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By Zoe Howard On 14 Aug, 2017 At 05:05 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, Uncategorized | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar*Review code for the review was provided by the publisher.*

The great thing about JRPG’s is that they vary in both story and style. Sure there are some series that are almost cut and paste to the point you can’t tell which is which but they are in the minority. While The Legend of Heroes series is one I am not familiar with, it is one I gladly went into with Trials of Cold Steel, a game that felt almost as much of an anime as it did an RPG.

While the game really follows an ensemble cast, the main story centers around Rean, a first-year student at Thor’s Military Academy. Rean and eight other first years arrive at the school and discover that they are part of a special group called Class VII. Unlike the regular classes, Class VII brings together both nobles and commoners. The group must discover what the class has in store for them as well as learn to get along. The classism angle alone to the story makes for some interesting character dynamics.

The game gives you plenty of interaction with the rest of your class. As it progresses you are given tokens that you use in order to initiate events with your classmates that strengthen the bond between them. This means you will have to choose which classmates you decide to build relationships with. Unlike the Mass Effect series, Trails of Cold Steel gives you limited chances to do this so you won’t be building full relationships with everyone. It also adds a little to the replay ability factor. You can focus on a few one run and others the next run. Sure, it doesn’t change that much but it does add some intrigue.

The core mechanics in this game are quite simple. This is to be expected from an old school turn based RPG. The core mechanics should be simple so it can open up the strategy it offers with magic and the art skills. Trials of Cold Steel not only has an excellent interface but easy to understand upgrades and strategies. It didn’t take long before I learned how to use the link mechanic. This mechanic allows another member of your team to attack immediately after you attack.

There is one small issue with the controls and that is the ability to turn the character. The game seems to only utilize four directional button mapping rather than the standard 8 directions. It is far easier to turn your character with the right camera stick than it actually is with the left character control stick. This really exacerbates things when you are trying to maneuver around an enemy to get the upper hand before combat. Your best option is usually to wait for them to turn around then attack.

This is one of those games where you will actually get a use of being creative with the magic and art systems. Both systems use their own meters and allow for a great combination of moves. You will need to learn them quickly as you begin the game. You level up as per usual in an RPG. This game, however, uses a power up system to gain most of your special moves. Final Fantasy 7 and its materia system comes to mind when looking at how it works.

The graphics are really good considering they are basically upgrades of the PSVita and PlayStation 3. I wouldn’t go into this one expecting a next gen look, but I can say that it is some really great graphics for the era it was released. The game really utilizes the PC hardware, giving it a more polished look than some of its counterparts were not able to achieve. There is screen tearing that happens in some of the larger areas but beyond that, I never saw any real issues.

The music is a delightful treat that often reminded me of the PlayStation 1 era. It’s that kind of music that makes you feel both laid back and yet like you are on an adventure. It sets an atmosphere that goes along nicely with the mindset of being students discovering the world around them. Sadly this game uses what music it has so much that it gets to the point of just irritating after a while. There are very few breaks between songs. Either you will be listening to the same song or it will immediately jump to the next song depending on where you are going. This really takes what starts off as fun tunes and makes them angrily tedious, especially over the length of this game.

The voice acting is oddly enough a mixed bag. Most of the performances are really good and work well with the dialogue they are given. Then there are those that feel as though they took the first take and said that was fine. It can feel kind of off-putting when you hear one of those lines.

The difficulty is for the most part moderate. The biggest issue with the difficulty is that there is a balancing issue with the enemies. Certain enemies in an area will be tougher than others. This is somewhat normal except that certain types of enemies will make your game grind to a halt as they beat you for no reason. It seems to stay consistent so I learned to basically avoid the ones that I had the most trouble with.

One of my bigger issues was with the boss battles. The ones I encountered at the time of writing this review were not very creative. It was less about strategy and weaknesses and more about grinding down their life meters. I never really hit a point where I was worried I was going to lose a boss fight. It’s lather, rinse, and repeat till they fall over, which is sad because their character designs were really nice. In the end, the boss battles were just not satisfying.

When I was thinking back at whether I encountered any glitches or not, all I could think about was one curiosity. This was not a glitch mind you. Instead, it was a rather peculiar programming decision. When you first turn on the game you get an option screen to either work with the game’s options or go straight to the game. If you click the options menu, it goes to the options. However, if you click the play game option it still takes you to the options menu first. From there you have to choose to proceed to the game. This is nothing that detracts from the game in the least, but it is really odd that this happens.

