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No GravatarWhen I first began playing BioShock Infinite, I had a tough time getting into it.  Not because the game isn’t interesting.  It pulls you in pretty quickly with its beautiful graphics and fascinating storyline.  I was just mad that the game was vastly different in setting and tone then the original BioShock, which is one of my favorite games of all time.  I wanted BioShock Infinite to be in Rapture or somewhere like Rapture.  I actually stopped playing the game and went back to play the original several times before I finally forced myself to play Infinite.  It was a good thing that I did too.  Infinite is an absolutely amazing game, and I shouldn’t have compared it to the original.  Trying to make a game too much like the original BioShock only ends in mediocre sequels (BioShock 2).  I think that Irrational HAD to pick a different setting in order to have an effective story.  So, after getting over that self-imposed hurdle, I found that Infinite is actually one of my favorite games ever.

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Overview

BioShock Infinite is a first-person shooter game developed by Irrational Games and published by 2K in 2013 for PS3, XBox360, and PC.  Is it is the second sequel of the much loved original BioShock.  It uses a modified version of Unreal Engine 3 and has also been praised for its graphics, setting, and story.  Despite being a BioShock game, it departs from the Rapture-setting and instead focuses on its own dystopia of Columbia. BioShock: The Collection comes out in September, which is a remastered version for the current generation of all three BioShock games.  For the purpose of this review, I will be concentrating on the PS3 version only.

Story

The original BioShock had an amazingly intricate story that made several play-throughs enjoyable because of all of the little details.  BioShock Infinite steps it up to a completely different level.  The story is absolutely amazing.  It follows Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton and Battle of Wounded Knee vet, who has acquired a massive amount of debt.  To repay this debt, he is hired to rescue, Elizabeth, a woman who has been imprisoned since childhood in a city called Columbia.

Columbia is not a normal city, though.  The place floats in the sky (don’t worry if it sounds ridiculous; it’s very well explained) and is run by the prophet Zachary Comstock, a religious fantastic.  Like the original BioShock, Columbia is a city that has gone wrong, but it also highlights issues such as: racism, religious extremism, socio-economic struggles, American exceptionalism, the corruption of power, and dealing with past mistakes.  As you can see, Infinite is not a one-trick pony when it comes to thematic elements.  I am not even sure what part is better: the story or the setting.  The story is amazing, don’t get me wrong.  Elizabeth is probably one of the best, well-thought out, well-developed female characters ever done in a video game.  However, I also find myself playing Infinite just to explore Columbia (it is really that cool).  I love the early 1900s/steampunk style to it as well.  It’s just overall very well done.  There aren’t many games like it, especially in the first-person shooter style.

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Game Play

If you have been following me for awhile, you know that I’m pretty picky about my first-person shooters.  I’m not really that into most multi-player games, and I hate fps campaign modes that are too short and without substance.  BioShock Infinite, first of all, is worth the price  (I think it may be on PlayStation Plus now, though) because of its length, which is perfect for a fps game.

The game play, however, is also amazingly well-done.  With Infinite, you get a fun, smooth-flowing fps game with a few added elements that push this game up to a 10.  First, there is the use of plasmas…um, I mean vigors, which gives the “BioShock” power.  Then there is also the use of infusions and gear, which give some added elements of game play, such as more health, shields, and salts as well as some special “perks” from the gear.  Second, there is the use of the sky-line hooks and open-environment that make this game incredibly fun to play.  The first time I got on a sky-line, it felt like I was on a freaking roller-coaster.  You can zip around and melee enemies from above, jump on floating air ships, and fire your weapon while swinging around.  Third, you get Elizabeth as a sidekick, who helps out Booker during battles.  The AI for her is absolutely brilliant.  It really is a new way to play an fps.

These added elements make the game so much fun.  The game never felt repetitive.  I never got bored with the game either, especially with all of the fun vigors I got to use.  Overall, I have not seen many single-player fps games out on the market quite like this.

