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No GravatarWhen I first began playing BioShock Infinite, I had a tough time getting into it.  Not because the game isn’t interesting.  It pulls you in pretty quickly with its beautiful graphics and fascinating storyline.  I was just mad that the game was vastly different in setting and tone then the original BioShock, which is one of my favorite games of all time.  I wanted BioShock Infinite to be in Rapture or somewhere like Rapture.  I actually stopped playing the game and went back to play the original several times before I finally forced myself to play Infinite.  It was a good thing that I did too.  Infinite is an absolutely amazing game, and I shouldn’t have compared it to the original.  Trying to make a game too much like the original BioShock only ends in mediocre sequels (BioShock 2).  I think that Irrational HAD to pick a different setting in order to have an effective story.  So, after getting over that self-imposed hurdle, I found that Infinite is actually one of my favorite games ever.

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Overview

BioShock Infinite is a first-person shooter game developed by Irrational Games and published by 2K in 2013 for PS3, XBox360, and PC.  Is it is the second sequel of the much loved original BioShock.  It uses a modified version of Unreal Engine 3 and has also been praised for its graphics, setting, and story.  Despite being a BioShock game, it departs from the Rapture-setting and instead focuses on its own dystopia of Columbia. BioShock: The Collection comes out in September, which is a remastered version for the current generation of all three BioShock games.  For the purpose of this review, I will be concentrating on the PS3 version only.

Story

The original BioShock had an amazingly intricate story that made several play-throughs enjoyable because of all of the little details.  BioShock Infinite steps it up to a completely different level.  The story is absolutely amazing.  It follows Booker DeWitt, a former Pinkerton and Battle of Wounded Knee vet, who has acquired a massive amount of debt.  To repay this debt, he is hired to rescue, Elizabeth, a woman who has been imprisoned since childhood in a city called Columbia.

Columbia is not a normal city, though.  The place floats in the sky (don’t worry if it sounds ridiculous; it’s very well explained) and is run by the prophet Zachary Comstock, a religious fantastic.  Like the original BioShock, Columbia is a city that has gone wrong, but it also highlights issues such as: racism, religious extremism, socio-economic struggles, American exceptionalism, the corruption of power, and dealing with past mistakes.  As you can see, Infinite is not a one-trick pony when it comes to thematic elements.  I am not even sure what part is better: the story or the setting.  The story is amazing, don’t get me wrong.  Elizabeth is probably one of the best, well-thought out, well-developed female characters ever done in a video game.  However, I also find myself playing Infinite just to explore Columbia (it is really that cool).  I love the early 1900s/steampunk style to it as well.  It’s just overall very well done.  There aren’t many games like it, especially in the first-person shooter style.

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Game Play

If you have been following me for awhile, you know that I’m pretty picky about my first-person shooters.  I’m not really that into most multi-player games, and I hate fps campaign modes that are too short and without substance.  BioShock Infinite, first of all, is worth the price  (I think it may be on PlayStation Plus now, though) because of its length, which is perfect for a fps game.

The game play, however, is also amazingly well-done.  With Infinite, you get a fun, smooth-flowing fps game with a few added elements that push this game up to a 10.  First, there is the use of plasmas…um, I mean vigors, which gives the “BioShock” power.  Then there is also the use of infusions and gear, which give some added elements of game play, such as more health, shields, and salts as well as some special “perks” from the gear.  Second, there is the use of the sky-line hooks and open-environment that make this game incredibly fun to play.  The first time I got on a sky-line, it felt like I was on a freaking roller-coaster.  You can zip around and melee enemies from above, jump on floating air ships, and fire your weapon while swinging around.  Third, you get Elizabeth as a sidekick, who helps out Booker during battles.  The AI for her is absolutely brilliant.  It really is a new way to play an fps.

These added elements make the game so much fun.  The game never felt repetitive.  I never got bored with the game either, especially with all of the fun vigors I got to use.  Overall, I have not seen many single-player fps games out on the market quite like this.

