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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 1 Mar, 2017 At 01:49 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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LIT was a game that Wayforward originally released for Wiiware, and that has now come to Steam. But how is this remastered version? Is it as good as the original? Better?

LIT is unlike any other game you will ever play. It is a puzzle strategy game with horror elements, which isn’t that uncommon. What is uncommon is how it is done. Moving to light your path to find the way out and avoid the darkness and bad guys, has an innate creepiness to it, and when matched with the art style, just makes everything seem off somehow,  It isn’t a major horror game as in scares at every turn, but is able to make itself be charming and have an unnerving nature at the same time. Very few games can pull that off.

The puzzles are not extremely difficult and using your weapons feels natural. The game is tightly designed and feels perfect for play on the PC. the visuals are improved and even the music is better. This is a great update of the Wiiware title, has some genuinely memorable elements to it. You can play with mouse and keyboard or controller, though I found mouse and keyboard gave this a better sense of immersion. Wayforward just has that design philosophy down and it works.

Do I recommend this? Absolutely! This is a well made horror puzzle game and feels great to play. I would like to see this version be brought to the Nintendo Switch, because the HD Rumble would really go well with this game to truly create an immersive experience. However, even on Steam it is amazing and I really do suggest that you check this out. It seems Wayforward Technologies can simply do no wrong when it comes to making their games right now.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 17 Feb, 2017 At 01:13 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Nioh has had a long road to get to where it is now. Originating as a film project by the late Akira Kurosawa it eventually became a game by Koei ( later Koei Tecmo) but it was filled with development problems from the start. Finally, the game was given to Team Ninja who not only completed it, but crafted a fine experience. Nioh tells the story of William Adams, based on the real life sailor of the same name who went to Japan and was appointed a samurai by the Shogun. Adams was a fascinating man in real life, and his visit to japan had longstanding ramifications for the country, but that is not what we are here to talk about.

Nioh, the game, is a beautiful piece of work. This was evident from the first taste of the game people received, but Team Ninja just kept making it better. While some call this a Dark Souls clone, that is not fully accurate. It does take some influence from those games, but it also borrows elements from other series like Onimusha and Team Ninja’s own Ninja Gaiden. This is a very story driven game and that is apparent from the start. Before I played, I wondered why the developers made William an Irishman in the game, considering the historical Adams was English and there was cultural tension between the groups. But upon playing the game, I realized that the game takes not only from Japanese lore and mythology but also from elements of Celtic lore and myth. The similarities between the two cultures are played up and that was a nice touch.

But enough about that, let’s get to the gameplay. This is indeed a difficult game much like everyone says, but it is also extremely rewarding. You have to plan your every move and factor in your ki, but there are times where the game brings in some action elements unlike other similar games. It helps give Nioh a unique identity and feeling and that is appreciated.  The different weapons and armor systems as well as the spirits must be balanced properly and this can be a struggle at first. But if you keep at it and realize what the game has to offer, this becomes one of the most enjoyable games ever played.

Visually the game is stunning and you can choose to have better visuals and a locked at 30 framerate or try for 60 fps but lose some visual quality at the expense of other visual enhancements. I do not have the PS4 Pro so I cannot comment on the boost the game gets from that hardware. I can comment that Nioh has some haunting music and excellent battle themes.

All in all, Nioh is amazing. With numerous historical domain characters including Yasuke, the historical black Samurai, who encounters William, to Hattori Hanzo and even more, the game weaves an excellent tale. It even takes the time to throw you for a loop more than once and shows that the developers did their research into history and mythology.

In conclusion, I give this my highest recommendations. This game is just absolutely excellent!

By Jonathan Balofsky On 17 Feb, 2017 At 06:01 AM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Lately I find myself playing games more outside my comfort zone. I do this because I want to expand my field and experience more of what gaming has to offer. Thus when given the chance to review Neo Atlas 1469, I jumped at the opportunity.

