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By Jonathan Balofsky On 28 Sep, 2016 At 09:33 AM | Categorized As News, PlayStation, Playstation Vita, Portable/Mobile Gaming, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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October’s PlayStation Plus games have been revealed. Unlike previous months which have been somewhat lacking, this month packs quote the punch with good games.

The full list of games available on 4th October can be seen below:

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This week marked 30 years of the Castlevania series, a series near and dear to my heart. My first time playing this series was actually with Circle of the Moon on the GBA when I rented it while on vacation one year. It didn’t make a lasting impression on me, nor did Harmony of Dissonance some time later. The moment I became enthralled with Castlevania wasn’t actually when I played a game in the series. No, it began when I opened the pages of Gamepro one month and saw a preview of Castlevania Aria of Sorrow. I don’t know why, but once I saw those preview images I knew I had to play this game when it came out. And play it I did, becoming obsessed with finding every secret, getting every soul and so on. This was a game that hooked me and made me a fan of the series.

I did not own the original games on the NES or Super Castlevania IV on the SNES, but thanks to the virtual console, I have been able to play these classics. I think they still hold up well, to an extent. Castlevania 1 is punishingly hard, and 3 is even harder but added so much innovation. Simon’s Quest is of course the black sheep of the series but it did lay the groundwork for what would come later with Symphony of the Night. These are all amazing games on the NES, with the first game being an amazing homage to classic horror cinema, an aspect that while downplayed later on in the series, is still there even in recent entries.

Super Castlevania IV was where the series really got good. It was still hard, but now it was fair. Your failures were your own fault, and the bosses still a challenge but no longer unfair. The music was some of the best in the entire series and everything seemed on a greater scale than before. This continued with Rondo of Blood and Bloodlines. While some feel Bloodlines is not as good as IV, I think it is on equal ground. It had its own contribution to the story and helped make the novel by Bram Stoker canon with the games. It was the goriest entry in the series but also one of the best designed.

Rondo of Blood was the big transition in terms of storytelling. It didn’t just introduce cut scenes, it also introduced hidden stages which was a game changer for the series. It led directly into Castlevania SOTN as well. SOTN changed how the games were played, but it did so by combining what came before in Simon’s quest, Dracula’s Curse and Rondo of Blood, with elements of the Zelda series. It led to that style of games being called metroidvania, instead of just metroidlike.

The series has been put on hold by Konami, and with Koji Igarashi having left, it seems unlikely we will get a new entry. But we do have IGA’s upcoming game, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, to look forward to. Castlevania may have turned 30 this week, but the series still brings in new fans every day!

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Drinkbox Studios has released some excellent games over the years including the amazing metroidvania style game Guacamelee!, and now have brought their latest masterpiece to Nintendo systems. Severed is a first person game focused on touch screen controls and a creepy atmosphere. How did it hold up in the transition to Wii U? Rather well actually.

When playing Severed, you will almost certainly be focusing exclusively on the gamepad and not the TV due to the emphasis on the touch screen. Severed is one of the best uses of the Wii U gamepad I have seen, especially since it takes full advantage of the touch screen capabilities while also giving you some traditional controls as well. The interactions with the environment happen in a variety of ways, such as swiping the screen to remove obstacles, find hidden gems and moving gears to open doors.

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The game has an amazing horror atmosphere and the music helps that. It gives you a sense of creepiness and a feeling that you are always in danger. There is always some terror waiting for you, lurking where you do not expect. The first person perspective combined with the way you move, work well with the music to create one of the best feelings of anxiety ever. I cannot say enough good about the music, it really does its job well.

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There are some negatives though. The game’s combat can be very difficult to get a hang of and can be unforgiving at times. Adapting to multiple enemies will take a lot of time and effort, as you will need to learn to keep moving and make certain enemies a priority while not ignoring other enemies. Its not all bad and once you get the hang of it, you can do very well. Its just that there is some difficulty in learning this. Its fun once that’s out of the way so be patient.

