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By Jonathan Balofsky On 5 Feb, 2016 At 09:06 PM | Categorized As Featured, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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No Gravatarneo

 

 

This is going to be one of my tougher reviews. N.E.O. is a hard game to play, not because of difficulty mind you but because the controls didn’t make any sense at all to me. I couldn’t figure out how to move and when I did, the controls suddenly shifted. I am not sure what the developers were trying to do but it just made the game a chore to play.

 

The game is ostensibly a shoot em up like Asteroids but was very unplayable because of the control issues I mentioned. The music was fine, no complaints there. And the visuals did well to capture the feel of Asteroids done in a modern way but that wasn’t enough to save this. It just made me want to play Asteroids. Or maybe hope for an asteroid to hit Toronto so I wouldn’t have to play this anymore.  Fortunately for the rest of Toronto but unfortunately for me, no asteroid collision happened and I continued to try to play.

 

I previously complained about Skeasy but there at least I could play it even if it was incredibly dull, monotonous and boring. I couldn’t do that much in this game, again because the controls were insane. I felt like a guy who had his first hit of acid and went crazy trying to understand basic concepts. This just didn’t work.

 

A patch is needed badly to try and give a bit more control. Until then, stay away.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 4 Feb, 2016 At 05:23 PM | Categorized As News, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, Portable/Mobile Gaming, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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No Gravatarresident-evil-4-wii-edition_275221

 

 

Wii U Download

FreezeME – $9.99
Peg Solitaire – $1.49
Shütshimi – $9.99

Wii Download for Wii U

Resident Evil 4: Wii Edition – $19.99

Wii U Demo

Typoman

3DS Download

Alphadia – $9.99

Wii U/3DS DLC

Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and Nintendo 3DS DLC – Bayonetta from the Bayonetta series and Corrin from the Fire Emblem Fates games are now available for download in the Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U games. Prices are $5.99 for each character in one game version, or $6.99 for each character in both game versions. In addition, new costumes, bundles and a new stage are now available for purchase in both versions.

3DS Themes

Hatsune Miku: Project Mirai DX “Letter Set”

eShop Sales

Wii U

– Typoman is 15 percent off (reduced from $13.99 to $11.89) until 8:59 a.m. PT on Feb. 18.
– Baila Latino is more than 50 percent off (reduced from $29.90 to $12.90) until 8:59 a.m. PT on Feb. 29.
– Trine 2: Director’s Cut and Trine Enchanted Edition are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on March. 3.
– Ascent of Kings is 25 percent off (reduced from $1.99 to $1.49) from Feb. 5 until 8:59 a.m. PT on Feb. 15.
– Color Zen, Angry Bunnies: Colossal Carrot Crusade and more games from Cypronia are on sale until 8:59 a.m. PT on Feb. 29.
– KEYTARI: 8-bit Music Maker is more than 35 percent off (reduced from $7.99 to $4.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on Feb. 13.
– Hold Your Fire: A Game About Responsibility is 25 percent off (reduced from $1.99 to $1.49) until 8:59 a.m. PT on Feb. 18.
– Super Destronaut is 20 percent off (reduced from $1.99 to $1.59) until 8:59 a.m. PT on Feb.

3DS

– Snow Moto Racing 3D is 50 percent off (reduced from $7.99 to $3.99) until 8:59 a.m. PT on Feb. 11.

Activities

You Have a New Client Waiting! Maddie is looking for a home designer in the Animal Crossing: Happy Home Designer game for the Nintendo 3DS system. Fulfilling Maddie’s request will net you new items for your catalog. This pup is a big fan of office supplies, so help her stay organized with a Notebook Bed or Eraser Sofa. Maddie is available for a limited time via the SpotPass feature, so check the in-game Nintendo 3DS system on the second floor of Nook’s Homes to meet her and take her on as a client.

