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By John Kinsella On 24 Apr, 2017 At 03:55 PM | Categorized As Games To Watch, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Puyo Puyo Tetris has come to the Nintendo Switch and it is a fun puzzle game. Combining two of the greatest puzzle games into one really is interesting. While Tetris is known the world over and is popular world wide. Puyo Puyo has typically stayed in Japan for the most part.
I honestly have not played a lot of Tetris at least in the last decade. I’m not the biggest fan of these types of games but this was something new. But, I decided it was a good idea to review it to keep me sharp. Playing it I was reminded of a simpler time where a game like this could really trap me. The Puyo Puyo portion I was reminded of my time playing Sonic Mega Collection for the Game Cube. This amazing game had a classic Sonic Game called Dr.Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine. This game was actually a localized version of a Puyo Puyo game and for many, was their first time playing the series. I played this game a lot as it was just so easy to pick up and play. Puyo Puyo Tetris is similar to that wonderful game as it also quite easy to pick up and play. I personally wasn’t drawn into playing it for long stretches of time. Picking it up here and there, for a little light game play made it and kept it fun.
The Adventure Mode is great as it offers 100 stages of play featuring characters from both game series. Some of the challenges are downright hard and that makes it all the more fantastic when you actually win. I honestly struggled through the early levels but that probably is because I’m rusty when it comes to this type of game. This game also offers a full on 4 player local co-op mode. With traditional Versus, Swap where Tetris and Puyo Puyo Boards swap out regularly and even Fuse where you play a true combination of both. There is also Big Bang Mode where its a race to complete boards and Party where you can help or hinder your opponents with hidden items.
In addition, there is also Online Mode with a full Puzzle League and ranking system, a Free Play mode for light online fun. If you feel confident about your skills, go all out for it. If you do well in the match and dominate, you can even save online matches. I usually am not one for online mode but I tried it and got royally destroyed. To hone your skills for online, never hesitate to go to the solo arcade. You can battle up to 3 Computer players, Compete in a never ending Endurance mode, and a robust Challenge Mode. It is certainly a game that is worth training for, as it happens rather fast. I will certainly work on my skills with training like this.
While I wait for other games and in between times I’m not playing Breath of The Wild, I will certainly make time for this fantastic game.If you like puzzle games I highly suggest you give it a try when it comes out April 25th. Plus, you can play a demo right now, to see if it fits you. So, puzzle on dear readers, Tetris blocks need to disappear and Puyo need to explode.

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I previously reviewed DOOM when it came out last year. You can read that review here. Today I want to look at some of the ways DOOM has changed and improved.

I had said that the biggest strength of the game was the single player mode and while I still believe that is true, I do feel a lot of work has gone into the multiplayer to make it work a lot better. It still isn’t perfect, but the DLC and the patches have gone a long way to take a game whose online was mediocre at best, and greatly improve it. It feels smoother, more fluid and the a.i. bots just work well. They saw what wasn’t working, took fan feedback and went to work on making it better. I can actually enjoy it a lot more now and would recommend trying it out.

The various additional modes and changes added to the game for single player also stand out. It is simple stuff like Arcade Mode that just gives the game a ton of replayability and increases the fun. Bethesda and id Software realized what the fans were really there for and gave it to them in great detail. They also added options to make the game feel even more like classic Doom while still keeping everything modern. It was classy, and it was well done.

Speaking of giving the fans what they want, SnapMap has had the biggest improvements. While it always had good content, there was no doubt that it was mainly there to help multiplayer.  id Software did a great job revamping it and allowing fans to use it in a manner much more like classic Doom mods. There is so much more variety now and the replay value is now bottomless. This was the best thing that could have been done, and I give major props to Bethesda and id Software for taking the time to overhaul SnapMap and allowing it to reach its true potential. Stuff like that makes gaming fun,

Overall, the changes made to DOOM since its release have been for the better. The game was amazing then and is even more amazing now. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you should do so!

