You Are Browsing ' Reviews ' Category

By Jonathan Balofsky On 10 Feb, 2016 At 05:06 AM | Categorized As Featured, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatarshutshimi



So stop me if you heard this before. A fish is swimming at home when other sea creatures decide to invade. So what happens? Well if you are the fish from Shutshimi, you take up arms and go all out to defend your home.



Shutshimi is essentially the Wario Ware of shoot em ups. Each wave lasts only a few seconds but always has a different modifier such as inverted controls, being larger ( and taking more hits) and more weapons. Some weapons carry over from stage to stage and some do not.

The gameplay seems simple at first but the constant change ups in the gameplay really make you realize that this is nothing like you have played at all before.  Some variations include a bouncy castle, butt mode and party mode, the latter of which had me very grateful that the game allows you to tone down the special effects intensity since it is hard on the eyes.


The game  delights in giving you changes that you think are good but end up working against you. “Yay I have every weapon”…..”Oh dear Lord I can play this with every weapon, its a nightmare!!!!!!!” but of course you can select the change up if you understand what the items in the shop in between stages do. Of course the game might not give you a choice that is helpful….or it might give you three awesome choices, its very random.


The weirdest part about this game is how addictive it is. I cannot stop playing it and haven’t even tried the co op mode yet. I love it and am obsessed. I must recommend this game to all who have a Wii U.


No Gravatar

Blood Bowl 2


(Not Your Father’s Football)


This weekend the majority of us will be gathering with friends and families watching pigskin get thrown around during Super Bowl 50, but not I.  I’m not exactly what you’d call a “sports guy” so when I was given the review codes for Blood Bowl 2 I almost passed them off to our resident Madden aficionados.  I’m very pleased I didn’t.  Blood Bowl 2 is brought to us by Cyanide Studios and published by Focus Home Interactive and is based off the hit Board Game Blood Bowl created by Jervis Johnson for British games company Games Workshop.

Blood Bowl 2 is a football game much the way Mario Bros. is a plumbing simulator.  There may be some pipes and plumber, but that’s about it.  BB2 takes place on a football field with you trying to get to your opponents end zone and score… and that’s pretty much where the similarities come to a rest.


Blood Bowl 2 is a turn based game based in the Warhammer universe and pits two team on a hilarious collision course.  At its base you select a team from the races that are available: Humans, Orcs, Dwarfs, Skaven, High Elves, Dark Elves, Chaos, and the Bretonnian. Each has their own perks and advantages, as well as disadvantages.  Dwarves sponge up damage and can run through most attacks, but can throw about as well as a penguin flies.  The two elf races available from the beginning are pretty much the opposite; they can run fast and pass the ball the length of the field, but their defense leaves them vulnerable to harder hitting races like Chaos or Bretonnian’s.  Each turn consists of you moving all your characters once (if they’re not disabled, dead or injured), with one special attack or “blitz” allowed per turn.  Success on turns and moves is based off your characters stats and the races overall abilities.  As of the writing of this review for the PS4 version, there are 2 new races available for download.  One is another race of Elves (Wood), and the other is the Lizardmen.

On top of each races normal attributes they each have their own star players who have abilities to help turn the tide in your favor.  You have linemen, blitzers, runners, and in the case of Dark Elves assassins who sole purpose is to take out the opposing teams best players.  Now playing against the Elves as the Orcs seems like a losing battle with the Elves’ speed, but this is where the game becomes more about how you use your team.  Let’s say, for example, the Elves just caught the ball and are yards from the in zone.   There’s no way any of the orcs can get there on my turn.  What I can do is take one of my fast Goblin runners and put them next to my towering lineman of a Troll.  This gives me the option to throw my Goblin down field at the Elf down there.  Unfortunately, being a turn based game success is based off a dice roll and your player’s stats.  I say unfortunately because this particular roll did not go my way and my Goblin was eaten by said Troll, which is highlighted by hysterical animations and dialogue from the two announcers via Cabalvision.  Basically, any confrontation or violence is zoomed in on and commented on by either Jim or Bob. Blood-Bowl-2-Screens-

The game has two main modes where you can play vs. or play the campaign.  Once you familiarize yourself with how the stats and dice rolls work you can move on to the season play where you make your own team and upgrade their abilities and stats, hire new players, and manage your team much like you would if you were a real coach.  The real downside to the season play is if you lose a character (dies from injury), or in my case, they get eaten by a Troll, that character is gone for good.   This makes player management and selection much more key towards what your style of play.  It also forces you to weigh sending that player you’ve spent hours on into the fray.

