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No GravatarThis is another special episode of “Geeks on the Internet Having a Beverage” with EGM alum Trickman Terry Minnich. We talk about old times at EGM and all of the work he did back then. We discuss how he found the tips and tricks for games. He talks about the process of coming up with the infamous Shen Long trick. He got in the ins and outs of making the layouts and other aspects of the print industry. It is truly an honor to chat it up with him.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 5 Aug, 2016 At 04:53 AM | Categorized As News, Nintendo 3DS, Portable/Mobile Gaming, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarNnooo sent out the following press release

 

The Legend of Kusakari Launches on Nintendo 3DS in western markets on 25 August 2016
Nnooo announces western release date for Japanese adventure-puzzle game Legend of Kusakari on Nintendo 3DS™ 
5 August 2016 – Sydney, Australia: Independent developer and publisher Nnooo are delighted to announce the release date for The Legend of Kusakari, a quirky adventure-puzzle game from Japanese developer Librage. The game is scheduled to launch on 25 August on Nintendo 3DS™ in The Americas, UK, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
In The Legend of Kusakari you play the role of Shiba Kari, a humble grass cutter who keeps the fields clean so brave warriors can focus on defeating evil and in doing so, eventually defeat the Demon King. While cutting the grass Shiba Kari has to avoid the battles going on around him as well as the slimes, dragons and other objects trying to distract him from his heroic task. He can level-up his scythe within each level of the game by cutting more grass and use this to unleash a powerful grass-cutting swing. He literally lives to cut the grass, so if he stops even for a short period he will lose health which can be replenished by finding and cutting a clump of life-giving blue grass. The faster Shiba Kari completes each level, the higher his rank will be for that level. On completing each level he is rewarded with a fanfare from the good king’s band, in which one of the trumpeters is not quite as proficient as the other band members.
You can find the game’s tuneful trailer here.

Founder and Creative Director of Nnooo, Nic Watt says:
“There is a constant and unfulfilled demand to bring Japanese content to western markets so we will be bringing great Japanese games to western consoles and handhelds as part of our publishing business. The Legend of Kusakari is full of quirky humour, has great polished gameplay and is a lot of fun to play. We were left with smiles on our faces when we played this on our Japanese Nintendo 3DS so we decided to sign it up and publish it in the west.”
Developer Librage were inspired to make The Legend of Kusakari from cutting the grass in the SNES version of The Legend of Zelda. “We felt that we would like to produce and play a game which had this as a central mechanic,” according to Kenichi Fujimoto, localisation manager at Librage. “However, we didn’t feel it would be appealing if players just cut grass, so we introduced the puzzle/challenge element. We also wanted to have a story hook to keep the player interested. Seeing as there are so many stories about a brave warrior beating an evil King, we thought it would be interesting to compose the story from a fresh point of view. In The Legend of Kusakari you are a humble grass cutter who keeps the battlefields clean.
The game’s 50 levels are expected to take players around 10 hours to complete. There are an additional 10 levels to unlock which can take up to another 10 hours to finish. There is also a Green Thumb Almanac system, a book which documents all the different types of grass, plants and weeds you cut. There are various conditions under which players can get each collectible plant which will require them to attempt different ways of playing the levels to unlock them.
The game also has an endless mode where the grass keeps spawning for as long as Shiba Kari can stay alive to cut it. Finding and cutting the elusive blue grass is the key to survival in this mode. Fortunately there’s a map and a sprint ability to help him survive. Online leaderboards for this mode will turn you from humble grass cutter to legendary lawn-mowing champion!    
And that out-of-tune trumpeter? An incompetent relative of the good king, leaving us wondering just how good that king is!
The Legend of Kusakari is priced at US$4.99 / €4.99 / £3.99 / AUS$6.99 / NZ$7.99.
This looks like an interesting game and we hope to cover it after it releases.
By Jonathan Balofsky On 29 Jan, 2016 At 02:57 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarNintendo has released a new trailer for The Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess HD that shows off the story in its improved visuals and textures. You can see the trailer below.