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Graphics

This game highlights the pinnacle of what the PS3 can handle graphics-wise and was pretty much one of the best-looking games for the PS3 (if not the best).  When I got my first glimpse of Columbia, all I could do was go, “WOW!”  After I picked my jaw up off of the floor, I began really enjoy how amazing the setting really is.  Even if you don’t like first-person shooters, the game is worth seeing just for how truly beautiful it looks.

Voice Acting

As you might have known, Troy Baker is my favorite voice actor.  What you might not have known, is that I had no freaking clue who the man was before I played this game (*gasps can be heard from across the Internet*).  Yep, that’s right.  No clue.  But I enjoyed listening to Booker DeWitt so much that decided to look Troy up and the rest is pretty much history.  In seriousness, though, the voice acting is top notch.  From Troy who plays the quiet, soft-spoken but flawed Booker to the very-talented Courtnee Draper, who does Elizabeth’s voice, the actors make the game that much more enjoyable.  Even the Lutece twins are pretty awesome and give some added humor to the game.  By the way, this game is still my favorite Troy Baker game.

Music

I usually do not include a game’s musical score in my reviews, but I decided to add it to this one because the music in Infinite is so great.  Besides having a great score for battles and exploring, you have the added bonus of all sorts of popular songs being done in an early 20th-century style.  There are a lot of Easter-egg tunes to hear, but I don’t want to go into it because I don’t want to give anything away if you haven’t played the game yet (you should).

Overall

There really isn’t anything that I can knock this game on, and trust me, if I see something wrong, I will say something.  BioShock Infinite is just an amazing game.  I know this review is very glowing, and I can’t find anything to complain about.  For the most part, the complaints that I have seen about this game are a little unfounded.  Here are some and my response to them:

Complaint: The story is too complicated, especially the ending.

Response: Sorry, it’s not the game’s fault that you can’t figure it out.

Complaint: The game should have been third-person not first-person, since it has a lot of narration from Booker.  You are the character when you inhabit a first-person perspective, hence there should be no narration.

Response: That’s like saying if you read a book that is in first-person narration that YOU are the character.  Not so.  You are just getting it from the first-person perspective.  Even though you control Booker from the first person, you are not Booker. Sorry.

Complaint: It’s not enough like the original BioShock. (This was my original complaint.)

Response: If you want to play the original BioShock, play the original.  If the game was too much like the original, we’d get a mediocre re-hash like BioShock 2.  The game plays tribute enough to the original but is still it’s own game.

Complaint: I didn’t like the hordes of people coming at you in battle.  It felt like filler.

Response: Um, if you don’t like fighting in a first-person shooter game, then you probably shouldn’t be playing these types of games.  Just saying.

Complaint: It’s too gory.

Response: Uh, last time I checked, it was a BioShock game AND a first-person shooter.  Considering that the original had tinge of the horror-genre to it, Infinite holds up to the franchise.  If it’s too gory, may I suggest a game like Little Big Planet, instead?

Complaint: Elizabeth is too much like a damsel in distress.

Response: I think that she takes care of herself just fine, but apparently you must have missed those parts of the game.  Sure she’s trapped at the beginning, but there is a reason she can’t get out herself, and she also takes charge for a lot of the game.  May I suggest that you replay it and pay attention?

I think the biggest issue is that some of these critics want this game to not be a first-person shooter, BioShock game.  I think they are looking for something that they were never going to find and never should find in this game.  I don’t even know what to tell them there.  I enjoyed the heck out of it.  Infinite will be one of those games I will replay many, many times.  In my humble opinion, it is just that good.

KOF

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Last Night, I shared my thoughts on the Demo for King of Fighters XIV. Today I will share the rest of my thoughts.

First, let me finish my thoughts on King of Dinosaurs. After spending a lot more time with him, I really came to enjoy the character. An excellent grappling character with fun moves. I suggest taking the time to learn him because you will enjoy the character.

