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By Jessica Brister On 14 Jul, 2014 At 03:30 PM | Categorized As Editorials, PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4, ROG Humor | With 0 Comments
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Want to get away this summer without the high cost? A video game vacation may be for you! Video games offer a wide variety of places to go–both real and imagined. You don’t even have to leave your living room!

Join Real Otaku Gamer every week for a highlight of some of the best video game places. After reading, click on the link at the bottom to take the survey on which place you’d prefer to have a video game vacation. Don’t forget to check out the previous weeks’ spots if you missed them!

This week’s featured place: Pittsburgh
Game: The Last of Us

There were a lot of cool places to visit in The Last of Us, but Pittsburgh was one of the best.

There were a lot of cool places to visit in The Last of Us, but Pittsburgh was one of the best.

Instead of visiting the real Pittsburgh, why not visit a virtual one? There’s a twist, though. This Pittsburgh is in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. Though the city is in shambles because of the outbreak of a fungal infection that turns people into cannibalistic zombies, it is still quite fun to roam around in the ruins of Pittsburgh. While visiting, you may run into some trouble with roaming bandits, who kill “tourists” or people traveling through the city in order to steal their things. Dodging these bandits and hoards of infected, visiting this city is a tense, thrilling ride.

Packages include:

• Car transportation to the city. Then you are on your own.
• A variety of melee weapons and guns.
• A charming “welcome” from the local bandits.
• Your own gas mask in case you run into spores of infected.
• A kit to craft your own health and weapons.

Explore the suburbs of the city and find out what happened to everyone.

Explore the suburbs of the city and find out what happened to everyone.

Pittsburgh at a glance:

Accommodations:
• Visit the Hotel Grand, though you may have to fight your way through bandit territory.

Dining:
• Crack open a can of food you find in the wreckage of the city.

Entertainment:
• Play dodge the really persistent weaponized Humvee.
• Sneak around and take out bandits.
• Snipe at zombies and bad guys.

Sight-Seeing:
• Take in the scenic view of the Alleghany River.
• Explore what happened to the residents of the suburb areas of Pittsburgh.
• Crawl through sewer pipes and hope that infected aren’t there.

This hotel may have seen better days, but it still has some charm!

This hotel may have seen better days, but it still has some charm!

What do you think? Which video game vacation would you prefer? Click here to take the survey
and let ROG know where you’d like to go. Be sure to come back next week for another location.

Week 3: Pandora
Week 2: Chicago
Week 1: Rapture

 

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Tired of spending a bunch of money to get away for the summer?  Don’t want to travel any farther than your coach?  Try a video game vacation!  The great thing about video games is that they can take a person anywhere–to places both real and imagined, and they don’t require plane tickets or a passport.

Join Real Otaku Gamer every week for a highlight of some of the best video games places.  After reading, take the survey at the bottom to vote for your favorite video game vacation spot.

Don't let the grim appearance  fool you; Pandora is a fun place to visit.

Don’t let the grim appearance fool you; Pandora is a fun place to visit.

This week’s featured place: Pandora

Game: Borderlands & Borderlands 2

Pandora is the place for adventure and excitement.  First settled as a colony for people looking to get away from Earth, the new inhabitants had no idea how crazy this planet really was.  Harsh, indigenous life and rough conditions and a barren climate kept all from the die-hards from leaving.  The planet has been under control by one corporation or another, although many of the locals of Pandora can be a bit eccentric and sometimes downright cannibalistic.  Don’t let this deter you from visiting, though.  The lure of riches and treasures from legendary “vaults” around the planet lure people to the planet every year.   A true vault hunter will have an enjoyable visit, no matter what!

Sanctuary is a great place to kick back and relax.

Sanctuary is a great place to kick back and relax.

Packages include:

  • One way ticket to Pandora.
  • Access to over seventeen million weapon combinations.
  • Free car rentals in the Catch-a-Ride system.
  • One special ability perk, depending on what character you go as.
  • Get your own personal Claptrap to annoy you.
Enjoy the quiet beauty of Pandora!

