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With Dishonored: Death of the Outsider fast approaching, I wanted to take a look back at the series thus far. When Bethesda and Arkane Studios first released Dishonored, it didn’t introduce new ideas, so much as use what was already done by others. What was new was the way they used those ideas, and the product that came out of it.

Dishonored combined different elements and playstyles, like the stealth gameplay of Thief, with more horror and fantasy elements as well as action. The thing is though, Dishonored innovated, not by giving you different ways to play the game, but consequences for your style, and incentive to play again. You could go through the game with as little murder as possible, or kill everyone in your path. The choices you made affected not only the endings, but how the game progressed in general.

Dishonored also took steampunk genre and played with it in an interesting way, by deconstructing such a world and then giving the player a chance to have such a world exist in an ideal state. The game didn’t encourage you to go down either route, it let you make your own choice every step of the way. Then we have the sequel. Dishonored 2 gave two characters to play as, but also gave even more ways to play than ever before. Dishonored 2 took the formula of the first game and built on it, expanding what was done, and allowing far more innovation. But now it brought it a sense of immersion like never before.

The series playing with established ideas and using them in new ways was excellent, but the developers also took the time to build a unique world with a character of its own. It is not an exaggeration to say that the genres and games Dishonored took from, now take from Dishonored, such as seen with the reboot of Thief. It has become a series that transformed gaming and pushed things forward.

There are few games that can truly force change on gaming. The Dishonored series is one of the few that can legitimately claim to have done so.

 

If you hadn’t seen our review of Dishonored 2 before, you can see it here.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 13 Aug, 2017 At 04:22 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Opinion, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarNote. The following is the opinion Solely of the author and not necessarily that of Real Otaku Gamer or its staff.

 

 

 

Recently there has been a major controversy in the YouTube Gaming Community and the Retro Gaming Community, when WatchMojo.com, the 29th most watched channel on YouTube was involved with a plagiarism scandal. Prominent Youtuber and retro gamer, Larry Bundy jr., aka Guru Larry, put out a video back in June about the worst selling video game systems as part of his webseries, Fact Hunt. He and the others in the video discussed the actual worst selling systems and not just what was often misreported.

That video can be seen below

This past week, WatchMojo put out their own video about the worst selling systems. The issue was that they used Larry’s research and information without permission or credit. Now while facts cannot be trademarked or copyrighted, Larry was smart about his videos and put traps in them. These traps were in the form of minor exaggerations and guesstimations, which WatchMojo included in their video. This became known and WatchMojo took down the video and issued an apology. That should resolve the issue, right? Well not quite.

 

Fellow retro YouTuber ( and the only British Wrestling Politician) TopHatGamingMan pointed out in his video that WatchMojo included comments in their apology that essentially placed the blame on Larry for using traps and therefore somewhat false information. Never mind that major businesses and corporations do this as well for the same reason Larry did. This is done to protect the content being put out from being stolen. WatchMojo genuinely came off as being upset not that they plagiarized but that they got caught.

As well, many comments made by certain individuals at WM come off as very disingenuous and feeling that they are completely absolved. Thing is, this isn’t the first time WatchMojo has done this. YouTube channel Games You Loved, has had similar issues. They received credit, but were not asked permission to use the content. This is a major issue that needs to be addressed. The issue of stealing content without permission, and often not giving credit or attribution is a large concern for content creators. I myself have had articles I have written stolen by others and republished without credit or attribution. This cannot be allowed to go on. Larry has a large following which is how he was able to get WM to admit wrongdoing, but someone like THGM or Games You loved would not have that option.

As THGM discusses here , the issue is more than just WatchMojo’s plagiarism but their reaction as well and how they handled it. For example, the company and the CEO’s tweets and retweets seem to show a lack of awareness about why people were upset. If a company doesn’t see what they did wrong, and tries to blame the victim for protecting his work, then that is a situation that might make content creators nervous. The company doesn’t seem to have accepted fault fully and that is very off putting. Not to mention they also used some of the same jokes as in Larry’s video.

This is a worrying matter for content creators and I want to raise awareness. No one should be allowed to take another creator’s content without their permission.

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I am a fan of The Elder Scrolls series as should be well evident from my articles by now. Instead of talking about a particular game today however, I wanted to do something else and discuss the various DLC expansions released for the main games. I will not be discussing Elder Scrolls Online at this time, but may do another list in the future. This list is purely my opinion, and I ranked the DLC based off of quality, what it did for the game, how well it was received, and how well it held up years later.

 

 

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

 

 

Without further delay, let us start with Number 7.