Now that that business is finished with, let’s move on to the remaining characters. Kyo is a good basic character that is capable of much in the hands of the right player. I’m personally not a fan of the character and I didn’t spend as much time with him as I did others, but from what I saw, I do like what they did.  He is fast and easy to learn, though I still think Mai is a better beginner character, and would be good for players looking for a bit more challenge than Mai. I do like that some of his combos are easy to learn in Max Mode more than characters like Iori and Sylvie. Kyo does have one thing that I like, in that I’m able to attack from more angles with him than in previous games that I’ve played. This may not seem like much but to someone who plays the way I do, this can change the entire fight. Kyo may not be a character I am extremely into but from what I have seen of him, I plan to use him more.

Iori is one of the harder characters to write about. I was able to do incredible moves with him and the character is a good one, but he just doesn’t feel right to me. I don’t know why, but this incarnation of Iori just feels off. Maybe I need more time with the character, but for now, I don’t like him. He does have some great moves but his speed seems different and for me at least, awkward to use. he was nowhere near as hard as Sylvie to learn, but I just don’t think I like him as a character. This is strange to me as I used to really like Iori in the older games. I plan to spend more time with him because he is one of the stronger characters from what I’ve seen and I hope I can come to like the character in the future. I discussed this with a friend and he found my reaction strange. Because Kyo grew on me and I didn’t expect that, I am hoping that the more I play Iori, I will start to like the character again.

Now that the characters are done, I want to talk about the presentation of the game. As discussed before, the visuals are not the greatest but in motion, they are far better than what people are saying. The game isn’t beautiful on the level of Tekken 7 or Street Fighter V but is indeed visually impressive in its own way. Where the game does stand out is its music. The game has an amazing selection of music available, both from the trailers and the stages in the demo, and it feels like a great fit for a fighting game. King of Fighters has always had a Rock N Roll edge to it, and this soundtrack fits it great. The main theme from the trailers is an epic rock tune ( at least from my perspective) and that is extremely important to me. Fighting games need good music and while I haven’t heard the full selection from the game,, I can tell SNK is putting a lot of work into the soundtrack. Even the sound effects are great, Iori and Mai’s specials in particular both have great sound effects which give them an extra feeling of awesome. The sound effects for King of Dinosaurs are also great but at time have a sense of weirdness to them and not in a good way. Maybe its a big still left to fix but it does stand out to me.  The different stages all have great themes and while I don’t have any particular favourites, the music makes me excited for the full game so I can hear more of the stage music. SNK just did a great job hear for the most part ( except the aforementioned KOD issues)

While the game may not look as great as some of the others, don’t let that fool you. This can definitely hold its own with the likes of the big kids.

 

 

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Puzzle Games are one of the oldest gaming genres around and have always been there in some form or another. And now the genre has become dominated by match 3 games which are becoming increasingly stale. So how do you do something new with something that has worn out its stay? By playing Tumblestone, that’s how.

Tumblestone does the unthinkable and actually makes the format fun again. . You must match 3 Tumblestones of the same colour without being blocked by a Tumblestone of a different colour. This may seem simple, by as this is a puzzle game from the developers that brought us, The Bridge, this won’t be as easy as you might think. To help you get started, the game starts out with easy levels then gradually ramps up the difficulty. Don’t worry about high scores or running out of moves here. The goal isn’t to play this like you would Candy Crush, but rather think the solutions through. This is a thinking person’s match 3 game and wants you not to rush through it. There is a solution to each puzzle and finding it is extremely satisfying. The game slowly introduces new elements that force you to change your strategy and learn and adapt. That may seem annoying and difficult, but is actually one of the more appealing aspects of the games. The changes Tumblestone throws at you, do not cause annoyance but rather are more thought provoking. The game has taken what is thought of as a throwaway genre and made it a fun game that requires effort and gives satisfaction.

