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By otakuman5000 On 12 Aug, 2013 At 10:36 AM | Categorized As Editorials, PlayStation, ROG Fashion, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarBethThe Powers that Be at Irrational Games have decided to give Elizabeth a complete head to toe makeover for the Bioshock Infinite: Burial at Sea DLC and I for one, am very pleased. I had surmised in an earlier article that the artistic style of Elizabeth hinted at film noir femme fatale type of look, and we can certainly see how that silhouette was inspired by that era, but there are still details that keep Elizabeth’s look very 2013.

As a New Yorker, it is an unspoken rule that you are judged first and foremost by your shoes. The smallest details usually speak the largest volumes about you. Elizabeth’s shoes, at first glance, seem like your typical do-goody 1940’s housewife type of shoes. They look like shoes that Ingrid Bergman wore in Casablanca in one of the scenes that she wasn’t important in. But at closer glance, there are slight rhinestone details and ruched leather that scream 2013.

These Adrienne Vittadini Cecilia T-Strap Pumps are just about the right heel height, and though slightly lighter, could absolutely work in a potential Elizabeth cosplay: http://www.lordandtaylor.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/en/lord-and-taylor/cecilia-t-strap-pumps

For those veterans willing to sacrifice less of a heel for comfort (hey, walking around a convention floor for 10+ hours in heels is HARD – trust me, I know) these flats from Sole Society are great: http://www.solesociety.com/shoes/addy-black-ecru.html

We move upwards on Elizabeth to the next detail of her clothing, her stockings. Maybe it’s because the first ever Lingerie Fashion Week has just ended, but in an age when many a girl will wear leggings as pants, stockings are quite an understated glamour. I personally like these Fredericks of Hollywood stockings, though the fishnet is slightly smaller than what Elizabeth seems to be wearing. In actuality, it actually looks like Elizabeth is wearing two pairs of stockings, one pair of sheer stockings with backseam and then fishnet stockings over those. But that, of course, is open to interpretation 😉  http://www.fredericks.com/Lace-Top_Backseam_Fishnet_Stocking/36985,default,pd.html?cgid=co60&sz=40&all1=all

The skirt Elizabeth wears is slightly more of a challenge. It’s clearly a knee-length skirt, but also very has a very high waist. I’ve found as a general rule, modern high waisted skirts are generally shorter in length, and like to hang around my thighs. However, I’m very excited that she’s wearing a high waisted skirt in the first place, which makes this cosplay very accessible for “curvier” girls (I am one of those too!). This ASOS Bengaline skirt seems like the best viable option, as it’s also a piece one could transition from cosplay to outfit: http://tinyurl.com/mcd95bx . Another option could be every girl’s favourite store, Forever 21’s  Rib Panel Skirt http://tinyurl.com/kp5d4bq.

Elizabeth’s belt, is very tiny, and seems to only be visible from her direct front. There are no ornamentations or other detailing on the belt other than the gold clasp itself. Though the details on this belt are slightly different, this J. Crew Snakeskin Round Buckle belt is beautiful and would look excellent. http://tinyurl.com/me9ja8m

The details on Elizabeth’s shirt, such as the cuffs, collar, bird pendant and ribbon will probably have to be lovingly crafted, these Lucky Brand Jeans Brooke Chambray Shirts are a great jumpoff point once the pockets are removed (or kept if you so desire!)

http://www.luckybrand.com/brooke-chambray-shirt/700691223558.html?source=CA_DF:700691223558:LCB&KPID=700691223558&CAWELAID=1782015895&cagpspn=pla&gclid=CO-5ptqE8bgCFUqY4Aod6GoAGA

Elizabeth’s makeup, is “dramatic” by 1940’s standards, which in 2013, seems relatively mild. However, her look is accessible to a range of shades. Her lipstick is a bold, seductive red and is easily my favourite part of her face, because it is a *massive* change from the previous instalment of almost-nude lipstick we’re used to seeing her in. Stila Cosmetics offers a great liquid lipstick at a reasonable price; their shade Firey is perfect for matching Elizabeth’s lip colour, and could even double as a great date-night lipstick! (Or if you’re more like me, that lipstick is also great for getting groceries.) http://www.stilacosmetics.com/product/stay+all+day+liquid+lipstick.do?sortby=ourPicks