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Graphics

This game highlights the pinnacle of what the PS3 can handle graphics-wise and was pretty much one of the best-looking games for the PS3 (if not the best).  When I got my first glimpse of Columbia, all I could do was go, “WOW!”  After I picked my jaw up off of the floor, I began really enjoy how amazing the setting really is.  Even if you don’t like first-person shooters, the game is worth seeing just for how truly beautiful it looks.

Voice Acting

As you might have known, Troy Baker is my favorite voice actor.  What you might not have known, is that I had no freaking clue who the man was before I played this game (*gasps can be heard from across the Internet*).  Yep, that’s right.  No clue.  But I enjoyed listening to Booker DeWitt so much that decided to look Troy up and the rest is pretty much history.  In seriousness, though, the voice acting is top notch.  From Troy who plays the quiet, soft-spoken but flawed Booker to the very-talented Courtnee Draper, who does Elizabeth’s voice, the actors make the game that much more enjoyable.  Even the Lutece twins are pretty awesome and give some added humor to the game.  By the way, this game is still my favorite Troy Baker game.

Music

I usually do not include a game’s musical score in my reviews, but I decided to add it to this one because the music in Infinite is so great.  Besides having a great score for battles and exploring, you have the added bonus of all sorts of popular songs being done in an early 20th-century style.  There are a lot of Easter-egg tunes to hear, but I don’t want to go into it because I don’t want to give anything away if you haven’t played the game yet (you should).

Overall

There really isn’t anything that I can knock this game on, and trust me, if I see something wrong, I will say something.  BioShock Infinite is just an amazing game.  I know this review is very glowing, and I can’t find anything to complain about.  For the most part, the complaints that I have seen about this game are a little unfounded.  Here are some and my response to them:

Complaint: The story is too complicated, especially the ending.

Response: Sorry, it’s not the game’s fault that you can’t figure it out.

Complaint: The game should have been third-person not first-person, since it has a lot of narration from Booker.  You are the character when you inhabit a first-person perspective, hence there should be no narration.

Response: That’s like saying if you read a book that is in first-person narration that YOU are the character.  Not so.  You are just getting it from the first-person perspective.  Even though you control Booker from the first person, you are not Booker. Sorry.

Complaint: It’s not enough like the original BioShock. (This was my original complaint.)

Response: If you want to play the original BioShock, play the original.  If the game was too much like the original, we’d get a mediocre re-hash like BioShock 2.  The game plays tribute enough to the original but is still it’s own game.

Complaint: I didn’t like the hordes of people coming at you in battle.  It felt like filler.

Response: Um, if you don’t like fighting in a first-person shooter game, then you probably shouldn’t be playing these types of games.  Just saying.

Complaint: It’s too gory.

Response: Uh, last time I checked, it was a BioShock game AND a first-person shooter.  Considering that the original had tinge of the horror-genre to it, Infinite holds up to the franchise.  If it’s too gory, may I suggest a game like Little Big Planet, instead?

Complaint: Elizabeth is too much like a damsel in distress.

Response: I think that she takes care of herself just fine, but apparently you must have missed those parts of the game.  Sure she’s trapped at the beginning, but there is a reason she can’t get out herself, and she also takes charge for a lot of the game.  May I suggest that you replay it and pay attention?

I think the biggest issue is that some of these critics want this game to not be a first-person shooter, BioShock game.  I think they are looking for something that they were never going to find and never should find in this game.  I don’t even know what to tell them there.  I enjoyed the heck out of it.  Infinite will be one of those games I will replay many, many times.  In my humble opinion, it is just that good.

KOF

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Last Night, I shared my thoughts on the Demo for King of Fighters XIV. Today I will share the rest of my thoughts.

First, let me finish my thoughts on King of Dinosaurs. After spending a lot more time with him, I really came to enjoy the character. An excellent grappling character with fun moves. I suggest taking the time to learn him because you will enjoy the character.

