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Just because summer is over doesn’t mean that you have to give up on your vacation dreams. Instead of trying to set up expensive travel arrangements, why not try a video game vacation? Not only can you travel to some really cool places–both real and imagined–but you can do it on the comfort of your own couch!

Join Real Otaku Gamer for more video game vacation destinations! After reading, make sure you take the survey at the end to vote for your favorite video game place.

Game: BioShock Infinite

Place: Columbia

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About: An impossible city in the sky, Columbia was the brainchild of by religious fanatic, Zachary Comstock and designed by physicist Rosalind Luteca. Though the city appears to float on balloons, it uses quantum levitation that allows it to suspend itself in the sky. Built in the late 1800s, Columbia succeeded from the United States and in its own isolation gained more and more contempt for the “Sodom Below.” Declaring himself a prophet, Comstock turned a possible utopia into a dystopia, fostering racism and classism.

Why Visit: Columbia may be a dystopia, but visiting it will get you thinking about modern-day social issues. The architecture and graphics are absolutely gorgeous as well.

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Must See Areas:
• Go zoom around on a sky-hook. It’s like a roller-coaster ride.
• Help the Vox Populi over-throw the government in Finkton.
• Head over the Welcome Center and visit the Columbia raffle and fair.
• Have a good time at Soldier’s Field by visiting the beach in the sky and the ever-fun Battleship Bay.

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 8: Citadel
Week 7: USG Ishimura
Week 5: Skyrim
Week 4: Pittsburgh
Week 3: Pandora
Week 2: Chicago
Week 1: Rapture

 

By Jessica Brister On 24 Sep, 2014 At 11:48 PM | Categorized As Company Spotlight, Featured, PC Games, Reviews | With 0 Comments
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It’s been over five years since Sims 3 came out, and many fans of the Sims franchise have been very excited about Sims 4.  Although it wasn’t quite the gem that I was expecting, Sims 4 still has its merits.

Sims 4 was released on September 2 for Windows-based computers only.  It is basically a life simulation game that was developed by Maxis and The Sims Studio and was published by EA.  The Sims, like games like Minecraft, is a game that some people love and obsess over and some people “just plain don’t get.”  Despite this, the Sims franchise itself has been hugely popular; however, has had some criticism in recent years of nickel and diming players with bunches of add-ons and expansions.  Compared to its predecessor, Sims 3, there are very specific gaming elements that were improved upon and there are also very specific things that were not so good.

The first major improvement of the game was the slick new Create a Sim system, which is the way a player creates his or her Sim and Sim family.  This is actually one of the best improvements from Sims 3 to Sims 4.  It is quite obvious that Maxis really spent a lot of time into this part of the game: it runs extremely well and is very easy to use.  Plus, you end up with a Sim very close to what you wanted.  The sliders of Sims 3 have been replaced with clicking on and manipulating body parts.  To make adjustments to the body part that you want, click on it and move it around to the desired size and location.  It ends up being very easy for you to create a very customized Sim.  For those who aren’t great manipulating body parts, there are pre-set Sims that you can choose from as well.  There was also a nice selection of clothing and outfits to choose from, and they were easily sorted by types (something very different from Sims 3).  The only downside to the new Create a Sim is that the player is limited on hair, eye, and clothing colors because of a Create a Style system (more on this later).  I’m hoping that more options are added later in a patch or expansion.

 Create a Sim is by far the best updated feature for Sims 4.  In this aspect, it blows Sims 3 out of the water.

Create a Sim is by far the best updated feature for Sims 4. In this aspect, it blows Sims 3 out of the water.

The second improvement was the addition of The Gallery, an online sharing community.  Sims 3 touted The Exchange, a similar online sharing concept.  The problem with it, though, was that to get any shared content from other players, one would have to log into The Exchange from a web browser, selection what you want, download it, install it, and then boot up the game.  This was very tedious.  Sims 4 fixes this because it is all in-game sharing.  All a player has to do is click on The Gallery icon in game, and this automatically shows up while you are still playing.  You can place Gallery items on lots on the fly very easily which is a nice bonus.  Sharing your own Sims and lots is also just as easy.

You are only one click away from browsing through what others have shared.

You are only one click away from browsing through what others have shared.

