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No GravatarEvery once in awhile, a very special game comes along and confirms that there are still indeed wonderful games out there.  The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is one of those gems.  It is a definite “must have” for any RPG fan.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt is a third-person, action RPG with an expansive open world environment.  It was developed and published by Polish studio CD Projekt RED.  The game is based on the a set of fantasy novels by Polish author,  Andrzej Sapkowski (these books are available in an English translation).  The game came out in May of this year for PC, PlayStation 4, and XBox One.

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The story follows Geralt of Rivia, a witcher who takes care of people’s monster problems for coin.  Those who become witchers have been mutated and have special powers such as a special sensing ability and limited magic powers.  He is searching for his adopted daughter, Ciri, who is in danger from being captured by the Wild Hunt.  The main quest line is compelling and interesting.  It also has a bit of a Mass Effect quality to it, since Geralt’s choices do affect the outcome of the story.  The side quests are fun to play and range from playing gwent with certain people (more on this later), getting rid of monsters, and helping people out.  The sheer amount of side quests can be a bit daunting.  It feels like every time a quest is finished, five more are available.  This is not a bad thing, though.  A player could spend full price on the game, and it is definitely worth its price.

The game play is quite a lot of fun.  It’s a well-done third person perspective game.  The combat system is excellent.  Geralt uses swords and a bit of magic to keep the monsters at bay.  He has two swords: one for human foes and a silver one for monsters and such.  Witchers can cast magic by making signs, which vary from blasting things for flames to influencing people’s minds.  There is also an amazing crafting system for both weapons and potions.  Weapons and clothes can be upgraded by finding materials and schematics around the world.  Potions can be created in the same way.  Players may upgrade abilities by either leveling up Geralt’s character or finding places of power, which give extra allotment points.

The open world is expansive.  A player can spend hours and hours just exploring.  Geralt moves around throughout the land on his horse, Roach and by boat.  The world has its own weather system and goes through a day/night cycle.  Depending on the time of day can actually affect the powers of particular monsters (think: werewolves and such).  The world can range from quaint orchards, to buggy swamps, to massive cities.  It’s amazing to explore.

The mini game in The Witcher 3 is probably one of the best-done ones yet.  Gwent is a strategy card game that Geralt plays with the merchants and inn-keepers, and there’s a lot of strategy to it.  The game involves three rounds.  The person who wins two obviously wins the game.  Everyone brings their own deck, so finding and winning more cards is also a strategy.  This encourages the player to hunt for more cards either by buying or winning them in high-stakes games.

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An open world would not be decent unless it had amazing graphics, and the Witcher 3 delivers.  There are surprisingly great.  The best graphics in the games are the cut-scenes; they are absolutely gorgeous.  The in-game graphics are amazing as well, and actually focus on colors.  There are little bits and pieces of detail everywhere from the weather to Geralt’s growing beard.  A player actually needs to see a barber because the beard will start to grow after a certain amount of time.

The Witcher 3 is an absolutely must-have.  Hands-down.  Get it now if you don’t have it.  Obviously, it is an adult game (there are some really raunchy parts).  But overall, the game is just amazing.  It really should get game of the year for 2015.  However, with Fallout 4 coming out in the fall, The Witcher 3 may be dethroned as game of the year.

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No GravatarI always have to shake my head a bit when someone compares another game to Skyrim and says something like, “It’s just like Skyrim.”  Really?  It is “just like” Skyrim?  I’ll then start to question them to see what they really mean.  This is the line of questioning that I go through with them:

Is it open world? (Note that this is one of the only questions that they say yes to.)

Will it take you an hour or more to walk from one side of the map to the other?

Is it an action RPG?

Is it first-person point of view with the option of going to third person?

Do you level up an ability by using that ability?

Do you have to pick a certain character type (i.e. mage or warrior)?  Or can you have multiple talents?

Is the game set in a high-fantasy realm?

Can you choose between being a male of female character?

Do you have the choice of multiple races to play?

Does it have hundreds and hundreds of hours of quests?

Does it have a weapons and amour crafting system?

Is the open world interactive with both NPCs and items?

Do you get to have followers who help you?

Can you pick and choose who you’d like to be your follower?

Is the game background and setting intricate and in-depth?

Are there hundreds of areas to explore?

Is there a huge modding community for PC that puts out amazing mods all of the time?

Is the game so beloved that there are tons of memes and jokes of it all around the Internet?

Is the game the yard stick that other games are measured by?  (Because Skyrim is.)

There, of course, are games similar to Skyrim, but there is nothing “just like” it.  The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt gets some things close.  Far Cry 4 also does the same.  It was described as “Skyrim with guns.”  But is there really a true comparison?  Not really.  Not even the Fallout series is actually the same because of the way the leveling system works.   I don’t necessarily mind comparisons, but when people make statements that include “just like,” it gets me a little riled up because in the end, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is one of the most defining games of this decade.  And that is why it is so beloved.