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 21 Apr, 2017 At 04:20 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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WonderBoy: The Dragon’s Trap was a classic game for the Sega Master System. Regarded as one of the all time greats, it has now been given a modern remaster thanks to Lizardcube and Dot Emu, but is it any good?

WonderBoy; The Dragon’s Trap is a beautiful game that takes great pains to replicate the classic 8 bit game and turn it into a modern experience. It has gorgeous hand drawn art that is full of detail and liveliness. The music is also lovingly redone in tribute to the original. You can switch between the original and modern look and sounds at the touch of buttons, and just comparing the soundtrack between the retro and modern really shows how much care was put in to be true to the original music.

Everything has been given an overhaul, for example instead of passwords, you get hints ( the game autosaves now), the nurse is now full of snarkiness, and most useful of all, you can use the shoulder buttons to scroll though your sub weapons. This does come with a drawback however, in that the awkward parts of the game are retained as well. The game has a way of registering hits that is straight from the original game, but feels out of place in a modern game. This gets really annoying during boss fights, and can throw you off. As well, the confusion about where to go next is still here. You can get lost for a while and just wander around looking for wear to go, which is one way of expanding the play experience, which is only 3-5 hours.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a good game and I love it. I love finding all the secrets and the ways to progress and there is just a sense of charm that the game has, that most other retro revivals just miss out on. The different weapons and armors are great, the transformations are awesome ( but actually transforming has a bit too strong of flashing lights), and  the overall experience is really well done. If it weren’t for trying too hard to preserve what the game was in full, instead of filtering it to get only the good, this would have been much better. Still this is a game that is rewarding, that gives you a sense of satisfaction when you make progress and gain new abilities. People often forget how hard the master system games could be, so the challenge is welcome, even with the difficulty settings. Plus there is now the option to play as a female protagonist and if that is chosen, the title screen will say WonderGirl: The Dragon’s Trap. It is a nice touch and really adds to the experience.

Overall I really liked WonderBoy: The Dragon’s Trap. It is a retro game done right (with a few issues) and is genuinely fun and charming. I fully recommend it.

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Mr.Shifty which was created by Team Shifty is coming out tomorrow, on Nintendo Switch and Steam. I was lucky enough to score a review copy and let me tell you, I enjoyed it. This crazy game is similar to certain top down games like Hot Line Miami but has its own twist. The main character Mr.Shifty can teleport. It honestly is quite similar to Nightcrawler of the XMen and his teleporting skill.

This game may seem simple on the surface in that you just need to climb a tower and take down goons, but it gets hectic fast. This game is unforgiving in that if you die you start the stage over.

Enemies appear seemingly out of nowhere in certain stages. In other stages they are planned, but they do tend to walk towards sounds. You need to have quick reflexes in order to take down all of the goons.

Mr.Shifty’s power is hard to handle sometimes especially in moments of high stress. Taking down 50 enemies who all can one shot kill you makes things tense. This mission that Shifty and his assistant are on is something clearly worth it all, but it certainly isn’t a game for those who hate to lose.

I died plenty of times but honestly it felt good to start floors over. You honestly learn how to play the game as you die. You learn where you need to go and how you can wipe out more men in a single attack.

This game is certainly worth picking up if you need another game worth playing. It might fill some of the void of time you may now have after beating Breath of the Wild for Nintendo Switch!

So, if this game sounds at all interesting it is certainly worth the 15$. If you need some convincing they did release a demo online in February for people to try!

Feel free to watch the trailer below to find out if you may like it, and get ready to Shift into crime with Mr. Shifty tomorrow!

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 16 Apr, 2017 At 02:48 PM | Categorized As Featured, Movie News, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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I had to take some time to write this, and I felt waiting a few weeks after seeing it once and then going back, was the best way to go about getting what I needed for the review.

Power Rangers was a show I loved as a kid, I watched it all the time. I watched the various series up to Power Rangers: Time Force, and then fell off. For those who don’t know, Power Rangers used recycled footage from the Japanese series Super Sentai, and spliced in American footage as well to create a new show. It was cheesy, goofy and silly, but fun. It gave many of us a love of Japanese monster movies and rubber suit creatures.