Another improvement is the overall performance of Sims 4.  For those who have played Sims 3 with all of the expansions, the game engine got really bogged down.  Although this might also happen to Sims 4 in the future, the base game is very stable (then again, so was Sims 3).  The real improvement is the fact that Sims 4 runs pretty well on computers that are not high-end.  I’m not sure if I would run the game on the minimum requirements, but the game handled by laptop, which is not a gaming PC, without any issues.  Sure, the graphics were automatically toned down quite a bit, but the overall game ran great without any hiccups.  Just for reference, if you’d like to do a comparison to how Sims 4 might run on your PC: I am using an HP Pavilion dv6 Notebook with an AMD A6-34200M with an integrated graphics card and six GB of memory.  Though I have not had the time to try the game on my actually gaming PC, I was impressed with how the game handled on my laptop.  However, with my experience with Sims 3, I am concerned about how Sims 4 will run with multiple expansions added to it.

The graphics are toned down quite a bit on a lower end up, but the game play actually is very smooth as long as the minimum PC requirements are met.

The graphics are toned down quite a bit on a lower end up, but the game play actually is very smooth as long as the minimum PC requirements are met.

The fourth enhancement to the game was the addition of new and better Sim interactions.  This is what Maxis really concentrated on, and overall, they did a pretty good job.  “Emotions” were a new addition to Sims 4, which can add some interesting outcomes, though I think they were a bit overrated for as much as they were touted.  The Sim interactions were much more interesting, especially since it was a common complaint in Sims 3 that the open world led to less interactions between your Sims and NPC Sims.  Because Sims 4 is not really open world, this issue has been fixed.  It is very easy to find other Sims and hang out with them.  Though open world is lost, it is very fun to talk to multiple Sims at once, which is another new addition to the game.

 

Although you lose the open world feel, it is easy to find and meet new Sims.  I was able to find this Sim within seconds of starting a new game.

Although you lose the open world feel, it is easy to find and meet new Sims. I was able to find this Sim within seconds of starting a new game.

The last major improvement in game play is the ability to have Sims multi-task, which is a new thing for the franchise.  In previous Sims games, a Sim could only do one thing at a time.  In Sims 4, a player can make his or her Sim to multiple things at once.  This element adds some interesting game play to the mix.  For example, I had my Sim reading a book.  When I saw the bladder meter go down, I had my Sim use the toilet.  I was delighted to see that my Sim took the book to the toilet and continue reading on it, much to my amusement.  This ability to multitask has made the game play a bit more fresh, though the novelty may wear off after a bit.

Sims are no longer forced to do one thing at a time.

Sims are no longer forced to do one thing at a time.

With all of these improvements, it at first glance seems as if Sims 4 can do no wrong.  Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad with the good, especially if you are a die-hard Sim 3 player.  One of the biggest disappointments for Sims 4 is the fact that the open world concept of Sims 4 was nixed for a world of segmented “neighbordhoods.”  The open world of Sims 3 was a revolutionary part of the franchise that really took the Sims to a new level.  I tried to keep an open mind and thought that if it was done right, neighborhoods might not be so bad.  Unfortunately, the neighborhoods concept in Sims 4 are not that great.  The six sections of each neighborhood do not feel connected, and you have to use your Sim’s phone to get anywhere.  The loading screens didn’t bother me that much, but I was hoping that you could walk or jog from one neighborhood to another (unless there is something that I haven’t figure out yet).  The Sims 4 “world” is not that large, either.  There are technically two worlds that come with the base game, but there are only actually six neighborhoods for each world, and there’s not that much to each neighborhood.

This is the neighborhood selection screen for Sims 4.  As you can see, your options are limited for places to go.

This is the neighborhood selection screen for Sims 4. As you can see, your options are limited for places to go.

Another Sims 4 disappointment was the lot building system, which was supposed to be a major improvement from Sims 3 to Sims 4.  Overall, the building system was actually a disappointment.  It is indeed pretty easy to make corrections and add rooms on the fly, but it actually takes longer to build anything overall when compared to Sims 3.  This is mostly due to the crazy camera angles that the game forces you to look through.  I even spent extra time trying to play around to see if I could get the angles any better, but I still haven’t found any style that I like.  I am hoping that this eventually gets fixed in a patch or update.  I was also very disappointed to see that the current lot size limit is 50×50 residential lots for Sims 4, which makes it hard to create massive mansions (large for Sims 3 is 60×60 or 64×64).

This is not my idea of a McMansion, but this is apparently as large as residential lots get so far in Sims 4.

This is not my idea of a McMansion, but this is apparently as large as residential lots get so far in Sims 4.