The rest of Elizabeth’s makeup consists of a dark brown eye shadow, well-defined eyes, strong eyebrows and a very powdered face with a light blush, which still keeps her look accessible and easily replicable in case you accidentally decide to sleep in on day 2 of a convention because you were jumping in a lake at 5 am (Hey, it happened once!)  Urban Decay’s 24/7 Waterproof Liquid Eyeliner in Perversion is a solid black eyeliner that will keep your eyeliner solid all day. http://www.ulta.com/ulta/browse/productDetail.jsp?productId=xlsImpprod3590029

For powder and blush, it is slightly harder to give advice over a medium such as the Internet due to variance in every different person’s skin colour, but I personally really love Laura Mercier Mineral Finishing Powder, which can work on a range of skin colours. http://www.bergdorfgoodman.com/p/Laura-Mercier-Mineral-Finishing-Powder/prod24070032/?ecid=BGCIGoogleProductAds&ci_src=17588969&ci_sku=prod24070032sku2

These are just mere suggestions. The true beauty of cosplay, however, is that the interpretation of Elizabeth or any other character is completely up to the person who’s portraying the character. The important thing is to have fun and be confident in your ability! Have fun with this one, cosplayers. I know I will 🙂

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251144-aaheaderWarner Bros. Interactive have finally announced, what we all wanted to hear, Batman will be returning to a prequel to both Arkham Asylum & City, with Batman: Arkham Origins. The game will focus on a younger, a less sharp Batman and his initial encounters against various supervillains within the Batman & DC lore. Game Informer also says, “Developer WB Montreal is using Rocksteady’s custom modified Unreal engine to create the game.” Although Rocksteady isn’t helming the developing, Warner Bros. has enlisted Eric Holmes, as creative director on the game, and who has also worked on Prototype and Hulk: Ultimate Destruction.

 

Arkham-Origins-660x350Additionally, Warner Bros. has announced a handheld Arkham game, a spin off, titled Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate. Apparently, the game is styled after Metroid games, and takes place after Origins, on the consoles story. Blackgate is being developed by Armature Studios, who is behind the Metroid Prime Trilogy. Both games will hit shelves October 25th, Arkham Origins on PS3, Xbox 360, Wii U, and PC, and Blackgate on Vita and 3DS.

 

By Akodo On 29 Mar, 2013 At 05:46 PM | Categorized As Featured, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3DATTEBAYO!  Uzumaki Naruto or Naruto Uzumaki has made his return again, in the next installment of Naruto’s almost annual fighting game, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3. And just as the game before it, was big, this one is even bigger than before. The series roster has increased again in playable characters being the highest in the Ultimate Storm series to date, numbering around 80 playable characters. This game, like its previous iterations, truly evokes the emotion from the player, displaying the series on a better plateau, than the anime and manga can since the animation and drawings for the game are truly first rate from CyberConnect2. Mind you, the game isn’t without its faults, but its still truly a splendid game, and made me remember why I love the manga, and this gaming series from CyberConnect2.

The gameplay has once again received a facelift, in the form of each of the 80 characters, having an ‘Awakening’ mode like various, albeit few characters had before. With each of them, having an awakening mode, gives everybody a trump card in their back pocket during fights in story, head-to-head, or online battle. The controls of are still simple as they were before, allowing for one-button combos, modified with directions. So any veteran from games of yore will be in comfort zones, only learning a few new nuances. And anyone new, will learn the game fast and be up to speed as others, but not more experienced than the more experienced players. That goes for the online mode, is slightly a lagfest, and it either, you play a lag match and get manhandled due to the lag in-between button input, or you’ll fight a

Naruto-Shippuden-Ultimate-Ninja-Storm3match, as if the person is right next to you. So it’s an leave it or take it element.

As before, the game includes quick time events during certain events during the course of the single player experience. Which to the shegren to some, still are enjoyable, and allow for the over the top battles, that many have seen in the manga or anime. Also with the story gameplay, the game also allows for decisions at certain points of the game, allowing for the player to change the way the story is played out before them, giving you, the player, a different look at the battle. But the game follows more so, directly after Ultimate Ninja Storm 2, with the end of the Battle against Pain and leading all the way up to the games version of the conclusion of the Shinobi World War. This is due to the World War still ongoing in the manga, and it being completed before the World War, was even halfway done.