 

 

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No GravatarI have a problem.  Well, let me rephrase that: I have a gaming problem.  In a way, it’s a good problem, but it still follows me whenever I try to play an RPG.  You see, ever since I played The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim a few years ago, I can’t play any other High-Fantasy RPG.  I’ve tried.  I really have, but I honestly think that Skyrim has ruined me for any other RPG.

And I am totally okay with that.

Because it’s the best modern RPG ever.

Now, when I say “modern RPG,” I am referring to games done for the PS3/XBox360 generation and newer.  I don’t think that you can compare games like Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VII with more modern games.

However, I do feel that the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is the best we have right now in terms of the combination of setting, game play, and story.  Let me explain:

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Most people who adore Skyrim will comment on its expansive open world.  I will admit, that it is probably the best open world map to date.  The scenery is gorgeous.  Most of the items in the world are very interactive.  The people in the world are interesting.  The places are fun to explore.  I’ve gone walking around the map just for fun.  I’ve even read about people who create characters and don’t even play the game; they just make up their own story and go hunting animals, collect things, and just have fun.  It’s so in-depth with lore and back-story that it’s hard not to fall in love with Skyrim.

Even though the open world is amazing, my favorite part of the game is actually the game play itself.  I have never quite come across anything quite like it.  For me, even another Bethesda heavy-hitter like Fallout 3 doesn’t compare.  Sure, Skyrim is a first-person, action RPG.  A lot of games are.  The thing that really makes Skyrim stand out is the leveling and experience system.  It’s very simple: you level up what you use.  Whatever angle you want to play with Skyrim, you just have to use it to level it.  In this way, players are not pigeon-holed into a certain class.  Do you want to be a mage who has thief tendencies?  Go for it.  Do you want you want to be a warrior who also can use magic when needed?  Yep!  You can do that.  Do you like being a thief who enjoys two-handed combat?  Why not?

For me, since I have a bit of gaming OCD, I love being able to play all three play-styles.  Why not?  I hate having to decide what class to play because two hours later, I want to change it.  Skyrim lets me do whatever I want, and I love that!  For console, I was a bit limited because there are only so many perks a player can add in Skyrim.  However, on PC…oh dear, on PC…it is GLORIOUS for OCD gamers like myself.  Okay, there is a bit of cheaty, cheat, cheating going on, but only to add the perks when I run out of levels.

Interestingly enough, there is more to love about Skyrim than the setting and the game play.  The story is also pretty darned good.  It’s not spectacular, but it’s not bad either.  I wouldn’t say that it’s BioShock or The Last of Us quality, but it will hold your attention for many, many hours.  The story of a person who discovers that they are Dragonborn and sets out to save the world from ending isn’t too shabby.  The fact that there are hundreds of hours of relevant side-quests make things pretty interesting as well.  I’ve heard of people complaining about the side-quests for Skyrim.  Sure, some of them are menial, but the big ones have their own story-lines.  It’s the reason why some people have literally spent more than a thousand hours in the game.

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Lastly, there is something special about Skyrim, and it may have to do with the fact that gamers can easily make fun of it without damaging the integrity of the game.  How many “arrow to the knee” memes have you seen?  How many times have people made fun of the fact that one can eat 99 raw potatoes in the middle of the battle to gain health?  What about trying to kill a chicken?  Or, my personal favorite happens to be: why are all of the lights on in a dungeon that hasn’t been visited by anyone in hundreds if not thousands of years?  It’s fun to make fun of Skyrim because it’s a game that no one has to defend as being good.  Some people might not like it, and that’s fine.  But it’s hard to argue that it’s a bad game.  Therefore, when there are some “silly” elements of the game, it’s enjoyable to point out the shortcomings because even though there definitely are some, no other game even comes close.

There are a lot of games that I have enjoyed over the years, but there are few that I truly love.  The Elders Scrolls V: Skyrim is one that I absolutely will love forever, even when newer and better games come out.  I have about an estimated 415 hours on the game right now between console and PC, and I have thoroughly loved every minute of it.  I actually cannot think of another game that I have spent so much time on.  That’s the power of Skyrim.

By Gehennakat On 25 Mar, 2014 At 06:12 PM | Categorized As Best Game Ever, Featured, PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4, Reviews, Reviews | With 0 Comments
Delsin

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I hate inFAMOUS: Second Son. Not in a bad way, but in the way that I can’t seem to get anything done (that includes job, house, family, etc.). I’m not talking about bugs or glitches either. The problem is that publisher Sony Computer Entertainment and developer Sucker Punch Productions have created such a realistic sandbox that I spend most of my time running, leaping, and flying that I forget what mission I was on or what I was doing to begin with, but I digress.

