli (normal)
    • Ganondorf – Ganon (cranky)
    • Sheik – Epona (peppy)
    • Zelda/Link/W. Link – W. Link (jock)
    • Callie – Cece (peppy)
    • Marie – Viche (normal)
    • Inkling – Inkwell (jock)
    • Villager – not much information about this one
    • Monster Hunter amiibos – Felyne (lazy)
  • Special villagers such as Wolf Link, Ganon, Medli, Epona, Cece, and Viche can move to your town
  • New amiibo functionality, invite characters to park in a special new area with RVs. Works with all AC Amiibo, the cards, Splatoon, Zelda, and Monster Hunter amiibo.
  • AC figurine amiibos can be scanned to allow them to visit your town in an RV and have furniture available to purchase
  • While they are camping in their RV, Wisp will temporarily replace them in their roles but does not replace their job services
  • Series 1 – 4 amiibo cards give you furniture and the option to move a villager in
  • Amiibo camera that allows you to take Real photos with villagers
  • Amiibo cards of special characters such as Isabelle can be used to get their pictures as well

This is just a partial list of the function in the new update. We will have more news about the update as they are revealed.