So how does the newest film take on the series hold up? Surprisingly well.

I was very skeptical about the new film and everything I heard about it, but it actually was a great film to watch. The characters actually live up t the line “teenagers with attitude” this time, and they were all properly developed. Especially Billy Cranston, who was played brilliantly by RJ Cyler, in what was the most refreshing depiction of someone on the autism spectrum. He felt accurate and not like a forced attempt at pandering and I can appreciate that immensely.

Even Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa was good, and she was able to switch between hamming it up and being genuinely creepy at times. The only cast member who felt out of place to me was Bryan Cranston as Zordon, as he just didn’t seem right in the role. He is a good actor, but the portrayal was not the best. There was an alternate take on Zordon in this depiction which I liked, but again, I feel Cranston just didn’t pull it off that well.

Now, when it comes to Power Rangers, special effects and monsters are a necessity and the film does both well. The toy versions of Goldar and the Megazord that people saw before the movie, didn’t give the best depiction since they looked far better on screen. The putties actual looked like a real threat in this version as opposed to the TV show.

If I have any complains, its that the product placement felt very forced, like it interrupted the narrative. As well, the rangers took a long time to get into their gear, but that one is more understandable, and the action paid off well.

All in all, this was an amazing movie and a real treat for fans of the series. I loved it and would see it again!

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First person shooters often fall into the usual traps that leave them feeling stuck in a rut. Bulletstorm was a game that tried to offer something different but went unnoticed. It was over the top and it was insane, but just didn’t catch on.

Now a remake has come in the form of Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition. Its prettier, runs better and has the preorder bonus of being able to play the game as Duke Nukem.  I will not lie, that is what attracted me to the game, and I played it as the Duke. But is this a good game? And does Duke fit in well?

Bulletstorm knows what it wants to be. It is all out action, insane destruction and full of hype. The weapons were great, the visuals stand out far better and best of all, the game runs well on most PC, and is optimized well. The story had some stupid moments, but that was part of the charm. But most people want to know the important part. How was the game when you played as Duke Nukem. Well, if you couldn’t guess from the title of the review, this plays as a much better Duke Nukem game than Duke Nukem Forecer did.

Duke Nukem just fits right into the game. The dialogue doesn’t change really aside from Duke remarking about how he is n a new situation, and reacting to people calling him by the name of the game’s actual protagonist. It is actually funny how they handled it. Duke still does feel like a bit of a relic from the past, and his dialogue is cringe worthy at times. This is annoying given that games like Shadow Warrior show that this type of character can be done well in the modern day. It feels like the writers refuse to make Duke more up to date. He doesn’t need to lose his personality, but as stated, Shadow Warrior took a similar character and made him hilarious in modern games but focusing his character in a certain way.

Bulletstorm is fun. There is no debate about that. There is the occasional framerate drop and screen tear, but it isn’t too much of an issue. No, for me the main issue was something else altogether, I played with both mouse and keyboard and an Xbox One controller, and noticed some issues. Some FPS games I play on PC feel great with the controller, and even manage to keep the same feeling as the mouse and keyboard. Bulletstorm doesn’t have that feeling on PC. At least not yet. The controls didn’t feel mapped out well at times, and trying to do certain actions just got frustrating. As a result I had to use the mouse and keyboard. I like to use both normally and switch things up, so this was disappointing.

Overall, I did like Bulletstorm. Its a fast paced game, with great combat, and the addition of Duke Nukem was inspired. I think this is worth looking into, even without the Duke Nukem mode, which will probably be available to all as DLC later.

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I have always loved pinball. Ever since I was a child, I have loved pinball machines and pinball videogames. Maybe it was playing NES pinball, or Alien Crush, I just found a love of both the machines and the video games. As such, I was a big fan of Zen Studios work. I hadn’t played some of their new boards in years, but one set that stood out above all others was their Bethesda pack.

Imagine taking Fallout 4, DOOM and Skyrim and turning them into pinball games, and at the same time retaining almost everything about the games. These are not just Bethesda themed pinball boards, they are the games fully adapted into pinball games, complete with game mechanics and identity.