Now that that business is finished with, let’s move on to the remaining characters. Kyo is a good basic character that is capable of much in the hands of the right player. I’m personally not a fan of the character and I didn’t spend as much time with him as I did others, but from what I saw, I do like what they did.  He is fast and easy to learn, though I still think Mai is a better beginner character, and would be good for players looking for a bit more challenge than Mai. I do like that some of his combos are easy to learn in Max Mode more than characters like Iori and Sylvie. Kyo does have one thing that I like, in that I’m able to attack from more angles with him than in previous games that I’ve played. This may not seem like much but to someone who plays the way I do, this can change the entire fight. Kyo may not be a character I am extremely into but from what I have seen of him, I plan to use him more.

Iori is one of the harder characters to write about. I was able to do incredible moves with him and the character is a good one, but he just doesn’t feel right to me. I don’t know why, but this incarnation of Iori just feels off. Maybe I need more time with the character, but for now, I don’t like him. He does have some great moves but his speed seems different and for me at least, awkward to use. he was nowhere near as hard as Sylvie to learn, but I just don’t think I like him as a character. This is strange to me as I used to really like Iori in the older games. I plan to spend more time with him because he is one of the stronger characters from what I’ve seen and I hope I can come to like the character in the future. I discussed this with a friend and he found my reaction strange. Because Kyo grew on me and I didn’t expect that, I am hoping that the more I play Iori, I will start to like the character again.

Now that the characters are done, I want to talk about the presentation of the game. As discussed before, the visuals are not the greatest but in motion, they are far better than what people are saying. The game isn’t beautiful on the level of Tekken 7 or Street Fighter V but is indeed visually impressive in its own way. Where the game does stand out is its music. The game has an amazing selection of music available, both from the trailers and the stages in the demo, and it feels like a great fit for a fighting game. King of Fighters has always had a Rock N Roll edge to it, and this soundtrack fits it great. The main theme from the trailers is an epic rock tune ( at least from my perspective) and that is extremely important to me. Fighting games need good music and while I haven’t heard the full selection from the game,, I can tell SNK is putting a lot of work into the soundtrack. Even the sound effects are great, Iori and Mai’s specials in particular both have great sound effects which give them an extra feeling of awesome. The sound effects for King of Dinosaurs are also great but at time have a sense of weirdness to them and not in a good way. Maybe its a big still left to fix but it does stand out to me.  The different stages all have great themes and while I don’t have any particular favourites, the music makes me excited for the full game so I can hear more of the stage music. SNK just did a great job hear for the most part ( except the aforementioned KOD issues)

While the game may not look as great as some of the others, don’t let that fool you. This can definitely hold its own with the likes of the big kids.

 

 

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Puzzle Games are one of the oldest gaming genres around and have always been there in some form or another. And now the genre has become dominated by match 3 games which are becoming increasingly stale. So how do you do something new with something that has worn out its stay? By playing Tumblestone, that’s how.

Tumblestone does the unthinkable and actually makes the format fun again. . You must match 3 Tumblestones of the same colour without being blocked by a Tumblestone of a different colour. This may seem simple, by as this is a puzzle game from the developers that brought us, The Bridge, this won’t be as easy as you might think. To help you get started, the game starts out with easy levels then gradually ramps up the difficulty. Don’t worry about high scores or running out of moves here. The goal isn’t to play this like you would Candy Crush, but rather think the solutions through. This is a thinking person’s match 3 game and wants you not to rush through it. There is a solution to each puzzle and finding it is extremely satisfying. The game slowly introduces new elements that force you to change your strategy and learn and adapt. That may seem annoying and difficult, but is actually one of the more appealing aspects of the games. The changes Tumblestone throws at you, do not cause annoyance but rather are more thought provoking. The game has taken what is thought of as a throwaway genre and made it a fun game that requires effort and gives satisfaction.

Tumblestone has an excellent story mode as well. You play as Queens and Kings based on historical figures and literary figures, and other assorted unique characters, and the story mode is excellent. The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild did a great job and made me laugh several times. It’s cute and charming and not at all what you would expect from a match 3 game.