I want to take a moment to talk about the game’s cut scenes and characters. The cut scenes use the in-game engine rather than making short CG films. This really kept the game’s focus on the characters and what was happening to them. This game (despite its limitations) looks beautiful. I love the designs of the characters and the world itself. There wasn’t a thing about the visual design I didn’t like. It is one of those moments where everything connects and works perfectly together. I’d imagine it probably looked just as good with the limitations of the PSVita and the PlayStation 3.

In the end, The Legend of Heroes: Trials of Cold Steel was a fun game that really stood out for me from many recent RPG’s I’ve played. With a solid story and battle system, I never wanted to stop playing. Though a word of caution must be said. This is a slower RPG than most are probably used to. The story doesn’t really pick up until the last chapter or two. If you are ok with that then I say give it a go.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 25 Jul, 2017 At 11:04 PM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Uncategorized, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Friday the 13th: The Game developer IllFonic has denied reports that the studio has moved on from the game.

The following tweet was released.

 

 

IllFonic then went on to note that they have multiple teams and no resources are being taken away from one game for another. Hopefully this puts the false story to bed.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 25 Jul, 2017 At 10:41 PM | Categorized As News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Uncategorized | With 0 Comments

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Kadokawa Games will be publishing, a deluxe port of The Game Paradise  for4800 yen, winter 2017 in Japan.

The game is a complete port of the Saturn version and has addition content/features, including the ability to play as City Connection’s protagonist, Clarius.

It was also noted that development is around 65% done, but if the game releases this year, it will mark the 20th anniversary of the original release.

Source

By John Kinsella On 12 Jul, 2017 At 07:50 PM | Categorized As PC Games, Reviews, ROG News, Uncategorized | With 0 Comments

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Oh Sir, Insult Simulator was a game that was surprising in its launch. Playing this game I was surprised how enjoyable it was to insult people with well thought out jabs.

Hollywood Roast the sequel to this game turns this idea up to 11, by making it all about movies. It really makes for an interesting game. From the different sets to the wacky characters it certainly is worth trying.

Hollywood Roast wants you to succeed and even offers training which is quite necessary as this game works fast. This game might seem simple, but you often have to work with odd roasts. Sometimes you won’t be able to roast the opponent as hard, simply because of what the game gives you to work with. You really have to think and adjust based on who you are facing because they will never be hurt by the same roasts.

Sometimes also you are just given the worst roasts. Things that no one would be offended by. It is all about luck in these instances. All you can hope for is a continuation and a new batch of words.

You can even play online or with friends. Use what you know about your friends to spear them with awful jokes. Just let then know that this is just a Simulator.

The characters are all so different and fit into strange types. There is the old school Hollywood actress who is so old she was probably the first. There is a Gandalf esque wizard, and an aged Harry Potter type, plus a Deadpool like character fused with other superheroes. These characters are quite quick even if they are controlled by the computer.

This game all in all is better then the original. The developers have tweaked and adjusted the original system and have really made it better. Plus the characters are all different which makes it even more fun.

After this I wonder what they will pull out next. They really could do just about anything. Who know roasting others would lead to such a thrilling game?

By John Kinsella On 12 Jul, 2017 At 07:37 PM | Categorized As PC Games, Reviews, ROG News, Uncategorized | With 0 Comments

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DeBlob is back in action, this time for Steam. After years of not playing this game,  it is now good to get to back into it. When I first played this game I was into it but not as much as I could have been. It really comes down personally to me enjoying using the PS4 controller over the Wii Remote and Nunchuck. While of course intuitively the Wii remote and nunchuck did work, a classic controller scheme does work better.

DeBlob is an active painting game where you play as the titular character DeBlob. This master of paint  is literally a blob of living paint must save the world. The world has gone black and white thanks to the Inky forces of evil, and it is up to DeBlob and a plucky team called the resistance to save the day and return everything to color.

This game is actually a really well designed one, where you paint buildings in different colors by absorbing paint bots. With so many colors to choose from, you can really make the world your own. Of course you don’t always get to choose what color you paint things, but for the most part the world is your canvas. There are challenges to be had too, as you race to beat them using certain colors. Of course the deeper into the game you get, the harder the challenges. Maybe you need to paint half the building red, the middle blue, and the top Purple, and it really adds another layer to the game for those that want to take on the challenges.