Smoke1inFAMOUS: Second Son begins 7 years after the events of inFAMOUS 2 in New Marais after Cole MacGrath’s heroic sacrifice. The new protagonist is Delsin Rowe and he’s portrayed as an Akomish Native American. Now the tribe is actually fictional, but as a Native American I’m glad they’ve actually included someone with a heritage to base his personality and interactions off of. Delsin lives in Washington amongst his tribe and is also the resident trouble maker. Being a graffiti artist, Delsin has been in conflict with the local authorities on more than one occasion. Unfortunately for Delsin, the local constable is none other than his brother Reggie. I’m going to avoid story spoilers for the sake of those who haven’t been playing and just say after a confrontation Delsin learns he is what they call a conduit. All conduits have now been dubbed bio-terrorists by the Department of Unified Protection (DUP) and are being rounded up and stored away or tested on. After a few cut scenes and a short tutorial Delsin finds himself in Seattle on the hunt for those who have wronged his tribe.

Like inFAMOUS 2, there is a karmic scale that impacts what abilities and powers can be upgraded by the choices you make during the game. I focused on a “Good Boy” play through and maintained that, for the most part, through until the conclusion. Now karmic choices play out in certain levels, but even running through the street there are opportunities abound to be the daring do gooder or an all-around evil bastard. As an evil doer you can harass street musicians, break up activists who are against conduits, execute DUP soldiers, etc. As you come across other conduits you’re also given the opportunity to corrupt or redeem them to continue on whatever path you choose. As the good guy you can heal people caught in the cross fire, destroy drug stashes, and even take down DUP grunts with non-lethal means. Once you choose your focus, your powers will follow suit. Once I absorbed my neon powers and reached guardian level karma I was able to slow time and zoom in for accurate sniper shots. Target’s heads are highlighted red for an evil execution or blue on their feet and legs for an immobilization.

neon dashI think one of the more annoying problems with the original two inFAMOUS titles was the means of locomotion. Cole had some cool ways to get around, but it felt like it still took forever to get anywhere. This is why I hate the abilities in this new game (sarcasm). Delsin’s first two powers are a smoke ability and a neon charged ability, and both can get you around town in a matter of seconds. The smoke dash ability covers ground while leaving you unexposed to attacks until you form back together. This also plays into the myriad of vents now located on buildings that let you dash into the ducting only to materialize on the roof instead of manually scaling the side of 5 story building. The neon abilities answer to this a sprint that moves at light speed (think the Flash) and lets him run up the side of buildings to get to the top. So why do I hate this? Mainly because I’d start a level and begin making my way to the objective only to get sidetracked by the scenery, or a tall building I wanted to vault, DUP on the street, blast shards (yes, those are back), etc. The means of getting around Seattle vary and are a blast. I won’t spoil the last two abilities or how Delsin comes about acquiring them, but they also make for some fun ways to get around town. Not only that, but the ability to trade out your powers on the fly is fun too. Air dropping into a group of DUP from the rooftop, to disable them with smoke headshots, to then stealing some neon from a nearby sign to finish of the rest with a stasis grenade never gets old. You’re limited by your creativity… and your ability to finish an actual level without being distracted.

smoke chainThe devs at Sucker Punch deserve as much kudos as they can get because they’ve created a truly beautiful next gen console experience. I’ve heard people complaining that the characters are bland and uninteresting, but I disagree. I’d wager these are the people who played the game for 3 days straight without sleep or human interaction. Games like this are like a great meal and need to be savored. The cut scenes, facial expressions, and voice acting are all top notch and fit well within the story given to us. My only grievance (and it’s little) is the inclusion of a bad karmic side. Yes, I know it gives more options and a bit more depth, but it doesn’t flow with what we see of Delsin, those he cares about, or sense of community his tribe instills in him. The city of Seattle needs to be addressed as well because it seems like a living breathing organism. From the buildings, to the lighting, to the pedestrians on the streets Sucker Punch has crafted a very realistic city for us to play in. This is evident in the audio for the game as well. You can stop on the corner and just listen to everything that’s going around. The last big tip of the hat to Sucker Punch is the lighting, particles, and physics of the environments. Delsin’s smoke and neon abilities are absolutely gorgeous (so is one of his last ones) to behold, with lights dancing off the walls as you zip around, to the small particles of smoke and fire coming from Delsin as he teleports. Physics come into play even more since now you can actually destroy objects in the environments instead of trying to scale them all.

neon ground poundWith all the next gen titles coming out I’d be remiss not to encourage any PS4 owner to check out inFAMOUS: Second Son and experience everything it has to offer. In addition, there was a day one patch that added about 4-5 hours of extra gameplay and an online hunt dubbed “Paper Trails” (we will be doing a follow up on this DLC). This combined with fantastic acting, animation, gameplay, and story will make sure inFAMOUS: Second Son doesn’t disappear into a puff of smoke.

(9.0 out of 10)

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We are back with our “Ultimate Fan” series of contests here at Real Otaku Gamer. This time we are partnering with Nintendo of America to provide the prizes for the contest. These prizes are subject to change based on availability. We will be giving away some of these limited edition musical chests from The Legend of Zelda: Link Between Worlds.