Enjoy the quiet beauty of Pandora!

Pandora at a glance:

Accommodations:

  • Stay in New Haven (Borderlands 1) or Sanctuary (Borderlands 2).

Dining:

  • Visit Moxxi’s Red Light, a popular bar in Pandora.
  • Have a drink at the Holy Spirits, a pub ran by a local clan.

Entertainment:

  • Talk to Claptrap.  He’s very entertaining and a little depressing.
  • Play D&D with Tiny Tina (Tiny Tina’s Assault on Dragon’s Keep DLC).
  • Participate in one of Sir Hammerlock’s hunts.
  • Blow up bad guys in multiple rounds at Fink’s Slaughterhouse.

Shopping:

  • Dr. Zed (not a real doctor) has many vending machines for health and shields as well as a physical place where he practices.
  • Check out any of Marcus’s weapon vending machines for a good deal.

Sight-Seeing:

  • Stop by Ellie’s garage for a car upgrade.
  • Visit Crazy Earl’s Scrapyard.
  • Drive around the Arid Nexus.
  • Go to Lynchwood, a real-life wild west town.
  • Sight-see around the wasteland of the Eridium Blight.

What do you think?  Which video game vacation would you prefer? Click here to take the survey
and let ROG know where you’d like to go. Be sure to come back next week for another location.

Last Week: Chicago
Week 1: Rapture

 

By Jessica Brister On 27 Jun, 2014 At 05:13 PM | Categorized As Editorials, ROG Humor | With 0 Comments
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Summer vacations getting a little pricey?  Want to go somewhere interesting without leaving the comfort of your couch?  Try a video game vacation!  The great thing about video games is that they can take a person anywhere–to places both real and imagined, and they don’t require plane tickets or a passport.

Join Real Otaku Gamer every week for a highlight of some of the best video games places.  After reading, take the survey at the bottom to vote for your favorite videogame vacation spot.

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This week’s featured place: Chicago

Game: Watch Dogs

 

Want to visit Chicago without buying a plane ticket?  Try visiting the virtual Chicago in Watch Dogs.  Designed as a replica for the real-deal, the city of Chicago is a must-see.  There are some charming changes, though.  Unlike the real city, this Chicago is monitored by an operating system called ctOS, which runs practically everything in the city from street lights to the power.  It might sound a little “Big Brother,” but it really makes the city an entertaining place to visit.  Plus, a visit includes the ability to be able to hack into ctOS and get into everyone’s business!  So, enjoy the free-roaming experience that Chicago has to offer.

 

Packages include:

  • Unlimited use of other people’s cars.  They won’t mind unless you actively take it from them while they’re in it.
  • Sleeping accommodations in multiple parts of the city.
  • Free cell phone with special hacking abilities.
  • The longer you stay and play in the city, the more hacking upgrades you can get.
  • Free baseball cap, bandana, and leather jacket to patrol around the city in.
  • Access to tons of city actives, including a bunch of “mini-games.”

 

Enjoy the beautiful view in  the Windy City.

Enjoy the beautiful view in the Windy City.

Chicago at a glance:

Entertainment:

  • Drive a selection of cars and bikes.
  • Have fun boating in the many waterways.
  • Take on hacking and driving jobs throughout the city.
  • Hack stuff in and around the city and see what happens.
  • Have fun playing the many “mini-games,” including chess, poker, cash run, digital trips, and drinking games.
  • Spend time causing millions of dollars worth of property damage to the city because you didn’t feel like hitting the brakes on your car.

Rooms Available

  • Multiple areas are available for you to crash in during your stay, including spots in many different areas of the city.

Sight-Seeing:

  • Drive down the Magnificent Mile and snoop on people.
  • Go see downtown Chicago and the Willis tower.
  • Take a drive to Pawnee and “get away from it all.”
Chicago offers urban exploring at its best!

Chicago offers urban exploring at its best!

What do you think?  Which video game vacation would you prefer? Click here to take the survey and let ROG know where you’d like to go.  Be sure to come back next week for another location.