The third disappointment is the lack of entertainment options for Sims in the Sims 4.  I do understand that you are purchasing a base game when you get Sims 4, but I really was expecting a bit more, especially after getting it for a “next-gen” price tag.  There are no swimming pools, cars, or a large open world to explore, so that game can get a bit boring at times.  There are some interesting skills that have been added for the game, but overall, I found that this aspect of the game was lacking.  The game might pick up a bit when expansions start getting added, but it really shouldn’t take a bunch of expansions to make the game fun.

Oh, I do miss cars and wandering around the open world of Sims 3.  Sims 4 entertainment options for Sims seems a bit lacking in comparison.

Oh, I do miss cars and wandering around the open world of Sims 3. Sims 4 entertainment options for Sims seems a bit lacking in comparison. (Photo of Sims 3 game play)

Another Sims 3 gaming element that Sims 4 left out was the Create a Style system.  This system was a unique way for players to customize pretty much anything in the game.  Maxis ditched this element for a set of pre-selected colors that you can choose from for clothing or home building/decorating.  Unfortunately, the pre-selected colors weren’t that great.  I had a hard time creating the house I wanted from what they gave me.  It felt like a lot of “basic” colors were not included in the pre-selected ones, such as white.  This made creating a custom home very tedious, and I never quite ended up with what I wanted.

Sure you have a lot of colors to choose from in the pre-selected colors of Sims 4, but sometimes getting a basic color like white is almost impossible.

Sure you have a lot of colors to choose from in the pre-selected colors of Sims 4, but sometimes getting a basic color like white is almost impossible.

Lastly, I was disappointed to see how Maxis went with the Sim careers this time.  There are some interesting careers in Sims 4, but it really doesn’t matter because you don’t really to get see them at work or interact with work that much.  Sims 4 works a lot of Sims 2 with jobs: when it’s time for work, you leave the lot and disappear for awhile.  There’s not even an animated carpool or anything; you just run off of the lot.  It’s a really annoying and disappointing aspect to the game that I hope eventually gets patched.  When Sims 3 came out, some people complained about the “rabbit holes” (where a Sim would disappear into a building and come out when they were done).  What they actually wanted was to be able to see and control their Sims at all times.  What we got in Sims 4 is the elimination of rabbit holes for Sims disappearing off of  the map altogether.  This does not solve the rabbit hole issue, but it does actually make things worse.

What's the point of these fun careers if your Sim disappears during the workday?

What’s the point of these fun careers if your Sim disappears during the workday?

Overall, the Sims 4 is a stable, solid game that has a lot of great elements.  If you are a fan of the franchise, you will probably like it.  However, it does have a lot of issues in which I hope get resolved in the future.

Baltimore-Comic-Con

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Baltimore Comic Con is a small but wonderful comic book convention held in Baltimore, Maryland. It is held at the Baltimore Convention Center. This year it was held from September 5th to September 7th, 2014.

Although this was my first year attending as press, I went last year as well.

One writer that was an absolute pleasure to meet was Tom King. He took the time to autograph Grayson #1 and A Once Crowded Sky for me. Although Tom spoke many praises for his work on Grayson, he expressed his passion and love for his novel: A Once Crowded Sky.

Here is a quick synopsis from Amazon on A Once Crowded Sky:

A tour de force debut novel from a former CIA counter-terrorism officer, A Once Crowded Sky fuses the sensibility of bombastic, comic-book-style storytelling with modern literary fiction to bring to life a universe of super men stripped of their powers, newly mortal men forced to confront danger in a world without heroes.

The superheroes of Arcadia City fight a wonderful war and play a wonderful game, forever saving yet another day. However, after sacrificing both their powers and Ultimate, the greatest hero of them all, to defeat the latest apocalypse, these comic book characters are transformed from the marvelous into the mundane.

After too many battles won and too many friends lost, The Soldier of Freedom was fine letting all that glory go. But when a new threat blasts through his city, Soldier, as ever, accepts his duty and reenlists in this next war. Without his once amazing abilities, he’s forced to seek the help of the one man who walked away, the sole hero who refused to make the sacrifice–PenUltimate, the sidekick of Ultimate, who through his own rejection of the game has become the most powerful man in the world, the only one left who might still, once again, save the day.

A Once Crowded Sky

I look forward to reading A Once Crowded Sky by Tom King and reviewing it for everyone.

Another person that was a pleasure to meet and watch and listen to at a panel was Charles Soule. He offered his talents on Death of Wolverine, as well as other works like She Hulk and Inhuman.