Second prize will be a Nintendo 3DS prize pack with a Nintendo Bag, sticker books and some AR Card temporary tattoos.

Now, let’s get into the rules, just get all of your Legend of Zelda swag together. We mean gather everything from posters, games, toys, soundtracks and other Legend of Zelda related merchandise. Take a picture or two (if you need to) with you in the picture holding a sign with your name or username you want to use.

Once submitted, your pictures will be validated by our art team, then they will be judged my a team at Real Otaku Gamer. Once we pick the pictures we want to be considered, then they will be sent to Nintendo of America to be judged.

You can send all photos to contests@realotakugamer.com. This contest is limited to US residents only. Sorry to our International fans. You can send in your photos for consideration for the second prize. Make sure to “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  The contest entries need to be in by January 20th 2014.

Good Luck to you all! Thanks to Nintendo of America for all of their support. Please leave a comment below.

 

By ericyo On 12 Sep, 2013 At 02:22 AM | Categorized As Best Game Ever, Featured, News, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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This game is so good I had to do a review of my own for it. The Wii U has finally received a worth while game. The Wii U has been getting slammed lately for it’s lack of 1st party games, or any good games for that matter, but games like Pikmin 3 certainly make the wait worth while. Hopefully this is the start of a very good out pour of games from Nintendo.

The Pikmin series has always been a very interesting series, the original game came in the form of a Mario tech demo idea. It started off with the tech demo at Space world 2000. The demo was to show the processing power of the Gamecube, The demo was called Mario 128. The demo had 128 Mario’s walking around and dismantling a Mario sprite made of blocks and carrying the individual pieces around. The demo was originally made to show that the Gamecube is powerful enough to support many AI sprites at once. Eventually, Miyamoto asked his team to create a game nothing like Mario and we got this series.

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The first thing to do is figure out if you’re going to play with the Gamepad, Pro controller or the Wii Remote. I gave all of them a try, even though the great feature about the Gamepad is that you have a complete map right in front of you and of course you can play directly of the Wii U Gamepad away from the TV screen, what it lacks though is flexibility. Example, with the Wii U Gamepad you must stand still and take aim and the launch a Pikmin. This can be a very helpful gesture for those intense moments. With the Wii remote you can shoot and run and have the Gamepad on the side for as your map, the stand that came with the Wii U comes in handy here.

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The game is similar to the predecessors with a small twist. Instead of collecting valuable items you are presented with a task of collecting food for a starving planet. 3 space pilots, Alph, Britanny and Charlie, set out to the planet to collect the food. when they arrive, the ship goes through some issues and the pilots are separated, thus we are tasked with getting everyone back together. We then are introduced with the different colored Pikmin one color at a time.

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Each colored Pikmin represents a different ability. example, the Red Pikmin are able ti withstand fire, Yellow are able to stand a electricity and one new Pikmin introduced is the Rock Pikmin, able to take down glass walls. There is many more different colored Pikmin not mentioned that you discover as you progress through the game. Aside from the different colors all Pikmin are able to attack other creatures that can then be taken back to their pod  or “Onion”. the Pikmin are “born” from the Onion as the other creatures or pellets that show a number are introduced to the Onion. Pikmin are all stored in the Onion when night tie falls in order to escape the night time predators.

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The game is created to present you with puzzles and give you a sense of accomplishment once you solve a puzzle within a certain time limit. You are free to visit the same stage various times to make sure you get all the food sources from the stage. The Pikmin are there to help you accomplish this. The stages all have some sort of  boss. The bosses all come with an extreme challenge. Previous players of the series will NOT be disappointed.

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The game does a great job of taking a new player through the controls, it makes the new and experienced player to the series feel welcomed. The game has a series of Data cards left over from the previous planets visitor, Captain Olimar. He leaves instructions for other visitors so that they know how to use the Pikmin.

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The scenery and the music in this great is outstanding! It really does a great job of catching the correct lights and colors in the correct and appropriate times and areas. The music from Pikmin has always been great and this new installment doesn’t disappoint.

I really wish this game was a launch game, i believe that the game and the system would have been very successful if this would have been a launch title. Alas, that never happened, but with time comes rewards and i feel that this game was a huge reward for my patience. Overall if you own a Wii U and haven’t played or purchased this game, I have one question for you… What’s wrong with you! Pick it up! Also, if you want to follow my adventure of Pikmin 3 please feel free to check out this Let’s Play! Also above is the first episode, segment hosted by yours truly!

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2012 is almost over and I must say that gamers around the world were treated with a plethora of amazing video games this year. My personal favorites include titles as Mass Effect 3, Darksiders 2, Transformers Fall of Cybertron, He-Man The Most Powerful Game in the Universe and last but certainly not least, Gearbox Software’s explosive and fun Borderlands 2. Last weekend at the VGA’s The Walking Dead surpriseingly walked out of the building with the prestigious Game of the Year edition. Something I still can’t really grasp. How can a game that wins “Best Shooter”, “Best Multiplayer Game”, “Best Human Male Performance – … as Handsome Jack and “Character of the Year – CL4P TP” not even be nominated for “Game of the Year”? Borderlands 2 is my 2012 GotY and let me explain to you why!