Tumblestone has an excellent story mode as well. You play as Queens and Kings based on historical figures and literary figures, and other assorted unique characters, and the story mode is excellent. The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild did a great job and made me laugh several times. It’s cute and charming and not at all what you would expect from a match 3 game.

The last two things to discuss are the multiplayer mode and the music. The music is catchy and stands out and I know I keep saying that, but it’s so true in this case. The music is nothing like the disposable tunes you often here in simple puzzle games but rather full on music that you can truly enjoy listening to. It really helps bring the fun of the game back to forefront and just make you smile while playing.

The multiplayer is one of the best I’ve seen in a puzzle game in years. This is a truly competitive multiplayer and I had some great games playing with others. There are different modes like Tug-of-war, Battle Mode and Race Mode, all of which give a lot of diversity to the gameplay. Playing with others really opened my eyes to what can be done with this genre of games.

All in all, this is a great puzzle game and I highly recommend it!

Disclaimer: I was provided a code for this game

 

 

By Jessica Brister On 21 Jul, 2016 At 08:34 PM | Categorized As Featured, Reviews | With 0 Comments
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No GravatarSharing your favorite geek fandoms as a parent is one of the many awesome things about having little ones. As my daughter has gotten older, I have started to slowly introduce her to some of my favorite geeky things. Now that Disney owns the Star Wars franchise and with the release of The Force Awakens, there are a lot more novelty items out for fans to enjoy. My daughter received a boxed set of Star Wars Little Golden books for her birthday that follow the first six movies. If you are not familiar, Little Golden books are children’s books with a gold-colored binding. You may have read them before as a child. After reading through The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones, my daughter and I continued through to Revenge of the Sith.

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Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith (Little Golden Book edition) was written by Geof Smith and illustrated by Patrick Spaziante. It was published in 2015 by Golden Books. I got this particular book in a packaged deal with five other Star Wars episodes as children’s books, but for the purpose of this review, I will only be discussing Revenge of the Sith.

The book focuses on the main points of the movie. Anakin and Padame are secretly married, and she is pregnant. War is continuing to rage against the Republic and the Separatist army. There are a lot of battles and fighting, and then the inevitable descent of Anakin into the dark side. I’m assuming that if you are interested in this book, you probably already know the rest, so I’ll spare you the details.

Revenge of the Sith was definitely the best of the prequels. However, it did not translate over very well into a children’s book. Even though the author did the best that he could with making the plot a little more kid-friendly, reading it to my daughter was kind of depressing. I thought that the pacing was right for a children’s story, but the story itself just did not fit well. This is not a knock at the author. I’m not sure what else he could have possibly done.

The book is aimed at older children and has no rhyming or rhythm to it. It is more story-oriented instead of focusing on teaching a concept. The book only comes with regular soft pages with a hard cover, so you may want to watch this with very young children if you decide to purchase it. Since it is not a board book, your very little one might tear it up.

The illustrations were well-done and at least tried to make the book a little more child-friendly. It was a tough story to draw, based on everything that happened. There are illustrations on every page with text, and the pictures did a good job of furthering the narration when needed.

Overall, I really liked this book as a novelty children’s book. However, I would caution any parent with the content of the story. It’s a little down. Actually, it’s kind of depressing. You may want to skip this one until your kids are a bit older, but that is one hundred percent your call as a geek parent.

By Jessica Brister On 19 Jul, 2016 At 06:10 PM | Categorized As Reviews | With 0 Comments
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As a geek, I love Star Wars.  As a former English teacher, I love Shakespeare.  When you combine the two, I am in heaven.  That is exactly what has happened with the William Shakespeare’s Star Wars series.  Someone has gone through and re-written the classic Star Wars movies into Shakespearean plays.  I received Episodes IV through VI as a set and think they are an absolute blast to read.  I have already done a review for A New Hope and will be concentrating only on The Empire Striketh Back for the purposes of this review.
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William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: The Empire Striketh Back was written by Ian Doescher and was published in 2014 by Quirk Books.  At this time, the first six Star Wars movies have been published in this series so that nerds like me can collect them all.  I found out that the author decided to write these books because George Lucas purposely put archetypal characters in Star Wars, and Shakespeare is the master of archetypes.  This was definitely an interesting and creative idea of rewriting different Star Wars movies into the form of a Shakespeare play.