 

Our thoughts on the new trailer: The game is looking great and Tantalus did an excellent job of upgrading the game. With a couple of exceptions ( certain character’s faces) everything looks amazing and we are excited to play this game again. When you watch the trailer, make sure you view it in HD for the full effect.

 

By otakuman5000 On 26 Feb, 2014 At 12:41 AM | Categorized As Featured, Mobile Gaming, PC Games, Portable/Mobile Gaming, Reviews, Reviews | With 0 Comments

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I’m a big mystery fan, even though I’m not good at actually solving mysteries. Well, I’m not terrible at it. There are times I get it all figured out before Poirot makes the announcement, but not often. But I’m a nerd. Growing up I read all the time, especially mystery novels, and because I love them I am a sucker for trying to solve a new one. That’s why when I saw the game “Home” on Kim of the YOGSCAST’s channel, I just had to try it.

Home-title

Home is a horror-adventure game. It’s a pixel style game, and is a murder mystery, but not like you’re expecting. Initially I would have passed this game over because of the pixel style and the side-scrolling viewpoint, but I’m glad I didn’t.

The game starts with the player waking up in a dark room. He doesn’t know where he is, why he’s there, or how he got his flashlight, but he sets out to answer all these questions and more. You take the main character through an old house, underground tunnels, the sewer system, an old train station, an abandoned factory, and a local grocery store before finally making it back home. While doing all of this you uncover “clues”. I put that in quotes because these items and bits of information your find are not really clues until you get to the end of the game.

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Why is that important? Because you are the one who decides what the truth is. You collect all kinds of information in this short game, but does any of it matter? That’s up to you. This game is…interesting in that way. I’ve played through it twice and I’m still not sure I got it. Notes were taken, and I never do that. Of course, I feel like there is an over abundance of information. It could be on purpose, just to make you all the more confused, but I can’t say for sure.

Home is short. It requests an hour and a half of your time, and could take up to a couple of hours, but it isn’t extensive. It’s only three dollars on Steam, and iOS, but it is re-playable. Missing clues leads to different dialogue, different options in the end game. So, going back to see what you missed is worthwhile.

homeheader

If you like mystery, a little bit of horror, and pixel style games, I recommend to you “Home”. It’s a good bit of fun, and not too expensive or time consuming.

By otakuman5000 On 3 Feb, 2014 At 11:28 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Games You Slept On, PC Games, Reviews | With 0 Comments

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Growing up I had no set preference for games except they had to be playable on my computer. Aside from that, if a game looked interesting (I had to judge by cover art mind you) I would do my song and dance until my parents gave in and bought it for me. I don’t recall ever playing a bad game, and that is interesting to 25 year old me. In the past two or three years I’ve walked away from games feeling like my money was entirely wasted. But back in the day I played some great games.

One, or should I say two, of those games was called Syberia.

Syberia_Coverart

It’s not a play on Siberia, though that is a destination in the game, but a mythical island somewhere deep in Eastern Europe. Of course, you don’t really find this out until quite a ways into the first game, but that’s ok and I’ll tell you why.

To start, Syberia focuses on a lawyer named Kate Walker. The opening scene shows Kate arriving in a small town you soon learn is called Valadilene (Vala-da-len for pronunciation) while a funeral procession passes by. There’s something odd about this procession though, the pallbearers are not men, but automatons. As Kate enters town and makes her way to the inn you take control. From here on out, you are going to enjoy a grand point and click adventure.

Part puzzle solving, part character reveal, part exploration, Syberia is fun from start to finish. The majority of the first game is all about discovering Kate. You know she’s a lawyer and has come to Valadilene to talk to the owner of the automaton factory about signing contracts to sell. However, Anna Voralberg has just passed and Kate has arrived just in time for the funeral. Of course Kate thinks everything should still be in order, but Anna has confessed on her deathbed that her brother Hans is still alive and will be in charge of selling the factory. Sounds simple enough, but no one knows where he is.