Another new gameplay element that was added is ‘Mob Battles.’ Think of these battles, which are more than a handful, as Dynasty Warriors, solo but with Naruto Universe abilities. The gameplay is different and allows for rather cool mechanics of fighting against more than one opponent with the help of assist characters, if they are story related. Also, if you fill up your bar, after consecutive hits and assists, you can complete a quicktime move allowing you to jump from enemy to enemy, dealing massive amount of damage, against boss characters, and killing the minions easily.

narutoninjastorm3battle021_530x330Graphically, the game hasn’t taken much of an jump from previous iteration, but it did a great job of cleaning up the lines, and making the game more crisp and fluid during various chaotic moments in the game. But as the game is made first in Japan, the lip syncing is synced to the Japanese language, and as the characters talk, with English dub, you can clearly see the lip syncing, is completely far off, and quite comical when you see lips moving after a character has made an boisterous rant. This is seriously one of my few pet peeves, since I didn’t play, Generations previously. As you travel through various areas to advance the story, the areas feel and look make sense, and look great for the game and material.

The game from the quick battles, to the over the top boss fights against Kurama the Nine Tail Fox, it’s a Naruto game, that even Naruto would enjoy, BELIEVE IT! gotta love those bad translations of Japanese material. Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, is a game that if you haven’t played, or a returning vet, is worth the pick-up. Its solid, fun and definitely a fun ride, and at one point, I’ve got a little choked up at a couple points. Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja 3 is available now on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Also, for those who pre-ordered Ultimate Ninja Storm 3, you also got a special character Naruto in the form of Goku from Dragonball Z, so its quite fun… look at him!Naruto-Shippuden-Ultimate-Ninja-Storm-3_2013_01-21-13_007

By Houston Christopher On 17 Mar, 2013 At 01:59 AM | Categorized As Featured, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Darkstalkers Resurrection is a downloadable title featuring two standout fighting games from the 90s. This dual HD bundle features Night Warriors: Darkstalkers’ Revenge and Darkstalkers 3. These are the two marquee titles that define the series.

The combat is a mix between Street Fighter and the VS. series (X-Men vs Street Fighter; Marvel vs Capcom; etc.). It’s a very fast pace brawler and has a legion of devoted followers ever since it was originally introduced.

darkstalkers-resurrection-ps3-xbox-360-screenshots-2

The characters are definitely a highlight. Characters such as Morrigan, who is a succubus, Demitri, who is a vampire, Hsien-Ko, who is an undead girl who is partially her also dead sister, Victor, who is Frankenstein’s monster and my personal favorite B.B.Hood who is red riding hood…if she was an assassin bent on taking out the Darkstalkers using guns and knives. All these characters evoke a certain charm that is not found in other games.

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Darkstalkers Resurrection has many features including tons of in-game goals to accomplish, a new online mode, tutorials for each character and a slew of options to tweak the visuals and gameplay. There are also tons of unlockables to obtain via the Vault system which encourages you to play the game more and complete tasks in order to unlock exclusive artwork and character endings.

The online mode is very solid featuring GGPO netcode which means nothing but smooth connections for the majority of every match.

Needless to say, I would highly recommend checking this downloadable title out if you’re into old fighters, new fighters, old school horror icons or just want a change of pace from the norm. Plus, at $15 (PSN)/ 1200 MSP (XBL) it’s practically a steal for these arcade perfect ports of two great fighting games.

By Akodo On 11 Feb, 2013 At 09:08 PM | Categorized As Featured, Games You Slept On, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarAsuraWhat do you get when you take the makers of Naruto: Ultimate Ninja & Ultimate Ninja Storm, and most of the .hack games? You get a game that plays like an anime, with an very basic gameplay mechanic, and the over the topness of Dragonball Z, and you’ll get CyberConnect2’s Asura’s Wrath. An original story developed by CyberConnect2 and produced by Capcom. The story focuses on the titular character, Asura. The game melds together Hinduism and Buddhism, with a splash of Science Fiction, giving the game an interesting blend with the anime style of the game. Now all these elements turned into a game is rather great blend, but to me personally, it fell short on quite a few instances throughout the game.