To begin this game is not what I was expecting. I thought it would be like the Uncharted Waters series, but it is actually closer to a mix between visual novel and RPG, with strategy elements blended in. This can be a little strange to adjust to at first, but once you get used to it, you will find this to be an enjoyable play session. The protagonists are likeable, even if they aren’t fully 3 Dimensionally developed, and the gameplay is just a charm to behold. What makes this stand out though is the sheer amount of what you can do. The game makes numerous different quests available and there are several ways to proceed.

I do have to say that the visuals are lacking and this can be annoying, even though the game does try its best. It doesn’t make the game that much worse but I did feel the immersion break a few times. That said, I still had a lot of fun, and as someone who has been reading up on nautical history and folklore, I love all the little details this game has within. I don’t say this about many games, but this is one I can see myself coming back to time and again. It just feels right, and that is without mentioning the music even. The music just gives the game a true feel of adventure and helps bind the experience together in a way that just feels complete.

In the end, I had a great time with this game, and must recommend it. You will not regret playing this at all.
Disclaimer: A digital copy was provided for this review.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 8 Feb, 2017 At 04:46 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Retro games are becoming more and more common these days, but for every Shovel Knight, we get ten that just fall flat. With that in mind, I was worried about Alwa’s Awakening and did not know what to expect. I had seen the images and videos but it didn’t give me a sense of what the game would be like.

I have heard this game be compared to Shovel Knight in terms of a throwback to the NES days, but I do not feel that is an accurate assessment. To me, this game is much more of a throwback to the games of the Turbo Grafx 16. The look and sound of the game just feel like a game one would find on the system and as someone who still loves to play Turbo Grafx 16 games on an actual Turbo grafx 16, this is a great thing.

The game’s plot starts off as a very simple one, to set things off and then you get into a great metroidvania adventure. As you progress further and further, you feel more and more like you are in a timewarp. You feel like you have gone back to the past, to play those awesome games that kicked ass ( sorry cinemassacre). The music is absolutely amazing right from the beginning, and never lets up at any single point. It is just pure audio bliss and a feast for your ears. The art is amazing and looks like something straight out of the 80’s/very early 90’s and just feels fun.

The gameplay is spot on, combat and controls, for the most part anyways. There are some issues, as the game feels slow at times but it isn’t. I realize how awkward that sounds but it is just how the game feels. Jumping can feel stiff yet work perfectly. I don’t know how else to say this other than the game replicates the feel of awkward controls, while having excellent controls. This may sound like a fun but, but it really threw me off for a while. As well, the hit detection is almost perfect but there are times where hitting the enemy doesn’t connect and you can get hit by the enemy instead.

Those issues aside, this is a great game and I had a lot of fun with it. The game feels like a throwback to one of my favourite systems and eras in gaming, and I cannot stop smiling while playing it. I must recommend it, as it is a game you will not regret playing at all.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 1 Feb, 2017 At 10:12 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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I am a major fan of the work of Robert E Howard, the creator of Conan the barbarian. His stories felt alive and full of sparks that cannot be matched, and this has led many to create works based off his stories. From comics, and movies to video games, there has been Conan adaptations in multiple fields.

I didn’t know what to expect when I started playing Conan Exiles, but I was pleasantly surprised with what I saw.  The game is immersive and allows a wide range of creation methods, and allows you to familiarize yourself with the universe of Conan. For a survival game with crafting elements, the game does a very good job and explains things to you well, without getting in the way at all.

It isn’t a perfect game however, but that is to be expected as this is not complete yet. The visuals need a lot of work and full bland and unalive. When choosing my character, there were a number of glitches I experience, and the control scheme did not interact properly all the time. That said, I did have a good time playing this. The multiplayer components are well established, and this feels like a much more concise version of Age of Conan, one that is good for single players.

I think the combat needs some work as the hit detection as way off, and some elements such as saving, were not exactly smooth. The big issues I have is that the game could have a more detailed start and feel less derivative of other works. There is so much that can be done with the Conan universe that, while they are exploring it well, it feels like the developers are only scratching the surface of what is available.