Last week’s location: Rapture

By Jessica Brister On 18 Jun, 2014 At 04:09 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, ROG Humor, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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Want to get away this summer without the large expense?  Try a video game vacation!  Video games offer a wide variety of places to visit–both real and imagined.  The player doesn’t even have to leave the couch!

Join Real Otaku Gamer every week to preview some of the best video games places.  After reading, take the survey at the bottom to vote for your favorite videogame vacation spot.

This week’s featured place: Rapture

Game(s): BioShock, BioShock 2

This beautiful under the sea city features gorgeous Art Deco designs.

This beautiful under the sea city features gorgeous Art Deco designs.

Searching for a unique vacation spot this year?  Look no further than the underwater city of Rapture! Built by business tycoon Andrew Ryan in the 1940s, Rapture was meant to be a utopia for people who want to be free from government and morality.  Since science was left unchecked, Rapture quickly turned into an interesting dystopia, where DNA-altering plasmids created by ADAM have warped the population into crazies.  The only sane people left are power-mad and vying for control of the city.  Don’t be quick to write off this gem, though.  The locals are just part of the Rapture charm.  So, enjoy this a one-of-a-kind vacation spot under the sea.  It’s perfect for sight-seers, fisherman, underwater adventurers, and those who like to shoot lightening out of their fingertips.

Packages include:

  • Discounted air travel.  In fact, the plane practically “drops you off” right above Rapture.
  • Unlimited stay for the same price.  Of course, you’ll have to figure out how to leave.  If you ever get to leave.
  • Free plasmid upgrade upon arrival.
  • Free melee weapon upon arrival.
  • Access to all of the local amenities
  • Your choice of travel guides: Atlas or Dr. Tenenbaum.

 Rapture at a Glance:

Entertainment:

  • Enjoy the Welcome Center.
  • Visit the recreation areas of Arcadia or Dionysus Park.
  • Catch a show at Fort Frolic, including performances by Sander Cohen.
  • Have fun at Ryan’s Amusements.
  • Visit Siren’s Alley, if you’re into that type of thing.

Food & Dining:

  • Enjoy fine-dining at the Kashmir Restaurant.
  • Visit the Farmer’s Market, including a real apiary and winery.

Rooms Available:

  • Olympus Heights: First class accommodations
  • Apollo Square: Second class accommodations
  • Pauper’s Drop: Third class accommodations

Sight-Seeing:

  • See the real fishery at Neptune’s Bounty.
  • Visit the natural geothermal volcanic vents of Hapthestus.
  • Go to the tallest point in Rapture, Point Prometheus.
  • Take a ride on the Atlantic Express.

Spas & Relaxation:

  • Get some work done at the Medical Pavilion.
  • Relax at the Adonis Luxury Resort.
Vacationing here is a once in a lifetime opportunity!

Vacationing here is a once in a lifetime opportunity!

What do you think?  Which video game vacation would you prefer?  Take the survey and let ROG know where you’d like to go.  Be sure to come back next week for another location.

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PAX welcome

PAX East 2014 was my fourth PAX but my first time going as Media.  As always, PAX East was a great experience! Every year PAX East is held in Boston, so I enjoy being able to see another part of the East Coast while checking out all the video games.

This year I got to see many different video games, the most notable of which included This War of Mine from 11 Bit Studios, Sniper Elite 3 and Defense Grid 2 from 505 Games and Hidden Path Entertainment, and Framed from Loveshack Entertainment.  All of these games were very different from one another but brought a lot to the table to create an enjoyable experience. This War of Mine allows you to gain insight into the struggle of a war torn country from a very individual level of trying to survive day to day.  Sniper Elite 3 brought a new and fun entry into shooters with absolutely amazing and awe-worthy graphics.  Defense Grid 2 was an amazingly fun tower defense game that doesn’t fail to keep you on your toes.  Framed was a very unique entry with a puzzle style journey through a mystery.  I plan to get all of these games the minute they’re available and I highly recommend each and every one of them.