I’ll start with the good. The good revolves around the amazing story crafted from the tales in both Buddhism and Hinduism, and allowing for such a colorful story to be created, and played out in Parts, each named after the level of achieving enlightenment. The story centers around an age old war of apparent evil against the righteous elected Eight Guardian Generals to defeat the evil on Gaea or Earth. The evil is called the Gohma, and they ravaged the world and destroy anything that isn’t a Gohma. But behind the scenes, the leader of the Eight Guardian Generals, Deus, sets into place his plan to gain complete power over Gaea and the Gohma as well as be sole ruler in everything. But his plan requires Asura be the scapegoat for the Emperor’s murder, having his wife, Durga, killed, while kidnapping his daughter, Mithra. After being killed by Dues, Asura is sent to Naraka. Now Asura is already an angry demi-god, but once all these events transpire, and his death over the 12,000 years causes memory loss, he begins to gain them back and what he must fight for in a blood fueled and revenge induced rage to defeat all Seven Deities for killing him and his wife and rescue Mithra.

Catch SwordAs I mentioned before, the game is played in parts, and each part is broken into a number of episodes, this is where the anime feel of the game comes in. Each episode starts with the naming the artist, producer, voice actors, and such. And at the end of each episode, it gives you a preview of the next in the form of the cinematics that will be played at some point during the episode. This nuance is quite cool, and makes you feel like you’re playing an anime, but after the 4th or 5th episode, its gets annoying and you just want to skip it, but you don’t want to miss anything. This and the way it’s played, its more on a level of a “interactive media” than video game. As you play, you’ll either love or hate the graphics of the game, which is a blend of anime, 3D CG graphics, and cel-shading, giving the game a gritty feeling, completely matching at times the mood and feeling of the characters. The level design, is limited since the arenas you fight in, are essentially set pieces, and no real exploration is given to you, the player, at any given time. You jump from one set piece, to the next, like an episode of any anime.

Asura WandererBut as any high budget anime from any of the major anime production companies, the voice acting is top notch, and over the top as you would expect for a game like this. Each characters personality nailed down for the plot against the Emperor, to the self loathing of Yasha, the rage monster that is Asura, and the forgiving and imprisoned Mithra. The voice actors, be it in the original Japanese voices, or the English voices, they give their all to give you the player, the complete emotion of the scene present. As I’m not intimately familiar with Japanese voice acting, I’ll mention the outstanding voice action by Liam O’Brien (Asura), Robin Atkins Downes (Yasha), Kari Wahlgren (Mithra), and David Pizzuto (Deus), to name a few.

Over the TopAs the game, cannot stand alone on solely voice acting, high budget, and story, the gameplay is what brings people to the table to play, and the story is what makes them stay. And the gameplay for this game runs the gambit: Action, Beat ‘Em Up, Hack And Slash, Rail Shooter, Rhythm Game, Quick Time Events, and Third Person Shooter. At various points in the game, it turns into one of the many different game types. Each with a rather basic control scheme, nothing revolutionary, by no means. Much of the gameplay isn’t amazing; it’s rather pedestrian, and just to get you through an event that requires you to utterly destroy a Gohma, or one of the Deities. The game completely encompasses an over the top action, and consistently gives the player, the feeling, everything is certainly bigger and more angry from Asura, especially with the duel against Deus… but his anger is never abated.

The game comes down to, not in this exact order: cutscene, fight for a bit, cutscene, quick time, cutscene, button mash, and burst event which triggers more cutscenes. During some of these cutscenes, you’ll have to input a button that will appear on the screen for you to continue. This is where the gameplay is melded with the presentation of the game, allowing for the most over the top fights, and the badassery from Asura, and certain characters during their interactions with each other. For instance, the fight between Asura and Augus, you fight on the moon, and Augus, uses a Sword imbued with the mystic trait of extending no

Asura vs Augusmatter the length, which ends with Asura and Augus plummeting towards Gaea with Asura being impaled back towards Gaea. But guess what, this all preceded by a hot springs quick time event involving a big busty servant.