The Empire Striketh Back is essentially Star Wars: The Empire Strikes back in iambic pentameter with stage direction, like it is a true Shakespearean play.  The plot has stayed the same, but the dialogue has been greatly changed.  It was extremely fun to read, though it will probably not be for everyone.  It definitely fits a niche group of readers.  I’m assuming that if you are interested in this book, you are already familiar with the story and will focus more on some of the key differences.

Though most of the book was as expected: The Empire Strikes Back turned into Shakespeare, there was one interesting twist that I want to discuss and that is the diction and style of Yoda, which was quite interesting.  Yoda speaks with the characteristic and very memorable dialect, which is inverted.  There are also many, many Shakespeare lines which are inverted as well because that was the dialect at the time.  So what was the author to do? Invert the dialogue again so that Yoda spoke normally?  Keep Yoda doing the same thing?  Just quote the lines of Yoda from the movie and be done with it (He sounds Shakespearean enough, doesn’t he?)

Well, the author chose a completely different way, which I admire, since this was a difficult issue…because you know how Star Wars fans are and all…When I say that, I mean crazy and all.  Because they totally are.  Instead of what you might expect, Yoda spoke in haiku.  It was beautiful and all.  It was unique.  I thought it was great given the difficulty of mastering a character who has already existed in cannon for a long time in a language that is archaic.  For those who have an issue…do you have your own deal for Star Wars in Shakespearean language?  No?  Okay then.

There were also some issues with Boba Fett, but then again, when aren’t there issues with Boba Fett?  Seriously, if you have been following the Star Wars universe as much as I have over the last couple of decades, Boba Fett has been a  crazy topic to try and mess with, which is why I won’t.  Have fun and all.  In the meantime, I thought that his character was done as best as could be done.

The book was a great rendition of Star Wars plus Shakespeare.  This book is not for everyone, but for the small sub-set of people who love geeky things and classic literature.

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No GravatarMelty Blood is a cult classic fighting game series, and the developers of the series, French Bread, have created a spiritual sequel to create some new ideas. Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late, an updated version of Under Night In-Birth continues Melty Blood‘s tradition of blending the visual novel genre with 2D fighting game perfection. It has its own unique elements though and it was an interesting experience.

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Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late on PC is a tight fighting game, with precise controls. I played on a Hori Fighting Commander fight pad and had no complaints about how anything worked. There is a great training mode that helped get me into the fighting mechanics, but even better was the great pickup and play nature. I would just pick a random character and start to learn them in arcade mode. Some were easy to learn and some were difficult, but all were fun to play as. I don’t have any particular favourites but Linne was particularly fun to use.

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Playing against others was great and I didn’t suffer lag or screen tearing. The visuals were sharps and crisp with just the right amount of flashiness. The music is great anime-esque music that fits great with the setting. The story mode was interesting but I had some difficulty getting into it. Mixing visual novels and 2D fighting games works for some games and some people enjoy it. I don’t have any real problems with it, but for some reason I just didn’t get into it here. Perhaps it just wasn’t for me, but at least I was able to enjoy the fighting game part of it. This is a game I can see myself coming back to, time and again, just to have some fun when I have a few minutes.  Its a fun experience and enjoyable.

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As a spiritual sequel to the Melty Blood series Under Night In-Birth Exe:Late does a lot right. It might not hit all the right notes with the story mode, but the fighting is on point. This is easily one of the best fighting games I have ever played on Steam and I am not exaggerating when I say that. This is a game that I give my highest recommendation to. If you like fighting games, then you need to check this out.