Skyrim Pinball is nothing short of amazing. It retells the story of Skyrim through pinball and stays true to the game. It has the iconic music, it has leveling up and boss battles, and you have to watch your health and stamina at all times. You will go through dungeons, you will pick up loot and sort through and inventory and even craft items. I was absolutely blown away by the amount of detail put into the game. Yes its a stripped down version, but the essence is all still there. I had to be pulled away from the game just to be reminded that I had other obligations, that is how into it I got. The Skyrim board alone makes this worth getting. But it isn’t the only board.

DOOM Pinball was like getting hit with sensory overload in the best way possible. Great music, great visuals, good enemies and fights, I would never have thought it possible but it works. This follows the basic storyline of the new game and incorporates several elements from it, all done in the best way possible to keep the feeling despite the different format. I will even go so far as to say, that this particular board felt like more of a sequel to Alien Crush Pinball than the actual sequel for the Wii did .

Fallout Pinball is where things fell a bit short. I admit this may be because I am not extremely familiar with the Fallout games as much as others, but it felt like adapting many elements just got in the way. With Skyrim and Doom inventory and battles felt fluid and easy even if it took a while to get used to. With fallout, it felt way too clunky at times, but I can still appreciate the work done on this. The visuals are amazing and the music was good, but to me this just felt like the weak entry.

Overall, I would definitely give this a look at. My issues with the Fallout board likely have to do with my unfamiliarity with Bethesda’s entries, and fans might will like it. The other two boards however, were nothing but awesome. DOOM and Skyrim individually would make the purchase worth it, as they are some of the best pinball boards ever made. Fun, exhilarating and with an amazing amount of detail, these will suck you in fast.

I fully recommend checking this out.

By Kira Nance On 5 Apr, 2017 At 10:03 PM | Categorized As Featured, Movie News, Reviews, ROG News, Videos | With 0 Comments

No GravatarI have never been a fan of home invasion thrillers, not one bit quite frankly. The whole cat and mouse aspect is played out for me and in my opinion the best stories have already been told, manipulated, and told again… or so I thought. Roughly ten minutes into Hush and my chest is already tight and it will remain so for the duration of this brilliantly intense flick.

*spoilers*

Conceived over dinner, Hush is the brainchild of husband and wife writing team, director Mike Flanagan (Oculus, Absentia) and leading lady Katie Siegel (Oculus). Siegel shines as Maddie Young, a deaf novelist who has retreated to the calming seclusion of the woods in hopes of finishing her latest book. Not entirely isolated, plucky neighbor Sara (Samantha Sloyan) pops in for a visit, giving insight as to the inner workings of Maddie’s mind and providing us with a large amount of the film’s mere fifteen minutes of dialogue. Sara’s next appearance is nothing short of nerve-racking when our unnamed killer played by John Gallagher Jr. (The West Wing, 10 Cloverfield Lane) brutally steps into the scene. A quick chat with her sister Max (Emma Graves) via FaceTime further connects us to Maddie and distracts her just long enough for the killer to begin his unnerving game of terror. The killer seems almost invigorated by his curiosity of Maddie, her handicap after all, allows him to employ new methods of psychological torture. Neighbor John (Michael Trucco) enters the story only to provide a sense of false hope to the naive. I feel inclined to note that there is a moment of irony here that I utterly and I suppose morbidly, appreciated. Maddie, despite her handicap or rather thanks to it, exhibits an incredible ability to adapt and displays a will to persevere that is so strong that I almost felt sorry for Gallagher’s character at points.

As expected in a film with such limited dialogue, the sound design plays an important role and Flanagan implements a few creative techniques here. The choice to apply ambient sounds in lieu of complete silence to capture Maddie’s perspective was not just ingenious but fluidly executed. The sound effects or lack thereof, do not distract from the visual storytelling but enhance it. There is no shortage of gore in Hush but it’s not overplayed either, the violence comes at a steady pace and is portrayed in a realistic manner. The plausibility of Hush is really what kept me enthralled. Gallagher captures the air of a killer wonderfully, there’s a twinkle in his eye, a curve of his lips that completely sells the killer’s passion for inducing fear. Siegel is a breath of fresh air in the role of female protagonist, a role that usually leaves me rooting for the bad guy and screaming obscenities at the screen in disgust of repeated bad decisions. Hush takes the home invasion thriller to a whole new level and I look forward to Flanagan and Siegel’s next twisted conception.