 

7: Hearthfire 

Hearthfire is a great little DLC, but there is emphasis needed for the word little. It doesn’t have a huge amount of content like the other expansions, but what it does offer is some new followers, new houses and children to adopt. It isn’t the most exciting DLC but it does help the role playing experience and does allow a greater degree of immersion. There isn’t much to talk about. Its a nice way to build on the game but there isn’t much to it.

6: Knights of the Nine 

Knights of the Nine was the first major expansion for Oblivion and it was well received at the time. However, I honestly feel it hasn’t actually held up as well as the main game or what came later. To me, Knights of the Nine feels like an attempt to bring Morrowind’s narrative style to Oblivion in a way that just didn’t fit. The story was good, don’t get me wrong and the expansion did offer a neat experience, but it just has not held up as well as others. It is also rather short and doesn’t feel as well developed as the other expansions, bar Hearthfire.

5: Tribunal

I can hear the anger already. Tribunal serves as a direct sequel to the story of Morrowind, one of the most acclaimed games in the series, so how could I only put it at number 5? Well, to be honest, it isn’t very good. I rated this above Knights of the Nine because of the fact that the story is a continuation of the events of the main game and is very important for that reason. That being said, the expansion has a lot of issues, a story that feels ill plotted at times, and game mechanics that take you out of the immersion. It is an important DLC but not one that I particularly like.

4: Dawnguard

The top 4 DLC expansions are all amazing and I had a hard time choosing which to put in number 4 through 2, but I came to the conclusion that Dawnguard fits best in this spot. The vampire threat is a big departure from the main quest of Skyrim, but the story does actually build on the lore of the game and the series in general. It introduced amazing characters like Serana, explored the history of Skyrim and the Falmer, and showed us the truth about the soul gems. It had an atmosphere of adventure, tough enemies and great new abilities. Plus it overhauled the perk system and due to the choice you make early one, there are two ways to actually explore the DLC.

3: Bloodmoon

The 2nd expansion for Morrowind is far and away the better one.  This is the first time we are introduced to Solstheim and the Skaal people among other things. Bloodmoon introduced the Lycanthropy ability to the game and offered a unique area that felt large and yet different from the main game. it felt new and different and had a great charm to it. The quests were great, there was a lot to do in the expansion and it brought a lot of innovation. It does not get the attention that Tribunal gets, which is a shame because it is a far better expansion, as it is better developers, has a better story, and a much better sense of immersion with more choices for the player.  It has aged better than tribunal and is simpley a better experience.

 

2: Dragonborn

The third and final dlc expansion for Skyrim, Dragonborn is set once again on Solstheim, only 200 years have passed since Bloodmoon. You can now see how things have changd, while exploring a familiar setting for players of Morrowind. As with Bloodmoon, there is a lot to do in this expansion, but it goes beyond as we get an epic plot that discusses the nature of the Dragonborn more, awesome new abilities and shouts, great new weapons and armor and more. This isn’t even mentioning the excellent quests and characters that are in the dlc. Reviving Raven Rock gives a real sense of accomplishment, and honestly, this feels like proper semi sequel to Skyrim more than Tribunal felt like a continuation of Morrowind. This is a story that emphasizes how things have changed and how you are the one to help make things right.

 

1: Shivering Isles

There was no other choice for the number one spot. Shivering Isles  is the greatest DLC expansion for an Elder Scrolls game so far. If Cyrodil felt like too much of a typical European fantasy setting, then this solved that problem by making the setting a bizarre would where madness ruled. It made Sheogorath into a fan favourite character and gave him some amazing lines. There was so much to do, and so many ways to do them. There was a sense of whimsicalness as well as a tragic undertone building up throughout the story. The ending was amazing, with Jyggalag being freed from his curse and the cycle of the Greymarch broken, and then your character ascending to godhood as the new Sheogorath. Nothing has topped this yet, and I doubt anything will. Shivering Isles could have been a standalone game and it would still have been amazing. There is a reason the fans love this one the most, and time has been very kind to it, unlike some other expansions. It is simply a masterpiece of game design.

 

 

Well I hope you enjoyed the list. Let me know what you think of it, and some suggestions you think would make good lists.

 

 

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The above was the opinion solely of the author and not necessarily the views of ROG or its staff.

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Warning: This post contains spoilers

When DOOM released last year, it had a lot of interesting ideas and concepts in it. The multiplayer was not to everyone’s liking, but the single player was viewed as one of the best games ever made. It  featured great gameplay, amazing action and a good amount of energy. But what wasn’t acknowledged by many ( although some did), was the way the game handled the narrative. Namely, in a game that was a throwback to old school shooters ( and a successful throwback at that), DOOM had a surprisingly strong narrative that elevated it above being a mindless shooter. Many shooters have a strong narrative but DOOM succeeded in an area that few others do: Show, don’t tell.