 

 

thelastofus

No GravatarThere are not many games like The Last of Us.  It’s one of the few gems that really shine in a sea of mediocrity.  In a way, it is pretty much perfect when it comes to games.  When I first played it, I actively looked for things to ding this game on, knowing all of the glowing reviews it got.  However, I couldn’t find anything wrong with it.  Nothing.  The game is about as close to perfect as you are going to get.  Here are my reasons:

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Overview

The Last of Us is a third-person action/horror/survival game developed by Naughty Dog and published by Sony in 2013 for PS3 only.  The game engine is an in-house blend and uses the Havoc engine for the physics side.  It was one of the last games for the PS3 that demonstrated just about all the console could handle (BioShock Infinite was the other), and it was hailed for its graphics, game play, and story.  It came out again in 2014 as a remastered version for PlayStation 4, but for the purposes of this review, I am only looking at the original.

Story

The setting takes place twenty years after a fungal infection spreads across the United States, turning the infected into zombies.  The protagonist, Joel, is tasked with transporting a young girl across America to a resistance group who believes that she may be the cure to the infection.  To avoid any spoilers, there is not much else that will be discussed here.  However, one point should be mentioned:

The story is a bit depressing, being a survival horror story and all.  There are some lighter elements to it, but the overall tone is pretty dark and gritty.  This made–for me at least–it a bit hard to push through at some points.  This is probably why it took me so long to finish it.  However, this is not something that I can knock the game on.  That is just the genre, and for the genre, it is excellent.  The story feels gritty and realistic.  The characters feel real and believable.  Overall, there is nothing that could actually be better, and there are not many video games–if any–that I can say have a better quality story.

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Game play

If you’ve played any of the Uncharted games, then you will know pretty much how The Last of Us will play.   If you have not played the Uncharted games, it is a third-person action game that focuses on the elements of sneak, duck and cover shooting, and climbing and exploring.  Unlike many traditional sneak games, you can go about most areas without having to sneak perfectly.  You can go in guns-blazing if you would like, though this is not recommended on the more difficult settings (you will never find enough supplies for that).

Overall, the game play is sharp and responsive.  There is a good mix of sneaking, shooting, and climbing.  This is a characteristic that Naughty Dog has been perfecting since Uncharted 2.  Nothing felt too repetitive.  They even threw in some surprises that I wasn’t expecting, though I probably should have since it borrowed from Uncharted 3.  The game play length was perfect for the type of game as well and was overall pretty darned fun to play.

Graphics

The graphics for The Last of Us were pretty much the best that one could get for the PS3’s limitations (only BioShock Infinite revivals it).  The characters are amazingly realistic and the setting is richly detailed.  This is one of the reasons why I am still scratching my head at the fact that Naughty Dog remastered it for PS4.  What is there exactly to remaster?  I can understand older games like Final Fantasy X/X-2 being done in HD, but I am still trying to figure out why I need to re-buy this game on PS4 when it looks so beautiful for PS3.

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Acting

Probably one of the coolest elements of this game doesn’t even have to do with the game play.  It’s the fact that Naughty Dog went with voice and motion capture to do the cut scenes and picked some exceptional acting talent.  Now, if you have never read any of my articles before or do not follow me on Twitter, you may not know that Troy Baker IS my favorite voice actor.  So, you can imagine that it was an absolute treat getting to listen to him for the entire game.  It was even MORE amazing to get to see the cut-scenes where they did the motion capture.  This was what probably made all of the cut-scenes so memorable, and it also helped with the realism of the story.  Besides Troy, we also have the talents of Ashley Johnson (amazing as Ellie), Annie Wersching (from 24), and freaking Nolan North (Mr. Nathan Drake himself).  Overall, it was an amazing cast.  They could not have picked better people.