Source: Nintendo PR

By Jonathan Balofsky On 1 Feb, 2016 At 11:53 PM | Categorized As News, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, Portable/Mobile Gaming, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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No GravatarHere is this week’s Nintendo download information for Europe

 

 

 

 

Wii U Download

Super Mario Galaxy (Wii) – €19.99/ £17.99 / CHF 28.00

Joe’s Diner – €7.99/ £5.99 / CHF 7.99

SPACE HULK – €29.95/ £24.99 / CHF 38.90

Wii U DLC

Super Smash Bros.: [Fighter] Bayonetta & Umbra Clock Tower Set – €5.99/ £5.39 / CHF 8.40 ; Wii U + 3DS: €6.99/ £6.29 / CHF 9.80

Super Smash Bros: [Fighter] Corrin – €4.99/ £4.49 / CHF 7.00 ;  Wii U + 3DS: €5.99/ £5.39 / CHF 8.40

Super Smash Bros.: [Mii Fighter Costume] Bionic Set – €0.79/ £0.69 / CHF 1.10 ; Wii U + 3DS: €1.19/ £1.09 / CHF 1.70

Super Smash Bros.: [Mii Fighter Costume] Takamaru Set – €0.79/ £0.69 / CHF 1.10 ; Wii U + 3DS: €1.19/ £1.09 / CHF 1.70

Super Smash Bros.: [Mii Fighter Costume] Ashley Set – €0.79/ £0.69 / CHF 1.10 ; Wii U + 3DS: €1.19/ £1.09 / CHF 1.70

Super Smash Bros.: [Mii Fighter Costume] Gil Set – €0.79/ £0.69 / CHF 1.10 ; Wii U + 3DS: €1.19/ £1.09 / CHF 1.70

Super Smash Bros.: [Mii Fighter Costume] Tails Set – €0.79/ £0.69 / CHF 1.10 ; Wii U + 3DS: €1.19/ £1.09 / CHF 1.70

Super Smash Bros.: [Mii Fighter Costume] Knuckles Set – €0.79/ £0.69 / CHF 1.10 ; Wii U + 3DS: €1.19/ £1.09 / CHF 1.70

Super Smash Bros.: [Bundle] Mii Fighter Costume Bundle #6 (includes all of the above costumes) – €4.74/ £4.14 / CHF 6.60 ; Wii U + 3DS: €7.14/ £6.54 / CHF 10.20

Super Smash Bros: [Bundle] Collection #6 (includes all of the above fighters, stages and costumes) – €15.72/ £14.02 / CHF 22.00 ; Wii U + 3DS: €20.12/ £18.22 / CHF 28.40

Super Smash Bros.: [Bundle] Bumper Fighter (includes all 7 DLC fighters) – €34.93/ £31.43 / CHF 49.00 ; Wii U + 3DS: €41.93/ £37.73 / CHF 58.80

Super Smash Bros.: [Bundle] Stage Bundle (includes Dream Land 64, Peach’s Castle, Hyrule Castle, Super Mario Maker and Pirate Ship [Wii U only]) – €10.45/ £9.45 / CHF 14.70 ; Wii U + 3DS: €14.45/ £13.05 / CHF 20.30

Wii U Demo

Typoman

ZaciSa: Defence of the Crayon Dimensions!

3DS Retail

The Legend of Legacy – €39.99/ £34.99 / CHF 51.90

3DS Download

Glory of Generals The Pacific – €6.99/ £5.59 / CHF 8.30

Slice It! – €5.48/ £3.98 / CHF 5.94

3DS Demo

The Magic Hammer

3DS DLC

Super Smash Bros.:[Fighter] Bayonetta & Umbra Clock Tower Set – €5.99/ £5.39 / CHF 8.40 ; Wii U + 3DS: €6.99/ £6.29 / CHF 9.80

Super Smash Bros: [Fighter] Corrin – €4.99/ £4.49 / CHF 7.00 ;  Wii U + 3DS: €5.99/ £5.39 / CHF 8.40

Super Smash Bros.: [Mii Fighter Costume] Bionic Set – €0.79/ £0.69 / CHF 1.10 ; Wii U + 3DS: €1.19/ £1.09 / CHF 1.70

Super Smash Bros.: [Mii Fighter Costume] Takamaru Set – €0.79/ £0.69 / CHF 1.10 ; Wii U + 3DS: €1.19/ £1.09 / CHF 1.70

Super Smash Bros.: [Mii Fighter Costume] Ashley Set – €0.79/ £0.69 / CHF 1.10 ; Wii U + 3DS: €1.19/ £1.09 / CHF 1.70

Super Smash Bros.: [Mii Fighter Costume] Gil Set – €0.79/ £0.69 / CHF 1.10 ; Wii U + 3DS: €1.19/ £1.09 / CHF 1.70

Super Smash Bros.: [Mii Fighter Costume] Tails Set – €0.79/ £0.69 / CHF 1.10 ; Wii U + 3DS: €1.19/ £1.09 / CHF 1.70