The last two things to discuss are the multiplayer mode and the music. The music is catchy and stands out and I know I keep saying that, but it’s so true in this case. The music is nothing like the disposable tunes you often here in simple puzzle games but rather full on music that you can truly enjoy listening to. It really helps bring the fun of the game back to forefront and just make you smile while playing.

The multiplayer is one of the best I’ve seen in a puzzle game in years. This is a truly competitive multiplayer and I had some great games playing with others. There are different modes like Tug-of-war, Battle Mode and Race Mode, all of which give a lot of diversity to the gameplay. Playing with others really opened my eyes to what can be done with this genre of games.

All in all, this is a great puzzle game and I highly recommend it!

Disclaimer: I was provided a code for this game

 

 

By Jessica Brister On 21 Jul, 2016 At 08:34 PM | Categorized As Featured, Reviews | With 0 Comments
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No GravatarSharing your favorite geek fandoms as a parent is one of the many awesome things about having little ones. As my daughter has gotten older, I have started to slowly introduce her to some of my favorite geeky things. Now that Disney owns the Star Wars franchise and with the release of The Force Awakens, there are a lot more novelty items out for fans to enjoy. My daughter received a boxed set of Star Wars Little Golden books for her birthday that follow the first six movies. If you are not familiar, Little Golden books are children’s books with a gold-colored binding. You may have read them before as a child. After reading through The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, my daughter and I continued through to Revenge of the Sith.

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Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (Little Golden Book edition) was written by Geof Smith and illustrated by Patrick Spaziante. It was published in 2015 by Golden Books. I got this particular book in a packaged deal with five other Star Wars episodes as children’s books, but for the purpose of this review, I will only be discussing Revenge of the Sith.

The book focuses on the main points of the movie. Anakin and Padame are secretly married, and she is pregnant. War is continuing to rage against the Republic and the Separatist army. There are a lot of battles and fighting, and then the inevitable descent of Anakin into the dark side. I’m assuming that if you are interested in this book, you probably already know the rest, so I’ll spare you the details.

Revenge of the Sith was definitely the best of the prequels. However, it did not translate over very well into a children’s book. Even though the author did the best that he could with making the plot a little more kid-friendly, reading it to my daughter was kind of depressing. I thought that the pacing was right for a children’s story, but the story itself just did not fit well. This is not a knock at the author. I’m not sure what else he could have possibly done.

The book is aimed at older children and has no rhyming or rhythm to it. It is more story-oriented instead of focusing on teaching a concept. The book only comes with regular soft pages with a hard cover, so you may want to watch this with very young children if you decide to purchase it. Since it is not a board book, your very little one might tear it up.

The illustrations were well-done and at least tried to make the book a little more child-friendly. It was a tough story to draw, based on everything that happened. There are illustrations on every page with text, and the pictures did a good job of furthering the narration when needed.

Overall, I really liked this book as a novelty children’s book. However, I would caution any parent with the content of the story. It’s a little down. Actually, it’s kind of depressing. You may want to skip this one until your kids are a bit older, but that is one hundred percent your call as a geek parent.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 21 Jul, 2016 At 07:50 PM | Categorized As Animation, Featured, News, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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No GravatarA new trailer has been posted for Transformers: Combiner Wars, a new cartoon miniseries that takes a darker and edgier look at the Transformers series.

The Autobots and Decepticons have disbanded and returned to Cybertron. With the days of Optimus Prime and Megatron over, Cybertron is now ruled by a triumvirate. However, an ancient technology has enabled a new threat, the power for multiple Transformers to combine into one massive, dangerous form: Combiners. Who will stand-up to this threat to ensure that the fragile peace that was 4 million years in the making remains?

Stream the full 8 episode series starting Aug. 2!

The series certainly looks amazing and you can check out the trailer below.