Honestly, I enjoyed Blood Bowl 2 quite a bit and it’s nice to play a game that moves outside of the conventional genres of RPG, sports, or puzzles and playfully combines them all into a hysterical mix of violence and fun.  It reminds me of how Battle Chess was, except relocated to a football field in the Warhammer universe.  That being said, this a great time by yourself or co-op online with friends.  Don’t pass this title by if you’re not into sports or football, because, there are plenty RPG, action, and puzzle elements to keep you entertained for hours.  Let’s be honest, we can all watch football any weekend, but how often do you get to see a Troll eat a Goblin after trying to throw him downfield to prevent a touchdown by an Elf?


By Jonathan Balofsky On 5 Feb, 2016 At 09:06 PM | Categorized As Featured, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatarneo



This is going to be one of my tougher reviews. N.E.O. is a hard game to play, not because of difficulty mind you but because the controls didn’t make any sense at all to me. I couldn’t figure out how to move and when I did, the controls suddenly shifted. I am not sure what the developers were trying to do but it just made the game a chore to play.


The game is ostensibly a shoot em up like Asteroids but was very unplayable because of the control issues I mentioned. The music was fine, no complaints there. And the visuals did well to capture the feel of Asteroids done in a modern way but that wasn’t enough to save this. It just made me want to play Asteroids. Or maybe hope for an asteroid to hit Toronto so I wouldn’t have to play this anymore.  Fortunately for the rest of Toronto but unfortunately for me, no asteroid collision happened and I continued to try to play.


I previously complained about Skeasy but there at least I could play it even if it was incredibly dull, monotonous and boring. I couldn’t do that much in this game, again because the controls were insane. I felt like a guy who had his first hit of acid and went crazy trying to understand basic concepts. This just didn’t work.


A patch is needed badly to try and give a bit more control. Until then, stay away.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 22 Jan, 2016 At 08:53 PM | Categorized As Featured, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, Reviews, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No Gravatarskeasy


This is gonna be a tough review. I know RCMADIAX on Twitter, nice guy but this game is just frustrating and not because of the difficulty but because of what the game is.

To begin, SKEASY is a endless autorunner ski game where you move left or right downhill and dodge trees. That’s all. It was fun for a few minutes but I quickly grew bored. What’s worse is that the boredom never left. RCMADIAX has a reputation for making simplistic games and sometimes that works well like Blok Drop U ( and its spinoffs) and Avoider. In actual fact, SKEASY comes off as so extremely similar to Avoider that its practically a rehash with the only different being the control scheme not involving tough controls here. However Avoider still required skill and timing and had an element of fun and suspense that brought enjoyment. This is completely lacking in SKEASY, with the game being extremely easy and quickly becoming dull with no real challenge.

RCMADIAX is better than this, the previous mentioned Blok Drop U and Avoider were great games and Super Robo Mouse ( his upcoming game) looks excellent. I just am frustrated that he is coasting along and taking the easy route. I get it, game development is expensive and time consuming, but a reputation also takes time to build and putting out repeated games like this just ruins that reputation..

I don’t want to seem like I’m hating on him because I like many of the games he has made and I know he has the talent, but SKEASY is just a lazy game that should not have been made. I cannot recommend it at all. If you are wondering why my review mentions the game so little, its because the game has practically no substance to it. It’s just a lousy rush job game. The visuals are bland but the music is the only good thing about it and that isn’t enough. My worst fear is that it will put people off his games like Blok Drop U which are actually good and might scare people away from his upcoming Super Robo Mouse. Only time can tell with that one though.