Super Smash Bros.: [Mii Fighter Costume] Knuckles Set – €0.79/ £0.69 / CHF 1.10 ; Wii U + 3DS: €1.19/ £1.09 / CHF 1.70

Super Smash Bros.: [Bundle] Mii Fighter Costume Bundle #6 (includes all of the above costumes) – €4.74/ £4.14 / CHF 6.60 ; Wii U + 3DS: €7.14/ £6.54 / CHF 10.20

Super Smash Bros: [Bundle] Collection #6 (includes all of the above fighters, stages and costumes) – €15.72/ £14.02 / CHF 22.00 ; Wii U + 3DS: €20.12/ £18.22 / CHF 28.40

Super Smash Bros.: [Bundle] Bumper Fighter (includes all 7 DLC fighters) – €34.93/ £31.43 / CHF 49.00 ; Wii U + 3DS: €41.93/ £37.73 / CHF 58.80

Super Smash Bros.: [Bundle] Stage Bundle (includes Dream Land 64, Peach’s Castle, Hyrule Castle, Super Mario Maker and Pirate Ship [Wii U only]) – €10.45/ £9.45 / CHF 14.70 ; Wii U + 3DS: €14.45/ £13.05 / CHF 20.30

 

3DS Themes

Etrian Odyssey Untold 2: Classic Theme – €0.99/ £0.98 / CHF 1.40

eShop Sales

Wii U

Typoman – €11.89/ £8.49 / CHF 12.69 until 18/02/2016, regular price €13.99 / £9.99 / CHF 14.99

Space Lift Danger Panic! – €1.65/ £1.29 / CHF 1.29 until 12/02/2016, regular price €2.49 / £1.99 / CHF 2.90

 

 

3DS

Heart Beaten – €2.33/ £2.00 / CHF 3.33 until 12/02/2016, regular price €3.49 / £2.99 / CHF 4.99 ; Special offer until 12/02/2016: €1.09/ £1.00 / CHF 1.69 for users who have downloaded “Space Lift Danger Panic” with the same Nintendo Network ID

Space Lift Danger Panic! – Special offer until 12/02/2016: €0.80/ £0.65 / CHF 0.99 for users who have downloaded “Heart Beaten” with the same Nintendo Network ID

Snow Moto Racing 3D – €3.99/ £3.59 / CHF 5.59 until 11/02/2016, regular price €7.99 / £7.19 / CHF 11.19

The Magic Hammer – €2.99/ £2.69 / CHF 4.20 until 12/02/2016, regular price €4.99 / £4.49 / CHF 7.00

Permanent price drops

Wii U

Disney Planes: Fire & Rescue – €9.99/ £6.99 / CHF 10.00; previously €39.99/ £34.99 / CHF 51.90

How To Train Your Dragon 2 – €9.99/ £6.99 / CHF 10.00; previously €39.99/ £29.99 / CHF 48.85

The Penguins of Madagascar – €9.99/ £6.99 / CHF 10.00; previously €39.99/ £29.99 / CHF 48.85

 

3DS

Disney Planes: Fire & Rescue – €9.99/ £6.99 / CHF 10.00; previously €29.99/ £24.99 / CHF 38.90

How To Train Your Dragon 2 – €9.99/ £6.99 / CHF 10.00; previously €29.99/ £24.99 / CHF 36.60

The Penguins of Madagascar – €9.99/ £6.99 / CHF 10.00; previously €29.99/ £24.99 / CHF 38.90

Adventure Time: The Secret of the Nameless Kingdom – €9.99/ £6.99 / CHF 10.00; previously €29.99/ £24.99 / CHF 38.90

Violetta: Rhythm and Music – €9.99/ £6.99 / CHF 10.00; previously €29.99/ £24.99 / CHF 38.90

Winx Club: Saving Alfea – €9.99/ £6.99 / CHF 10.00; previously €29.99/ £24.99 / CHF 38.90

Source: Nintendo of Europe PR

By Jonathan Balofsky On 1 Feb, 2016 At 10:38 PM | Categorized As News, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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The Wii version of RE 4, widely held to be the best version, is coming to the Wii U eshop n North America this week. Europe Previously got the game. It will have motion controls like all Wii Games but can also be played with the Wii U Gamepad.

See the trailer below

 

 

 

Will you be buying this game? Let us know in the comments.