 

By Shelli Anpan On 21 Jul, 2016 At 08:07 AM | Categorized As Animation, Comics/Manga, Conventions, Featured, News, News, Otaku Events, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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No GravatarHi everyone! Shelli Anpan here to bring you a peek inside the halls of San Diego Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), the largest pop culture convention in the United States.

Originally geared towards the comic and graphic novel aficionados, SDCC has since grown over the past several decades to encompass all forms of art and geekdom, including (but not limited to) TV shows, big budget movies, video games, and detailed replicas. To learn more about SDCC and its history, click here.

With almost 24-hour programming, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed when attending a convention of this magnitude. To narrow it down a bit this year, here are my Top 5 for Day 1:

  1. #TheHallofFaces
    All 4 Days, L Street Fine Art Gallery
    As a huge fan of the Game of Thrones television series, this is definitely a must-see. Going off of the listed description, “The Hall of Faces activation will allow guests to enter the House of Black and White and ‘Become No One’.” Praise to the many-faced god!
  2. #SuperheroIRL
    6:30PM – 7:30PM, Room 24ABC
    Everyone has encountered bullying in some way, shape, or form in their life, inspiring writers and artists to create (super)heroes to overcome them. Nonprofit Pop Culture Hero Coalition harnesses the idea of the superhero and applies those ideals to the real world. With the advent of Internet and prevalence of cyber-bullying and recent physical attacks around the globe, heroes in the real world are needed now more than ever to stand up and be beacons of hope and strength against the bullying, against the hatred.
  3. “Geek Couture” Fashion Show
    6PM – 8PM, Harbor Ballroom, Manchester Grand Hyatt
    Although I probably will not be able to attend the Fashion Show as it conflicts with the #SuperheroIRL panel, I still can’t wait to see what beautiful works of wearable art will be showcased this year!
  4. CBLDF: Navigating The Powers & Perils of Banned Books
    12PM – 1PM, Room 30CDE
    Ever wonder why graphic novels are attacked by censors? This panel will discuss just that and and how to successfully integrate them into the classroom.
  5. Exclusives!
    Last, but not least, I’m super excited for exploring the Exhibit Hall! For all first-time con-goers, the Exhibit Hall is where you’ll find all the popular, rare, and exclusive paraphernalia you could ever desire. These include comic books, original fine artwork on canvas, highly detailed sculpted collectible figures, video games, apparel, and accessories. SDCC is well-known for their w exclusive merch, which can only be purchased at the convention. Of course, you’ll probably be able to find that special exclusive on eBay later for an arm and a leg.

That’s all for now, but to get live news and visual within the con, follow me on Twitter (@ShelliAnpan)!

Are you going to SDCC? Do you wish that you could go? Tweet at me and let me know what you want to see, and I’ll do my best to take you there!

By Jonathan Balofsky On 21 Jul, 2016 At 05:53 AM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4, ROG News | With 0 Comments
KOF

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Recently I had the chance to sit down and play the demo for The King of Fighters XIV. I haven’t played a King of Fighters game in years and have been worried about getting back into the series. Judging from what I played in the demo however, it seems I should not be worried at all.

First of all, getting into the game felt extremely natural; I was debating using my fightpad or a PS4 controller, and I decided on the PS4 controller. The controls worked great and I was able to learn the game very fast. There is an excellent tutorial mode in the game and it is one of the best in fighting games for four button games. The game taught me how to do the moves and attacks and made it go smoothly.  From there we go to Max Mode and Rush Combos. Max Mode is an interesting addition where you can perform many more EX moves for a limited time, as well as pulling off moves that can only be done in this mode. It took me a while to get used to but once I did, it felt great and I was able to pull off some great EX moves. Rush Combos are single button combo chains and are designed with newcomers and casuals in mind.  This is an excellent addition as it helps people who might otherwise be intimidated by fighting games, slowly ease their way into the genre with this game. Visually it isn’t the most amazing game, but what it lacks in style, it makes up for in technique. From a technical standpoint, this game is solid and built great and is one of the better designed fighting games in recent years.

