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By Stark Wyvern On 3 Oct, 2017 At 07:55 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, Reviews | With 0 Comments

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Community INC is now available on Steam. You play the founder of a community that must work to grow and cultivate a rich landscape for your own settlement. The people will work for you to make themselves a home, and it is up to you to guide them. This game is an interesting one, and I’ve not seen something like it for a while now.

In Community Inc, you start out with just a portal and land. Using this portal you can bring in people who will become workers. They all start out as Builders but can gain experience in other things. Using these people you gather supplies like wood and soon are able to build workbenches and houses. These little people all have their own skills and character which makes it pertinent to choose suitable tasks.

Another interesting aspect is certainly that they will react to your actions. If you don’t say, feed them enough they will, of course, be upset by this. These villagers have emotions too and that can lead them to do dangerous things. If too many of them are angry they will set things ablaze. Clearly, they love a good old fashioned riot.

The characters all have their own names and it just made me want to figure out their own stories. Why they were coming through this portal to help me.

Community Inc is certainly a game all about building, but you really do have to take other things into consideration. With emotions to keep in line, you may need to give these little people some leeway.

The build we had of CommunityInc was in beta and wasn’t perfect but it is clear where this game is going. A game where one can build a settlement is certainly a fun game to play. It is always nice to see an unpopulated area become something much more, and that is why I have enjoyed trying out this game.

*Review code given by publisher

By Stark Wyvern On 29 Sep, 2017 At 02:42 PM | Categorized As Featured, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Code given by developers.

Tower of Babel is a game that has you running up a wicked tower and then another and so on. Each tower involves different movements which make game play different.  This game is based really on your ability to speed through the towers as you are timed. The faster you go the higher your place on the leaderboard. This is certainly one of those games that makes you try really hard to complete as fast as you can.

The controls are simple,  as you can slow down by tilting the control stick to the left and pushing it to the right speeds you up, A is to jump and B allows you to slip under things.  All these commands are easy to use yet when you are forced to complete a tower in under a minute in a half things get tricky quickly. This game is unforgiving and will send you back to the bottom of course if you fail. As you climb you collect gems and dodge traps. These traps require pristine action on your part or your character will die. It is a hectic game and one that will certainly fill a need in some players. I am certainly not one of those people.

The game honestly feels like an older game. Something I would have played years ago, maybe in a school computer lab. Now, that isn’t to say this game is terrible, it just really is older school than many games. This game really does just rely on you learning the tower and quickly manuvering your way up to the top and then running back down. Speed is key and that is really where this game lands.I’m sure that there are many people out there that would enjoy this game. But, I am certainly not in that group. It is a nice game, and one that I enjoyed for a bit but I have never been one to care about leaderboards. This game lends itself to be one that inspires competition and speeding through, and while I applaud the creators I will certainly not be putting hours upon hours into this game.

Tower of Babel is out now for the Nintendo Switch! Pick it up and see if you are built for running up and down dangerous towers!

By Stark Wyvern On 29 Sep, 2017 At 02:55 PM | Categorized As Featured, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Steam World Dig 2 is an amazing game and sequel to the the 2013 hit Steam World Dig. Following the first game directly, this game takes place with Rusty’s friend Dorothy coming to find him. In this game Rusty is now seen as a villainous figure, or at least that is what it seems. Jumping right into this game, you  will need to mine downward and discover a solid mining world to explore where you get more tools as you go on, and find greater treasure.

Selling this treasure is important because that is the only way to get more upgrades and perks. Dorothy is a strong little robot and she really can take out enemies rather speedily with her pickax in tow. Picking up other special weapons and items along the way, she will get stronger and stronger. These weapons will certainly, aid in digging deeper and surviving longer in order to gather more money. All the money you accrue is good as you can use it to upgrade all your gear.