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No GravatarThe Lineup for the Evolution Fighting Tournament 2016 has been announced. The games are as follows

 

Street Fighter V, Super Smash Bros Melee, Mortal Kombat X. Pokken Tournament, Guilty Gear Xrd: Revelator, Killer Instict, Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3 and Tekken 7: Fated Retribution

 

evo 2016

 

 

What are your thoughts on the EVO lineup? Are you happy to see new games? Sad to see some classics leave? Let us know in the comments?

Source

By Jonathan Balofsky On 11 Jan, 2016 At 03:36 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured | With 0 Comments
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No GravatarStreet Fighter 5 is soon upon us. We know the initial roster and wave 1 of DLC, but let us look to the future and what characters we might still see.

I would like for wave 2 to be 6 characters as well but with 2 new characters and 4 returning characters.

That being said, here are 6 characters who should be considered for DLC wave 2:

1.) Sakura    Sf4-sakura-punch

 

Ryu’s fangirl Sakura would be a great addition to the roster for a few reasons. To begin, Karin has been her rival since the Alpha series and with Karin returning it would make perfect sense for Sakura to as well, so they could resume their rivalry. As well, Ohno has stated that the amount of Shoto style characters will be less that in previous games. This means many characters who have a similar style would be left out, like Sagat and possibly Akuma ( though his appearance in Tekken might also keep him out). Sakura however has storyline significance as a disciple for Ryu and to see how she’s grown. Add in the fact that she plays different to a traditional Shoto style character and could easily be refined further and she would be amazing.

2.) Sean     SeanSFIII3rd

Ken’s wannabe disciple hasn’t been playable in a fighting game since 3rd strike. He was mid to high tier in New Generation and 2nd Impact before 3rd Strike nerfed him down to bottom tier. Sean has never been a traditional Shoto character and even in storyline, Ken told him to find his own style. I think Sean would be good to bring into SF V as an older character who has finally found his own path and has matured, possibly incorporating his love of sports. Sean could have a fun moveset and harken back to New Generation and 2nd Impact. The appearance of his sister Laura shows Capcom has not forgotten him and his fans.

3.) Q    QPortraitSFIII3rd

The enigma. Q is one of the most bizarre characters in a street fighter game and plays like nothing else. Difficult to learn and hard to master, Q is very rewarding for those who put in the effort. Q has been a highly requested character for years but hasn’t appeared since his sole appearance in 3rd strike. Who is he? Lacking grace but packing in power Q is a high offense character. Sadly, there seems to be some legal problems with the character (though I am not sure of the exact nature of them) which means he isn’t likely, but it would be awesome to see.

4.) Remy   RemyPortraitSFIII3rd

The last Street Fighter 3 character on the list, Remy might seem like an odd choice. He seemed like a character out of King of Fighters and had a moveset that was similar to Guile and Charlie, both of whom are appearing already. So why would I say him? Simple, Remy’s story in 3rd strike was neat, he hated fighters yet took part in street fighting himself. A new appearance to see how he grew and changed, possibly with a new fighting style would be incredibly interesting to see.

5.) Geki   download

The original claw fighter, Geki was a ninja in Street Fighter 1 who hasn’t appeared since. He threw ninja stars, and could teleport which would make him sufficiently different to Vega. He had a cool design that would look great in a modern game and could provide some interesting variety to the playing field. Perhaps he has a connection to Ibuki?

6.) Retsu   RetsuSF

Retsu is another Street Fighter 1 character who hasn’t been seen since. Retsu was a monk, expelled from his monestary for his violent behavior. He is a practitioner of Shorinji Kempo, a Japanese modified version of Shaolin Kung . That alone would make for an awesome play style in a Street Fighter game but like Sean, Sakura and Remy, I picked Retsu for story potential, since in the Udon comics series, Retsu was a friend of Gouken and helped train Ryu at several points in time. The potential is there for him to take an interest in Ryu and Ken and possibly seek to help Ryu perfect himself.

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Whom do you think should be DLC?

By Wade Hinkle On 20 May, 2015 At 09:59 PM | Categorized As News, PC Games, PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4, ROG News | With 0 Comments
Street Fighter V Logo

No GravatarCapcom has revealed the fourth character on the roster in Street Fighter V, none other than M. Bison, the evil dictator of Shadaloo.

He has grown a bit older, but don’t let that fool you as he has only gotten more vicious and has gained more control over his Psycho Power and some new attacks. He has also updated his wardrobe a bit, leaving behind his cape as you will see in the trailer below he’s wearing a red trench coat. His punches now encompass his opponents with psycho energy, but are in the dark as to whether it does real damage or just for artistic effect. The dictator still has his teleporting ability, with a possibility that the recovery time has been shortened also.