The game contained large amounts of lore that you could find that detailed the backstory of the Doom Slayer and the demons. This is reminiscent of other games like Metroid Prime, but with one major difference. That is, Metroid Prime is exploration and adventure focused, while DOOM is action focused. Thus id Software essentially blurred genres while still keeping the game focused on action. Its been pointed out by people like Jim Sterling, that the Doom Slayer’s mannerisms make him a unique character in that even without saying anything and only really showing a pair of hands. It was just the way he moved, the way the camera was angled at certain times, that conveyed emotion and told a story without needing words. You could feel his anger in his reaction to what happened. He came off less as psycho who could only solve things by shooting, and rather as someone who honestly felt everything had to be stopped because he had seen the true extent of the damage that could be caused by tampering with Hell’s power.

But it goes even further. As user, Sir Bill noted here on the SpaceBattles forum, DOOM actually has a large degree of moral ambiguity. Using the Argent energy means tampering with Hell, but Dr. Hayden has a point. The humans have been using it for decades and have devoted fields of science to it. There is no alternative available. The Doom Slayer has seen what horrors Hell can do, with the destruction of his home world being a clear example. Hayden is fighting to keep humanity alive the only way he can, and the Doom Slayer is opposing him because he has seen the damage and destruction this can bring. Both sides have a point and both are right. No words are needed about the matter because the game tells you this without words. It is a masterful case of showing instead of just telling, with the closest acknowledgment in the dialogue being part of Hayden’s reasoning at the end for banishing the Doom Slayer.

DOOM 2016 was assumed to be just an action game, albeit an awesome one, but now we can see that this game has subverted the expectations of what narrative in an FPS should be. Given all id Software and Bethesda accomplished here, I cannot wait to see what they do next. I doubt narrative driven FPS games are going to be the norm in the future, but this is an awesome way to do it, as DOOM, despite the gore and violence and high energy, is subtle in an area where most developers struggle to be subtle. That is skilled writing and I must commend the team on that.

 

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Batman and Superman are two of the most well known superheroes ever created. In fact, I would say they are the most famous ones. It is common to see fans of the characters express their thoughts, but one thing always annoys me. The claim that Batman is better than Superman.

For many reasons, this is foolish. Not just because if there was a fight within actual canon, there is no way Batman could win, but rather looking at the characters and seeing what they represent.

Batman, is a symbol of fear. That’s been a part of the mythos since the origin was given. He chose the bat to strike fear into the hearts of criminals. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but lets continue. Batman has devoted himself to his life of crimfighting to the point that it takes priority over all else. In many ways,  Bruce Wayne is just a mask for Batman, who is the true personality. And what kind of personality does he have? That of a traumatized child unable to cope with a tragedy.  He fights the villains in Gotham, but more than one character has suggested that his presence actually attracts the villains to Gotham, making things worse.  In fact, the Joker calls Batman out on his mental state several times, notably in The Killing Joke, where he suggests Batman had “one bad day”. Obviously someone who recruits children into his war on crime, and is willing to build a satellite to spy on everyone, isn’t the most stable of individuals.

Batman has contingency plans to take down other heroes if they go rouge, but figures one isn’t needed for him, the man with billions, who can take down the Justice League.  If anything, Batman is one step away from being a supervillain himself. I wondered why that hadn’t been explored more, but then I realized it had been, just with another name you may have heard of: Lex Luthor. But while Lex is more motivated by jealousy and greed, the scary thing is that he still comes off as more stable at times than Batman, given how he is able to outsmart both Batman and Superman. Batman symbolism is less one of comfort and more one of fear and tyranny. While Lex needs to maintain his image, what would stop Batman from just deciding he can fix everything? Batman is a dangerously unstable character if you really think about it.

Now let us look at Superman. Superman is the opposite of Batman in ways people don’t think about. Not just because he has amazing powers, but rather what he represents. He is a symbol of hope, and a source of inspiration. Whereas Batman creates fear, Superman inspires hope in people. This can be traced to his origin as well. Yes he was sent from krypton as a baby to escape its destruction, but he was also raised by a kindly couple in Ma and Pa Kent. They raised him with good values and to be a good person. Superman is said to stand for Truth, Justice and The American Way, but what does that mean. Truth and Justice are easy to understand, but The American Way? The American Way is actually simple and isn’t what most people think it is. Its the one idea that has driven America from its beginnings and still does. If you feel something is wrong, you fight to change it. From the revolution, to the civil war, to the civil rights movements, this has been the driving philosophy in America, you fight for what is right.