The game progresses pretty nicely as you travel around different areas, dodging water, smash the Inky baddies, and painting the town. Every level is decently sized and full of things to do. It is also easy to double back and complete something if you missed it or didn’t feel like doing it at the time.

The music is also great as, the more you play the more songs you get. You could play one level in a Samba style, or Funk. It adds just another layer, no matte rhow small that changes how you feel. With the music changing you can’t really hate on it, you choose the music and you figure out what music works best for the situation. You can even set the music to random and you might be surprised at what the game chooses. It really is surprising that music can change a game so drastically but I think it is part of this game’s charm.

All in all DeBlob is a game worth playing. No matter what system you may play it on, if painting a city to restore it to its former glory sounds fun you may really like this game. So, join the resistance and make things fun again!

You can get DeBlob now, on Steam. Go, paint the city, and make things pretty!

By Jonathan Balofsky On 30 Jun, 2017 At 03:14 PM | Categorized As ROG News, Uncategorized | With 0 Comments

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Arika previously showed off a new game they were potentially making on April 1. Now the news has come out. Arika will be officially revealing a new game at Evo 2017

 

 

If you haven’t seen the video Arika put out before, you can see it below.

It will be interesting to see what the game turns out to be.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 22 Jun, 2017 At 08:46 PM | Categorized As PC Games, ROG News, Uncategorized | With 0 Comments

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THQ Nordic Sent out the following

 

 Celebrate! Summer is here and deBlob 2 makes its debut on PC, the game is out now on Steam and other ESD-platforms. The new release offers not only the most colorful game ever made but also some new features, added to the remastered version:

  • Upscaled videos
  • Added FXAA Anti-Aliasing
  • Added resolution and graphic quality options
  • Keyboard & mouse and Gamepad (Xbox/PlayStation™) support and UI adaptation, also added remap feature
  • Unofficial Wiimote support

About de Blob 2
Comrade Black is back and so is his war on Color. There will be no stopping him or his brainwashing new cult from taking over Prisma City until de Blob comes back to re-ignite color revolution!

de Blob 2 is a platformer which utilizes unique painting functionality as the main game mechanic along with classic platforming actions and low gravity space. Set a few years after the events of the first de Blob game, action in de Blob 2 revolves around another attempt to wipe all colorful individuality from Prisma City and its residents. It’s up to the player to join the Color Underground and bring color back to the world. Features include: multiplayer support, 12 new single-player levels, new power-ups and epic boss battles.

Key Game Features

  • Imagine – Set off on an action packed color adventure with 12 new single player story levels where custom paints, patterns, and music bring the world to life any way you want

  • Laugh – Only the colorful prankster Blob can foil Papa Blanc’s evil hypno plot to steal all the color from Prisma City

  • Power – Speed smash through walls, jet jump over skyscrapers and slam squash Inkies with all new power-ups that turn you into a super Blob

  • Explore – Paint your way past icy outposts, tropical bio domes and distant space stations to free the fair citizens of Prisma City

  • Transform – Inside, outside, above the Earth and below it, Blob embarks on mini missions and epic boss battles to restore color and music back to this rich universe

  • Share – Recruit your friends to join the color evolution in all new cooperative multiplayer modes

     

 

This is great news, as the game is amazing and really could use another chance to get a new audience. Will you be picking it up?

By Sebastian Marco On 13 Jun, 2017 At 03:22 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, ROG News, Uncategorized, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Xbox had a great showing at there press conference. Coming right out of the game showing the history and gaming resultions over the course of the Xbox lifeline leading up to the highest achieved so far 4k resolution. Following a great 3d animated short showcasing some of the big features of the new, now titled Xbox One X, including the reveal of it’s launch date, and new specs. All of which include immense power with the Xbox One X. Going down the specs list some of which including 12gb of GDDR5 ram,  a cpu core that clocks in at around 2.3GHz, and high speed memory bandwidth, not to mention the new and improved cooling system.

One of the things that caught my attention was there was very little talking, besides the short and breif game presentations. Even Phil Spencer himself, spent most of his time talking about the new Xbox One X which was revealed at the price of $499. Which isn’t necessarily terrible, but with a most consumers not yet owning a 4k resolution TV it will interesting to see how the console will sell at it’s release date, November 7th of this year. Even while admits the numerous indie titles, most of which are still in development. At least one I myself(and most) were excited about, was the final release date of Cuphead, a sidescrolling shoot them up with the look and feel of a 1950s old timey cartoon.