A tale of fun.
An aspect that I find important in most games is a well written story. Most shooter fans don’t even bother playing campaigns and jump right into the multiplayer. (Call of Duty anyone?) Borderlands 2 might not have the greatest story ever written for a videogame but it’s fun. Gearbox Software focuses on the originality of characters, clever and often hilarious dialogues and a large diverse environment where the story takes place. I’ve never found it a choir to replay the story twice with all five classes to obtain the best possible loot. The game just kept pulling me in and left me aching for more…videogames must be addictive.

Run, Kill and Loot stuff!
The gameplay in Borderlands 2 is simplistic, but again very fun! You have the main story missions and heaps of side missions guaranteeing hours upon hours of gaming pleasure. There are even rare random enemy spawns that yield some of the strongest gear in the game. This leads me to weapons and gear, there are lterally bazillions of different guns to find on the hostile planet of Pandora. Farming the weapons is very time consuming and often based on shear luck, but the rewards are truly magnificent. The loot game really starts at level 50 because that’s where all the good stuff is found. One of the best aspects of Borderlands 2 is the ability to play up to four player co-op online and offline. Running trough the game with a couple of friends is loads of fun and very well executed. To be honest, I haven’t had this much co-op fun since Gears of War 3. Therefor “Best Multiplayer Game” is a well deserved VGA award if you ask me.

Another great thing about the gameplay is the fact that Gearbox Software releases new content on a regular basis. some might argue that dlc is released way too fast, but for most hardcore gamers more content equals more replay value. First, most of us (the ones wise enough to place a preorder) were rewarded with a free fifth character class, Gaige the Mechromancer who was very well received by the community. Soon after that Gearbox treated us with the hilarious Captain Scarlett and her Pirate’s Booty downloadable content that offered even more loot, fun and new invincible raid bosses. What more could a Vault Hunter ask for? How about an explosive second campaign dlc named Mister Torque’s Campaign of Carnage? All I know is that Gearbox Software delivers! There are still two unreleased dlc’s and the current level cap has not been increased yet though. Gearbox also stated that another new class is also a possibility for an additional non-campaign related dlc. Who knows what the master minds at Gearbox have in store for us next. It will potentially only get better!

Nonconventional graphics.
In an era where next-gen graphics are becoming more important bythe minute Borderlands 2 isn’t anything special. But if you look at it from an “outside of the box” perspective you must realize that the Borderlands series would be just another fps if it didn’t have it’s original layered textures graphical style. (It isn’t cell shading remember, Gearbox Software PR doesn’t like it when the press calls it that.) In the end it will surely come down to personal taste, but I like my Borderlands games just as they are!

Great dialogues and charisma.
Like I mentioned earlier Borderlands 2 has some awesome characters. The main bad guy, or good guy if you would see things from his perspective is the masked Handsome Jack. Jack, a character most players will love to hate is only one of the many characters with great dialogues and charisma. Tiny Tina being one of my absolute favorites. A game without interesting characters and dialogues to relate to is boring. Gearbox really did an excellent job here and were ofcourse handsomely rewarded. (pun intended)

Gearbox Software cares.
Another thing I love about Borderlands 2 is the huge community. You can visit the official Gearbox Software forums to meet thousands of fans that share stories, tips, builds and more. Most players I’ve met were very friendly, helpful and social. Not like some of the elitest jerks that play games as Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and Diablo 3 to name but a few. Another cool thing about Gearbox Software is that they use social media to reward the community with in-game goodies known as Golden Keys. These keys open a special golden loot chest in the floating city of Santuary The chest rewards players with rare and often very powerful weapons. Gearbox cares about the fans and they show it plenty.

I have been playing Borderlands 2 since it’s European release on September 19th and have clocked hundreds of hours on al five classes that are all level 50 characters equipped with some of the most powerful endgame gear that is currently available. It’s still addictive, fun and I just can’t get enough of it. Let’s just hope that Borderlands 3 is twice as good as it’s predecessor and goes home with the Game of the Year title at the 2015 VGA’s.

So to conclude my rant, why is Borderlands 2 my Game of the Year? (short version)

– fun story
– awesome characters
– great dialogues
– great music
– great sound effects
– bazillions of guns
– non-conventional graphical style in a generic market
– great replay value
– great downloadable content
– great community
– great support
– excellent game, period!

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“Nothing is True, Everything is Permitted.” The contradictory maxim of the Assassins Order’s creed; I will try to give you everything that, I believe is the truth about the Series in my eyes. But there will be things that contradict what I say. That is what the Assassin’s Creed Series embodies through and through. The series burst onto the gaming scene as one of the few video game franchises to gain renown outside of just video games. It encompasses the area of complete franchise with clothing, comics, books, and eventually a movie. Only a few other franchises have done any of this, those being Halo and Gears of War. The franchise has managed multiple stories bound around the ongoing struggle between the Assassin’s and that free will and thinking for humanity against the Templars and that free will should be subjugated and humanity guided behind a veil.