By Jonathan Balofsky On 21 Jan, 2016 At 03:38 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Featured, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments
l and c 5

No GravatarSuperheroes are awesome. We can all agree on that, but sometimes we need to look beyond the super heroics. What if I told you there was a comic book that was essentially a super hero sitcom? And that there are 4 volumes out that you can read now?

Love and Capes was created by Thom Zahler, an extremely talented cartoonist, who applied TV sitcom writing to comic book superheroes. The result was an amazing comic book that will provide hours upon hours of entertainment.

Volume 1.


We begin the comic by seeing bookstore owner Abby Tennyson on a date with her boyfriend, accountant Mark Spencer. They’ve been dating for a few months and Abby thinks Mark is a great guy. But Mark has a secret. He is the most powerful super hero on the planet, The Crusader. Mark decides to reveal his secret to Abby after talking with his friend Darkblade (a Batman analogue with some of the wittiest lines) but really should have thought of a better way and he learns you should really catch people when they faint.


l and c 5



After getting over the initial shock, Abby starts enjoying the perks of being a superhero’s girlfriend


….and the downsides, like Super Ex-Girlfriends in the form of Amazonia, one of the top heroes, as well as the fact that Mark will constantly be in danger and on call, thus interrupting dates as well as leaving her worried.



Fortunately Abby has her sister to rely on for support…and vice versa as we see later. Love and Capes is an amazing exercise in showing a supporting cast. Yes there are awesome characters like Doc Karma (and his love of TV shows that haven’t been released on DVD stateside) who perfectly captures the kookiness and awesomeness of the Ditko era Doctor Strange and Arachnerd (3 guesses who he is based on and the first 2 don’t count).

l and c 4


However, we also have excellent supporting characters like the aforementioned Charlotte, Mark’s parents and the rest of Abby’s family.  The superheroics are off panel and the focus is on the human side. We see Mark get jealous of other heroes and the reason why become a plot point. We see Abby grow more and not just as a superhero’s girlfriend but also as her own character with her own interests, as does Charlotte and Darkblade whom we learn more about. The last part of volume 1 deals with Mark and Amazonia’s former relationship and its at the end w see why Mark and Abby go so well together. That they are a good couple. If that sounds sappy I’m sorry because the comic is also incredibly funny and witty.  The drawings are excellent and evoke both classic and new TV cartoons.


If you like comics you owe it to yourself to get this.




By Jonathan Balofsky On 5 Jan, 2016 At 11:47 PM | Categorized As Featured, PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4, Reviews, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarI have to be honest. The Trine series is among my favourite games ever. Trine 2 is in fact my favorite indie game of all time, but how does Trine 3 hold up?


Trine 3 is absolutely gorgeous beyond imagining. The look of the game simply has to be seen to be believed, and I understand it has a 3D option for 3D TVs (though I do not have one). The framerate is silky smooth and the textures are all perfectly arranged. This is the best looking game in the series by far.

download (2)


The Trine series has had some amazing music and sound effects in all the games, and Trine 3 is no exception. Both the amazing soundtrack and the voiceover work really immerse you into the gaming experience and make you feel a connection to the game. The soundtrack has been built on from previous installments once again and sounds perfect, but if I have one complaint, it is that the sound effects are sometimes off.  Whether it be attacking or grappling, sometimes the sound will not register correctly.


Trine 3 brings a major change to the series which have so far been 2.5D physics platformers. Now the series switches to full 3D movement which changes everything about how you play. Swinging from a hook, conjuring up objects and so on, have to be timed perfectly now more than ever. By the same token, however, combat with the knight is better than ever but with Zoya, not so much since her weapons are now awkward to use. In fact, I would argue the dynamic of the series has been thrown off completely. Its not bad per se, but it takes a lot of getting used to. What worked before simply will not work again and now more than ever; this has become a thinking person’s game. Is it a successful transition? Well that’s difficult to answer.  Many do not like it, yet some do. Its taken me a while but the game has grown on me and I do like it, but I can recognize its faults.


Final Thoughts

Trine 3 is a radical departure for the series, and I cannot give it a must buy recommendation. My recommendation is to watch some gameplay of it to see what its like. It is not like the first 2 games, but it isn’t bad.  It’s just not for everybody. I lean more toward saying to try it, but again, I suggest watching some videos so you don’t have any false ideas about it.