Overall

Again, I tried to knock this game on something, but I really couldn’t  One thing that I wanted to complain about was the fact that I will probably never play this game again.  For me, the story is a little bit too depressing for me to do a couple of repeat play-throughs.  Also, now that I know the ending, there’s not the same drive to try and play it again.  However, I don’t think the multiple-playability of a game should be considered in a rating.  The game was long enough that I definitely got my money’s worth out of it.

The Last of Us covers all of the areas that I demand out of a great game:  amazing story, fun game play, beautiful graphics, and the voice talent of Troy Baker.  During this game, I cried both tears of joy and despair.  I was yelling at the screen many times.  I covered my eyes at certain parts.  Some places even left my jaw on the floor.  In the end, this game did what I do require out of any good story, which is this: When it was all over, all I could do is sit there for an hour and ponder the whole thing over.  If that isn’t perfection, then I don’t know what is.

DOOM

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Doom is an iconic game. There is no disputing that. Doom, its expansions and Doom II ( and its expansions) influenced all of gaming for decades now.  So much of modern gaming draws on Doom, even games which seemingly are the anti Doom. Then we have games like Doom 3, which while not bad, are quite controversial. Its remake, Doom 3 BFG Edition was better but still didn’t have that classic Doom feel. So when the new DOOM was announced, I was hesitant. It had gone through a lengthy period of Development Hell and some of the things I had been hearing made me nervous. Then the game was shown off at E3 2015 and I was blown away. Aside from it seeming a little too slow, it looked like classic Doom in HD, albeit with elements of the mod Brutal Doom and other improvements. Snapmap stood out to me from the reveal as it was a form of bridging PC game modding with the console version. And while multiplayer seemed like it would be underwhelming, I was still excited about what I saw. A lot of people were skeptical about DOOM for a number of reasons, such as an underwhelming Beta and no review versions before launch. Many were bracing for the worst, but it was not to be.

DOOM is absolutely amazing. It’s campaign is exactly what many have wanted in a first person shooter. A modern FPS that truly hearkens back to the original days. The campaign is gory and violent and over the top and done in a way that feels right. The glory kill mechanic is great and gives an extra oomph to the experience.  While many FPS games get bogged down with story, DOOM keeps it simple and allows you to learn more at your own pace. And the story that is there is excellent. The protagonist is a great character with a great backstory ( no spoilers here) that makes me want a DLC prequel campaign to help set up the events of the game. The way the environments interacted all felt well done and the secrets were a nice touch.

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I am not really that great at console FPS games, but playing on the PS4 had me feeling right at home. Nothing felt awkward or out of place and I appreciate that in a game. I did not have any trouble getting used to the controls and was able to enjoy the game as it should be enjoyed. I understand that some have played the game and complained about controls while playing, but it was fine for me. The weapons are all excellent, with the different control scheme for the chainsaw being a great choice. I think Bethesda and ID Software did a great job with that.

Now for the downside: The multiplayer component. This was pitched as being Quake style arena deathmatch gameplay, but it falls short of the promise. Maybe  it is because it is still early on in the game’s life, but it feels sterile and tame. It is far too reminiscent of modern FPS multiplayer games for my liking and I cannot bring myself to enjoy it. It is not bad, but there are other games that are far better choices for multiplayer. The game is still worth getting for the campaign though, and in fact the campaign alone would be enough, but there is one more reason the game is great.

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Snapmap: This is a great feature. I have seen some amazing maps and levels from players that have wowed me. From levels that are based off Metroid to multiplayer levels based off Evolve. I’ve played levels as a Baron of Hell, levels that replicate the original Doom, and levels that are just brief experiences where you mow everything down with the BFG.  Almost all are great. The issue here is that snapmap seems to have been designed with multiplayer in mind, not single player, with weapons being handled the way they are in multiplayer. That said, Bethesda and ID Software have announced at this past E3 that Snapmap will be updated for more single player level options which is great.