Steam World Dig 2 has plenty earth to explore and you never know what you will come across next. With teleporters to get back to the surface, sometimes you have to know when to return. By returning you do also heal up, which is also necessary. There are also bosses in the game which change up the game flow and can actually be quite devastating.Steam World Dig 2 is certainly just a great game and playing it is always fun. The sheer mystery of heading into the earth with just a pickax to start makes for such a great adventure. With new enemies appearing and more expensive jewels appearing the deeper you go, it is always fun heading deeper.

I would highly reccommend this game to anyone who enjoys platformers. This game is filled with platforming and you definitely will get partially stuck at points. I’m usually terrible at platformers but the ability to adjust the world with different tools makes for easier platforming. A cool thing, at least to me is that wall jumping is super easy. This makes returning to higher areas just a bit easier as you can quickly manuever yourself and head upwards.

Steam World Dig 2 is certainly a game not to be missed, with an amazing story and great characters it will keep you entertained. This world is vast and digging through it is always interesting. Dorothy really is a great character and her little fiery friend make for a great pair. Help her find Rusty and enjoy an amazing subterranean world! Steam World Dig 2 is out now on the Nintendo Switch, so get digging!

By Jonathan Balofsky On 26 Sep, 2017 At 07:01 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, PlayStation, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Space survival games are seeing a lot of attention right now, and not all of the attention is good. This is due to the massive hype surrounding certain games that ended up not delivering on promises. So when another game comes along as a sci-fi survival game for consoles and VR, players might naturally be hesitant. After playing The Solus Project though, I have to say that it was not what I was expecting.

The game begins as a survival/exploration game, with a slow start but begins to pick up fast. While it is a bit of a walking simulator, there is a reason for it in the narrative. That being, you are the survivor of a crashed craft on an unknown world, while seeking out a new planet for humanity after Earth’s destruction. The game seems to be heading in one direction that seems fairly typical at first, but the game has twists ahead.

The game takes no prisoners with its approach to survival gameplay, with a need to properly manage when to sleep and eat. There is also the extremely harsh environment as, the planet has numerous dangers such as the weather. I have yet to see a survival game handle an environment like this before and it was a sight to see.

As you continue to progress though, things begin to change more. There will not be spoilers in this review, but the tone of the game changes rather extremely as it goes on. The game begins to make you question thing and eventually you will be confronted by thing that will chill you, especially if you are playing in VR. I actually do not recommend playing in VR as it isn’t a very good experience. Its not bad per se, but it just lacking. It feels like the game is not properly optimized but when played on the PS4, it played fine except for a few minor issues.

The Solus Project is an interesting take on narrative in games, by approaching things from the perspective of a survival sci-fi game before forcing you into another situation. It becomes almost surreal at times, and while it isn’t hard to follow, it can greatly shock you. My issue is that the game doesn’t seem to take full advantage of the resources it has. On the PS4 it looks great, but not as good as it could be. And as stated the game doesn’t feel properly optimized on PSVR. It is not a bad game by any means but I do feel it is held back by not pushing itself to its limits.

Even with those criticisms though, I do like The Solus Project and would recommend it. It is a good game with a unique style, and some great plot twists. I would definitely give this one a try, especially if you are a fan of survival games, or games that experiment with a narrative. This is definitely not like any other game out there. It stands on its own.

 

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Reviewed on PS4

Disclaimer

A review key was provided

 

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Double Dragon is a beloved beat em up franchise that has endured for years. When I was young, I would play Double Dragon II on NES with my older brothers all the time, and it was great fun. However, some of the later games were not as good, such as Double Dragon III on NES, and when Double Dragon V came out on the SNES, it was just bizarre. It was a fighting game and while it had its good points, it wasn’t particularly good as a fighting game. Most agreed that the series should be strictly a beat em up, but thankfully Tecnos did not agree.

1994 was the year that Double Dragon was adapted into a poorly received movie. That movie, received a video game adaptation that stood out. Most video game adaptations of movies are not great and games based on movies based on fighting games…..well you all remember Street Fighter: The Movie :The Game. Double Dragon for Neo Geo was something else entirely, as it was an SNK style fighting game, and was also the last game Tecnos made before going under.