By Will On 16 Dec, 2015 At 01:48 AM | Categorized As Featured, Nintendo 3DS, Portable/Mobile Gaming, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

Upon loading up my 3DS Shop with money I started glancing through the shop and after buying Pokemon Trading Card Game, I was told about this game by a friend of mine Elle. With my love for rhythm games peaked yet again, I decided to give this a try. This is based on first impressions of the game with about 3 hours of game play.

The Good:

Weapon Shop de Omasse is a rhythm game at heart, taping to a hit chart at the top of the screen, and while this is the core of the game it has hints of resource management as you try to keep your shop stocked with weapons to rent out to potential warriors.

Unlike other rhythm games, they make audible queues with the “notes” at the top of the screen to hit your timing. So your not being completely lost on what the hell to do when crafting weapons. It requires you to tap on multiple parts of the steel as you craft. If you tap on the same part multiple times (After that perticular part has been crafted) the game politely informs you that you need to move to another part by placing a big black “X” over it. Sometimes you need come coaching in games, and this does it in a way you could remember in the future.

The Bad:

There’s too much freaking text! There’s a gimmick in the game called “The Grindcast”, and as the warriors run off with their newly acquired gear you can keep track of them on their adventures. As your crafting new weapons at the shop, it shows up at the top screen, complete with noise that threw me completely off, ending up crafting a piece of crap instead of what I truly wanted.

The only way to keep the shop alive is by buying materials with the money given to you when they return it. That’s right, if it’s lost, stolen, breaks or the person wielding it dies (Hasn’t happened yet….don’t think it does though.) you don’t’ see a dime. I would have a better success rate of 100% durability (That I got on my first weapon.) if it wasn’t for that damn “Grindcast”!

The “Orders” menu could be WAY better, as it gives you the quests of the main storyline. Anyone that comes in and makes a order, does not have it show up in the menu for me. As a forgetful person who goes multiple hours without picking up his 2ds, makes it a very noticeable thing missing from the game.

The idea of it being a resource management game is kind of a turn off for me personally. I went in thinking it was solely a rhythm game, and it’s been reduced to a “Dump Game” (One that I would play while taking one.) I know that I’ve said that it was a great game, but the more and more I play it, the more and more I started comparing it to Pokemon Shuffle.

Overall, it’s a good game at it’s core, but there was too much not to nit pick about. I will update it as I play more of Weapon Shop de Omasse!


By Jessica Brister On 24 Oct, 2015 At 04:44 PM | Categorized As PC Games, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarBefore there was even a concept of the life simulation franchise The Sims, there was another game that was out that was one of my favorites as a child. Jones in the Fast Lane, developed and published by Sierra Entertainment in 1990, was one of the most fun simulation games of the time. Not only did it have amazing graphics for the time, but the game play was top-notch. It was literally a life simulation game for “Keeping up with the Joneses.”

The game’s goals are simple get enough wealth, happiness, career, and education points and win. The game can be played one of three ways: just with one player, one player against the computer (the game calls him “Jones”), or up to four players. Of course, this was at a time before online gaming, so those four players actually had to be in the same room, taking turns on the computer. Remember the days of the family PC? This game catered to that crowd.


The player goes through a board-game style layout with different types of businesses including a factory, a bank, a grocery store, an appliance store, a clothing store, and so on. Players must get a job, make money, feed themselves each week, and find time to relax a bit. Of course, if they want to move up the ladder a bit, getting an education is a must. The player plays a week at a time instead of days. Everything is timed in the game, so walking to a place takes time, working takes time, taking a class takes time. Even going shopping takes time. When the time is up for each week, the next player goes. Each player must make sure that they plan out what they want to accomplish each week.

With everything that the player does, it creates points. Advance in your career? Points. Finish a class at the university? Points. Buy a hot tub? Points. Sit and do nothing in your apartment? Points. The goal points can be adjusted at the beginning of the game if you want a shorter or longer game. Jones in the Fast Lane may sound easy with these elements, but there are a lot of issues that can arise including: inflation or deflation, rent being due every week, needing new clothes every six weeks, getting robbed at the bank, and even applying for a job. It’s a truly fun game, and it’s even more fun with a bunch of people hovered around one computer.