Of course, there was far more to see during PAX East as the expanse of the show floor and panels is ginormous! 2014 was definitely the year of the indie games for PAX East.  The presence of AAA games seemed to be a bit light and I was quite worried when I saw the schedule, but PAX East did not disappoint.

OSD

An organization I would definitely like to highlight is Operation Supply Drop. As an Army brat (my parents served in the Army for a long time) and having a lot of friends in the military, it definitely makes me happy to see an organization that makes it their mission to help out the troops.  Operation Supply Drop does just that and more. I met with Captain Stephen Machuga of the US Army and Charity Founder. Captain Machuga, as well as everyone at OSD’s booth exhuded passion and enthusiasm about their mission to bring “video games to soldiers in combat zones and military hospitals.”  Being in a combat zone, in military hospitals, and other areas where soldiers serve can be extremely stressful so OSD does their best to make “fun where there is none!” There was never a dull moment at the booth while there or passing and I’ve seen so much enthusiasm from the gaming community to help their cause.  It’ll be very interesting to see how OSD expands and grows further to be such a great presence for our troops.  For more information about their cause and how to help out, check out their website at www.OperationSupplyDrop.org, their Twitter @OpSupplyDrop, and their Facebook page at Facebook.com/OperationSupplyDrop.

I also got to check out numerous booths on the show floor which is always exciting. GUNNAR Optiks never disappoints with their selection of gaming eyewear. I even snagged myself a pair from their Intercept line in Ink (purple). I always get a pair of GUNNARs every time I go to PAX East and absolutely love them. Whether I’m gaming or staring at a computer screen, GUNNARs help reduce the strain in my eyes. I’ve also found that their line of sunglasses are absolutely wonderful and are far better than all of the other sunglasses that I own.

GUNNARs Intercept Ink

Me with Gunnars

As always, PAX East was a great experience and I highly recommend going if you ever get the chance.  It’s worth the fun and craziness and the video game culture galore!  Everyone is excited and happy to be there with so many things to do with such a short amount of time!

Although I may not attend next year, you may be able to catch me at PAX South and PAX Prime next year. I, also, plan to be at Otakon this summer and Baltimore Comic Con this fall.

Did you go? What did you think of PAX East? Is there anything from my experience at PAX East that you’d like to hear more about? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @LadyLoveMonster!

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An editorial by NoirZillaGamer

“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.

 

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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.”

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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.

By Jessica Brister On 22 May, 2014 At 04:09 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Old School Otaku | With 0 Comments
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Many people have complained over the years to the fact that movies and games that are taken from books almost never turn out to be as good as the original source.  Happily, there are some gems that are hidden in the crowd of mediocrity.  Parasite Eve is an older Playstation game that was actually the sequel to a popular Japanese horror novel of the same title.  The book and game are tied tightly together, and they demonstrate that one really can have an extremely well done game based from literature.

Parasite Eve, the novel, by Hideaki Sena is a Japanese horror novel with many science fiction elements.  It was originally published in 1996, but people who couldn’t read in Japanese had to wait to read it until 2005 when it was finally translated into English.  The story is heavily based on science, including biology and genetics.  The book is so technical that it is often confusing to follow, unless the reader has a thorough background in biology.  That’s what makes it such good science fiction, though.  It takes real science and twists it a bit to make a fast-paced story.

Cover Art for Parasite Eve, the novel.

Cover Art for Parasite Eve, the novel.

The story follows Toshiaki Nagishima, a biology and pharmaceutical researcher.  His wife, Kiyomi, has been declared brain dead after a horrible car accident.  However, there is more going on than meets the eye.  The novel presumes that the mitochondria in a human’s cells have been evolving since the days of primordial sludge.  The mitochondria have formed a new life form, called “Eve,” which has now reached a peak in her evolutionary process.  Kiyomi’s body just happens to have the right conditions for Eve to begin to take control.  In fact, Eve is the one responsible for Kiyomi’s car accident in order to be transplanted into others.  Throughout the novel, Eve manipulates the people around her on a cellular level.  Her ultimate goal is to give birth to a child that will be able to chance its genetic code on a whim and there be the perfect life form that will replace humans as the dominate life on earth.