There is a lot of potential in this game and I will continue to follow it as it progresses, this is early access after all. I think it could end up as a major addition to gaming in general if it is polished properly. I just hope the developers take the criticism to heart.
A review code was provided for this review.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 9 Jan, 2017 At 11:17 PM | Categorized As PC Games, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Beat em ups are awesome, let me just say that right there. I love beat em ups and when a game comes out that pays tribute to the best of the best of the genre. 99Vidas – The Game is both an homage and affectionate parody of the games we all grew up loving, made by fans of those games. But is the final product any good?

I cannot explain it, but 99Vidas – The Game has that charm that so few indie games have. It doesn’t try to recreate the classic games, but rather it takes the best ideas and does something new with them. You have four choices of characters and can play solo or in co-op. All the characters play differently and have their own unique elements and abilities. I had a lot of fun playing through the game and seeing what the various characters can do. There are references to classic series like Final Fight, Streets of Rage and Double Dragon and stages designed to play homage to those games. The game makes great use of shops by having them be end of stage events. This works well with a linear sider scrolling game and feels natural.

If I had any complaints, it is that the multiplayer can be a little chaotic at times, and the enemies have that classic beat em up annoyance, where they can attack through your attacks and trap you for multiple hits. It can be extremely annoying but it isn’t impossible to deal with.

The visuals are excellent. Thing The Scott Pilgrim video games but better animation and more fluid action. The humor is spot on and helps draw you into the action along with the loose story. The music is great as well and that is a must for any beat em up game. There is just so much love put into this game and it shows. This is a game for fans, by fans. I recommend it.

 

No GravatarThe following is an opinion piece and only reflects the author’s views and not neccesarily that of the rest the Real Otaku Gamer staff.

 

2016 was a big year for gaming. Some new franchises came into being, and some series received amazing sequels. Join me as I list my top ten games of 2016. Just a note, I will only include games that I have actually played, so no Overwatch or Uncharted 4. This list will also include indie games.

10) AVGN II ASSimilation

Angry Video Game Nerd adventures was a brilliant indie game and spoof of bad retro games. AVGN 2 picks up where the first game left off and builds on it to make a game that is bigger and better in everyway. A full worldmap, a lot more levels, new powerups and ecouraging of replays, and tons of crass humor that just makes you laugh. The game referenced more games, the AVGN movie and even Board James, and is a treat for fans of James Rolfe. I cannot say enough good about this game, it is a brilliant parody of bad games while being awesome in its own right.

 

9) Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE

The sole Nintendo game on the list, TMS #FE was a great RPG for a sytem starving for more of that genre. What was thought to be a fusion of Shint Megami Tensei and Fire Emblem’s play styles and elements, it actually turned out to play much more like Persona for the Wii U with the Fire Emblem as the personas and enemies. While some were put off by what the product was, it ended up being one of the best Nintendo games of the last decade. This was a brilliant game with a fun combat system and detailed plot that a player could lose themselves in for hours. This in many ways is a new IP with guest appearances from the FE characters, and hopefully this gets a sequel. Nintendo got themselves a brilliant RPG and this is one to be remembered.

8) King of Fighters XIV

While Street Fighter V got all the attention this year, it was actually SNK’s fighter that was the superior game. A complete experience and not barebones at launch, KOF XIV had something for everyone. It had good signle players modes as well as multiplayer modes, and there as inceintive to play the arcade mode with different teams to unlock secrets. The new characters were mostly fun and engaging and even some of the ones receivess less warmly turned out to be well thought out. SNK has been quick to fix any issues with the game, including fixing the online, and an upcoming patch to upgrade the visuals. As well, they have been evaluating fan interest in DLC characters for the game, so expect to see this title be supported for a while at least. This is perhaps the second best fighting game of 2016.

7)  Shantae: Half-Genie Hero

A late entry into this list, Shantae: Half-Genie Hero was a major surprise to me in terms of how much of an upgrade it was over the previous entries. The visuals were bright and beautiful and the game was nothing like I expected. I don’t know why, but I believed this would just be a game on the scale of Shantae and the Pirate’s Curse, just with better visuals. It turned out to be a dramatic leap for the series and showed that Shantae can be a heavy hitter in gaming. Excellent power-ups, tons of replay value ( with even more coming) and a fun, engaging narrative, made this one of the best indie games of the year.

