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By Jonathan Balofsky On 23 Mar, 2017 At 09:57 AM | Categorized As Featured, News, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Chaos Code was a fighting game that was too big and yet too small for its own good. That may sound strange but its true. The game had so much too offer, but not enough modes to make it viable for a strong competitive scene.

Chaos Code : New Sign of Catastrophe for the PS4 is an enhanced port of the game that serves to fix the problems that held the original release back. It somewhat succeeds at this, while maintaining what made the original release fun. The fighting is intense and fast paced, yet isn’t as hard to learn as it might seem. Playing this with my Hori Fightpad was a great experience and I took to the controls right away. Playing locally and the arcade mode was a fun time and gave me a high opinion of the game.

I love the art style and visuals. They are flashy but not too intense and give the game a great look that fits it well. The music and sound effects are great, with audio that fits the gameplay for the most part, although some of the voiceovers are…awkward to say the least. As stated above, the controls are fluid and easy to learn. I was pulling off intense moves in a very short time, and that made the experience much more satisfying for me.

But it isn’t all sunshine however, as there was one major issue that ruined much of my experience. That problem was the fact that I was unable to connect online for any matches whatsoever. This was not an issue on my end, as I hoped into online matches in some other fighting games. I only had a problem here, and as such, I cannot review the online. I really wanted to see how it played but it simply did not work at all for me.

Chaos Code : New Sign of Catastrophe is a great game with what it has available, but the issues with the online features really hurt it in my opinion. I really hope to see this get patched soon, as I don’t feel right leaving this as a full review considering I cannot play online for whatever reason. As such, I will re-review the game once the online works well. For what is playable though, it is a great experience. Just be aware that the multiplayer has issues. If you play locally primarily, then you wont have a problem, and there is single player content as well, so there is still something for most players. The problems with the online is just a major flaw I cant look past however. I know some people were able to play online with no issues, but every time I tried to play over the last few days, I had this issue. As such, I cannot recommend this just yet.

 

By Nate VanLindt On 22 Mar, 2017 At 07:44 PM | Categorized As Books, Comics/Manga, Featured, Reviews | With 0 Comments

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Chances are you probably grew up reading either the ‘Hardy Boys’ or the ‘Nancy Drew’ novels.  Those old blue and yellow-spined hardcovers on your bookshelf filled with stories of the exploits of Frank and Joe and Nancy and Bess.   Just the mention of Franklin W. Dixon or Carolyn Keene brings back fond recollections for many of us, and they weren’t even real people.  All the Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew stories were ghost written by contract writers for years.  The same goes for the ‘Bobbsey Twins’ books by Laura Lee Hope and the ‘Tom Swift’ novels by Victor Appleton Jr.    These books gave literally generations of young readers the basics of deductive reasoning and entertained them all the while.  The first Hardy Boys book was published in 1927 and the first Nancy Drew book in 1930 and they’ve been in continuous print ever since.

With their long-lasting popularity, it’s not surprising to see Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys occasionally resurface every decade or so for a facelift and some renewed book sales.  But one thing that most any fan would definitely not be expecting is the new comic series from Dynamite Comics entitled ‘Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys: The Big Lie.’  ‘The Big Lie’ is everything that no one would expect from a Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys team-up comic.  It’s gritty, violent, and hard-hitting right from the beginning.  The content is grim, the artwork has a rough retro feel, and the story is quite frankly, shocking.  It’s hard not to go into details without ruining the plot, but suffice it to say a fair assemblage of well-loved characters manage to make an appearance in issue one without things feeling crowded. On top of that, there are some surprising cameo appearances that might cause you to wax nostalgic.

Anthony Del Col of Kill Shakespeare fame manages to pull together tendrils of all our communal visions of Bayport from our childhood and weave them into the beginnings of a crime drama more reminiscent of an episode of Homicide: Life on the Street than a children’s mystery.   On top of that, Werther Dell’Edera’s minimalist art, which echoes notes of Darwyn Cooke but with more rough realism, perfectly rounds out the feel of the story.  Frank, Joe, and Nancy live very much in our present in this story and not in the picturesque Bayport that we read in novels as children.  People in this world are imperfect, petty, vicious, and most assuredly real.  It’s a novel approach to characters that have been relegated to childhood memories for far too long.