Now for character impressions. A good character for newcomers to try when starting out would be Mai as she has moves that can be learned quickly and adjusted to fast. Mai is one of the better characters in the demo and I was able to have some great matches with her. She can be a very fun character and is clearly designed to be user friendly ( being one of the faces of the series and all), so my suggestion is to start with her.

Side Note: I will only discuss the characters I played as in the demo, ( Mai, Shun’Ei , Nelson, King of Dinosaurs and Sylvie Paula Paula . I did not spend time with Kyo and Iori yet)

From there I went to Nelson. I have always liked Boxer characters in fighting games and so felt right at home with Nelson. His gameplay is not the best for beginners but can be learned with enough time.  He is a character worth learning because when played right, he is a lot of fun. To use him well, you need to know the right time when to use his speed and not just attack constantly. At least that’s been my experience, others may differ. I think Nelson will be a character used a lot in tournaments and online once people really learn him. After Nelson, I tried King of Dinosaurs. KoD is very much a Zangief style character albeit more fast paced. I’ve seen some players streaming the demo, pull off amazing moves with him and while I’m still learning the character as of this writing, I can definitely see the hype behind him. After King of Dinosaurs came the character that has had a mixed reaction, Sylvie Paula Paula. Sylvie is one of the characters I had a difficult time learning.  She isn’t a bad character by any means but takes a while to get used to. Once I finally figured out the character, I was able to pull off incredible combos. She really does have an excellent move set once you spend time to learn her ( and I’m still learning her). I just wish her character design wasn’t such a divisive one. Finally after Sylvie, I moved on to Shun’Ei. Shun’Ei is the new protagonist of the series for the current story arc beginning in XIV and is a much better protagonist that the previous one, Ash, both in design and play. Shun’Ei takes a bit of time to learn, albeit not as long as Sylvie, and is one of the better characters in the game. Shun’Ei is a character I can see being used a lot online and in tournaments much like Nelson, and he is one of the characters I want to spend more time with to learn everything I can about using.

Over all, I was very impressed with the demo and am very excited and eager to play the full game when it releases. This is what a fighting game from Japan should be and I hope others take notice. if you have not yet checked out the demo, I suggest you do so right away!

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No GravatarI recently had the chance to talk with Ezekiel Rage, developer of Citidale: Gate of Souls, and discuss the upcoming indie game. Please have a look at our conversation

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JB: Where/How did you get the idea to make your game Citadale – Gate of Souls?

ER: It actually started as a Castlevania fangame. I wanted to do a remake of Castlevania Legends. It was my first time using the engine I use and as such I figured creating a remake would teach me a lot about the program. And as development kept getting more complex and different from the original, I decided to make it its own thing instead of a remake.

JB: Obviously Citadale takes influence from the Castlevania series, but are there any other game series that Citadale was influenced by?

ER: There is a rather obscure NES game called Faxanadu that inspired me greatly. Another influence was the SNES game Demon’s Crest.

JB: Konami’s reputation has taken a beating over the last while. Do you think that will help you with promoting a game that is essentially a spiritual sequel to the classic Castlevania games?

ER: To be honest, I have no particular thoughts on that subject. I hope that the game will be doing well but whether the success of the game is influenced by Konami’s decisions or not is not something I am concerned about. I suppose this discussion would probably be worth having after the game has been released.

JB: You have some interesting ideas for this game, such as it being primarily played on the gamepad, while the TV screen shows a bigger map. What made you decide to do that?

ER: When I decided to port it to Wii U, which was in 2014, I thought that it would be an interesting way to play the game. Of course you can switch views at any given time or not use the GamePad at all, and we do support most input devices on Wii U. The main idea I had was a boss fight that would take up more vertical space than the TV can give you. I realized this boss fight in Stage 3, by the way.

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JB: Besides Castlevania, what were some of your favourite games growing up?