For the time, Jones in the Fast lane had amazing 256-color VGA graphics, and it was also apparently one of the first games to run in Windows 3.0. The fact that I still love to play it twenty-five years later says something about the quality of the game. Even though it’s not the latest thing, because it’s designed almost like a board game, it really doesn’t matter how old it is. It will always feel like a great board game, and those never go out of style. Though it’s an old game, the graphics aren’t what I would say are headache-inducing like some of the ones in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It’s just one of those special games that you always want to go back to.

Jones in the Fast Lane used to have an app on the Google Play Store that had a pretty decent port of it for Android, but that has not been taken down. I’m not sure why. If you do get a chance to run across this gem, I highly recommend it. The game is amazing, and still is relevant even today. As I always say, I learned how to live through Jones in the Fast Lane: pay your rent on time, work hard, get an education, get some stuff to make your life easier, and find time to relax. That really is the best advice to life in my humble opinion.

By Jessica Brister On 12 Oct, 2015 At 11:24 PM | Categorized As Featured, Reviews | With 1 Comment

No Gravatar

Science fiction horror movies have gotten a bad rap over the years. Amazing movies such as Event Horizon and Pandorum have gotten poor reviews, and I’m not quite sure why. Maybe it’s because people just don’t like the genre? Or, maybe people just don’t understand that there are deep, overarching themes within the futuristic technology and settings? I’m not sure, but I do know that there is a little-know sci-fi horror movie called Infini that got a very similar reception. That’s a shame because it’s a really well-done movie which I would recommend to any sci-fi movie fanatic.


Infini is a 2015 Australian sci-fi horror film. It is directed by Shane Abbess and stars Daniel MacPherson as Whit Carmichael. The movie is set in the 23rd century, where there are deep space mining colonies that are responsible for a large chunk of the Earth’s economy. To get to these colonies, people use a form of teleportation called “slip streaming” that gives them almost instant access to far away places, though there is a lot of time dilation. Carmichael is on his first day of being on a search and rescue team (SAR) for these colonies when another team sent to mining station O.I. Infini comes back in a crazed rage, as some biohazard has come back with them. In order to avoid at lethal quarantine, Carmichael does a “dirty jump” to Infini while the rest of his team is killed. Another team is dispatched to retrieve him and figure out what exactly went on in the colony.

The movie is solid science fiction. The premise seems like it could actually happen. Add the suspense of rage-induced “zombie-like” foes, great acting, and an eery setting, and you have yourself a great sci-fi horror movie. Infini is not the scariest film that I’ve ever seen. That’s not the point of it. The movie is more blood and guts with a focus on how humanity reacts in a certain dire situation. It’s also not the most original film. Infini feels like a mash-up of Event Horizon, Pandorum, and the Dead Space franchise with a little bit of Aliens and Resident Evil thrown in. However, it has enough original elements to keep it interesting, and it was well-executed.


Many big-budget films focus too much on special effects. While that can be an important element in sci-fi horror, it’s the pacing, characters, tone, and theme that make the movie. Infini did not have that kind of a budget, but what they had they used well. Honestly, when I first watched it (yes, it merited watching a couple of time for me), I didn’t even realize that this was some indie movie from Australia. The setting was excellent, and it created a prefect tone for the movie. For me, though, it was the characters and theme that really shined. Science fiction should make you view issues that you normally wouldn’t want to discuss in a different way. I thought Infini did an excellent job of that.

Daniel MacPherson really did an amazing job as the lead. His character both looked like and acted like Commander Shepard (Mass Effect), which I absolutely loved. The viewer ends up both caring for and liking him as his leadership qualities show through, even though he is working with a different team and has many issues with them. I wanted Carmichael to desperately get home because of his pregnant wife and how much the character seemed to care for her.


The supporting cast were quite good as well. From Grace Huang as Claire Grenich to Luke Hemsworth as Charlie Kent, they added a unique and interesting feel to the movie. Obviously many of the characters aren’t as well-developed as Whit Carmichael, but they don’t need to be as the focus is on Carmicheal’s character. I particularly liked Luke Ford’s character as Chester Huntington and Harry Pavlidis’ character as Harris Menzies because they were probably the more developed supporting characters and could relate more to Carmichael as they both had children they wanted to get home to.