The franchise started in 2007 and introduced us to a pissant of a main character Desmond Miles voiced by the ever so everywhere, Nathan Drake, I mean Nolan North. As he is monitored by Doctor Warren VIdic voiced by Phil Proctor and his assistant, Lucy Stillman, voiced by the amazingly beautiful Kristen Bell. As Abstergo Industries, the modern day Templars, try to find the McGuffins, the Pieces of Eden, that’ll allow them to dominate the World, even though they do already as a Worldwide Enterprise. And the Assassins are smaller, and are trying to prevent them from doing so, with Desmond’s ancestors, Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad, Ezio Auditore da Firenze, and Ratonhnhaké:ton aka Connor, as the other main characters showing the path to them.
A quick, recap of all five of the main games in the Assassin’s Creed series. Assassin’s Creed is the first, introducing you to the modern protagonist Desmond Miles, and his ancestor via the Animus, Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad. Altair is disgraced during a mission and busted back down to beginner in the Order, and is tasked with taking down various enemies to humanity. Uncovering the truth leads to both Altair and Desmond further into the conflict of Assassin and Templar. Continuing on, Desmond escaping with the help of Lucy and being united with fellow Assassin’s Rebecca and Shaun. As they dive back into the Animus, you are introduced to another ancestor, hot-head and ladies’ man, Ezio Auditore da Firenze, and his goal of revenge against Rodrigo Borgia, which takes him all over Italy battling the Templars and meeting amazing people who are instrumental to the Order. As Ezio is tempered over his journey of revenge, he gains revenge by stealing the Apple from Rodrigo and leaving him broken, and sparking the Assassin’s on the hunt to prevent the World’s destruction from the warnings of Minerva, in the real World. 
Continues with Ezio and the next chapter of the story with the destruction of the Order in Monteriggioni by Pope Alexander VI aka Rodrigo, and his war driven son, Cesare. Ezio survives after witnessing his Uncle dying, and takes the fight to Rome, taking on the Pope and his armies. As you uncover more, the deeper Desmond goes, as Ezio dismantles the Borgia family. As Desmond and company reach the piece seen by Ezio, Desmond is forced to do something unthinkable, kill one of his own, as he falls into a coma afterwards. Additionally, it’s the first game to introduce a well done multiplayer. Revelations ends the trilogy of Ezio, with him older, and much wiser, this time, taking him to Istanbul at the behest of events at the Assassin’s Ancient home of Masyaf. This game serves as bookends for Altair and Ezio stories. As you gain more information on the Doomsday event, with Ezio discovering what Altair wanted to teach those who could reach his vault, and speaking directly to the now awake Desmond. The newest entry of the Assassin’s Creed, starring Ratonhnhaké:ton aka Connor, who begins to be an Assassin for reasons of protecting his people, but is quickly swallowed into the Revolutionary War, where the lines of friend and enemy are blurred. As Desmond and company race to find a way to stop the doomsday clock from striking true, with the help of the First Civilization’s crypt ruins in Upstate New York. This game follows, Connor’s entire life from the start of his mother and father to him being an old man.

 

But as Desmond unlocks their extensive memories, he uncovers the world ending doomsday, of a massive solar flare that will wipe out all of humanity on December 21, 2012. And the Assassin’s now race to both prevent the end of the World, with the help of First Civilization, and Abstergo at the same time. As the story continues to unfold with the most recent release, Assassin’s Creed III. Additionally, check out the review of it here Assassin’s Creed III, at  Real Otaku Gamer.

As for the good that comes from the Assassin’s Creed franchise, its the amazingly well done story. Each game, comic, Facebook game, and book, being necessary and well weaved together

for the whole. Each game is fantastically paced, albeit the first Assassin’s Creed was a little slow, but that was to be expected, with an entirely new IP. Each main character, from Altiar to Ezio to Connor to Desmond, each is developed thoroughly, giving you a look into their past, to see how they changed over time to their present day selves. The games follow the stealth
The bad can range from multiple and heavy to miniscule. I’ll start with the gameplay holes, like the stealth in the series is very very not there. It’s not on the level of fellow Ubisoft game, Splinter Cell, where the shadows are your friends, but more so like Tenchu, get seen in the wrong areas, and start looking for an exit strategy. Additionally, the actual fighting can get repetitive and you can easily from game to game, spam the counter button and never be touched, unless, the story says so. The graphics and draw distances are amazing, but the game will slowly but surely, blur into just a set of color schemes, repeated NPCs, and multiple, non-landmark buildings looking the same. Each game in the series, improves on the last but still fails in what it attempts in the first place. Another gripe about the game is, after about the first day or so of playing any AC game. It turns into a repetitive play, get your hands dirty, dry, and repeat. From the fetch all the feathers, to find all the other random collectibles, fun at first, but it will surely drain you in the long run.action genre, but I would more so call it, stalking action, which fits well for what happens in the story and the gameplay mechanics. Stalk your prey from on high; close behind or within the crowd, to blend in. Speaking of gameplay, the combat is rewarding and visceral, each counter and combo, dealing more death to quickly dispatching multiple opponents and fade back into the crowd. Additionally, the voice acting from the top to the bottom is amazing and well done. Even though at some points, they can seem a little stilted.