All in all, aside from the multiplayer, this is an amazing game. The single player campaign alone is enough to warrant a purchase, but snapmap makes it even more worth it. This is an experience all need to play!

 

 

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No GravatarKerbal Space Program , which was first published and developed for PC by Squad in 2011, has had a massive following in the PC gaming community ever since. This week, Squad released the game for consoles; Playstation 4 on July 12, Xbox One on July 15, witha version on Wii U set to release this winter. The game lets you build spaceships ranging from scientifically accurate ones to the down right ridiculous and lets you launch them into space. Your astronauts are called Kerbals – who resemble tiny green space men. The far reaching goal for the game is to land on the moon, or “mun,” in Kerbal speak, but most players are doing well to get off of the ground.

When you launch the game for the first time, it can be very intimidating. The tutorials are a rather long read and show you what an extreme amount of customizing goes in to a successful launch of your vessel into space. It can be a lot to take in and it may seem like the game wouldn’t be fun unless you have a degree in aerodynamics, but that’s where you would be wrong. There are gamers out there who play this game for hours on end and make correct rockets that accomplish the missions they set out to do. Then there are gamers who spend the same amount of time building basic spaceships that crash and burn on every mission. Both types of gamers enjoy this game just as much. Never has there been a game where most of the fun comes from failing miserably.

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The console version of this game is pretty much an exact port from the PC version which is only played with mouse and keyboard. On the console version, the left stick controls the mouse pointer. This makes lining up the parts of your spaceships difficult and setting numerical parameters difficult as well. With a mouse and keyboard, you get much more control over lining up the parts exactly where they need to go. Another downside to the console version is the amount of reading for the tutorial section. The font size is very small and I had to sit right up against the TV in order to see it. I would have recommended to split up the instructions into more steps to click through so the font size could be larger on the screen and the game can be played from further away. Kerbal Space Program is not really the type of game where you want to skip the tutorial, so I think the tutorial section could have been configured better for consoles.

Even though the console version of the game does have some control scheme issues, Kerbal Space Program is not a game to miss out on. I put off playing it for a long time because I thought it looked too difficult for someone like myself who has no background in space travel outside of Star Wars. However, when I saw how happy my Kerbal astronaut looked as I was launching him to his death, I knew this game would break me of my perfectionist thinking that I had to understand all the ins and outs of space travel in order to enjoy this game.

Kerbal Space Program is $40 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC.

By Jessica Brister On 13 Jul, 2016 At 01:31 AM | Categorized As Featured, Reviews, Toys and Merchandise | With 0 Comments
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Did you know that someone put all of those Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim books into a set of physical, hard-bound books? No? Well, neither did I, until I shockingly received one for my birthday. And then I totally fell in love with the novelty of it all.
23308496The Skyrim Library Volume 1: The Histories was (obviously) written by the talented people at Bethesda. However, it was published in a physical edition in 2015 by Titan Books. What you get is a fairly nice hard-bound book with the Skyrim logo indented on the front and back covers, plus the name of the book done the same way on the front.
The contents includes all of the history books from the game, some Skyrim books, as well as Morrowind and dragon books. It’s a pretty nice collection for those who love everything Elder Scrolls, especially Skyrim. There is nothing new here, however. It’s just a reprint of the virtual books in the game.
The real treasure in this book are the illustrations, which are gorgeously done. They are not on every page. Some are done half pages. Others are complete pages. But they are beautiful. From Skyrim landscapes to characters to weapons, this is a beautiful edition to any collector. All of the pages are tinted to a beige huge with a “worn” look on them, so this is not an average printing.
A word of caution: This is a novelty book. Plain and simple. If you love Skyrim so much that you would want this on your bookshelf, then guarantee that you will love this book. If you casually love Skyrim, then it’s probably not going to spark your interest. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, just move along.

REAL OTAKU GAMER is using WP-Gravatar