It was criticized as generic and poorly designed at first, but like many other hidden gems, it has aged very well. The fighting is well done, and even though the announcer has poor English even by fighting game standards, the game has a lot of charm, It is remarkably well polished and has animations that are better than many fighting games from the last 15 years. The stages feel different than stages in fighting games from today, and all feel like unique. For instance, Dulton’s stage starts with him jet skiing to the platform while the jet ski continues going off in the background till it crashes into a building that explodes. That is not the only example, however, as the backgrounds all had something going on that felt unique. . Each fighter while having some generic moves, still felt unique in their own way like Burnov, a character from Double Dragon II. It made great use of the camera view and even helped make a few visual innovations for fighting games.

Forgive me for my fandom heresy, but this is actually my favourite game in the series and as the last game Technos made before they went under, it was an excellent game to leave on. I would love it if this could be brought to modern systems, even though some changes would need to be made.  With proper online support, this could even develop a scene around it and that would be amazing, since more people should experience the awesomeness of Double Dragon on Neo Geo!

 

By Jessica Brown On 23 Sep, 2017 At 10:08 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, PlayStation, Reviews | With 0 Comments

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  • TITLE: XING: The Land Beyond
  • DEVELOPER: White Lotus Interactive
  • PUBLISHER: White Lotus Interactive
  • GENRE: Adventure
  • PLATFORM: PC (Steam); Also on PS4
  • RELEASE DATE: September 21, 2017

XING: The Land Beyond is a first-person, VR-compatible adventure game from White Lotus Interactive available for the PC and PlayStation 4. It’s a non-combat, exploration-focused game that also features various puzzles that will need to be overcome.

XING (pronounced “Zing” according to the developer) puts players in the role of a character as they enter the afterlife. Entering a realm somewhere between life and death, the player will help the Guardian free the spirits of those souls who are trapped and unable to fully move on. Along the way, they will find clues about themselves, hopefully discover who they are and why they are here.

The journey begins with what seems to be your death, dropping you in a bright white space between realms. Venturing through the open door before you will take you to a hub area – a rocky, forested island floating high above the clouds. Here you’ll meet a guardian spirit who says it is the only true living entity in this realm and who sends you on your way. From here, you’ll venture to other realms that were once home to spirits who now need your help in setting them free. While you will be mostly on your own in these different areas, the spirits will guide you with cryptic clues and bits of wisdom and you’ll encounter their story told through pieces of scattered poetry.

In XING, the game is all about the journey, and it’s a journey that you can enjoy at your own pace. There are no entities that are out to destroy you and there isn’t anything that you’ll need to kill along the way. Also, since you are already dead, death is no longer an obstacle. Even if you miss a precise jump that you need to make, you’ll simply phase out and reappear near where you failed, free to try again as many times as you need. This doesn’t mean that the game is easy though, but what it does succeed in doing is taking away any sense of immediacy that might otherwise cause you stress. Rather than having to worry about reaching a certain goal within a set amount of time, you’ll instead be able to take your time seeing the sights, exploring every nook and cranny, and solving a few puzzles along the way. Exploration is certainly rewarded and is also highly enjoyable.

While I certainly do enjoy puzzle games, I do worry about games reaching a point where their puzzles become too cryptic and frustrating to solve. For me, it’s all about balance: I love having a solid level of difficulty when it comes to figuring things out, but I don’t want something to become so difficult as to be angering and off-putting. There’s always that “A-ha!” moment that should come with solving a particularly stumping situation and the hope is that that moment and feeling will pay off in the end. White Lotus Interactive seems to be very keen on my type of perspective because they ultimately have done a good job making the puzzles approachable while not holding your hand much along the way.