Though the novel sounds scientific and dry, it is actually first and foremost a horror story.  The reader gets suspense, creepy, and downright scary all rolled into one novel.  The science just adds to the realism of the novel.  Since the novel is based in science, the reader gets to wonder: What if this really could happen?  Don’t we have mitochondria in all of our cells?  What if someone’s body was taken over at the cellular level?  These questions and more make up some of the thematic elements of the story.  It allows the reader to question whether we really know everything about the human body.  Are we even in control of our bodies?  It’s a creepy thought and is one of many that this novel brings to the table.

The novel was so popular that it spawned a video game sequel with the same title.  Though the game takes place in the United States, many of the same elements that made the novel so unique appear in the game.  Parasite Eve is an action-based RPG that also falls into the “survival horror” category.  It was released in 1998 on the original Playstation.  In a sea of traditional RPGs, Parasite Eve was unique in its tone and game play.

Parasite_Eve_Coverart

The story follows Aya Brea, an NYPD cop who just wants to spend a quiet evening at the opera.  Unfortunately, everyone at the opera spontaneously combusts, leaving her and an actress named Melissa alive.  After investigating, Aya finds out that Eve is up to her same old tricks again: She is again trying to create the “Ultimate Being” by manipulating people whose bodies have the right conditions for Eve to flourish.  Aya finds out that her mitochondria is evolving as well, which gives her some pretty awesome powers.  It is up to Aya to go up against Eve to save New York City.

Though having RPG elements, such as leveling up and gaining new powers, the player must also dodge attacks during battle (something that was unique for that time period of RPGs).  Aya develops powers and is able to use those as well.  Battles are chosen more through random encounters, although there are spots that if you walk over, you are guaranteed a battle.  Weapons and armor can be upgraded or replaced as the player explores.  The game play gets a creepy vibe with the genetically altered creatures, although the best part of the game could actually be the cut scene graphics which still look great even after all of this time.  The in-game graphics are a little grainy, but there is nothing like those amazing cut-scenes.

The cut-scenes of this game still look good today.

The cut-scenes of this game still look good today.

It’s hard to imagine that an excellent novel could spawn an excellent game.  There have been so many let-downs with novel to movie that sometimes it’s easy to forget that video game developers can get it right.  However, Parasite Eve remains amazing, regardless of being in print or in pixel.

By NightingaleSilva On 15 May, 2014 At 02:50 AM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured | With 0 Comments
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With E3 just around the corner it seems, there is so much I want from this year’s largest gaming conference. E3 is the one event out of the year that I cannot miss for anything. Think of it as someone who is really into sports, and can’t miss a game…that’s me, but with E3.

I expect a lot of awesomeness this year and on into 2015 in the world of gaming. What I look forward to most is seeing what I can expect for all of the new gen consoles, the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and most of all, the Wii U.

I’m a hardcore Nintendo fan. Regardless of how much negativity they’ve gotten from the Wii U not selling as well, I absolutely adore mine. I’d choose it over a PlayStation 4 or Xbox One any day! I think all it will take will be one (or several) awesome games to blow it up to get the hype it deserves, and I’m hoping this year’s E3 will give us some titles and trailers that will boost the Wii U to get it where it needs to be.

I’m pretty sure titles like Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. U will give it a great boost, but what about the others games we’ve been promised that we hope to see at E3?

There was a rumor a while back that there will be a playable version of the much anticipated Zelda U, which, according to this rumor, is entitled The Legend of Zelda: Shard of Nightmare. This is the one title I literally bought my Wii U for…for I am a Legend of Zelda addict. Also, more will also be shown for the spin-off, Hyrule Warriors, where Legend of Zelda meets Dynasty Warriors. We can also look forward to possibly hearing more about Yarn Yoshi, Monolith Soft’s “X”, and Shin Megami Tensei X Fire Emblem, along with maybe a few titles we’ve yet to even know about!