If you love good, solid science fiction horror movie, I highly recommend Infini. It isn’t a perfect movie (what is, really?), but it’s entertaining and will make you think. I was delighted to come across this movie on Netflix. It is currently (as of 10/12/15 in the U.S.) free for you to watch from there if you have a subscription. I say take a chance. You will probably love it.

By Jessica Brister On 20 Sep, 2015 At 06:52 PM | Categorized As Featured, Old School Otaku, PC Games, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarEvery once in awhile there are a few special games that come around and really push the boundaries of what games can be. For me, Tomb Raider II is one of those games. Being the sequel to the extremely popular original Tomb Raider, there were a lot of high expectations the second installment to be even better. Tomb Raider II passed with flying colors to be an entertaining adventure with one of gaming’s most iconic characters.

Tomb Raider II is an action-adventure, puzzle-based game that was the sequel to the original Tomb Raider, which came out in 1996. It was developed by Core Design and published by Eidos Interactive. It was released October of 1997 for PlayStation and PC (it eventually came out for Mac later) and had critical acclaim and sold very well.


The game follows adventurer and tomb raider, Lara Croft. The story revolved around the Dagger of Xian, a weapon that was used by an ancient emperor of China to transform into a dragon and command armies. Monks were able to get a hold of the dagger and keep it hidden within the Great Wall of China. Lara goes to investigate the dagger and realizes that she’s not the only one after it. Marco Bartoli, a man who is obsessed with the dagger, is also digging up artifacts in order to wield the dagger’s power. Lara’s adventure goes to places like China and Italy, where she is pushed to find out more about Bartoli’s plan.

It’s quite a fun story with an Indiana Jones-like adventure to it. Whether it’s driving a boat through Venice or exploring an underwater shipwreck, the game has a delightful entertainment value to it that you only experience with adventure games. However, it’s actually Lara who really shines. Unlike the new direction Crystal Dynamics is going in with the Tomb Raider reboot games, this Lara Croft is strong, confident, and fearless. She pushes herself to the limits as she works against the forces of evil.


The third-person perspective game play improved with Tomb Raider II from the original by adding new weapons and moves, as well as having vehicles, more human enemies, and larger levels. There’s even a level with a snowmobile that is an absolute blast to play. There was also a training level that allowed the player to roam around Lara’s mansion. The best change, however, was the fact that a player didn’t need a save crystal in order to save the game, making complicated jumping puzzles much easier to manage.

The original Tomb Raider franchise was all about exploration and puzzles with some enemies thrown in to keep things fresh. Unfortunately, that is not the case anymore with the reboot, but Tomb Raider II really shines in both instances. Puzzles typically are usually jumping or timing-related, and there is a lot of exploration involved. The levels might not be the huge open-world maps that gamers are used to now, but it’s a lot of fun trying to figure out how to get to certain places or find key items. Shooting is emphasized in Tomb Raider II more than the original, and it features Lara’s signature dual pistols, as well a grenade launcher, and M16 rifle, dual Uzis, and a harpoon gun for underwater fighting. The fighting sequences utilize a jump and dodge system, instead of the sit under cover and shoot. This type of game play is not considered ideal anymore because it’s not very realistic. However, it is super fun.


The only real problem with going back and playing Tomb Raider II is dealing with the outdated graphics. They were really awesome at the time, but the sharp angles and grainy textures are hard to get used to. People who enjoy retro-gaming won’t mind, but it’s glaring for those who prefer modern games. The cut-scenes aren’t bad, but Lara is definitely very square and so are all of the other people. It’s amazing to see how far graphics have come since then.

So, if you want a fun, action-adventure game with an amazing heroine, you might want to play or replay Tomb Raider II. You do have to like puzzles, but that’s half the fun. It was a different game for a completely different time. Sadly, I just don’t think we’re going to get anything quite like it again.

REAL OTAKU GAMER is using WP-Gravatar