You Are Browsing ' Editorials ' Category

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.

By otakuman5000 On 7 Oct, 2016 At 08:04 PM | Categorized As Animation, Comics/Manga, Editorials, Featured, NINTENDO, PC Games, Podcasts, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThis is our boss’ Andre Tipton aka Otakuman5000’s new show. The title is tentative, as for now, it is The Otakuman Hour/ The Andre Tipton Show.  Special Guests include Real Otaku Gamer’s own Sean Jacobs @NoirZillaGaming, Geekly Podcast’s @Melwheezy, DJ Killzown Jones @djkillzownjones. We talked about The Sony Destiny Deal, The NesBox Emulator for Xbox One, and cheating in gaming.

Since it is #VideoGameDay, we talk about the first game we played. And Otakuman5000 talks about his start in the Geek Culture Journalism.

By otakuman5000 On 6 Oct, 2016 At 09:02 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Podcasts, ROG News, The Real Gamer Show, Videos | With 0 Comments

No GravatarNSFW!! Parental Advisory! We streamed the show originally back in July 2016.

Yeah, you read it correctly! Your 3 favorite old gamers are back! On this episode, we pay a tribute to my late wife (who Griffey called Mrs. Otakuman). We were completely off the cuff with this episode, We did our section PLWR: Playing, Listening, Watching, and Reading. Griffey is playing Mad Max and talking about Big Shel’s Kitchen. Shel is headed to EVO 2016. We are having a blast on the show. Check out the show.

No Gravatarcastlevania

This week marked 30 years of the Castlevania series, a series near and dear to my heart. My first time playing this series was actually with Circle of the Moon on the GBA when I rented it while on vacation one year. It didn’t make a lasting impression on me, nor did Harmony of Dissonance some time later. The moment I became enthralled with Castlevania wasn’t actually when I played a game in the series. No, it began when I opened the pages of Gamepro one month and saw a preview of Castlevania Aria of Sorrow. I don’t know why, but once I saw those preview images I knew I had to play this game when it came out. And play it I did, becoming obsessed with finding every secret, getting every soul and so on. This was a game that hooked me and made me a fan of the series.

I did not own the original games on the NES or Super Castlevania IV on the SNES, but thanks to the virtual console, I have been able to play these classics. I think they still hold up well, to an extent. Castlevania 1 is punishingly hard, and 3 is even harder but added so much innovation. Simon’s Quest is of course the black sheep of the series but it did lay the groundwork for what would come later with Symphony of the Night. These are all amazing games on the NES, with the first game being an amazing homage to classic horror cinema, an aspect that while downplayed later on in the series, is still there even in recent entries.

Super Castlevania IV was where the series really got good. It was still hard, but now it was fair. Your failures were your own fault, and the bosses still a challenge but no longer unfair. The music was some of the best in the entire series and everything seemed on a greater scale than before. This continued with Rondo of Blood and Bloodlines. While some feel Bloodlines is not as good as IV, I think it is on equal ground. It had its own contribution to the story and helped make the novel by Bram Stoker canon with the games. It was the goriest entry in the series but also one of the best designed.

Rondo of Blood was the big transition in terms of storytelling. It didn’t just introduce cut scenes, it also introduced hidden stages which was a game changer for the series. It led directly into Castlevania SOTN as well. SOTN changed how the games were played, but it did so by combining what came before in Simon’s quest, Dracula’s Curse and Rondo of Blood, with elements of the Zelda series. It led to that style of games being called metroidvania, instead of just metroidlike.

The series has been put on hold by Konami, and with Koji Igarashi having left, it seems unlikely we will get a new entry. But we do have IGA’s upcoming game, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, to look forward to. Castlevania may have turned 30 this week, but the series still brings in new fans every day!

By Jonathan Balofsky On 19 Sep, 2016 At 08:03 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, PlayStation, ROG News, Uncategorized | With 2 Comments

No GravatarCapcom’s Street Fighter V was a game I was extremely excited for. It promised to be bigger and better than anything before it in the Street Fighter series, but what we got was less than expected. The game lacked so many basic modes and was extremely difficult for a newcomer to get into, despite Capcom saying they wanted to make it easier for newcomers to get into the series. It was a complete disappointment to me and it was the first time I ever felt upset at buying a game digitally, since I could not return it. The incomplete launch was such a turn of to me that it caused me to question if fighting games were for me.

Street Fighter V Logo

I had been getting into fighting games more and more over the past year but SFV killed all excitement I had for the genre. I began to wonder if it was even worth getting into, or if I was wasting my time. Aside from Mortal Kombat, few fighting game  were very welcoming to newcomers and casuals, or to fans who are not hardcore players. I thought “Okay, maybe this is just how the genre is now” and was willing to accept that. But then it all changed.

KOFXIV (13)

When SNK’s King of Fighters XIV was announced, people mocked it for its graphics and wrote it off as a waste. But it slowly but surely began to win people over, people who were tired of what the genre had become and wanted something different. When KOF XIV came out, it was a revelation to me. This was a fighting game that I could learn and get into , and hardcore players and casuals alike could enjoy for different reasons. SNK sacrificed visuals to make the product the best they could in terms of substance and I found myself enjoying fighting games again.

KOFXIV (12)

When issues came up online, SNK hurried to make a patch and fix the issues, and every interview with the developers shows a love of gaming that is lacking elsewhere. KOF XIV won over skeptics and gained many new fans with its design. Anyone can learn it but it takes effort to master it and that is how it should be. It also happens to be a complete game with everything included at launch. DLC may come later, but there is already so much variety that if there is no DLC, there is still more than enough content.

KOFXIV (8)

I was ready to move on and accept that fighting games were something I would never get into. But SNK rid me of that idea and made me realize that there are fighting games worth playing. I am particularly excited for Tekken 7 now and I will always be indebted to SNK for saving this genre for me.

 

You can read my review of KOF XIV here

By Jonathan Balofsky On 14 Sep, 2016 At 10:28 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Editorials, Featured, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatarsimpsons

The Simpsons have had a long history with comics and some have been absolutely amazing. I recently had the chance to read Simpsons Comics Colossal Compendium volume 4 and loved it. This collection has some of the best stories the series has ever had.

To highlight a few stories in particular, we have two stories of “Tales from the Springfield Bear Patrol”, a throwback to the season 7 episode “Much Apu About Nothing”. The stories are hilarious and help touch on ideas the show hasn’t used in decades. We see how inept the bear patrol is but they always manage to save the day (sort of).

Other stories include “Judge Dreadneck” a parody of Judge Dredd with Cletus in the role. This is the second best story in this collection, with loving references to not just the comic but also 80’s movies like Mad Max. This story is one of the reasons I love the comics. They have a creativity to them that the show now lacks.

The best story in this collection though, is “The Duffman Corps” a parody of Green Lantern with Duffman in the role. It is far better than it has any right to be, with the Duffman Oath, the villain Vinostro and the Guardians of The Party. This is one of the best comic parodies I have ever seen and I was laughing so loud while reading this, that I was out of breath more than once.

These are just 3 (technically 4) of the stories within and they are all amazing. This is a comic you should take the time to seek out. The TV Show may be out of steam but The Simpsons Comics are still going strong.