Severed is a great experience and I would recommend it, just be aware you will need some patience with it.

No GravatarThe God Eater games have always had a cult following, stemming from its PSP origins over 5 years ago. Fans fell in love with its quirky, insane monster design and Monster Hunter-esque gameplay. God Eater 2: Rage Burst is the re-release of last year’s God Eater 2 with added features like survival missions, gear and extended story content.

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You are a member of Blood, an elite unit of God Eaters, whose sole purpose is ridding the world of Aragami. The Aragami are monsters that have completely taken over the planet. Aragami come in all terrifying shapes and sizes from people-sized demon plants to gigantic bug-dinosaur looking monstrosities. The awesome creature design makes every boss encounter more worthwhile, as the big baddies become more and more outrageous.

 

You’re not alone in your God Eating, your teammates all fall into the typical J-RPG spectrum of personalities from the stoic team leader, all the way down to the ditzy scantily-clad bad-ass who really likes to eat. I’ll admit at first I eye-rolled at a lot of the writing but the team aboard our flying fortress, Friar, did grow on me.

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There are really good character moments in between mission that reveal a lot of your crew’s motivations. Early on a teammate concocts a scheme to stage a meeting with a visiting pop-star. The humor in Rage Burst balances the grim reality of monsters displacing people into ghettos worldwide in a way that I really appreciated.

In order to fight the good fight, God Eaters use God Arcs, a Swiss-army type weapon system that houses a ranged weapon, melee weapon and shield. It’s a neat system that lets you change weapon types on the fly. Managing your God Arc becomes a herculean task considering the endless combinations of weapons you can craft and upgrade. I found myself loving the Buster Sword/Sniper/Shield combo.

If you want to really kick ass, you need to be able to effective switch your God Arc weapons suit your needs and being able to identify a specific Aragami’s weakness and when to press for the attack. I found that memorizing the attack pattern of each monster is the best way to get results. Combos and charge attacks on big melee weapons like hammers and scythes do crazy damage and feel good when you catch a monster from behind.http://realotakugamer.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=24449&action=edit#titlediv

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Each mission lets you bring in up to 3 computer controlled teammates that do a surprisingly good job of not being a hindrance and I even opted to recruit actual players for harder missions via online co-op. I suggest bringing in some buddies early on since the beginning missions are so utterly boring.

Rage Burst’s biggest letdown is in its mission design which is basically just from an arena filled with monsters. The first few hours are a bit of a drag since you can essentially sleepwalk through most of these conflicts, considering you don’t really need to use of the advanced combat techniques until you’re 8-10 hours in. I found myself having to replay a bunch of these missions in order to grind out loot and crafting materials.

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The customization options for Rage Burst are dense. The player-created protagonist has access to literally thousands of outfit and weapon combinations. There are plenty of loot and game rewards replaying mission in order to gain higher ranks scoring better loot. Join an online game and you’ll just how ridiculous and/or awesome you could potentially look.

Rage Burst also isn’t a great looking game. Most of the mission reuse the same locations, so just get used to fighting in the same bombed-out city landscapes for a good long while. This is a shame considering the character and monster design are so fun and full of personality.

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There is a rather steep learning curve. Advanced techniques are not explained all that well unless you do some digging in the database and become intimately aware with the all the System Terms. It was only after playing for about 10 hours that I figured out exactly what Bursts actually do. Other skills like parrying and using Zero Stance would have saved me a lot of heartache if I knew where to look earlier.

It’s easy to lose a lot of time playing God Eater 2: Rage Burst. If you can make it through the painfully slow start, you can find a deep and addictive action-RPG that could compete with the likes of Monster Hunter. This is all assuming you’re patient enough to put with a boring start, frustratingly steep learning curve and sub-par visuals.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 16 Sep, 2016 At 12:48 PM | Categorized As News, PlayStation, Playstation Vita, Portable/Mobile Gaming, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarKoei Tecmo has released the Tokyo Game Show 2016 trailer for Berserk and the Band of the Hawk (formerly just Berserk Musou). The game looks far more in depth than any previous Musou game and in addition to brutal gameplay, has a significant amount of cinematic footage that ties into the anime. Check out the trailer below.