For those of you that weren’t raised on a steady diet of old clocks and tower treasures, never fear.  ‘The Big Lie’ stands well on its own regardless of your familiarity with the original source content.  It’s well-written, well-drawn and starts off a solid crime drama with a bang.  Issue one is at local comic book stores now, but it’s hard to expect anything but greatness from the forthcoming issues.  This one is a sleeper waiting to become a hit and whether you’re a fan of Frank, Joe, and Nancy or not, ‘The Big Lie’ is an absolute must-read for the indie comic reader.   One caveat however – this comic is definitely not for young readers.  It’s rated Teen+ and well deserves the rating.

By Kira Nance On 17 Mar, 2017 At 03:01 PM | Categorized As Animation, Editorials, Featured, Movie News, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarJumping into the world of foreign horror films can be a daunting task. There is always the chance that the message will be lost in translation and odds are you will be halfway through the movie when you realize it’s been stealing not just your time but your soul. To save you the anguish of such an occurrence I recommend the following flicks.

 

Dumplings 2004 (Hong Kong)

This one is definitely not for the squeamish, unless of course the thought of aborted fetuses garnishing your dinner plate gets your gears going. Director Fruit Chan (Tales from the Dark 1, The Midnight After, Made in Hong Kong) serves up the evils of human vanity on a silver platter. Fallen actress Mrs. Li (Miriam Yeung) is desperate to regain the love and affection of her adulterous, cradle robbing husband (Tony Leung Ka Fai) and maintain her status as an elite housewife. To regain her youth, Mrs. Li seeks out former mainland gynecologist Aunt Mei (Bai Ling), who specializes in restorative services through means of rare culinary delights. Mei’s rejuvenating fetus-stuffed dumpling’s fall short of Mrs. Li’s high expectations however and Mei must procure something a little more potent. Just like with a good whiskey, age is everything and when a very pregnant victim of incestual rape shows up on Mei’s doorstep begging for an abortion… well, you can do the math there. Soon after the potent dish is served Mrs. Li begins to suffer some unsavory side effects as her life takes an unexpected turn.

 

Blood Glacier 2013 (Austria)

Practical effects and B-movie charm get the blood flowing in this creepy crawly eco-horror directed by Marvin Kren (ABC’s of Death 2, Rammbock, Schautag). A group of scientists in the Austrian Alps are violently confronted by the next phase in evolution after a glacier emitting a blood like substance begins to mutate the local wildlife. While much of the research team is concerned about the negative impact the discovery of these genetic hybrids may have on their funding, site technician Janek (Gerhard Liebmann) is adamant about the dangers of keeping such a thing secret. Things really get messy when Janek’s former love interest Tanja (Edita Malovcic) enters the scene with Prime Minister and company in tow. Oblivious to the dangers ahead Tanja leads her group right into the hands or mandibles rather of the bloodthirsty hybrids.

 

Baby Blood 1990 (France)

Beautiful show of Kensington Gore as an art medium in this parasitic blood festival by director Alain Robak (Adrenaline, Vertiges). After an “unborn” parasite takes up residence in her uterus, abused and dejected Yanka (Emmanuelle Escourrou) embarks upon a mercilessly bloody journey to return the parasitic creature to the sea. The two quickly come to terms with their symbiosis, although it’s really more of a standoff if you ask me. As the snarky little parasite baby grows, so does Yanka’s taste for murder and she wholeheartedly embraces her new role as victimizer. Through quirky bouts of dialogue, and an intense shared bloodlust the two form a seriously peculiar bond and leave a respectably bloody wake.

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Okay, this time on Games That Should Be Revived, I  am tackling a game from Nintendo/HAL Laboratory that most don’t remember and flew mostly under the radar. I do not think it even got a virtual console release.Arcana, known in Japan as Card Master: Rimsalia no Fuuin, was a card based RPG dungeon crawler released in 1992. It took a lot of influence from the Wizardry games and games like Shining In The Darkness, Dungeon Master and more,. It also had has a detailed story with a unique twist on the gameplay. The game had a look where all the characters and enemies were represented by cards. Cards were also used in combat at times, but they were not the only part of the game.

The game had numerous issues such as pacing and poor use of the combat that it had, as well as an unforgiving difficulty. This is a shame because it had a lot of potential. In addition to the aforementioned influences,  many people I have spoken to about this game have stated that it actually reminded them of Arena, the first game in The Elder Scrolls series. Obviously they are two different styles of RPGs and Arena came out years later on more powerful tech, but people have found some comparisons. They commented that it reminded them of Arena in terms of immersion and atmosphere, if not in actual gameplay. They felt the dame feeling of being drawn in to a great experience, but feel more could have been done with Arcana.