 

6) Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator

The greatest fighting game released in 2016, Guilty Gear Xrd Revelator did something so few fighting games do these days, and did as much as it could to make itself accessible. The tutorial was unlike anything else and truly taught you how to play the game. The fighting was top notch and perfected from previous iterations, and the online was much better than ever. In fact the lobby system in the game was extremely innovative and helped make the experience much more worthwhile. While the story mode lacked the English dub of the previous title, it still was a welcome experience and did its job in answering details about the Guilty Gear story. This was just the most refined fighting experience in a long time and needs to be played by all.

5) Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2

This game can be best summed up as bigger and better. Bandai Namco took all the positives of the first game while taking a look at what didn’t work, then went about fixing those issues.  The fighting feels more epic, the visuals are far better, and the story mode feels a lot more engaging this time.  With a large amount of characters, including some from Dragon Ball Super, Xenoverse 2 has something for everyone. Even the online is overhauled and this time it feels far more worthwhile to do co-op. It does reuse much of the original game but that isn’t a bad thing. This just feels like a better version of the first game.

4) Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth

This one caught me by surprise. A game that combined the world of Digimon, with the design and feel of the Persona series, Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth is a bold departure for the series. This game is one that I would recommend not only for Digimon fans, but also non-fans, as it is extremely accessible to all. The game feels like nothing else Bandai Namco has done with the Digimon series yet and I want more of this.  A detailed story, deep combat system and likeable characters, Cyber Sleuth has a lot to offer players of the RPG genre, especially those who are still waiting for Persona 5. This game was a hidden gem this year and I recommend it for all.

3) Shadow Warrior 2

This one is good. The previous Shadow Warrior was a game that helped get first person shooters out of the rut they were stuck in. It successfully revived the series while not compromising on what the original was, and made it a great experience. Shadow Warrior 2 makes the first game seem like a tech demo in comparison. Everything is on a grander scale, with vastly improved graphics and combat. The game uses a procedural generated level system to ensure no two replays are the same and it is better for it. This time around, there is a co-op mode that allows you to team up with 3 others and coordinate your playthrough differently. The best part about that is that the gameplay is scaled for co-op so it is never too easy or too hard. Also important is that the game does not act condescendingly towards people who play on easier settings. That is something that is sadly not common anymore.

2) Dishonored 2

Dishonored was an amazing game but this one takes it to the next level. Dishonored 2 is an epic experience that offers so much more than the previous entry. You can play as Emily or Corvo, with both having unique playstyles. This allows for a lot more replay value, especially when you are given multiple ways to play with those characters. The visuals are far better and the overall presentation is excellent. Even the music is great and helps bring you deeper into the gameplay. This is the best stealth game released in a very long time, if not ever and the action elements are so expertly woven in, that it just feels completely natural to shift to attacking. The various abilities you get in the game just make you feel like a badass and that is a welcome feeling. The game brings so much to the table that I cannot say enough good things about this

1) DOOM

The absolute best game of the year bar none ( that I’ve played), DOOM shows you how to revive a classic IP. We were all worried about this game based off the beta, which only showed the multiplayer, as well as the fact that the game wasn’t given to critics in advance. The fears were for naught luckily as DOOM is amazing. Fast paced shooting, with gory action, yet a well developed character who doesn’t need to say anything. The game perfectly marries story telling and gameplay into one in a better way than Half Life ever did, and the result is amazing.  This just feels like a proper return to form, not only for the Doom series but for the FPS genre in general. Many have been too dragged down in storytelling or rote gameplay, but DOOM shows the right way to do it. An amazing soundtrack that really gets your heart pumping for battle, and an amazing arsenal that keeps things fresh. The game’s SnapMap function also brings a form of modding to consoles, as well as giving you an endless amount of content to play through. Bethesda and Id software have been consistently updating the game with both free updates and DLC and all of it is welcome. This is an absolute must play for everyone.