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Kate sets off through the town to uncover the past in order to track down Hans. She discovers Hans left behind amazing creations. A train, and an automaton named Oscar. The only way to find her man is to start a trek across Eastern and Western Europe. Initially she is set on completing her business deal, but her adventures uncover more than just where Hans Voralberg is located.

Kate is hounded by her boss, the aggressive Mr. Marson, her mother, her friend Olivia, and her fiancé Dan. Despite risking everything for her job, these people constantly call to tell Kate how selfish and unacceptable her behavior is. She begins to feel distant and hurt, and learns a lot about who she really is. Who she wants to be.

And that’s why it’s ok it takes so long to learn about Syberia. Because you are learning about Kate. That’s also why this game is split in two. Syberia is all about Kate, Syberia II is all about completing her adventure. Her boss and family are hunting Kate down while she is simply looking for her better world.

The greatest thing about this game is its story, but there are plenty of good things otherwise. Syberia was released in 2002 and Syberia II was released in 2004. In my opinion they were well made and hold up graphically. While I love both, Syberia II is, as far as game play goes, the better of the two. A number of the inconsistencies of Syberia are corrected, the color is more robust, and there are some updates that make things operate more smoothly most notably the system used in  guiding Kate around areas.

With that said, Syberia is filled with better content. The puzzles make more sense and require seeking out information. Syberia II gets a bit sloppy and requires a stupid amount of luck while you guess your way through. I get frustrated easily with these games as missing a simple click can cost you more time than you’d like to admit searching around, but in the second game that is less the issue than facing a puzzle that you’ve seen no notes on beforehand and you must solve by pressing buttons until they work.

There aren’t very many options in these games in terms of graphics and audio, they don’t require them really. But the cutscenes are beautiful, the characters are quirky, the interactions are fun, and you fall in love with the clockwork origins of just about everything. There’s plenty to admire, as long as some mistakes in subtitles don’t bother you.

Kate-Hans-and-Anna

There are things you can find wrong with this game, most notably the treatment of the female lead by male counterparts, but they are easy to overlook. Kate is too strong and self-reliant to care about how others treat her.

If you’re playing this on a new system, and have two monitors like I do, this game gets confused. A mistaken mouse click off screen and you will find a number of highly hilarious but annoying glitches. Also, I ran into a problem where my anti-virus software would quarantine the .exe file of Syberia II and make the game unplayable, but the Steam version of these games might not have these problem.

All in all, Syberia and its sequel are great. The story, the world, the graphics, all is satisfying. If you love point and click, adventure, a good story, clock work and automatons, and discovery, then Syberia and Syberia II are for you. If you slept on these, wake up and try them out. If you do and like them, or have long since played them, the Internet says there will be another one this year or next. I’m excited.

The art for this game is beautiful, check it all out.

The art for this game is beautiful, check it all out.

Hey Ice King! Why'd you steal our garbage?!!

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Hey Ice King! Why'd you steal our garbage?!!

Adventure Time is one of those rare gems that captured my heart immediately and I’ve been a fan of the series since the first episode. When I found out a real Adventure Time video game would be released I was joyous. Finally a game that will sum up the awesomeness of the show, not an online game or an app, but a full blown out game. The result was satisfying enough, so let’s get to the nitty gritty of this game.

For a game with an uncommonly long name, it was quite short. Too short. With the enormity of The Land of Ooo in the show, I thought there would be more to explore. This paired with how easy the game is makes me recommend this game only to dedicated Adventure Time fans that will love the game for the characters, oh so Adventure Time like story and dialogue, and every reference to the show. It’s a good game everyone should try out, but if you aren’t a fan the current price of the game won’t make you feel like you got your money’s worth.

Princess Bubblegum's pantyhose was stolen!

What makes this game is how faithful it remains to the original show. The creator Pendleton Ward created the entire story and helped in the process of creating the game, making the story equivalent to that of a regular Adventure Time episode (the light hearted ones, not the ones that make you cry yourself to sleep). Almost every character that has appeared in the show is cleverly incorporated into this game seamlessly and items such as tiger claws and the crystal apple show up as items you can use in the game.