 

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 13 Sep, 2016 At 11:47 PM | Categorized As News, PlayStation, Playstation Vita, Portable/Mobile Gaming, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarKoei Tecmo has announced Musou Stars for PlayStation 4 and Vita. The game is a massive crossover between many of Koei Tecmo’s franchises including Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive. You can see the debut trailer below

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 12 Sep, 2016 At 10:23 AM | Categorized As News, PlayStation, Playstation Vita, Portable/Mobile Gaming, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarKoei Tecmo has released a new trailer for their upcoming video game adaptation of Berserk. This trailer shows off Berserker Guts and his various moves and attacks. This is one character you do not want to mess with. You can check out the trailer below. First-print copies of the game include a wet outfit for Casca, but as of now that is only for Japan.

 

No GravatarBloodstained: Ritual of The Night, Koji Igarashi’s crowdfunded spiritual successor to his castlevania games has been delayed by a year. This is disappointing but remember, Mighty No. 9 could have used more delays. IGA is trustworthy so let us give him the benefit of the doubt.

See the announcement of the delay below.

By Wade Hinkle On 6 Sep, 2016 At 08:54 PM | Categorized As Playstation Vita | With 0 Comments

No GravatarNIS America has announced that the North American version of Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors will be delayed due to a manufacturing issue.

Originally scheduled to be released September 20, the RPG will be now be available for North American fans on October 11. European Union regions were not affected by the delay and will see the game on September 23.

Coming to the Playstation Vita, Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors expands the story of Criminal Girls: Invite Only with a new set of characters. This group of Delinquents return to the depths of hell, but one is not whom they seem to be. While going through the story, characters will have to discover themselves while at the same time deal with mistrusts of each other.

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Indie games often take inspiration from the past and sometimes it is done poorly. Other times however, the experience is nothing short of amazing. Axiom Verge falls into the latter category. Clearly inspired by a classic Nintendo series, the game has now come to the Wii U. Axiom verge wears its inspiration on its sleeve but at the same time puts its own spin on everything. It is a Metroidvania that takes the genre back to its roots to explore why the genre is so beloved while also bringing new ideas.

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You start off alone on a hostile alien world with only vague hints of what to do at first. You gather weapons and find power-ups like in many games, but the weapons serve multiple purposes. While some weapons and items are required for solving puzzles and progressing, you will soon find inventive ways to use the items to progress and attack enemies. Speaking of enemies, Axiom Verge has some of the best enemy design in an indie game in a long time. The common ones are actually are varied and unique, while the bosses stand out above all others and have real character to them. The boss battles are difficult and you will die, but the fun is in finding the best method of attack to defeat your foes. Like I said, you will die several times but its all part of the game.

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The music in this game is nothing short of incredible. From the intro music to the boss battle themes, Axiom Verge is an audio masterpiece. Do not be surprised if you end up going back to certain areas just to listen to the music several times in a row. The audio in general including the sound effects are also well done and this just feels more complete of a game than many AAA games.

A big part of the fun is finding new ways to explore areas and progress and I guarantee you that one item in particular will stand out above all others. It will certainly help you find a new love of glitches. The other weapons and items all have various uses as mentioned above. For example, the drill is used to progress through certain areas but is also a good weapon in skilled players’ hands.

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The Wii U gamepad is great for fast inventory changes and having a clear map handy. Its a small thing but makes all the difference. Plus it is just as fun to play on the gamepad as it is on the TV.

 

Do I think you should buy this game? Oh definitely yes. This is a must play for any Nintendo fan out there!