Death of Wolverine

Since this convention was local to where I live, my absolute favorite comic book store was present and I had to make a stop at Third Eye Comics’ booth! If you’re not familiar with Third Eye Comics and live in the Maryland area, I highly recommend checking them out. Everyone, from Steve, the owner, to all the other workers take the time to learn your name and what you enjoy. They are an absolute joy to be around and indulge in your comic book needs.

Baltimore Comic Con may be small, but is absolutely worth the experience. I highly recommend at the very least taking a day out to enjoy.

By Ryan Hershman On 22 Sep, 2014 At 09:31 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Featured, Reviews | With 0 Comments
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I already covered how I like comics in my first comic quickie here. So on to the recommendation. This week? Jason Aaron & Jason Latour’s Southern Bastards vol 1: Here Was a Man, which compiles issues 1-4.

Southern Bastards vol 1 cover for cq2

                     Property of Image Comics

 

This arc features a morally ambiguous Earl Tubb, who is now one of my all-time favorite characters in any media. To leave the description short and spoiler free Earl returns to the county he born in after some time away only to find it is quite different than what he remembered. He makes some friends and enemies very quickly while looking for answers. The four issues are paced great enough that even as I read the single issues I never felt that any one issue ended too quickly or dragged on.

This first arc is written extremely well, which isn’t surprising of superstar author Jason Aaron. The accompanying art from Latour fits extremely well. The visual portrayal accompanied by the story give an amazing atmosphere to Castor County. So much so that I can almost taste Boss’s BBQ.

This volume will release in stores on October 1, but Amazon has its date set for October 14 if you don’t have a LCS you go to. The Jasons’ work should be essential for any fan of mystery or crime novels. Everything about the series should have you hooked before you’re halfway through.

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I showed up opening day to the Baltimore Convention Center for my 1st time ever stepping foot into the biggest comic book convention in Maryland the Baltimore Comic-Con. I had a blast for the four hours i walked the convention center checking out all the wares in “Artist Alley” located in the back of the center. I will within the next few days post interviews with three exhibitors that was kind enough to oblige me with an one on one with them amongst all the hustle and bustle.  The featured artist will be Kat Brenowitz of Square City Comics showcasing the Square City Anthology and other comics at Booth# A259-A260  , Gregory Garay of Visual Verbosity showcasing his Jack B series at Booth# A191 , Finally but, not least Colin Lawler & Joseph Grabowski for Spirits: The Soul Collector at Booth#A351 .

 

To get the word out before the last day comes upon us I will reveal to you several locations at Comic-Con that just might tickle your fancy.

 


 

  • Third Eye ComicsBooth# 307-308, 407-408

One of a few booths with two variants of the latest mini-series of comic “Death of Wolverine” one variant being an rare one. Third Eye has a four block booth jam packed with a wealth of modern comics along with some classics to pick up. The booth’s staff has a welcoming sensibility just like the store in Annapolis, MD the folks are knowledgeable, please stop by and check them out.

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  • Charles Soule Booth#2309

All I have to say this guy just like the other talented artist are signing autographs. Oh and by the way he too is the person behind the latest mini-series “Death of Wolverine” so, yeah you have that. He also has another rare variant not carried by Third Eyes Comics, make sure you throw some money his way to get a piece of future history. The Death of Wolverine series has been quoted from Charles Sole that a new comic will come

                   “Once every week, depending on shipping that schedule might slide but, not too far from the once a week scale”

So, keep a look out for the four part series sure to give your heart a tug.

 

  •  High Grade ComicsBooth# 901-903

Retailing high caliber and rare vintage comic books HighGradeComics.com is here for those serious collectors at any capacity like Buying, Selling or Trade. Check them out the prices vary but, be mindful because of quality and rarity of these collectibles be ready to pay upwards of $20+ for these classics.

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  • That Creative Fox/ Runaway Rosettes – Booth#A44

Their names are totally indicative of what they create on one side you have pleasant Eve Cowan she provides hand sewn plush dolls geeked up to perfection with cute DeadPool cats, Pokemon characters along with Flash & Wolverine. Her prices are reasonable and are well worth the cost. To the right we have Runaway Rosettes headed up by Casie Smith, the Rosettes are ribbon badges with various themes spanning from Star Wars, Harry Potter and DC comics celebrities. These Rosettes are as wild and elaborate as the person who sells them make sure you stop by and chat up the both of them while purchasing their wares.