Street Fighter V is scheduled to be released sometime in 2016 on the Playstation 4 and PC, featuring cross-platform play. Capcom also announced recently that a beta test will be available to those who pre-order the game, but no timetable has been given as to when it will happen.

You can also check out the new screenshots the publisher released today, showing more details of M. Bison taking on Nash.


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M. Bison joins the ranks of Ryu, Chun-Li and Nash who have now been revealed for Street Fighter V. Who’s next and who is it that you must see join the roster? Let us know in the comments below.

By Isabel On 30 Dec, 2014 At 08:51 PM | Categorized As Featured, Indie Spotlight, PC Games, Reviews | With 0 Comments
I! My! Girls! main screen

No GravatarI love the first Cherry Tree High game. A lot. It set itself apart from most visual novels I’d played because unlike most visual novels it was highly interactive. Usually you just get the dialogue and a few choices, playing more like a pick your own adventure novel. It is a medium with endless possibilities and lends itself to some splendid storytelling. The medium however is only widely used in Japan, with most western VNs being subpar cash ins for anime fan money. Cherry Tree High was a visual novel and a strategic video game at the same time. You can read all about why Cherry Tree High Comedy Club was so good in my previous review.

Cherry Tree High I! My! Girls! is the follow up I never expected to actually happen. When I saw it in the Steam store I could barely contain my excitement, and from the first episode with the subtle humor I’ve come to expect from the series out in full force I was greatly looking forward to some fun time with Miley and all her friends.

cthcc8

Wait what’s going on? Why are all the names Japanese?” was the sentiment that followed. When I first played the game it was westernized, with the setting in America along with appropriate name and reference changes. This was really alienating after playing through the westernized game. I couldn’t help but wonder if they made an original version of the first game so new players can seamlessly go from the first game to the follow up. Turns out they had.

original or localized

I’ve learned about some wonderful things in Japan by replaying the original version.

Now as to why they’ve deviated from localizing this particular game unlike the previous one can be attributed to an entirely Japanese phenomena. Idols.

idol cherry tree high

As to what idols are; you could equate them to pop stars but the culture surrounding them is so much more different than that of the west, it’s a difficult topic to explain. Unlike the first Cherry Tree High game where the plot involves happenings that can occur almost anywhere, the emergence of an idol in the story now makes it impossible for I! My! Girls! to take place anywhere but Japan.

The events of I! My! Girls! take place where the original game left off with the comedy club’s founding and all potential club members recruited. This new chapter in the Cherry Tree High series involves an idol, real name Ai Fujino, who finds out about the comedy club’s revival and decides to attend Cherry Tree High to pursue her dream of being a comedian. This of course is something that poses a problem since she is an idol.

comedian

The story, while primarily focused on this new character and Mairu the main character, also gives time to tell the stories of the other club members while introducing new characters.

Unlike the previous game, this one is purely visual novel. There are no choices, the story is told and slowly revealed. The game is broken up into “episodes” each with a chapter of some sort.

episode select screen

To me this actually felt more like reading a manga than playing a game since there are no choices. Did I like it? Yes I enjoyed the game for what it was. But do I think someone who knows nothing of Cherry Tree High Comedy Club should buy this game? No, this isn’t a story one would enjoy unless they are already acquainted with the characters and setting. It is knowing the character and seeing them carry on with the promise of the previous game that make I! My! Girls! satisfying.

Mairu faces challenges to her comedy club from rivals, you learn more about the adult characters from the previous game, about the Cherry Tree High Comedy Club’s history, you see character bond with each other, and so on and so forth.

I don’t want to describe the plot further since I wouldn’t want to spoil it but any CTHCC fan would like it. You get the atmosphere of the previous game and the same easygoing slice of life dialogue while being told a new story. The game ends on definite note of  more to come, and as much as I enjoyed this, I hope the next installment is as interactive as the first game. It’s a good companion to CTHCC, but as a standalone game it lacks footing.

What is it that I find most disappointing about I! My! Girls! is the fact that this is not a game I could show to my non-otaku friends as an example of how visual novels can be for anybody, that it is not an obscure medium, and they can tell wonderful stories anyone can enjoy. Unlike Cherry Tree High Comedy Club it doesn’t lend itself to wide appeal outside of Japan.