ER: I am a HUGE Zelda nerd. I have a Zelda shrine, so to speak. I own all the games with packages and manuals, lots of merchandise, and I even have a Zelda tattoo. There was also game on Super Nintendo (and Sega Genesis, but the SNES version was better) called Maui Mallard in Cold Shadow – I love this game. Terranigma and Lufia are among my favorite games, along with the aforementioned Faxanadu, the classic Mega Man series and of course the Metroid series.

JB: What Castlevania games influenced this game the most? That is, besides Legends, what other games inspired the design and gameplay?

ER: Well the very first NES Castlevania was not only hugely influential on this game, but also on my younger gaming self. I also took some inspiration from Dracula X on SNES (yes, I know, Rondo is better), in that you can’t upgrade your main weapon for example.

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JB: What were your favourite Castlevania games to play?

ER: Obviously I love Symphony of the Night. I am also very partial to Legacy of Darkness and Simon’s Quest. Super Castlevania 4 and Portrait of Ruin also rank among my favorites.

JB: With regards to the last question, what were some of your favourite game genres growing up?

ER: I love action adventure games, really. I like to explore interesting settings – be it old castles or intricate dungeons.

JB: Making this game focused on the Wii U could be considered risky at this time. What led you to that decision?

ER: I have been a huge Nintendo fan growing up. I always wanted to create a game for a Nintendo system so this was really an easy decision to make.

JB: What do you think of the indie scene on the Wii U?

ER: It is far bigger than most people think, and from what I can tell quite popular. Of course there are positive and negative examples but overall most Nindies are actually very good games.

JB: Do you have any plans to integrate Miiverse into this game?

ER: We actually do support Miiverse. We also have stamps in the game.

JB: What are your hopes for this game? Would you want to make a sequel if this does well?

ER: My hopes are that it does well enough to warrant a release of story DLC. I could do a sequel but I’d much rather release the continuation of the story as DLC – a sequel would use the same graphics and graphical style anyway, because I am a one man development team (well, one and a half, I have an amazingly talented programmer/publisher friend) and creating complex graphics is simply not within my field of expertise.

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JB: Is there anything you would like to say to the readers of Real Otaku Gamer?

ER: Well, obviously I hope you check out my game and my upcoming projects. I would also like to thank you for taking the time for me and I wish you all the best 🙂

Thank you for taking the time to do this interview and good luck with the game.

………………

You can follow Ezekiel Rage on twitter here and check out his website here

By Jessica Brister On 17 Jul, 2016 At 06:44 PM | Categorized As Featured, ROG Humor | With 0 Comments
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No GravatarEaster eggs can be cool tidbits that game developers put in for various purposes, whether for humor or for sentimental value.  In this blog series, I will highlight some famous, interesting, or obscure Easter eggs in gaming.  This article’s particular Easter egg is Borderland 2’s Storm sniper rifle.

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For those who have played any of the Borderlands games, you know that finding awesome weapons is one of the fun parts.  In fact, since weapon combinations are randomly generated, you may never find the exact same weapon with the exact same stats ever again.  The Storm is a Pearlescent sniper rifle that is made by Maliwan.  The one pictured here has a 120 percent critical hit damage, a 5.7x weapon zoom, and can possibly deal bonus elemental damage (always shock damage).  I have seen it in many different combinations as well.  The particular Storm weapon that I have is called the “Gentleman’s Storm,” and it has the red description of “Tut, Tut, It looks like rain.”  It is one of my favorite sniper rifles in the game.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “Wow, that’s a really nice weapon, but what exactly is the Easter egg there?”  Well, it starts with a short story of me reading to my daughter:

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I enjoy reading to my daughter before her bedtime every day.  A few days ago, we picked up “Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree.”  I do believe that there is an animated cartoon that goes along with it as well.  The story is about how Winnie the Pooh is trying to get as much honey as he possibly can.  One thing that he has his friend, Christopher Robin, do is launch him on a red balloon to try and steal honey from some bees.  While up on the balloon, Pooh asks Christopher Robin to dance around and go, “Tut, tut, it looks like rain,” so that the bees think Pooh is a rain cloud.