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  • Josh LymanBooth#A377

Josh is a laid back Illustrator deep from the heart of Texas he is also a Concept Artist and I scooped up three conceptual prints based off of one of my favorite movies “Alice in Wonderland” it has the Cheshire Cat on a tree and scrolled on the branches are every line the came from the lofty cat from the movie. Josh Lyman has a ton of other prints all priced at a great price among other art pieces see what he has I’m sure you’ll walk away happy.

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  • Ben HarveyBooth#A304

Didn’t get a chance to sit and chat Ben Harvey up too long because it was getting time for me to check out everything he had in his booth table but, from what I saw Ben Harvey has some great stuff in store for you. On this last day Sunday the 6th check him out.

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  • RoundStone Publishing – Booth#A179

Casey Caracciolo, the Author of the book Shadow Of The Gauntlet already given high marks around other comic-cons and online outlets like Amazon. Shadow Of The Gauntlet available in print and digital copies are ready to leap off the pages or your tablet screen and into your mind to set your imagination on an epic journey spanning the the galaxy. Go to the Artist Alley and speak with anyone at the both to get more on the story and buy it directly with an autograph of the author or if you are reading this from abroad please go to Scargen’s website and download a free chapter digitally or purchase either copy from them.

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  • Harley Yee Rare Comics – Booth#905-906

If you are looking for classics boy I will tell ya HYRC will take you from Rare collectibles like “Forever People” to “Adventure Comics” yes plenty from the Silver and Golden age of DC Comics. If you have that itch for some ultra rare comics that you remember from your youth (That is if you are 40+ years old) Harley Yee Rare Comics just might be for you. Harley Yee has experience in collecting and enjoying comics for over 30 years. I’m sure you can find interesting convos surrounding this booth on comics, I sure have.

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  • Hot Flips Comic books & Supplies Booth#3701-3703

While draining your wallets and pocket books at Baltimore Comic-Con it might be wise to stop by this booth to protect your new found treasures. Hot Flips can furnish you with protective sleeves for your comics, posters or bust sketches that you commissioned by one of the many artists in “Artist Alley” Don’t worry Hot Flips won’t knock you over the head with the prices either. While you are there make sure you check out their comic book selection also.

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Home of the Pearler Bead sculptures and they sure are a hit! I’m sure you have seen these bad boys all over the interwebz well today you can get your very own. Josh and his brother decided one day to create a comic book series (of course) and with a lack of funding the entrepreneurial bros. surmised a plan to use some loose pearler beads to iron out that financial wrinkle. Reasonably priced at $3, $5 & $10 these themed pieces which are key chains, magnets, table figures, faux potted plants & mini piggy banks. All are from our famous comics, cartoons and pop culture icons like Adventure time, Super Mario Bros. & the cast of the Avengers to name a few. Stop on by and see what this table has in store for you I’m sure something will jump into your heavy bag right after you pay for it (or them)

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Now, while I haven’t even scratched the surface of the talent that is here at Baltimore Comic-Con I can attest that these wonderful people and the booths that they are running are top notch and are sure to impress in one way or another. I can also say that even this list is missing some other retailers & artists I just couldn’t fit into my article. Again, if you are near by please stop pass Baltimore to score a ticket to gain entry to one of the geekiest shows in Bmore.

 

By Amy McGarey On 6 Sep, 2014 At 03:21 AM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, Reviews | With 0 Comments
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What happens after your favorite video games are over? Who cleans up the blood, the aliens, the bodies, and the rest of the mess? Viscera Cleanup Detail attempts to answer that question.

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You play as a sci-fi janitor and it’s your job to clean up after whatever space battle/evil experiment/bloody massacre just happened. The game is really simple – you switch between a mop and your hands. You have an infinite amount of refuse bins and water buckets to clean with and an incinerator to burn your trash when you’re done. So far in development there are ten maps to choose from as well as two bonus maps for buying the game before release – Santa’s Rampage and Shadow Warrior. At full release, there will be multiplayer co-op and speed trials. Currently you can try out this feature, but I wouldn’t suggest it since it’s still very buggy.

As someone who has random bouts of OCD cleaning, I felt like VCD was the perfect game for me. I was surprised at how many hours at a time I would obsess over getting a map into pristine condition. The bigger and more impossible map, the better. Evil Science was my favorite because it takes place in a futuristic science lab where humans and aliens are being experimented on. I never thought I could spend hours upon end playing such a short game that is still in development, but I found myself being reluctant to stop cleaning. It got so bad that I started obsessively cleaning my own apartment!