Don’t get me wrong, Asura’s Wrath is an solid game, as long as you go into it, knowing full well, that you’re more so getting anime episodes in game form, where you slightly interact with the game and various quick time events, to spice up the ride during Asura’s anger induced revenge. The story with its roots in Buddhism and Hinduism, and sci-fi twist, allow for a fresh story, not done before. The game visually, isn’t stunning, but the gameplay melded with it, gives you a sensory overload, to a degree, allowing you to watch, somewhat at a distance, but still interact. At the end of the day, if you can get Asura’s Wrath for cheap, it’ll be worth the money, but when it was first released, I wouldn’t say the $60 price tag, was worth what was given at the end of the day.Punch Out

By otakuman5000 On 6 Jul, 2011 At 02:10 AM | Categorized As Featured, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 2 Comments

No GravatarThe latest RPG/dating sim from Red Entertainment and Compile Heart has landed in the USA, thanks to Aksys. Record of Agarest War Zero is the prequel to last year’s sleeper SRPG hit, which was available in a retail version on the 360 and online-only on PS3. This time around, both the PS3 and 360 versions are available at retail.

 

The world of Agarest is a world where the gods of darkness and light, and their human servants, are engaged in a never-ending war for control of the entire world. One day, Sieghart, a soldier for the Light Armies and the hero of the story, happens upon a young woman being pursued by the Dark Armies. Sieghart attacks her assailants, but is mortally wounded in the process. The young woman, whose name is Mimel, heals Sieghart, but in the process, transfers her immense magical powers to him, essentially making Sieghart a super hero for the Light Armies. Agarest War Zero follows the story of Sieghart, and later his son Leonis as they battle fierce monsters and fall in love with beautiful women.

 

The battle portions of the game will be familiar to anyone who’s played a grid-based SRPG such as Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea. You place your soldiers on the battle grid, and the battle plays out as you position your characters and launch attacks against enemies. Positioning is very important in Agarest War Zero. By positioning your characters in certain areas relative to each other, which can be determined by highlighting them on the battle screen, you can chain your characters’ attacks into devastating combo attacks as well as new attacks that can be only unlocked by mixing your characters’ attacks together. Be warned – like all SRPGs, the enemies have the same abilities as your party and will take advantage of their own combo attacks. Poor planning and execution can spell defeat. Agarest War Zero features one of the deeper SRPG engines out there. While the uninitiated will be intimidated away from this system, SRPG fans will have a great time with AW0’s battles. The only hitch is that the game’s controls may take some getting used to, even for SRPG veterans. The controls are not quite as intuitive  as those in the better-known SRPG series, and you may find yourself moving your characters to the wrong location or inadvertently cancelling moves before you get the hang of the controls.

 

 

In between battle scenes, the game’s story plays out in visual-novel sequences that feature animated talking anime portraits. Like all SRPGs, AW0 is heavy in political intrigue. However, one of the major elements of the game is Sieghart’s relationship with the women in his squadron. The dating sim element plays out in a similar fashion to the SMT: Persona games, or Sakura Wars,  of which Red Entertainment was one of the main designers. Sieghart’s responses to certain speech checks will affect the way his female companions feel about him. One response may raise one woman’s affection while inflaming another woman’s jealousy, lowering her affection. Ultimately, your choices of dialogue will affect which woman Sieghart chooses to marry, and therefore the attributes of his son, Leonis. The social links aspect of Agarest War Zero only allows for two generations instead of five as in the original game, however, in Agarest War Zero, these elements are much more detailed and expansive. Dialogue choices will affect the female characters’ overall dialogue as well as their choice of attire.

 

For those who completed the original Agarest War, Agarest War Zero allows you to import your completed saved data from the original game. This opens an “Door to the Future” mode where you can unlock characters from the original Agarest War for use in Agarest War Zero.

 

Other than the visual novels and the battle aspects, the game allows you to interact with towns, where events and shops abound. In the blacksmith shop, you can create more powerful weapons and armor using a fairly extensive crafting system. The Adventurer’s Guild allows you to craft new abilities and breed captured monsters. Occasionally towns will have “vacation periods” where you can build your social links or otherwise take a break from the grind.

 

Visually, Agarest War Zero is a mixed bag. The artistry definitely outshines the technical aspects. Agarest War Zero’s graphics are a low-resolution mix of 2-D sprites on 3-D backgrounds. While the sprites are fairly well-animated for what they are, they will still disappoint anyone looking for state-of-the-art visuals. The spell effects are not spectacular, but well done. Agarest War Zero features very detailed anime art that leans towards the “moe” style with regards to the women. The anime portraits in the visual novels are animated and change expressions.