In the island realm, there’s a puzzle near the end of your journey that involves a deep canyon that will need to be crossed at various points that has a rotating mechanism at its center with clock hands serving as a metallic bridge. Various switch pedestals are at different spots around the canyon and the key lies in using them to rotate the hands to certain positions. By itself, this would take a little bit of doing, but XING adds a deeper mechanic into the mix: some switches only affect the clock hands during the day while others don’t take effect until nighttime. In order to get to certain locations, you’ll have to figure out which switches to activate for the day as well as the night and then make use of a special ability to change the time of day (which can only be done at certain locations). In short, you’ll have to mentally plan out your journey a couple steps ahead of time in order to take into account the positions the hands will be at during the day and the night as well as where you will be when you can toggle the time of day. The final problem the game will face you with in this area is that the door you’ll need to open at the end can only be opened during the night.

If you haven’t guessed it yet, the aforementioned realm has a theme to it: time. In this case, the theme is presented through an ability to change between day and night – an ability you’ll have to master in order to solve problems and make your way around the island. Some platforms or objects will only appear during the day or night and certain doors can also only be opened at certain times. The island’s final puzzle takes everything you’ve learned up until that point and combines it into a new challenge. Along the way, you learn the story of the spirit associated with the island and her journey through isolation and self-affirmation.

Each realm you visit contains a similar thematic approach. Along your journey you’ll come to master time, the elements, and much more. All of these things will have to be harnessed to solve a variety of unique puzzles and explore mysterious, breathtaking worlds.

It’s apparent that White Lotus Interactive has taken a good deal of inspiration from the much-loved Myst series, and XING: The Land Beyond feels like a carefully-crafted love letter to the franchise. However, XING may take some inspirations from Myst, but it most certainly is a worthy title in its own right. The story is extremely unique, yet equally as mysterious. The settings are breathtaking and beg to be explored. And the journey itself is one that will draw you in and keep you wanting more.

The game is aesthetically beautiful and yet it performs quite well. There are a variety of settings that you can toy with in the PC version to tailor the experience to your system’s specific capabilities. For me, playing the game at 4K, everything was beautiful and handled well. Yet, for a game of this nature, I find that ambiance and sound-quality are just as important as visuals, and thankfully this game delivers not just in the quality of its environmental sounds but also in its voice-acting (narrated by the various spirits you’re trying to free) as well as its exceptional soundtrack. I sincerely hope the game’s OST is made available as a separate, reasonable purchase sometime in the near future.

My copy of XING is for the PC, yet I have no doubt that the game will be a very positive experience on the PlayStation 4 as well. With the game also being VR-compatible, it should also make for a fun, immersive journey for those that wish to play it that way.

In the end, XING: The Land Beyond is an exceptional, beautiful adventure game that will draw you in and stay with you for quite some time.

ADDITIONAL SCREENS (Click for 4K):

By Stark Wyvern On 22 Sep, 2017 At 02:16 AM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Reviews | With 0 Comments

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Legion of Collectors is back with another box. This time the box is based on the amazing animated classic Batman the Animated Series.

This box, of course, comes with the classic Joker patch and a classic Catwoman pin. As usual, both patch and pin are quite well done.

Inside the box is also an awesome Funkofied t-shirt. This one is based on the classic logo for the series. A nice black shirt with a solid logo makes for a shirt that any fan would enjoy.

There is also a Funkofied comic. Which portrays Batman on the roof.

The Exclusive Funko is Mr.Freeze. A really well made Funko that shows off the greatness of this version. It is always cool to see what character gets Funkofied exclusively for the boxes.

Lastly is a Batmobile and Batman Dorbz. The Batmobile is really well made. It looks just like a small version of the shows ride. The Dorbz is a standard issue but still a nice addition.

All in all a great box. It really is such a treat to see what they pack into these amazing boxes. Cannot wait for September’s DC’s Most Wanted Box!