You play the game through Finn who carries Jake in his backpack with him. Both Finn and Jake can attack and throughout the game gain new abilities that you need to progress through the obstacle filled caves and dungeons and move from one place to another in The Land of Ooo. And who can talk about this game without mentioning the similarity to Zelda II: The Adventure of Link? You move from one location to another overhead view style. Not only that but the towns and forest are ridiculously tiny compared to the protagonist and en route you can run into ghost that warp you to a random place where you just kill enemies. And when you reach a location you switch to a regular side scroller. The similarities are definitely there and an awesome bonus for anyone who liked that game.

Jake's growing ability

Visually the game is bright and colorful and definitely feels like you’re stepping into Ooo. The background is layered and looks good when playing in 3D. Coming into spots like the Candy Kingdom and Ice King’s Lair, the original backgrounds are there to excite your inner fanboy or fangirl.

Jake using Ear Shield on Giant Worm

It’s a shame the game is too easy, even the bosses are surprisingly easy, except Ice King who was a bit of a challenge. Once you beat the game you can enjoy the credits that reveal a nice surprise in the end. After beating the game the first time you unlock harder gameplay the next run of the game. This makes up a bit for its initial easiness and makes me pretty content. However, as much as I love this game it has a low replay value. The gameplay doesn’t feel varied enough to hold my interest for a long time but its content will have me come back to play it once in a while.

So if you love Adventure Time as much as I do go get yourself a copy and play it for the ride. I hope to come back to The Land of Ooo soon for the next Adventure Time game. Definitely recommended for novice players and Adventure Time fans you’re trying to get into gaming.

By otakuman5000 On 17 Feb, 2011 At 01:48 AM | Categorized As PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarMafia 2 is a great game overall and this DLC compliments the main story quite well with a variety of missions that was missing from the other available DLC offering that is Jimmy’s Vendetta. For a general review of Mafia 2 click here, this is strictly the DLC review for Joe’s Adventure and since the controls did not change, there is no need to recap that.

Joe’s Adventure takes place during the time Vito is in prison so it does fill some of that gap and explains what Vito’s best buddy Joe was up to all this time when it comes to the Mob. With the first mission taking place once Vito is taken away to prison the game gets off to a great start. There are a few new areas to the game which really feel and look great, the first is the Dam area which is where Joe’s wild ride starts. In the Dam area you actually get to drive on the frozen lake, it is very thought out how it is done and it just looks great. Apart from the Dam there are a few new locals and some revisited locals from the original game but that is much more fun to find out and explore in game then reading about it but you do get to go back to the Cathouse in more detail. In between all these locations there is plenty of driving sequences with a few new cars, and if you are really vigilant one of the fastest cars in the game can be obtained during a mundane mission and this car was not featured in the main game but blows all cars available out of the water in terms of how fun it is to drive. To accompany the drive there are a few new songs added, and new commercials that are pretty funny. The new music is great too, it is the first time in this game I left the radio on and actually listened because I didn’t mind the tracks and knew a lot of them from movies.

The game is split into story and run around missions, it is a good mix. This keeps the game fresh and well paced without making the whole experience feel unnecessary like Jimmy’s Vendetta. During the story missions there are proper cut scenes with dialogue and even a partner during a few parts, someone who was featured in the main game. In between these story driven parts there are those side missions that are given by onscreen text but they are fairly fun and somewhat tie into the main story. These side missions also don’t feel like they drag, there are just the right amount of them between the main story of this DLC that it doesn’t feel like a drag getting through them, it breaks up the action quite nicely.

Joe’s Adventure is a great addition to the main story and for any serious Mafia 2 fans this is a must play and even for gamers just looking for some good DLC content this is one to seriously consider. With a good mix of missions and a story to fall back on that explains a void in the main game this DLC will definitely take a few hour of your time to complete. I highly recommend this Add-on to anyone that liked the main game and after playing this, it made me sad about the outcome of the main game (Spending a few hours with Joe may get you a little attached to him as a character). So pick it up and enjoy.