 

The game’s sound is a much stronger point. Agarest War Zero’s soundtrack is very high-quality, if typical Japanese game fare, with suitably heroic tunes fitting the theme of the game.  Those who purchase the collector’s edition will no doubt want to copy the music on the CD to their iPods. Agarest War Zero is subtitled Japanese, which is the style generally preferred by anime fans, as Japanese voice-acting conventions generally don’t translate well into English. The only downside to the voice acting is that the characters make brief verbalization in Japanese during battles – but there are no subtitles in battles, so you won’t know what the characters are saying when they launch attacks or fall in battle.

 

 

Overall, I found Record of Agarest War Zero to be a very worthwhile and engaging experience. Fans of SRPGs as well as fans of the original game will enjoy Agarest War Zero greatly, as it improves on the depth and challenge of the original game, but will provide the same overall experience that they enjoyed from the first game. Although people who are already intimidated by SRPGs will be scared away by Agarest War Zero’s difficulty, the adventurous who are looking for an alternative to the summer AAA blockbusters should also look into this game.

By SarahTheRebel On 15 Jun, 2011 At 10:50 PM | Categorized As Conventions, PC Games, PlayStation, Previews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 2 Comments

No GravatarAlthough many of us first found out details about Mass Effect 3 from Game Informer, the announcement at E3 was no less anticipated, especially with the release of information just prior hinting that the Kinect would have some role to play in ME3

Before E3 2011.

Prior to the E3 Press Conference, we learned that

  • Combat has been tightened up
  • Spoilers about who is in the squad etc.
  • The basic plot
  • Changes from ME and ME2

Combat

The new combat, as we eventually got to witness during E3, is all about fluidity. Shepard now has more efficient melee attacks, an easier method of running and shooting, more bang for her bullets and cover will make more sense instead of being so haphazard.

I will talk more about the demo in a bit, but basically the new changes to combat look and act great if the demo is any indication.

Here is an article from someone who got their hands on the demo.

SPOILERS

  • Tali is confirmed as a squad-mate
  • No new romance options (so only the ones from ME1 and ME2)
  • They have hinted that Wrex is probably not a squad-mate
  • Powers will combine (possibly like in Dragon Age 2?)
  • Cerberus is working with the Reapers
  • Confirmed squad-mates: Garrus, Liara, either Ashley or Kaiden (depending on who lived) and Jason Sanders (who’s this guy? lol).
  • Wrex, Anderson, Legion and Mordin will return, but are not confirmed as recruit-able.
  • Decision from the Rachni Queen will have an effect on the story

END SPOILERS

Plot

The basic plot is that Earth has been invaded by the Reapers and Shepard is forced to retreat. In order to save Earth and the universe, Shepard must convince different planets and species to align with him against the Reaper invasion. But of course, since this is Bioware, that will not be as simple as asking politely.

Changes

  • Enemies sound REALLY annoying to kill (for example they draw strength from other dead creatures around them)
  • People who didn’t play the first 2 games will again have the option of doing the prequel comic to make the key decisions (wish they would have done this with Dragon Age 2 instead of having presets).
  • New system will be similar to ME2 but with more choices.
  • Each skill line will have multiple upgrades so more specialization is possible.
  • Now fighting husks of every species, not just humans.
  • The method of mining planets is undergoing yet another change
  • Shepard now has combat rolls and can “run-and-gun”

Shepard and his tool. 0_0

Overall, Bioware has hinted that ME3 will have some features from ME and some from ME2, but overall will run smoother and be more responsive to the choices the character makes (example: who shows up in a scene).

Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference

During Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference, they announced that ME3 will include Kinect voice support.

The idea is pretty original and definitely not what I expected. Players will use the Kinect voice support to pick a command on the dialogue wheel and also to tell the squad where to go and which moves to use. As they mentioned in the conference, these changes will increase the immersion in the ME world.

After watching the conference, I must admit I’m very impressed.

Dialogue Wheel

Utilizing voice commands for the dialog wheel seemed a strange choice to me at first, and then I started playing ME2 again and the memories came back to me. With the way the wheel is formatted, I know that I personally picked the wrong option plenty of times from accidentally hitting the buttons too fast. In a game like Mass Effect, the dialogue can have serious consequences on the outcome of the story, so this often ended up being a big, frustrating deal.