The creator can’t be blamed. This game was made with a Japanese audience in mind, foreigners are the last thing doujin circles try to cater to. In a Japanese market obsessed with Love Live! School Idol Project and used to simple VNs like these there is no obligation to be innovative. I’m not saying the creator wrote to pander, it’s obvious through his writing he enjoys what he does, but the fact I! My! Girls! was so different from CTHCC disappoints me a bit.

Conclusion, play Cherry Tree High Comedy Club and then Cherry Tree High I! My! Girls! If you’re unfamiliar with VNs and not a big fan of slice of life anime I suggest sticking with the first game unless you’re willing to take risks. Luckily, both games come in a bundle deal for max savings. Happy gaming!

 

By otakuman5000 On 11 Jan, 2014 At 11:25 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Interviews, ROG News, Tales of Real Otaku | With 0 Comments
bring_it_on___dante__dmc_3__cosplay_by_leon_chiro_by_leonchirocosplayart-d6hp96m

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560059_545217922223147_21166582_nI had the wonderful pleasure of being able to interview Leon Chiro, a respected cosplayer throughout the nerd community who has won several awards for cosplays like Dante from the Devil May Cry series, Tidus from Final Fantasy X and Dissidia, Caius from Final Fantasy XIII-2, and the list goes on and on. Today we get a sneak peak into the life of a competitive cosplayer from his humble beginnings, his current works in progress, and everything in between.

ROG: The classic question; we all started somewhere in our cosplay careers. Tell me a bit about that – how old you were, what inspired you, your cosplay inspirations, and what convention you did your first debut.

LC: Ok, so it was 2010…

ROG: Oh, so you’ve only been doing this for a little while!

LC: Yeah. I only started to cosplay seriously when I realized what cosplay was. But my first convention was in 2010. I’m coming from the modeling world, and I was asking myself, “Ok, I love doing pictures, but what if I try to take a character I love a lot and I model with them?” So, I was thinking of doing Tidus because he’s my favorite character ever, and I was thinking, “what if I contacted somebody to see how much this costume would cost?” And they said, “Oh, that’s simple!” And I was like, “… what?” “Cosplay.” “Ok, what is cosplay?” So he explained it and I was like, “Oh. Hm. Sounds like a carnival thing.” He said, “No, it’s more than that…” So he explained it to me. I could never imagine what the cosplay world was. So, I took my Tidus cosplay, I went to the convention alone, and I was a nobody. I didn’t know anyone and no one knew me. That was fine because I was like, “Woah.. where the [expletive] am I?” (Laughter) Someone came up to me and said, “you should enter the cosplay contest [with the Tidus cosplay] because you are very, very good.”

ROG: Yeah, you did a really great job on that. I’m shocked that was your first cosplay.

Leon Chiro's cosplay as Tidus from FFX

Leon Chiro’s cosplay as Tidus from FFX

LC: Yeah, I did Tidus’ first and second version. So yeah, this guy said I should do the cosplay contest. Ok, what is the cosplay contest? Well, it’s like a masquerade. You have to do an exhibition and interpret your character, and I said “oh, sounds cool!” I discovered that I made it to the finals without knowing it. I wasn’t expecting that. A lot of people were surprised because I was anonymous and I came from nowhere, and I arrived in a place that other people have been trying to get to for years. I don’t know what I did… I did it with my heart. That’s the thing – I did my character with my heart.

I have to say that a lot of people started to go against me – “Oh, he’s nobody,” “He only has one cosplay,” “He has too much success” – just people talking bad about me. So I said, “Ok, it’s time for me to do a second cosplay.” I did Dante, and I tried to do the cosplay contest, but I didn’t arrive in time and I had some problems. People still continued to talk bad about me because they were like, “Oh, he’s just doing it for the body” or “He’s just doing it because of the abs.” By then it was 2011, and I wanted to stop because I was like “What the [expletive] is this world?” I’m coming from the modeling world where a lot of people respect me.

ROG: Cosplay is supposed to be fun, and unfortunately there’s a lot of hate.

LC: First of all, it was just supposed to be fun. Secondly, in the gaming and comic world, if I’m winning a lot in a short amount of time, they should be happy for me, and that wasn’t the case. I wanted to stop, so I stopped for two months and I thought about it, and I said, “Ok, there are a lot of haters, but I met a lot of special people and I wanted to do an achievement exhibition for them.” So I entered the cosplay contest, and the winner won a trip to Lucca. I won first place with Dante, and a lot of people were against me because I was doing good. It’s not easy in the beginning and you’re alone and you don’t have recommendations, but I started like everyone else – a nobody. Everything I did, I did by myself.