Now, I can talk about Nintendo all day, err’day, but let’s move on to its competitors: Xbox and PlayStation.

next_gen_consolesAs most of us know by now, Microsoft has already announced the release of a Kinect-less Xbox One coming out on June 9th. On top of that, they also announced changes to their Xbox Live Gold subscription, making it work more along the lines of Sony’s PlayStation Plus. What other announcements will Microsoft announce at this year’s E3 since they’ve already announced these tidbits?

Halo. I have a gut feeling that Halo will play a large part at 2014′s E3. Perhaps something to do with the new show they have been talking about, and possibly a new game? All I hope is that it’s not some HD remake of the older Halos, though that would be cool, we all know Halo fans want a new one, and they want it soon on their Xbox Ones. Maybe even a new Gears of War or something would be cool.

Now for PlayStation…

I want to see the new Uncharted! I want to see gameplay for it and see how beautiful it will look on the PS4. I’d like to see a new God of War announced also. Another inFamous would be nice, but seeing as how the last one just came out earlier this year, I seriously doubt it. I’ll also take a new Little Big Planet on the PS4.

I want to see more for the PlayStation Vita as well, especially since I just got my hands on the new, sleek PS Vita Slim.

And now…what I want to see from certain developers.

BioWare, please, please, PLEASE…The new Mass Effect? I hope they will announce more about it, and maybe even grace us with a debut trailer. I’d like to see more for Dragon Age Inquisition also.

And being the fan of Bethesda that I am, I’d love to see a new Elder Scrolls title from them, though that is a slight shot in the dark since they have been so focused on Elder Scrolls Online. Or maybe announce that ESO will become free to play? Hey, hey…I can dream, right? And if not a new Elder Scrolls, perhaps something about the new Fallout that has been so hush-hush. I’ll take either or, or both…both would be nice.

And now I ask you, the reader, what do YOU want to see from this year’s E3? Sound off in the comments below! Nightingale, out!

There was too much focus on the third-person shooting aspect of the game and not enough on puzzles.

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There was a point in time that I used to be a hard-core, old-school Tomb Raider fan.  I have all of the early games and have actually had the pleasure to play them on both PC and console.  When I heard about the new Tomb Raider origins/reboot game that came out in 2013, I put it on the list to play.  My chance finally came when I whittled down the backlog of games this spring and got a chance to play Tomb Raider.

If you are not familiar with the game, Tomb Raider is a 2013 action-adventure, 3rd-person video game developed by Crystal Dynamics and published by Square Enix.  It is a reboot of the original franchise, concentrating on how Lara Croft became the world-famous adventurer.  It was also released on next-gen consoles as the “definitive edition” with slightly improved graphics.  It is also the first in the Tomb Raider series to ever have multiplayer, though for the purposes of this review, I will only be reviewing the single player aspects.

If the game wasn’t a Tomb Raider game, I would probably rate it as “okay,” considering that the game is fun to play at parts but copies to heavily from the Uncharted series.  However, this is supposed to be a Tomb Raider game, and here is what went terribly wrong:

Where are the puzzles? 

The first thing I noticed right away was that the game barely has any puzzles.  There’s a few sprinkled throughout the mostly 3rd-person shooter game, but they weren’t that hard.  I never felt stumped on them, and they only took a few moments to figure them out.  What was even worse was the fact that there are no jumping puzzles at all.  Some people may rejoice that the jumping and climbing bit of the franchise has been made easier by almost “auto” directing for you when you go to jump.  The problem is that jumping puzzles were have the fun of the original Tomb Raider games.  Trying to figure out what angle to jump and how many steps into the jump you needed to take was part of the charm of the game.

 Too much shooting

The Tomb Raider franchise had been all about balance.  The original only had a little bit of shooting (animals and the very occasional bad guy).  As more games came out, shooting became more and more prevalent, but the focus was also want adventuring and puzzles.  This new game is all about the third-person shooter experience with duck and cover elements.  The problem?  Old school Tomb Raider games were jump and flip.  I have had people point out to me that the game needed updated.  I can agree with that to some degree.  However, I do have a problem with the developers fundamentally changing the whole feel of the game play.