Assassin’s Creed is a well done franchise of media, which can come at gamers, in many different forms, each with its own distinct personality. Even though the game on the grand scale is amazing, it does fall short on some of the many things it does in each game. Assassin’s Creed as a franchise, is amazing, and surely will continue on for some time, depending on how Assassin’s Creed III will end and the story of Desmond will play out. But from the looks of it, and the way they merchandise, the Assassins and the Templars will forever be locked in a secret war that humanity will rarely ever see, or hear about

By Akodo On 25 Nov, 2012 At 11:26 PM | Categorized As Best Game Ever, Featured | With 0 Comments
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No GravatarAs I enter part 2, this focuses more on the characters and the short fall of the game as a whole. Even though I pick on one particular installment, Suikoden IV, doesn’t mean I still don’t love the series as a whole. But a story for a game of this nature, wouldn’t be good or even great, if it didn’t have the necessary characters being in from start to finish or just to move the story along.

Out of the five main games, with a roster of playable and non-playable characters, it totals out at 513 out of the 540 characters. I eliminated the returning characters throughout the lengthy series. Those numbers are just astounding, and that’s not even including the enemy factions and their peons and generals.

Having so many characters in a single game, 108, it tends to be a gift and a curse. Allowing the player, for those that are playable, a plethora of options, changing the battle lines with favorites and new characters you want to give a whirl. But, the downside is that as the game progresses, you get stuck with a couple characters you rely on heavily, unless the story dictates that you bring along certain people. But you never get to use all of them, due to the constraints of wanting to beat the game, and the story overall.

I get to drone on about my favorite characters from the series as a whole, except for Suikoden IV. Which I’ll explain why, it, to me was the worse of the series later in the article. Also, I’ll only mention those who appear on the Stone Tablet of Stars. Tir (S1), he’s the hero from tragedy and serious betrayal and potential death, that would cause a serious breakdown, he continued for those who believed in him. Cleo (S1), she may be the mother figure to Tir, but she’ll nail someone with her throwing knives with pinpoint accuracy. Riou (S2), as the successor to S1’s hero, and is a close expy of him, but still great. Shu (S2), cold, calculating, and knows what has to be done for victory. He’s a strategist that goes above the call each time. Flik (S2), as a young head strong member of the Liberation Army in the first, but being more mature and tempered in the second, as well as letting loose and also taking care of Viktor. Chris Lightfellow (S3), a very hard, duty driven, and father issued woman, but after she meets Nash on her mission to find him, and she gains her acceptance. Nash Latkje (S3), this is due to his pedigree from the Gaiden and amazing backstory. But he’s just a cool mutha *beep*.

But one of the few that gets an Honorable mention, Luca Blight villain from Suikoden II

Futch (S3), full grown from his time in S1 & 2, being older, mature, carrying a big sword, and taking care of Sharon, he’s just the “I’m cool, but I don’t know it.” Georg Prime (S5), he’s just simply a Badass on the level of Chuck Norris in the Suikoden World. Name feared and respected throughout the world, and always at the pinnacle of swordsmanship wherever he fights. Fredjadour Falenas (S5), the silent hero of the fifth game, and wields the Tri-nunchaku, and just a balanced character, and although thrust into the leadership role, he takes it seriously, to rescue the Queendom and his sister. Miakis (S5), the faithful bodyguard and Queen’s Knight for the princess, she is essentially Lymsleia sister, and the stereotypical bodyguard turned friend to the Princess.

Suikoden IV was just hogwash of a game in the series. I’ll quickly go over why. The story was flat, the characters not believable, in the sense of what had to be accomplished. And the main villain’s drive to be bearer of the Rune of Punishment again, after certain circumstances, and that was laughable. Seriously, you fight a Giant Tree as the final boss! The story did fit into the continuity for the whole, and giving more back story to various characters, but the game was badly done, and overall, just a letdown. I could go on for days, explaining every intricacy of why the game didn’t meet the standards for Suikoden. As for the other four entries, they all contribute to continuity as well, and explore the depths of the main silent hero with the actions that occurred during each of their stories.

Many ups and downs for them, and in some, you could choose to not take up arms against the corrupt, and the story would illustrate what could happen because you never stepped towards your Destiny. Each character, in Suikoden I, II, III, and V, had some kind of personal issue with the current situation at hand and wanting to change it. Admittedly, IV did have a few characters with an invested interest in the situation, but the total cast seemed to be just there. And this has been a negative for the games, each having so many characters, and showing they all have a vested interest for change brought on by Destiny and Time.