*trailer*

By John Kinsella On 3 Apr, 2017 At 11:37 AM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Has Been Heroes which now has almost been out for a week, is made by Frozenbyte and officially came out on March 28th. Though it has actually been pushed back until April 4th in Europe and Australia.This game is available on Nintendo Switch, PS4, Xbox One, and Steam. For this review I did in fact receive an early copy for the Switch and it has been just a blast to play. This game may look like a typical RPG at first glance, but this game is truly something different.

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This game is about heroes who were once great coming out of retirement for one last quest. In the beginning of the game you start out with a simple swordsman, a mage, and a new Rogue. These three classes are pretty standard fare for an RPG so it wasn’t a shock.  This RPG isn’t a normal turn based game and instead it is more like Plants Vs Zombies, in that it operates on lanes.

But that is the only comparison as this game is a Roguelike game, where if you die, you need to start over. I have honestly not gotten through  a whole adventure which at the start consists of two different areas. From the offset you either are tossed into the Dark Forest or an Icy Tundra, with the third being a demonic and hellish landscape.

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As you trek through the area with two princesses behind you, you move a long a map. Scattered around the map are different events that occur from shops to games and even a restorative camp. You never know how things will be laid out, and you have to be prepared for the boss fight at the end of each area. The truly troubling thing is that if you go back to an area you already went to, you use a magic candle, if you do that twice you die.

This game is truly unforgiving but I found myself excited to start over. Will I ever unlock all of the 30 plus characters or gather all the spells in this game? I’m going to say no, but for a diversion when I’m not playing Breath of The Wild, it is certainly a game I will enjoy more. Don’t let the toughness push you away, a little adversity always makes things better in some way.

If you haven’t got your hands on this game, it is relatively cheap at only $20.00 for so much playability. I would highly recommend picking this up as it is a game you can pick up anytime and not worry about anything story related. Just remember it is deceptively simple but is truly a game that is not for the faint of heart!

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Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a ghost pirate to try and defeat, though based on my track record he is going to destroy me.

 

Below are both the story trailers and Launch trailer for this game, which if you haven’t gotten your hands on yet, I do highly suggest you do!

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 31 Mar, 2017 At 09:21 AM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Blaster Master is a beloved series that dates back to the 8 bit era. it sadly has never caught on as well as it should have, but that isn’t for lack of trying. Sunsoft has repeatedly attempted to bring the series back with new entries, and the latest, by Inti Creates might be the best one yet.

Graphically the game isn’t as impressive as the Wii entry, Overdrive, but it has its own charm with a style that updates the classic look while retaining its appeal. The game switches between two main styles, depending on if you are primarily traveling by the tank Sophia, or travelling in caves to find upgrades and maps or fight enemies.

Blaster Master Zero was the first time I ever experienced HD Rumble and I finally see what the hype was about. When sirens go off, you can actually experience that thanks tot HD rumble. it also impacts the way you attack enemies or make movements in general This was a great introduction to HD rumble for me, and I feel it was implemented very well.

Gameplay-wise Blaster Master Zero is the same Blaster master we all know and love, but with refinements to better the experience. Save points, a better map systems, better menus and more interaction, make this a worthy addition to the series. It is fun and that is the most important thing.

The music in the game worried me initially, as the trailer had very sharp sounds that hurt my ears. That said, the actual game doesn’t have this issue, and the game has great music and audio in general  Plus when it gets in sync with the HD rumble, it is truly amazing to experience in a game like this.

Overall, I think Blaster Master Zero is a good game, a great addition to the Blaster Master series, and a good pickup for the Nintendo Switch. I recommend it.