Superman  isn’t just an all powerful alien. Whereas I feel Bruce Wayne is a mask for Batman, I feel that the consensus is wrong, Superman is a mask Clark Kent wears. The idea of an evil Superman can make for a good villain, but Superman as a character doesn’t make sense to be evil. Whereas Batman noted he wont kill, but he does hurt people, Superman is more likely to try and resolve a situation without harm if possible. He will only release his power against someone who can take it. If anything, it is Superman who feels more human than Batman. And as noted above, his enemy is Lex Luthor, who is someone Batman could easily become. Superman may have powers far beyond what humans have, but he acts and feels human, whereas Batman is essentially hanging on by a thread to his sanity. The excellent comic story “What’s so funny about Truth, Justice, And The American Way?” proves why Superman is an amazing character in contrast to darker and edgier characters. When contrasted against the Elite, he proves their reasoning flawed and shows that not only does his way work, but they are little more than psychopaths.

It all comes down to symbols in the end. Batman represents fear and control, and Superman represents hope and justice. I know which one I feel is better.

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The above was the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of ROG or its staff.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 22 Jun, 2017 At 09:19 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Opinion, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The Nintendo Switch is getting a good amount of fighting games, with Ultra Street Fighter 2 having come already, and Arms having just released, with Pokken and BlazBlue coming. As well, there have been several great Neo Geo fighting games that have come to the Switch via Arcade Archives.  However, there is another fighting game coming to the Switch that people should not overlook, and that is Pocket Rumble.

Pocket Rumble is retro-inspired throwback to the Neo Geo Pocket Fighting games, and it has a lot to offer on its own, as seen in recent builds of the game. Pocket Rumble feels like it will be right at home on the Switch. It has a control scheme with a perfect setup and according to those who have played the Switch port, the game plays well the analogue stick.  Speaking of the analogue stick, this is another game that has built-in multiplayer via the Joy-Cons and that helps increase its value even more.

Pocket Rumble has a unique charm that will make it a perfect fit for a game on a Nintendo system. It combines the nostalgic feeling from a retro game along with the excitement you get from modern twists in fighting games. Some have said they feel that the art takes a little too much influence from the SNK games, but I do not feel that is a bad thing. Not too mention, you can alter the scan lines in the game, which does make the art look a lot more unique and offer more visual variety

The game’s simplified yet still intense controls are made even better with the fact that HD rumble is planned for the game to help create a more immersive experience. The multiplayer in the game promises smooth online with GGPO and the local multiplayer opportunities with the Switch will help make this game a fighter that feels like no other. Given the numerous additions since the game was shown in the Nindies direct, I feel this will be a truly epic experience.

I honestly feel this has the chance to help show that there is room for more creative and unique fighters on the Switch and I would like to see some tournaments for this game on the system. Nintendo is building up a roster of games that are outside of their usual titles for their systems and this only helps create more variety for themselves. This game is a match made in heaven.

 

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The above is the opinion solely of the author and not necessarily that of ROG or its staff

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 18 Jun, 2017 At 06:57 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Games That Should Be Revived, Opinion, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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SNK made many great games for the Neo Geo, and in many genres such as beat em ups. One of their best beat em ups was the Sengoku series, a series about brawlers taking on specters of the warriors of japans past along with ghosts and demons. In the first game, you could get various weapons and summon others to swap places with, for extra abilities. The series only got better and better, and to be honest, this is one that SNK should really consider bringing back.

Brawlers are making a comeback now, both in 2D and 3D styles and with the various innovations Sengoku and its sequels introduced, this could be a truly innovative open world brawler.  You would travel between worlds/dimensions and fight enemies as you go, but you could also do things like in the original games, like shatter enemies weapons to force them to fight you hand to hand, and swap places with others you meet on the way. The enemy variety and different locales would all contribute well to this, and this could be one of the most unique brawlers ever made.

SNK is slowly getting back into game making after their pachinko era, and games like King of Fighters XIV show they have what it takes to still make great games. SNK could very well make a great open ended brawler for modern systems and PC, or if they want, make a throwback retro style 2D beat em up. They could even work with a company like WayForward to do for Sengoku what was done for Double Dragon with Double Dragon Neon.

The simple matter is, that the Sengoku series offered a great twist on the beat em up genre and this is greatly missed today. A proper return would be welcome and a sign that SNK has more than just fighting games up their sleeves.

 

 

By Jessica Brown On 7 Jun, 2017 At 11:46 AM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Opinion, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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While the announcement of Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 only felt inevitable given the success of the first collection, this new package feels a bit incomplete to me. This time we are getting treated to Mega Man 7MM8MM9, and MM10, but where is Mega Man’s other 16-bit outing?