Some may consider Suikoden series as whole a relic, others, such as myself, and thousands others want Konami to stop making handheld version of the game and slapping the Suikoden name on it. And those never really being Suikoden games beyond name and 108 Stars of Destiny. But the game takes you on a ride, with political intrigue, war, double crosses, death, sacrifice, and so much more, and it delivers 4 out of 5 times. And that those bullet points are the reasons and many more, are why I love Suikoden. And I’ll leave you with the best opening for a Suikoden game.

By Akodo On 25 Nov, 2012 At 09:21 PM | Categorized As Best Game Ever, Featured, Old School Otaku | With 0 Comments
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A story written based off the Chinese classic, “Outlaws of the Water Marsh” by Shi Nai’an & Luo Guanzhong. The story revolves around a brotherhood and the circumstances that destine them to become heroes for the people in the most extraneous circumstances. When corrupt governments foul the land, and bandits rove the countryside terrorizing the people, and government officials skimming off the top while others starve. The Brotherhood of the Outlaws of the Marsh will respond with Justice. It’s a great book; read it however you can get your hands on it.

Suikoden is loosely based off the novel mentioned above, but it takes the best elements of the story and turned it into an amazing story, with colorful characters, back story of the more important ones, fleshed out history and simply, just amazing writing. The basis of the Suikoden series: The main hero, being thrust into circumstances out of his/her control and their destiny, pushing them towards the final confrontation with the overarching Big Bad of the story. The game has produced many installments in the series, albeit, in a weird chronological order, but they all have their place. And here is the timeline for the main 5: Suikoden IV (143 years before Suikoden V & 150 years before Suikoden) ? Suikoden V (6 years before Suikoden) ? Suikoden (3 years before Suikoden II) ? Suikoden II (15 years before Suikoden III) ? Suikoden III. I’ll be primarily focusing on the main Suikoden titles mentioned in the timeline.

The story does follow a pattern, which I realized as I was writing this. The unlikely hero, has a traumatic event sparked by the all encompassing, all-powerful True Rune. And the True Rune is the catalysis for the Big Bad’s organization or their anger, to allow the government to be toppled or supplanted with their own. And during that time of consolidation or advancement by the Big Bad, the hero and his crew are forced into exile, to regroup and to take the fight back to the Big Bad. But it’s never an easy road, riddled with the deaths of loved ones, betrayal, sacrifice, and more. Each of these events in the game’s story is never seen coming, and simply just well written and timing, pinpoint. But all the troubles of the World, come down to the True Runes, and them controlling inadvertently and sometimes, on purpose the World’s events. But in the end, the Hero emerges victories, changing the country for the better.

You know how there are hidden gems on each system, no matter the generation. And how everybody has their own hidden gems that they still own, even though they don’t have the system anymore. Mine is the Suikoden Series along with a slew of others. Which, hopefully I’ll get to talk about, eventually. But Suikoden II was the first one I played, but I played them out of order. But the story of Suikoden II, drew me in. It wasn’t the graphics even though, it was during the PlayStation era. Sadly, as I was approaching the conflict with the Matilda Knightdom, my game disc froze. Never to be played again, and couldn’t do anything. But then Christmas rolled around and I got Suikoden. And I’ve been a fan since that day and even though Konami has broken up the developing team, it’d be amazing if they did make another main series Suikoden title, instead of side stories.
As I mentioned before, the game isn’t built on amazing graphics and over the top visuals. The backbone of the game is its story and colorful cast of 108 characters and even the villains, depending on the game, you begin to feel for them, and slightly want them to survive, but then they do something that screws the hero over. But the graphics that it uses, for the first 2 games on the PS1 and the next 3 on the PS2, make sense and even with the dip in 3 and 4, and upping the ante in 5, it still made each game worth playing and permanently on my shelf. For instance, in Suikoden, they have almost cheesie, 8-bit graphics, but not exactly there. But it worked, and it made the game more about the story and the loss, than oooo shiny.

The graphics didn’t take away from the gameplay and it being your six party members with varying ranges they attack from. Like Flik, the Blue Lightning, is a short range attacker, while Tir, the Hero, is a medium range. This allows Flik to be in the front rank and Tir to occupy the front or back rank. Combinations come into with new, pre-existing or old relationships within the story. It gives it an added sense of strategy in the battles. Moving along with battles, you’re also fighting in a war, and as you have these major battles, and in each, they are unique, with a rock-paper-scissors feel. Within the first, Charge loses to Defend, Attack loses to Charge, and Defend loses to Attack. But it’s never a set pattern and no two times are alike, which gave the game a great randomness to the battles in the war, even though you can just save before the battle and redo it. But just as the story is the filling, the characters are the pie crust.

Just a taste of the number of Characters

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