I feel Arcana has a lot of potential to actually be a big series for Nintendo/HAL Laboratory. I do not mean as big as Mario or Zelda, but it could be a very serviceable mid tier series for the publisher. Dungeon Crawler RPGs have seen a big resurgence in recent years, and the game having a unique story and enough of its own identity, with a setup that is entirely its own, Arcana could stand out well among games today. There have been some similar games since, but I would like to see what Nintendo/HAL Laboratory can do with the IP in the modern day,

Obviously there would need to be changes done to it, but the series could be revived as an RPG with a strong dungeon crawler focus but with more emphasis on the overworld as well. Or it could well follow the pattern of Diablo and the Rougelikes but with its own spin on the genre to keep its identity intact. The point I am making is that Arcana was written off far too soon. Nintendo and HAL Laboratory should really consider bringing this game back because it could stand out well for Nintendo today. A title like this would do especially well on the Switch, since the immersion can be had on the go or at home and feel seamless.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 15 Mar, 2017 At 02:29 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Shovel Knight was a one of a kind game. It was the kind that is often imitated but never replicated, so when Yacht Club released the expansion, Plague of Shadows, it was an extremely welcome addition. Now Yacht Club has released a second expansion, with Spectre of Torment.

This expansion serves as a prequel to Shovel Knight, focusing on Spectre Knight establishing the Order of No Quarter. You are based in the Tower of Fate and warp to various areas. You can interact with the denizens of the Tower, as your basic hub town and your interactions grow as you progress in the game. A lot more story is established for the series, with players getting more insight into the characters and to what the basic motivations are.

Before I go any further, I must note that this expansion plays a lot better than Plague of Shadows. The controls feel much more intuitive and tighter and are just easier to get used to. In fact, the whole expansion just feels a lot more polished than Plague of Shadows, and gives a lot more satisfaction to the player.

Spectre Knight’s story just feels like coming in to a whole new game that feels like a sequel more than an expansion. The music from the stages have been reworked in great ways, but also subtle ways at the same time. King Knight’s stage in particular had standout music to me, for how it was changed from the original game.

Do I think this expansion is worth buying? Oh most definitely. Spectre of Torment is fun, has innovative gameplay, great bosses, neat power-ups, and more. This is just a good solid game, and I cannot recommend it enough.

Before I end here, I want to mention the Body Swap mode that has been added to Shovel Knight. it is a small touch but it really does help change the perspective of the story somewhat. The changes aren’t too much and are sometimes unnoticeable, but when you do see them, you appreciate them. I love the work that Yacht Club Games has been putting into Shovel Knight, they have a lot to be proud of.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 14 Mar, 2017 At 07:29 AM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThe Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is coming to Nintendo Switch later this year, but will it do well? It is coming out a year after the special edition released on other consoles and PC and several years after the original game. To succeed on Switch it needs to be different, and I think it will be.

If Skyrim on Switch were just the original version of the game, it would have come early at launch. If it were just the special edition….it would also have been a quick port. The fact that it is coming out so late, makes me feel that more work is being done on this. In fact this might even be a special Nintendo themed edition of the game. But what would that entail. Well, probably exclusive mods that allow Nintendo content. maybe some items, armor and weapons from Nintendo games. Heck maybe some cameos and even a sidequest if we are lucky. The game could also make use of HD rumble to give the shouts more of an impact.

But what can really make a difference is amiibo. Hear me out on this. Imagine scanning an amiibo into the game and getting new items based off that amiibo for the dovahkiin. Scanning one of the many amiibo from Legend of Zelda will bring weapons, armor and more from that series. Maybe even a location or two will make an appearance. Or you could even bring Epona into the game, to replace the horses in Skyrim. The same for a fire emblem amiibo, with it giving you the armor and weapons from that series, and maybe some changes to the dragons. The Mario amiibo could make osmall changes to Parthuunax who is voiced by Charles Martinet, the voice of Mario himself, or we could see some new enemies and more appear, all to give the game a unique feel that has a Nintendo feeling.

Ideally, this would also work with third party amiibo. Imagine using the Mega Man amiibo to get his iconic look and then kill a dragon and take its soul. The music could even change to the turn that plays when Mega Man absorbs a new ability. Using the upcoming Cloud amiibo could give you the buster sword, which could be an over powered sword in the game. Ryu could give the player the Hadouken either as a spell or a new shout, which would be something many fans would like. And let us not forget the Shovel Knight amiibo. This could unlock Shovel Knight’s armor and shovel blade for use in the game. The amiibo could give specific armors depending on gender, but otherwise it could be all uniform.