Mega Man & Bass (originally released in 1998 in Japan on the Super Famicom) takes place directly after the events of MM8 and gives players the ability to play as either of the two titular characters. Featuring some unique robot masters, 100 CDs to collect to unlock profiles on all of the characters in the franchise to date (since the game was released in honor of the series 10th/15th anniversary), a fantastic soundtrack, and a solid level of challenge, MM&B is perhaps one of the best entries in the classic series. Leaving it out seems like a big mistake.

However, we also know that at this time Capcom is passing on Nintendo platforms, so that feels like a bit of a double-whammy. Still, there’s always the possibility of MM&B appearing later on in another special collection of Mega Man titles.

Time will tell!

Mega Man Legacy Collection 2 is coming to the PS4, XBox One, and PC on August 8.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 4 Jun, 2017 At 04:12 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Opinion, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Indie Games have become a major part of the industry in recent years and in many ways they are affecting the entire direction of the industry.  All of the big three console makers have worked directly with indie devs such as Microsoft buying Mojang, Sony publishing games like Journey  and Nintendo buying the rights to and then publishing Snipperclips.

As a result of this, I began thinking about what potentially may occur in the future. I think that in the future, companies like Nintendo should expand themselves by acquiring indie studios and/or indie games. This isn’t an insane idea like some may think, given that its already happening, such as with the above examples.  These studios can often bring something to the table that companies like Nintendo themselves are lacking.

Let’s look at Foxbat.  the company developing Unholy Night: The Darkness Hunter. This is a retro fighting game being made as a new Super Famicom game and is being localized as a SNES game by Retroism. Foxbat is made up of ex SNK developers who worked on King of Fighters and more.  Were Nintendo to work with them, they could help give Nintendo an edge into fighting games which Nintendo is currently lacking in. Yes they have Arms and Smash but those are not traditional fighting games.

We could also consider Yacht Club Games, who have made one of the best retraux games in recent memory with Shovel Knight. This critically acclaimed gem wowed critics and gamers alike, and if the developer were part of Nintendo, then they could help to make revivals of older IP in that same style. Of course there is also the fact that by that same logic, Inti Creates should also be looked at. After all, they created Azure Striker Gunvolt, an amazing Mega Man successor, and made the excellent Blaster Master Zero. Having them would be a way to experiment with older IP done in new ways.

However, these are just some examples.. The truth is, many indie companies would  actually love to form partnerships with big companies and this could be a way for them to expand  them and for companies Nintendo to get some new blood working on new ideas. This is especially true for expanding outside of their talent in Japan.  The fact is, the Big 3 and other big companies are going to try and make moves to acquire indie developers soon. The industry is not what it once was and maybe this is actually going to turn out to be for the better.

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The above was the opinion solely of the author and does not necessarily reflect those of ROG or its staff.

 

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RPG games are amazing and Nintendo and Camelot made one of the best series ever with Golden Sun. This is a series I have fond memories of playing, as I first played it after a relative rented it for me when I was sick. It was so different from other RPG games to me and it had such an amazing charm that others didn’t.

The series has a massive amount of fan support behind it, even more now than ever, and I feel it is the right time to revive the series. Nintendo needs a good RPG series for their library, as while Xenoblade is amazing, Golden Sun will be better for more traditional JRPG fans. That style of gaming still has a lot of support and Nintendo and Atlus did come out with Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE on Wii U which was in the classic style of gameplay. Golden Sun would be perfect for Nintendo to revive on the Switch, and it should remain like a the classic games but take influence from Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE.

Besides the fan support behind the game, there is also another reason the game would be great to revive. There is a very detailed battle system that would transition very well to modern gaming and HD resolution.  The use of summons, and stacking your attacks for more offense was a great system and the psyenergy used outside of battle to interact with the world game a strong puzzle feel to the game as well. Golden Sun has an epic scale to it, and the summons alone were enough to put this on a high level. There was also a plot that actually has a lot going for it and there were  likeable and engaging characters.

, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, ended on a cliffhanger and there is a strong demand to see where the series would go after that.  Considering that each game became more epic in scale than the last one, a Golden Sun game in HD on the Switch would be absolutely amazing.  Camelot has been somewhat low-key as of late and their last game, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash,  was a greatly  stripped down experience from their usual sports game standards. It felt like a rush job made to familiarize with HD gaming. Perhaps  it was a test to see how well to do a full HD game.  If that is the case, then hopefully a modern Golden Sun game is not an impossibility.