In a way, the game reminds me of my day job (I’m a registered nurse), so I would clean with extreme focus and actually think that I was a real janitor. Viscera Cleanup Detail delivers a convincing simulation of janitorial work in that the game is repetitive and tedious. However, I loved the freedom of being able to come up with my own back story of what happened on the space station and how I got there.

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Here are some handy tips to help when you play the game:

1. Go for picking up the “bits” first before you reach for the mop and bucket. You’ll notice various appendages – human and otherwise – as well as intestines, trash, bullet casings, and equipment. If you try to mop up around severed limbs, you’ll just spread more blood and make a worse mess.

2. When it’s time to mop, start with the ceiling and work your way down to the floor. When you’re ready to mop the floor, remember the old saying “don’t pant yourself into a corner?” Well, don’t mop yourself into a corner. If you walk over blood and sludge, you’ll track footprints everywhere, so be sure to map out a path that you won’t backtrack.

3. Don’t get to happy with the arc welder. If you use it too long, you’ll burn scorch marks that will travel all throughout the walls or floors that take even longer to clean up. It is hard to throw away a body bag all at one time, but once you figure it out, it’s not that bad.

4. Make sure you have some awesome music playing while you clean. I recommend listening to the Guardians of the Galaxy soundtrack – Awesome Mix Volume 1. After all, what do you think Peter Quill did before he became the Legendary Starlord?

Viscera Cleanup Detail is available on PC and you can buy it through Steam Early Access for $7.99.

By Sean Jacobs On 5 Sep, 2014 At 01:49 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Conventions, International News, Old School Otaku | With 0 Comments
Baltimore Comic-Con

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One of Maryland’s finest comic book retailers

Opening day is among us for The Baltimore Comic Con at the Baltimore convention center. The scene is brimming with an cornucopia of talented cosplayer out front of the Pratt Street entrance at the Baltimore Convention Center. Like previous years at the BCC the lines are seemingly endless and with that the downtown inner harbor area of Bmore is teeming with characters from all over the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia) and abroad.

High Quality Statues on deck baby!

Today I Sean Jacobs will be roaming the Comic-Con landscape on the lookout for the bizarre costumes, interesting comic book finds and anything that might surprise me. This is my first Comic-Con I am excited to spend four hours covering the spectacle that will unfold upon my virgin eyes. I have seen documentaries and have read articles on these events but, on this day I will witness hopefully a panel and whatever else that is planned in their itinerary.

Nice company's like Valiant are present at the Comic-Con

Stay tuned as Real Otaku Gamer peers into this event and shares with you our experiences at The Baltimore Comic Con.

Follow Sean Jacobs on Twitter &  on Facebook

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smoking mirror 2 title

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It’s been a while since I’ve played point and click adventure games; they were a childhood staple for me. Most kids had either a Gameboy or a console, both if they were lucky, for me it was adventure and educational computer games. I grew up in a strict household where if we were having fun we better be doing something that wasn’t making our brain rot so that’s how I ended up playing lots of point and click games. From what I remember most of those games probably wouldn’t be much fun for me today, but those mystery and puzzle games had always been fun to figure out. Apart from Nancy Drew I hadn’t really ventured in the point and click adventure game genre since but Broken Sword 2 has refreshed my curiosity.

smoking mirror 2 title

Definitely not for kids it’s the second game in the Broken Sword series which revolve around the adventures of George Stobbart and Nico Collard. The remastered game is available in both PC and mobile devices in download format. In this installment Nico goes with George to investigate a carved Mayan stone she came across while investigating a drug ring. When she goes to a professor’s house to get more info George is knocked out and she is immediately abducted. The game has you step in the shoes of both Nico and George to unravel a strange conspiracy that puts their lives in danger and might have the fate of the world rest in its balance.

The controls are easy to figure out in both mobile and computer with options to look, talk, pick up, and interact depending on the nature of the thing you’re clicking on. With simple controls you’re free to examine and figure your way through the game. One of the things that has always been frustrating for me was the common stuck feeling I always got when playing through these types of games, but Broken Sword 2 has hints to help you through the game when you need a nudge. My favorite thing about the hint feature is the games give you escalating hints that go from slight nudges to detailed instructions on what to do the more hints you ask for, which allows you to still get the satisfaction of figuring things out and not have to consult walkthroughs if you hit a brick wall.

This game is hard enough to not be a one sitting game, requiring me to stop playing halfway through so I don’t finish by the time the sun rises again. According to Steam I played for 8 hours, your experience may vary.