Saying an option, if done properly, would leave a little less to chance… unless you happen to have an accent, and then this could go horribly wrong.

Squad Control

The ability to tell your squad-mates where to go and what to do with voice instead of pausing to pick the choice on a wheel will add fluidity and intensity to battles. It will also add to the feeling of immersion that is already handled pretty well in ME2.

I personally think it will really add to the sense of “command” that Shepard has (see what I did there?).  Not only do you lead a ship and make decisions for the group, but you will actually be able to “give orders” to your squad in the heat of battle. If they pull this off correctly, my inner dork will probably spaz out from sheer joy.

Watching the conference, this part worked exactly as I imagined, with the producer saying things like “Garrus, move up!” in his little commanding voice.

Demo

This demo… looks very polished and not at all like a demo. Compared to the demo released for Dragon Age 2, I must say Bioware has stepped their game up. This demo played like a movie and I can say with certainty that I’m no longer looking forward to Christmas…. it’s all about March 6 baby!

Mass Effect 3 will come out for PS3, Xbox 360 and the PC on March 6, 2012

 

 

No GravatarEA had an amazing time at E3 this year with multiple high level game announcements on all platforms.  Possibly the biggest announcement was EA’s new partnership with WiiU, although it wasn’t the most looked-for announcement and the release date for SW: The Old Republic  is still not announced.  Other announcements included Battlefield 3, Overstrike, Mass Effect 3, Need For Speed:  The Run, Reckoning, Sims 3 Pets, and of course FIFA, Madden, and SSX titles.

Still leading the way in sports games in both the US and Europe, EA continues to deliver great quality graphics for the most popular game in the world:  Football!  Whether you like it the way they play it in Europe or the US of A, this company continues to lock up the best of Football.

As a FPS, Battlefield 3 looks absolutely amazing.  It absolutely allows shooting with both guns and tanks, and the targeting system looks super.

Mass Effect 3 looks absolutely like it’s ready to be released today.  The trailers are terrifying, and the what-if may have been carried a bit too far even for my comfort zone.  Bioware has done an amazing job on this series, and ME3 may be the best one so far.

Need for Speed:  The Run and SSX are similar racing concepts that look absolutely nothing alike.  From a cross-country race to racing an avalanche down a mountain, these two games will keep you absolutely hopping with adrenaline packed action if racing is what you love!

Kingdom of Amalur:  Reckoning is a new single player fully involved world game that looks absolutely stupendous.  R.A. Salvatore (of Drizzt fame) was involved in writing the storyline, and if that isn’t a solid, ringing endorsement, I have no idea what one is!

Overstrike looked absolutely sick (kids assure me that’s a good thing).  Absolutely positively you have to love Dalton’s Attitude.  Yes, it was capitalized on purpose.  Seeing this thing in action is going to be great, it may pull me away from my PC games for a couple weeks….maybe….probably…

Nearest and dearest to my heart though, and anxiously awaited by millions galaxy-wide is Star Wars:  The Old Republic.  Every new video, every new little bit of hype and dribble of information is latched on to by the crowd that was absolutely awed in theaters by Star Wars and every movie that followed it.  The information released this week has been absolutely fantastic, and they continue to tease with a possible release dates, although latest news is they won’t be releasing before end of show because of concerns about possible competitor releases.

Great conference this year EA!  Keep up the great work!

By otakuman5000 On 4 Jun, 2011 At 05:34 PM | Categorized As News, News, PlayStation, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 1 Comment

No GravatarUTV Ignition’s El-Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron is one of the most closely-watched under-the-radar titles of the year. Developed by Takeyasu Sawaki, a former character designer for Capcom who worked on Devil May Cry and Okami, it is one of the most stunning-looking games to come out of Japan in recent years. Today, Ignition has finally announced a North American release date for the anticipated action RPG: July 26, 2011.

Based on a non-canonical text of the Old Testament, the Book of Enoch, El-Shaddai is set in the period before the Great Flood. A group of angels charged with watching over the human race has rebelled against Heaven, and God has decided to purge the Earth of the rebellion by flooding it. You are a human named Enoch, the last hope for the human race, on a mission to capture the renegade angels in an effort to avert the Great Flood.