Leon Chiro as Dante from DMC3

Leon Chiro as Dante from DMC3

I started to get more motivated, and I was like “Ok, you hate me because I’m doing good? Ok.” And I did Tidus from Dissidia, and I started to face more haters, and I was winning every contest I entered. People started to look at me with more respect. I went to Lucca with my Kung Lao cosplay because he’s my favorite character from Mortal Kombat and I won the Best Interpretation Award, which is the hardest award to get. When you win in Lucca, you can say that you’re a professional cosplayer. Winning that award made me really proud of myself, so after I won, that’s when I made my facebook cosplay page towards the end of 2011. So yeah… that’s my story. After my first convention, I won something like 14 in a row, including Lucca. The most important thing was that people were starting to know who I was and that I did good work. That was the main victory. It wasn’t about being popular – it was about being respected. I got a lot of respect for my Caius cosplay because it was very hard. Do you know of Kamui Cosplay (another respected cosplayer in the community)?

ROG: Yes, I recently liked her page on facebook because I saw it on your page. So I watched some of her tutorials on YouTube – they’re really helpful.

LC: To me, she’s the best cosplayer in the world. I had the honor of her complimenting me, and that was really satisfying… someone that big complimented me. I’m also talking to Rick Boer from Ubisoft, who’s the official Edward Kenway cosplayer (from Assassin’s Creed IV), and it feels great to have his respect because he’s such a humble guy. He’s my Assassin’s Creed idol. (Laughter) So that was a long reply for just one question!

ROG: (Laughter) It’s not a problem! How a cosplayer started out is usually a long one. All right, so an editor from ROG and I were talking and we were discussing that cosplaying seems to be mostly female dominated. What do you think about that and how to do you feel taking part in something that’s so female based?

1531739_565873086824297_1431166684_oLC: It depends, because people usually focus on half-naked girls. But for me, they’re appreciating cosplay – they’re appreciating modeling. It’s not the same thing. I’m not looking for likes (on facebook) – I want to earn them. I try to mix the two because I come from the modeling world and I’m doing cosplay from my heart. It’s female dominated because it’s easy to be popular when you’re barely wearing anything. It makes me laugh because girls will be like “Oh, you’re judging me because of my half-naked pictures?” They barely know what they’re talking about, and after you see their page, you’ll see them in bras and barely wearing anything. Girls will get angry and nitpick other girls’ cosplays, but they’re the ones doing sexier versions of a particular character. A lot of girls will judge girls that they can’t be as good as.

ROG: As a girl, I understand that totally. All right, so have you ever been an invited guest to a big name convention? And if not, what would be your dream convention to be invited to?

LC: I’ve been invited to a lot of European conventions, but I still haven’t been to America, for example. It’s unfortunately really expensive to go there.

ROG: Yeah, which is a shame. But, in the same way, I haven’t been to Italy because it’s really expensive. A friend of mine just left for Rome a few days ago and I was mentally cursing her (laughter).

LC: I mean, for me, a lot of people that go to America are really lucky. But even if I was invited to an American convention, I don’t think I’d be able to accept it anyway. I’d love to. I hope one day someone sees my cosplay and invites me over, I don’t know. This year, I was invited to three conventions. I’m taking things step by step. If you reach an achievement, it’s because you deserve it. That’s what we learn growing up. For me, it’s hard to keep up the good work because people love my cosplay, and they have a lot of high expectations. I always have to do my best.

ROG: Sure, it can be a lot of pressure.

LC: No, it’s not pressure. It’s kind of motivation for me. If cosplay was a pressure for me, I wouldn’t be doing it and I wouldn’t be doing this interview with you (laughter).

ROG: (Laughter) Trust me, we all appreciate your work. So, you’re from Italy, which I already said I’m totally jealous of, and you’re jealous of the fact that I live in New York. What would you say the biggest difference between American and European convention scenes are?

LC: I wish I could know about the American convention scene, but I’ve never been there.

ROG: I wasn’t sure if you just meant you haven’t been to New York in particular.