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Perhaps what made my game drag out so much was the witty dialogue and excellent voice acting, which had me pick every talking option with the other characters. If you’re like me in that aspect you’ll enjoy some of the jokes throughout the game, one of my favorite involves a tequila worm I picked up, and you have the option of showing it to most characters you encounter in the game with Stobbart himself seeming to notice his strange attraction to the worm as the game progresses. Everything else is top notch too. This game came out in the 90’s so there’s only so much you can remaster until it loses its old fashioned charm, and to me it seems tweaked enough to still feel like a game from the era but enough retouching to make the game look like a really good version of its old self. The cut scenes are some of the most gratifying things you get out of the game and push you to see how the story ends. The new game even comes with a prequel comic, a great bonus for such a satisfying game.

Smoking Mirror 2 bonus comic

So what I’m saying is you should definitely check out the remastered version of Broken Sword 2: The Smoking Mirror, it’s a great game. If you want to watch the trailer be mindful that it might contain some spoilers.


By Jessica Brister On 8 Aug, 2014 At 09:18 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, PC Games, Previews, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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Electronic Arts granted the Sims 4 Create a Sim Demo to some fans who signed up last month.  If you were not lucky enough to get the demo, here are some things that you can look forward to when the full game comes out September 2:

Performance

I ran the demo on my laptop without any issue.  It is an HP Pavilion dv6 Notebook with an AMD A6-34200M with an integrated graphics card and six GB of memory.  This is the same device in which I typically play Sims 3, though I definitely cannot turn up the graphics.  The laptop is nothing fancy, especially for gaming, but it was able to chew right through the Sims 4 demo without any issues (I also was also toggling back and forth between social media sites, a couple of Microsoft Word documents, and the demo).  I did notice that the game automatically set me to the lowest graphics and put me in a “laptop mode,” so I’m assuming that it will look awesome on a much better computer.  Overall, I thought the demo was very stable.  There were no hiccups or bugs to report and everything actually ran very smoothly.  I was impressed, considering how slow Sims 3 Create a Sim works.  However, this is also with every expansion packet included.

If you are wondering if your computer will play Sims 4, here is the official minimum requirements from EA.

This is the Sim I designed, based off of myself in the lowest graphics setting.  It still looks great.

This is the Sim I designed, based off of myself in the lowest graphics setting. It still looks great.

 Ease of Use

The sliders of the past are now gone.  Sims 4 utilizes a more natural approach to creating a Sim by allowing the player to click on a part of a Sim and working from there.  Of course, there are pre-set body types, faces, and whatnot, but you can still customize a Sim without a lot of hassle.  I was easily able to choose traits and create a Sim without looking at a tutorial or feeling lost for very long.  I felt like most of it was very intuitive.  I was also able to quickly create the Sim that I wanted without a lot of issues.  Overall, I was impressed with how this demo functioned, and I hope the rest of the game feels the same way.

Just click on the body part you want to modify.  The game is very intuitive.

Just click on the body part you want to modify. The game is very intuitive.

Cool Stuff

Although there aren’t a ton of hairstyles and outfits (not sure if this is what we’ll get with the real game or if this is just for the demo), there was enough to feel like a “full” game.  I was able to create a cool character  with the selection of traits, styles, and clothing, which is all I really care about at this point.  One of the coolest aspects of the demo was the introduction to the gallery, which looked to be in full swing already.  I was able to upload my created Sim to the gallery and look at other people’s Sims as well.  If I chose to use someone else’s Sim as my own, it was easy to select it and place it in my own game.

Traits or "aspirations" did not have as large a list as Sims 3, but it still had a really good selection to get your Sim's personality right.

Traits or “aspirations” did not have as large a list as Sims 3, but it still had a really good selection to get my Sim’s personality right.

I was starting to get a little disheartened over some of the news I had heard about Sims 4 (i.e. no toddlers, no cars, not an open world), but if the rest of the game is anything like the Create a Sim Demo, I think the game will be alright.

 

By Ryan Hershman On 30 Jul, 2014 At 09:26 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, Old School Otaku | With 0 Comments
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Games, at their roots, are a social hub. From board games to arcades to home consoles: there has always been a social aspect. Unfortunately the social aspect of video games is, for the majority, met by a microphone strapped to your head. While the ability to play with friends from around the globe is great, some couch multiplayer is still wonderful. Unfortunately as video games become more and more popular with consoles in more homes every day, local multiplayer is beginning to slip. While I do not think the transition to online social links is at all bad, I still love local multiplayer. One of the prime examples of a system designed for social gaming is the Nintendo 64.