By Jessica Brown On 19 Sep, 2017 At 05:14 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, Reviews | With 0 Comments

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  • TITLE: “Evil Genome”
  • DEVELOPER: Crystal Depths Studio
  • PUBLISHER: Crystal Depths Studio
  • GENRE: Metroidvania Action-RPG
  • PLATFORM: PC (Steam)
  • RELEASE DATE: August 7, 2017
  • PRICE: $14.99 USD

Evil Genome is an action-RPG from Chinese developer Crystal Depths Studio. The game is styled as a “Metroidvania” action-RPG by the developers, and for the most part, this is a fair assessment. The game has a lot of depth and some fun gameplay, but is it ultimately worth your time and the $14.99 asking price?

The game is set in a seemingly post-apocalyptic future, where Lachesis, who is about to rendezvous with a nearby base, has her ship shot down in a sudden missile attack. Waking up at the wreck in the middle of the desert, she seems to be lacking any real memories of who she is or what she was doing and, unfortunately for her, the AI system that accompanies her cannot provide her with any classified (in this case, non-combat) information without Lachesis’s memory core being restored. From this beginning, it’s all about exploration and combat while trying to figure out what the heck is actually going on.

Gameplay is presented with horizontal movement in a 3D playing field. The graphics are for the most part well-developed and provide a lot of depth for the environments while there are plenty of things for the player to do in the foreground. Various items and upgrades can be found in chests and crates hidden (or not hidden) throughout the environment and, as you might expect, be looted from defeated enemies. Like any good action-RPG, there is an experience system that provides players with a skill tree to progress through each time they level up, giving them the ability to customize Lachesis’s play style to their own personal preferences and strengths. Meanwhile, the game gives players a Metroidvania style map that updates as they explore, and players will have various main missions and side-quests they can complete as they go.

While I really wanted to enjoy Evil Genome, I found that it was ultimately held back on several fronts.

For starters, while I do recognize that the game was developed by a Chinese studio (presumably for whom English was not their first language), the game’s English translation is rife with spelling and grammatical errors. What’s worse, the grammar errors actually spill over into the game’s spoken, voice-acted dialogue, making it extremely awkward at times. The voice work, outside of perhaps the main character, is also exceptionally sub-par throughout the experience. What dialogue is delivered without any grammatical problems is very flat and lacks any sort of emotion. Some characters seem to change their voice and how they speak during the game, sometimes even during the same segment of dialogue! Another problem with the grammar flaws is that they also make the menus rather difficult to deal with, sometimes leaving you guessing at what something (such as a skill description) actually means.

There are also quite a few bugs present too. Some of these are benign, such as the screen fading in an odd way while the dialogue is being delivered, but others are a bit more egregious. There are several times when aspects of the environment flicker or otherwise exhibit artifacts, the fact that you seemingly cannot climb or go down a ladder without jumping towards it (which is particularly weird when you want to descend it!), enemies that glitch out and seem to be invulnerable, and also issues with performance. The game suffers some choppiness due to frame-rate issues in a few spots, even while playing on a high-end system with a GTX 1080 Ti. Changing settings like turning off V-Sync seem to do nothing to resolve the issue (and in fact may even make performance even worse!).

To me, Evil Genome feels like one of those games that was rushed out and needed a lot more polish. It’s almost as if we are playing a test build of the game, something that might not even have been ready for Steam’s Early Access status. It’s frustrating, though, because it feels like this game has a lot of potential and a few things that it’s begging us to love about it. The gameplay, honestly, beyond some of the buggy behavior is actually pretty fun, and even though the story is quite vague I do wonder where it’s ultimately going. But beyond that, though, I find myself having trouble actually recommending the purchase.

Ultimately, I’d say that Evil Genome is a below-average game that needs a lot of work before I’d say it was worth the investment. Maybe if it was on sale at a deep discount or as part of a larger bundle it would be worth it, but as it stands now I’d recommend passing on it. Hopefully, Crystal Depths will take a look at the criticisms offered by reviewers and Steam users and look into cleaning up the game because, if they did, I think they’d have a fun adventure title on their hands.