While this isn’t the first press conference xbox has had without Halo,Gears of war, and other notable first party titles. They did reveal new software, like Forza with the new inclusion of the very first official real life car and brand, Porsche. One thing that drew me in was the new gameplay demo of Sea of Theives which we got a brief look at last years press conference. To round out the exclusives, Microsoft had a very welcomed reveal of Crackdown 3,with the help of mega buff super star Terry Crews. Another notable announcement was that the Xbox One systems would be backwards compatible with original Xbox games as the crowed erupted, while I wasn’t personally excited for the “Crimsion Skies” game they were showing I was pumped at the prospect of playing other fun original Xbox games.

The Xbox One X will be available on November 7th at the price of $499.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 30 May, 2017 At 02:16 PM | Categorized As Uncategorized | With 0 Comments

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Square Enix sent out the following

 

 

 

Tokyo RPG Factory, the SQUARE ENIX® studio dedicated to creating games that blend Japanese role-playing games with the latest technology for a new generation of gamers, has announced their all-new title, LOST SPHEAR (read as “Lost Sphere”). The title is set to arrive on the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Nintendo Switch™ console, and STEAM® in early 2018 for $49.99.

The adventure of LOST SPHEAR begins in a remote town where a young boy, Kanata, awakens from a devastating dream to find his hometown disappearing. To stop the world from being lost forever, Kanata and his comrades set out to rebuild the world around them with the power of Memory by manifesting thoughts into matter.

Expanding upon the beloved features from their debut title, I Am Setsuna™, LOST SPHEAR features an enhanced gameplay system with a revamped ATB battle system where players can strategize and freely adjust their placement mid-fight, seamless environments, and various locations to explore.

For more information on LOST SPHEAR, please visit: www.LOSTSPHEAR.com

LOST SPHEAR will be available digitally from the PlayStation®Store, Nintendo eShop on Nintendo Switch, and STEAM. A physical package is now available for pre-order exclusively from the SQUARE ENIX Online Store for the PlayStation®4 system and Nintendo Switch. Fans who pre-order the game from the SQUARE ENIX Online Store will receive two music tracks as a gift at launch.

LOST SPHEAR is not yet rated. Please visit the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) website at www.esrb.org for more information about ratings.

Source; Square Enix PR

 

You can see a trailer here

 

This looks like a truly unique game and should prove to be a worthy follow-up to I am Setsuna. It is good that Square Enix has a studio for making games like this, as the classic style of rpgs has been neglected far too much in recent years.

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RPG games are amazing and Nintendo and Camelot made one of the best series ever with Golden Sun. This is a series I have fond memories of playing, as I first played it after a relative rented it for me when I was sick. It was so different from other RPG games to me and it had such an amazing charm that others didn’t.

The series has a massive amount of fan support behind it, even more now than ever, and I feel it is the right time to revive the series. Nintendo needs a good RPG series for their library, as while Xenoblade is amazing, Golden Sun will be better for more traditional JRPG fans. That style of gaming still has a lot of support and Nintendo and Atlus did come out with Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE on Wii U which was in the classic style of gameplay. Golden Sun would be perfect for Nintendo to revive on the Switch, and it should remain like a the classic games but take influence from Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE.

Besides the fan support behind the game, there is also another reason the game would be great to revive. There is a very detailed battle system that would transition very well to modern gaming and HD resolution.  The use of summons, and stacking your attacks for more offense was a great system and the psyenergy used outside of battle to interact with the world game a strong puzzle feel to the game as well. Golden Sun has an epic scale to it, and the summons alone were enough to put this on a high level. There was also a plot that actually has a lot going for it and there were  likeable and engaging characters.

, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, ended on a cliffhanger and there is a strong demand to see where the series would go after that.  Considering that each game became more epic in scale than the last one, a Golden Sun game in HD on the Switch would be absolutely amazing.  Camelot has been somewhat low-key as of late and their last game, Mario Tennis: Ultra Smash,  was a greatly  stripped down experience from their usual sports game standards. It felt like a rush job made to familiarize with HD gaming. Perhaps  it was a test to see how well to do a full HD game.  If that is the case, then hopefully a modern Golden Sun game is not an impossibility.