N64

Tangled mess = Good night

The Nintendo 64 may not be the best Nintendo console (the worst in my personal opinion), but the gems it did have are truly gems. I am going to pick the top 5 multiplayer experiences I had on the system. I did not play, nor do I have any intention of playing, every game on the system so this is far from a definitive list. With that disclaimer let’s start:

#5 Mario Party 3

MP3            

This game is a staple for the system. I chose this entry before Mario Party 1 and 2 for one reason: more mini games. Since this series is made by the mini-games this only makes sense. I hate to include a Mario Party game on the list because it is the “Monopoly of videogames” in that it is a very realistic possibility to lose friends to the sheer level backstabbing that forms the foundation of this game series. Boo may as well be the grim reaper.

Boo

The “lost friend” count is only rivaled by the “dead friend” count.

That aside: it is a blast. Whether it is you and one friend or a room full. The constant zany actions of characters and the mini games is enough to entertain you for hours. Assuming the fun is not interrupted up by the need for first aid attention.

#4 007: The World is Not Enough

WINE

I know that 007: Goldeneye is generally regarded as the best fps of the N64, and maybe of all-time, rivaled only by Perfect Dark on the system. If anyone were to ask me? The superior fps is Goldeneye’s younger brother: it did everything Goldeneye did and more. Granted in its own right Goldeneye was iconic and it has inspired many creators The World is Not Enough aged much better than Goldeneye and it is far more tolerable in terms of gameplay and graphics. Controls are just as awful thanks to the inbred octopus of a controller that the N64 has. Also worth noting is that none of your friends can play as Odd Job now, so now everyone wins. Except for the one that picks Odd Job, now everyone knows how bad they are. Sorry.

oddjob shot

You can’t help anyone who mains Odd Job.

#3 Mortal Kombat 4

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Mortal Kombat is an influential series for me. It is the game that made me a fan of fighting games and real virtual competition, and maybe a little spine ripping out of the body action. This was a saving grace for the Nintendo 64. The N64 had a weak market of fighting tolerable fighting games composed mainly of Mortal Kombat: Trilogy, Killer Instinct Gold, and Clayfighter 63 1/3. Mortal Kombat 4 was a game I did not originally own on the system, but one that I picked up after I began collecting older games from my youth. That being said this is a game that I am glad I picked up. It keeps the Mortal Kombat charm and is entirely suitable for a few rounds of fun. It is by no means as defining as a fighting game that is soon to be mentioned. It was nice to find that the game had a nice character roster too. That is always nice to be able to swap in between fights to a better color ninja.

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Ah yes I love yellow ninja way more than blue ninja.

#2 F-Zero X

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As far as racing games for the Nintendo 64 went: a lot of good ones existed. The Crusin’ series, Mario Kart, and Diddy Kong are a few prime examples. This game is another that I didn’t own in my youth. Upon playing it more recently I feel I can say without wearing nostalgia goggles that it is the pinnacle of racing for the system. The game is entirely based on speed. No lucky items, just pure racing skill and a mix of irrational and nonsensical speed. Along with 29 competitors. Yes 30 racers in a single race going faster than one reasonably should, even in a race. Games are all about nonsense like that. I love that nonsense.

fzero screen

757 km/h is almost as fast as a falcon punch.

The game is really content heavy as well, look at this select screen for the vehicles alone.

machine screen

What goes great with all those vehicles? How about a samurai to drive them? No? A dinosaur maybe? That’s right you can’t say no to a dinosaur. If you somehow are not into totally rad sentient dinosaurs you can choose the always punching Captain Falcon. Or a multitude of other character, but who cares because dinosaurs driving fast cars.

fzero char

This is not a godly evolution line.

With so much pure awesome packed into so much cartridge, how could you go wrong? Other than some sharp turns. It is sure to be a great use of a few nights to fly through this game with some friends.

#1 Super Smash Bros

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I’m sure this surprises literally no one. Super Smash Bros is the series that makes the N64. It may have some other great games, but this is it. If all else fails you can always return to this. I could babble about this game for pages, but you already know. Everyone knows.

ssb2

Where arguments are really settled. If for some reason you don’t know, just know this: some of the best Nintendo characters on one screen fighting it out for supremacy. Controlled by you and 3 friends. If you lose you want to prove yourself, if you win you want to stay on top. It’s a never ending cycle of always coming back to this game.

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