The best thing about this, is that all these changes would be optional. There would be no need to force these on people who just want the game, but it  would be available if people want, via the amiibo. There should still be something in game without the amiibo, just to be there for people who don’t want the amiibo. But still the main focus should be on the amiibo and their optional use.

This is an idea, I hope Bethesda considers and Nintendo helps make happen. Using amiibo could be the big selling point for Skyrim on Switch.

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The above was an opinion piece and solely that of the author. It does not necessarily reflect the views of Real Otaku Gamer or that of its staff besides the author.

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Neo Geo games are now available on the Nintendo Switch worldwide and many are enthusiastic to play Metal Slug 3 and King of fighters 98 on the system. But there is another game that is far more noteworthy than those.

Also having come out on the Switch is Waku Waku 7. This is one of the most unusual and off beat fighting games ever made, The characters are parodies of other games, of anime, manga, comics and of movies, both Japanese and western made, such as shotoclones, sword fighters and anime action girls. It is hard to explain but this is one of the most awesome fighting games you can play. Easy to learn but difficult to master, this is just fun to play and enjoy.

The game had a western release in arcades….but not on the home console scene. It only received home console releases in Japan. That is why this release is so notable, this is one of the first times western players will get to play this. And to be honest, this is a game everyone needs to try.

The fighting is great as mentioned earlier, the visuals are excellent and while blurry on Switch, Hamster is patching the Arcade Archive series to fix that. It has that look that games like Street Fighter III and Darkstalkers had ( one character is a parody of a Darkstalkers character in fact), while still being in the SNK style, which still looks amazing today. And the music is absolutely fantastic. It is a great soundtrack for a fighting game and extremely energetic, and really gets you into the fight.

With great characters, a ridiculous yet decent plot that works, and fun gameplay, I cannot understand why this game languished in obscurity for so long. It has now received an arcade perfect port on the Switch and I have had a great time with it. I would love to see a modern sequel that continues the story and adds to the parodies.  As I mentioned earlier, this is a very significant release for the game, and I am hoping it sells well enough that there will be interest for a new game. That would be the best case scenario here. If you have a Nintendo Switch, I implore you to get this game.

See a trailer below to see what kind of game this is!

 

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The Elder Scrolls is a beloved RPG series, and yet many people seem unaware there are spinoffs other than Legends and Online. There were some mobile phone games and two PC games, An Elder Scrolls Legend: Battlespire and The Elder Scrolls Adventures: Redguard. The games didn’t do very well, mostly due to Battlespire being a drastic genre shift and Redguard, while a serviceable action adventure game, was made on outdated and had development issues that ended up costing more in the long run.

These two spinoffs may not have done well but there is still potential in spinoffs for the series, especially prequels like Redguard . Specifically, one prequel spinoff that would be a good idea is one that would let people play as Tiber Septim/Talos as he forges his empire. The character is an integral part of Elder Scrolls lore and getting the chance to play as him at last would be amazing. This would also open up many opportunities to see the events of the backstory that we have heard about, actually unfold before our eyes.

This potential game would also be good in another way. After the events of Skyrim, the Dragonborn’s tale is done and in more ways than one, since lore wise, there will not be any more in the series universe. But a game like this would once again allow people to play as a Dragonborn since Talos was one himself. The game can even find new ways for him to gain access to his shouts since the dragons were mostly not around in his time. We could see Parthunaax and the Greybeards summon him, which was referenced in Skyrim, and we can finally clear up the mystery of how he ascended to godhood.

In a previous article, I suggested that Bethesda test out their upcoming engine for Elder Scrolls VI on a different game before ES6 is made, sot here will be less bugs. A spinoff like this is a perfect opportunity for that. As well, Bethesda could experiment with different gameplay styles. This could be an RPG like the main series but with its own set up, or an even more action oriented game than before, and being a spinoff will allow more freedom to take risks.

If Bethesda is worried about revealing too much about the series lore, they shouldn’t worry as they have a built in safety net. When Bethesda came up with the concept of the Dragon Break and CHIM, it essentially gave free license to retcon anything and not have to worry about it being lore breaking, because the very lore of the series allows this.