Now, it was about at that point in the book that I paused and went, “Wait a second!  Why does that phrase seem so familiar?”  It only took me a few moments to realize that the phrase was on one of my favorite weapons in Borderlands 2.  I did some digging and found out that it was indeed from Winnie the Pooh.  I suppose someone on the B2 development team has children (tee-hee).

So, there you go: a rarer weapon on Borderlands 2 cross-references a children’s story.  The English teacher in me is going nuts right now.  Winnie the Pooh, for me, will always be a bit different now!

By Jessica Brister On 16 Jul, 2016 At 08:19 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, ROG Tech | With 0 Comments
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No GravatarWith so many times during the year that we need to buy presents (birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, etc.), sometimes it can be hard to buy for gamers, especially if you are not sure what they really want.  Well, I have simplified a list of 10 affordable gaming gifts for this year.

10.) Long Micro USB Cables

If you are tight on cash, but want to give a gamer something that they will truly be grateful for, give them some long micro USB cables.  They are fairly cheap when purchased online and will give the gamer in question some freedom to plug in his/her current generation controllers when they are out of juice.

9.) Logitech Wireless Mouse

For about thirty dollars or under, you can get a PC gamer a great mouse that will give them a bit of freedom when unpacking for LAN parties, moving a gaming laptop around, or just not having to worry about the hassle of a mouse with wires.

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8.) Controller Charging Station

Charging stations may seem frivolous, but they are actually quite handy for gamers.  Sure, a gamer can just plug into a micro USB cable, but it’s so much handier to have a docking station instead.  And it’s a cheap gift that will keep on giving: controller docking stations typically range from ten to twenty bucks.  A full console/controller docking station is a bit more expensive, but could also be a great idea.

7.) PlayStation Silver

Since gaming is increasingly online, the gamer in your life probably needs a headset.  If you know that they are using something very basic, such as the earbud that comes with a PS4, the PlayStation Silver may be a great gift.  Sure, it isn’t the Gold–which is much more expensive–but it does the trick.  Some have complained about the plastic breaking on it, but for the price, what else exactly would you get?

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6.) PlayStation Plus Membership Card/XBox Live Membership Card

A Membership Gift Card is always welcomed to any gamer, especially since it’s pretty much mandatory to have an online subscription.  Being able to choose the amount is a bonus as well.  Just make sure that you check what console they use.

5.) Steam Digital Wallet Gift Card

For the PC gamer, a gift card from Steam is always welcome.  PC gamers usually can get some good deals, particularly on Steam, so the gift card could go a long way.  Just be careful.  Getting it from some places will tack on a surcharge, especially if the store is a direct competitor of Steam, like Amazon.

4.) Extra controllers

Like I always say: you can never have too many controllers.  There are also options for different colors and controllers that are linked with certain games.  Of course, some of the custom controllers can get a bit pricey, so be careful.

3.) Retro consoles and games

Retro gaming is getting more and more popular.  If you know your gamer has an old console, consider getting them an older game.  You can find some of them for fairly cheap, although others can be quite expensive.  Depending on where you are looking, you might even be able to pick up an older console for cheap.  Does you gamer have a ton of retro consoles and games and you’re not sure what to get?  Extra accessories like AV cables, controllers, or memory cards would be appreciated.

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2.) Redbubble Merchandise

If you are unfamiliar with Redbubble, they sell artwork that can be printed on tons of stuff such as shirts, coffee mugs, posters, etc.  Though they are not specifically gaming-related, type “gaming,” “geek,” or the name of any game in the search and behold all of the good merchandise they sell.  You will definitely find things there that are sold nowhere else. Note: I have only received items from this company.  I have not purchased anything.  Buy at your own risk.

1.) Check out their wishlist; get them the game!!!

Seriously.  What they probably want is a game that’s been sitting on their list for awhile.  See if they have a wishlist on Amazon.  Or, just ask them, right?

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