There was too much focus on the third-person shooting aspect of the game and not enough on puzzles.

There was too much focus on the third-person shooting aspect of the game and not enough on puzzles.

 Where are the tombs?

This game has basically become “survival raider” because there really weren’t any traditional tombs, at least the type that one would expect in a Tomb Raider game.  The player is stuck on one island for the whole time, so there is no variety.  There are some ancient houses and temples built  there, as well as some areas the game calls “tombs.”  I call them “rooms.”  They are barely big enough to do any actual exploring.  There is nothing really adventurous about the game.  It’s sole focus is on survival.

 The tone is off

Tomb Raider games used to be fun and hip.  Playing the older games, you felt like Lara was in control of the situation, even if the situation was a little out of control.  Even given the fact that this is supposed to be an origins story, the tone just felt off.  It was too dark and depressing.  It wasn’t actually that fun to play.  The franchise used to be about adventuring and exploring and having fun.  This new game felt as if the developers wanted everything to be a little “too real,” though the franchise has never been like that before.  Some people have pointed out to me that they enjoy the realism, that it was nice to see a more realistic side of Lara.  However, I would like to also point out that right off the bat at the beginning, she had a metal stake go through her body.  Now please tell me how she was up and walking around for the rest of the game?

The tone is a little dark for a Tomb Raider game.

The tone is a little dark for a Tomb Raider game.

 Is this really Lara Croft?

I wasn’t exactly sure who the woman was in this game, but it wasn’t the original Lara Croft, that’s for sure.  This woman went from apprehensive to super aggressive in a matter of a few hours.  The problem is that the original Lara never got that crazy aggressive.  Sure, she knew how to kick some serious butt.  However, there was always control.  When I played this new Tomb Raider, it didn’t really feel like the same character anymore.  Sure, she looks like Lara (sort of), but it’s not the same Lara I grew up playing.

So, is this a bad game?  No.  Most people will probably like it to some degree.  I know a lot of people who gave it high praise (critics included).  I also got some enjoyment out of it.  However, it just didn’t feel like a Tomb Raider game, orign story or not.

By Jessica Brister On 5 May, 2014 At 11:14 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, ROG Humor | With 0 Comments
Island of Misfit Consoles

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I dug out the old Playstation 2 to do an article on Parasite Eve.  It was a completely awkward experience because it really has been a long time since I’ve played an older console.  I guess that I have been completely spoiled over the years with the newer consoles.  From this experience, I have compiled a list of the top 10 things you don’t think about when playing on an older console.  Here is the list:

Island of Misfit Consoles

There’s more to digging out old consoles than meets the eye.

10.) Break out the Swiffer

Digging out an old console involves a dusty experience.  Make sure to have out a duster before playing.  Or draw a smiley face in the dust.  Why not, right?

9.) Reading is fundamental

Going back through an old RPG?  Does it feel a little weird to have to read out the dialogue instead of it just being delivered do you?  You are not alone!

8.) A/V Cables

What the heck are these?  I thought all cables involved the letters H, D, M, and I.

What type of cables are these, again?

What type of cables are these, again?

7.) Grainy graphics

No matter how good the graphics looked years ago, they will look like crap on today’s nice high definition televisions.

6.) Memory cards

I almost forgot about the days where games didn’t install 50 gigs to the hard drive, and you had to worry about where you placed your memory card.

5.) Difficult to navigate

What did we do without the days when we could easily start over at a check point or get to a specific saved game?

4.) They are a one-trick pony

You mean I can’t message my friends, post screenshots to Twitter, stream Netfilx, or shop for games?  What?

3.) Wait a minute, whatever happened to backwards compatibility?

Sony: You’re in big trouble with this.  Microsoft: You’re getting there.  Nintendo: You are off the hook on this one.

2.) Multiple Discs

Please insert disc 2.  Oh, wait, XBox 360 people have still been doing this for awhile.  My bad.

1.) Controllers with cords

Why I am not able to sit where I want to play my games?  This should not be!  We are all very spoiled now.

 

 

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