My only real true request if such a game is made though, is for better voice acting. The voice acting in Skyrim was not that great, some of the cast did well but some were clearly just reading off lines in a bored tone that broke the immersion.  Better voice acting could truly make this game have much more of an epic feel to it.

I truly believe this would be an amazing spinoff and one that fans would love. But now I turn the question to the readers. Would you want this game? Let me know.

 

 

The above was the opinion of the author and the author alone and doesn’t necessarily reflect the reviews of Real Otaku Gamer or its staff.

 

By Nate VanLindt On 5 Mar, 2017 At 06:12 PM | Categorized As Books, Editorials, Featured | With 0 Comments

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Since the advent of Harry Potter, the popularity of teen and children’s writers has skyrocketed.  As many adults are reading these books as kids are and bookstores have assembled whole sections of their stores for the wide variety of teen material available.  Much of the volume of material available tends towards teen science fiction and fantasy, following in the Potter and Hunger Games trends.  Other writers have branched out into suspense and even horror.  But this isn’t a new genre.  A few spectacular writers broke ground in these genres decades ago.  One of these early few was the esteemed young adult writer John Bellairs. 

Bellairs wrote several books in the mid to late 60s, ranging from religious parody to fantasy.   In the early 1970s, he wrote a dark fantasy novel for adults, but publishers recommended he rewrite the book for young readers and in 1973, The House With a Clock in its Walls was born.  With artwork by the legendary artist Edward Gorey, The House With a Clock in its Walls found immediate success.

Bellairs’ flair for the macabre along with Gorey’s edgy panels drew together a uniquely dark story.   His characters were realistic, flawed, and captivating.  The villains had no issues torturing and killing children, much like the original Grimm’s Fairy Tales and this stark look at the supernatural underbelly of 1950s New England went on to win 5 literary awards between 1973 and 1982.  He went on to win 13 more awards for his other books as well.  But Bellairs wasn’t done.

He went on to write a total of 15 children’s horror novels primarily focusing on three main characters.  Of those 15 books, 12 were stunningly illustrated by Edward Gorey.  Notably, the Dial hardcover library editions of Bellairs’ books feature wraparound dust jacket artwork by Gorey and a unique font, creating a wondrous and foreboding atmosphere before even opening the books themselves.

What’s truly remarkable about Bellairs’ work, however, is how enduring it is and how well it has aged.  Each book comes in at around 150-200 pages, but the length belies the quality of the content.  Evil wizards and sorcerers abound and time travel, human sacrifice, and Armageddon are common themes.  They aren’t simply dark, though.  The characters are well-written, the stories cohesive and self-contained.  For an adult going back to re-read these books, they have managed to stay compelling and powerful and should be a must-read for the kid who loves a scary story in all of us.

John Bellairs died in 1991 at the age of 53, but he left a legacy of fiction for all of us to treasure.  Several movies and shows have been made of his work based on The House With a Clock in its Walls and The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn, but they are extremely difficult to locate and have low production value.  Eric Kripke, of Supernatural fame, has been rumored to be working on a current movie adaptation of The House With a Clock in its Walls, but the project has yet to have materialized.  Kripke is said to have been inspired by Bellairs’ work as a child.  With any luck, a modern movie of Bellairs’ seminal work will inspire a whole new generation in the years to come. 

For those that are interested, most of John Bellairs’s books are in print (and have been continuously since their release) and available on Amazon or at your local library.  An original set of the Dial hardcover library editions can run upwards of $500.00 on eBay, even for ex-library copies.  A fan tribute website still runs to this day.

 

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By otakuman5000 On 2 Mar, 2017 At 12:29 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, International News, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarBack in January, during the Nintendo Switch Presentation, Nintendo Tatsumi Kimishima announced the price and release date of the Nintendo Switch console. A couple of minutes later he talked about region locking, and how Nintendo Switch will be region free.

Now, this author jumped for joy when this was announced. Now import games can be purchased with no hassles just like Sony did with PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4. Now you can add My Nintendo accounts from ANY Region and if you are in the US, you can tie your debit/credit card to your accounts and buy games and download demos worldwide. (as of right now this is the case. This article will be updated throughout the launch weekend)

You can have up to 8 Users on the Nintendo Switch. Here is where you can add all of your worldwide accounts. (if you do that sort of thing) You can also browse and download from each region with ease. This is one of the most exciting features of the console. You will now have more of a varied game experience. Thanks for opening your minds Nintendo.