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The Dishonored series has been one of the more interesting things to have come out of gaming in recent years.  The games offer more choices that do affect how the game progresses, which give the games a lot of replayability. That said, there are some who feel the games have been becoming formulaic. For those who feel that way though, Dishonored: Death of The Outsider offers some changes to what you might expect.

Death of the Outsider follows Billie Lurk as she aids Doud in his revenge against the Outsider. From there however, things get strange. Billie gains abilities like one would expect in a Dishonored game, but not in the usual way. In fact, Death of the Outsider does a lot different, such as removing the chaos system altogether. This does affect the replayability of the game, but the tradeoff is a more innovative experience. Billie’s powers are fun to use, and offer multiple ways to go about things. Without giving spoilers, there are certain parts of the game that you just want to replay over and over, because there are so many different ways to complete an objective, and each way is extremely satisfying.

The gameplay in general is handled well, but I do feel that with the removal of the chaos system, the game is lacking something. Even with the chaos system removed, something equal could have been there, but what is in place just does not feel up to par with the previous games. That being said, I do appreciate the game moving away and trying something new.

Another thing to address is the fact that this is essentially DLC being sold separately. I have seen many complain about that, but I don’t know why. This is not a new concept, such as seen with Infamous: First Light, Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, and even Bethesda themselves with Wolfenstein: The Old Blood. I actually like the idea of DLC being sold as standalone games, especially in this case, since as mentioned,  Death of the Outsider does a lot of new things.

The game is rather short ( although considering it is an expansion, that is fine), but satisfying. You still feel awesome using the abilities, and there is the right mix of stealth and action along with a detailed story. The game works to resolve many of the overarching questions of the series, but manages to leave many things open for a possible sequel.

After playing Dishonored: Death of the Outsider, I felt Arkane Studios and Bethesda truly managed to take the series in a new direction. While some may not like this, I felt it may have been needed as it keeps things fresh. Playing this was an awesome experience, and I feel this is one that more people should play. Obviously this is not a good place to start with the series, especially as it spoils the events of Dishonored 2, and gives it a canonical series of events. But for fans of the series, this is a great game. I fully recommend it.

 

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Disclaimer: Bethesda provided a review key

 

Reviewed on PS4

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I don’t play too many 3DS games, but one that caught my eye was Chicken Wiggle. It had a sense of wonder and adventure to it that I found immensely attractive. The great visuals and excellent looking gameplay had me hooked from the first time I saw it and I needed to experience it. After playing it, I have to say that Atooi has another masterpiece on their hands.

Chicken Wiggle is a 2D platformer with excellent controls, and lovable protagonists. Normally 2D platformers these days feel a need to guide you through every last detail but Chicken Wiggle lets you jump right in and learn it for yourself. I found this refreshing, and despite needing a few minutes to get the hang of it, it was all for the best. The learning curve is not that bad and honestly, this is a game for platformer fans of all degrees of experience.

There is an issue with the difficulty varying wildly at times, which can be annoying but I don’t feel its a major problem. Overall, I find the gameplay amazing, as while the protagonists moves are basic, there is a lot that can be done with them. Chick can jump run, and attack enemies and obstacles, while the worm can reach far-away platforms and walls with stickiness. Using them both in creative ways makes a things a lot more interesting and opens new possibilities. The levels are well designed and give you a lot of room to experiment in, and this isn’t even considering the various power ups you get throughout the levels.

Chicken Wiggle has some incredible music as well, and the soundtrack just feels fun. The soundtrack perfect companion piece to this game and helps further the experience, so my hat goes off to Atooi for that as well. Visually the game is excellent as well, and has a great art style that just works for it.

If anything, it is sad that the game does have an end to it, but even then it doesn’t have to end. The game has an excellent level editor that seems to take after Super Mario Maker, and lets you share your levels with others. Its does have a drawback though, in that the interface is a bit unintuitive and can be more cumbersome that you would expect. Still sharing and playing levels is fun, and I had a blast with the levels I played from others.

I have to encourage everyone to play this game. It is amazing and deserves attention.

 

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A review key was provided by Atooi