The US release date was announced in the trailer seen here.

El-Shaddai will be available on both PS3 and Xbox 360.

By otakuman5000 On 18 May, 2011 At 08:42 PM | Categorized As Best Game Ever, Featured, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarPortal 2 has finally landed on the doorsteps of many avid fans of Aperture Science and the folks at Valve. The game is finally a standalone and not part of a collection like the previous Portal game with a much more fleshed out story and gameplay mechanics then the predecessor. Another offering that is given to players is Online and splitscreen offline co-op that extends the gameplay and provides two unique ways to play. The sound is great, not many games can top Portal 2’s wit and it does look good to boot.

The most important part of Portal 2 is the gameplay. The core mechanics involve firing two portals that are linked to each other in different locations on special surfaces to solve puzzles that are presented by either the environment or A.I. These puzzles start out fairly simple and work their way into complex, mind bending and seemingly impossible puzzles. To everyone that has played the original game, the first half of the game should be straightforward and easy to solve but it is definitely not boring. As the game progresses you enter an area that will be very unfamiliar to past Portal enthusiasts and the puzzles get more mind bending. You will come across repulsion gel which lets you bounce, attraction gel which lets you move quickly and at one point you will be able to make your own portal surfaces. Along with all these gels there are always deadly lasers, turrets, bridges made of light and light tunnels. Within all these puzzles there are many secret rooms that are a great fan service to those who played the original and have seen the rat man lairs before as well as a few new secrets to discover about GLaDOS.

The graphics in this game are not as good as some of the heavy hitters that have surfaced in the last few months but they are not horrible either. At first they seem very conservative like the first portal but a bit aged with a little mess. As the rooms open up the scale becomes apparent and the vast improvements can be seen from the first game. Apart from the scale and the enhanced lighting the environment moves sometimes as you walk into it and the attention to detail is astonishing, all the little things that happen in the background really do make the world come alive. The final scene on the other hand looks so realistic that I at first thought it was a real video until the camera was turned around.

The spotlight of Portal 2 is definitely the writing and the audio. The witty comments made by GLAdOS and the hilarious remarks by Wheatley really stand out. You will be laughing quite a bit between puzzles and most likely want to hear more and more. The sounds are all done by location, so if you move away from the source it will go quiet even though you are in a training facility. There is some music at particular scenes, especially intense chases but there are a lot of quiet moments. By far my favourite sound effect is when using the “airial faith plates” or jump pads because it is very unexpected when the room is silent. The sound design is really well done and Valve had done a great job at writing something that has many twists and great lines of dialogue that aren’t even found on some sitcoms on TV.

The multiplayer is an extension of the single player and doubles the available playtime. The puzzles are not just the same ones as the single player repackaged for two players, they are completely new and twisted. The first few puzzles may be solved alone or using two controllers but very soon the puzzles will require timing and precision that can only be achieved with two people. The available multiplayer options are splitscreen which is great if you have friends over and online friends only so people with no friends won’t be able to see these mind bending puzzles since there is no matchmaking. The fact that there is no match making is a bit of a blessing because you can do gestures to your co-op buddy that may be annoying to the other player and without proper communication Portal 2 on co-op could possibly be the most miserable multiplayer experience ever but also one of the best around if you are good at conveying what needs to be done to the other person. For all those playing online voice communication is a must, I tried without a mic and the results were less then acceptable to be playable.

Portal 2 is a great puzzle game that doesn’t feel like a puzzle game and appeals to many players. Fans of the original will definitely get lost in the world and want more but new players can get just as engrossed. With good visuals and some of the wittiest story written for a video game it is easy to see why this game shines. The polish of the game is unmatched by almost any game that has been released in the last few months, there are no bugs that I have encountered while playing and no patches have been released on the first day. When Valve makes a game they give it 110% and it shows with every product they release especially Portal 2. The only complaint anyone can find about this game is that it isn’t long enough but only because you will want to keep playing, between the single player and co-op there are many hours of gameplay to be enjoyed but will fly right by because it is so much fun. So if you like a good puzzle game or like witty comments then definitely pick this up, if you don’t like a good puzzle game and witty comments then you should still pick this up.