LC: I can say about Italy and other European conventions that there is a lot less competition. There are two European championships, and they’re the EuroCosplay, and ECG, European Cosplay Gathering. In every main convention in Europe, they choose 2 representatives and put them against the representatives from all the other countries.
I’m really proud to say that I’m competing in the world championship for Italy. It makes things harder because the competition gets more and more intense. Sometimes, competition isn’t healthy here because a lot of people are doing all they can to destroy the other cosplayers, with flames, with fights.

ROG: So it’s not good sportsmanship.

LC: Yeah, there was this guy who used to be my friend, and we’re not friends anymore. He always used to come into my job and wanted the basics to cosplays, and he’s good now, but he’s so arrogant. At the first opportunity, after I helped him meet a lot of contacts, he turned his back on me and left, and spoke bad about me. For example, we had a TV show to do and they were going to choose two cosplayers – one male and one female. They called me instead of him and a lot of other cosplayers, and I was happy about that. He wrote to the director of the show and said, “how can you choose that shitty Dragonball cosplay instead of mine, just to make me look bad. I didn’t believe he wrote and the director said, “yes, he did. Do you want to read?” So I read it and I was shocked. I was like “what the [expletive]? I don’t know what I did to him. Maybe he just ate something bad (laughter).” So I began to understand that reputation in Italy isn’t always good because a lot of them aren’t able to be humble and honest to someone else. Cosplay is a hobby, not work.

ROG: Yeah, I was actually talking to the rest of my team a few minutes ago that I truly appreciate you taking the time out. It says a lot about the cosplay community – you being good at what you do and so respected, but you’ll still take the time out for others. I’ve known and met a lot of cosplayers who thought they were better than everyone else and slammed other people. We’re all nerds, we all play videogames, read comics, watch anime – whatever. We’re supposed to be a family, but instead we just shut other people down because someone can’t sew and craft as good as someone else.

LC: There should be a middle ground between those who share the same passion. It’s not everyday that you find someone who understands you. You can’t always talk to others about video games. For example, when I was doing my Tidus cosplay, I had my hair blonde. I wasn’t wearing a wig and I had to face university with blonde hair. People would call me names like fleshlight (laughter).

ROG: That’s awful! I thought it looked great. Who cares?

LC: Yeah, who cares? I can kick your ass whenever I want, so…

ROG: (Laughter) I’d hate to get on your bad side…

LC: (shakes head) Nu-uh. Ok, so I go to school for motor science… what I would like to do with that degree – that future degree. University is a

Chiro's cosplay of Kung Lao won him first place in Lucca.

Chiro’s cosplay of Kung Lao won him first place in Lucca.

cruel world. Not everyone can pay to go to university here in Italy. It’s very selective. They’ll choose the best 200 out of thousands of applicants. Luckily for me, they were extending applications to former athletes. I was a former national champion in athletics.

ROG: What sport were you in?

LC: 100 meters. I was a runner. I’m doing parkour right now because it gives me freedom of expression. I would take my degree, get a passport, and come to the USA. I’m doing this major for personal satisfaction. I want to create my own future and do the things I love. If I can do something with it, that’d be great.

ROG: That’s a great point. Most parents in America – when I tell my parents, “hey, I want to go to school for video game design.” The first question out of their mouth is going to be “what are you going to do with that degree?” There’s no such thing as going to college for something that makes me happy; it’s all about how to make money out of it. Good for you that you go to school for something that makes you happy.

LC: You pay for your time to study. You can’t live anymore because you have to constantly study. School should make you motivated, not miserable. A good teacher isn’t someone who knows everything. A good teacher is someone who can give you those few things during your time at university and motivate you. It’s not a competition of knowledge. Sometimes it could be a former student going through their own frustrations and they pass down to you what they’ve learned in life.

ROG: Great point. So, we’ve all had that one costume that was a lot of fun, and others that were extremely challenging. What costume did you have the most fun making, and which one was the most frustrating?

LC: Caius was the one that gave me the most satisfaction. It’s full of armor parts, and it was great winning because it didn’t show off my body [like how Dante and Tidus did], but I spent a lot of money on Caius. Especially making this (shows Caius’ weapon).

ROG: Wow… how did you make that?

LC: (Laughter) I don’t even know. It’s a bit damaged now. You can say that it looks good, but since I created it, I can say that it’s definitely damaged.

ROG: How long did it take you to make Caius’ cosplay?

LC: Ahhhh… a month. One month, every single day for five to six hours. If you look on my page, I have a work in progress album that you can see. I started with a piece of wood, and then cut the shape, added more layers of wood, and just added things piece by piece. I was covered in sawdust. I had so much sawdust on me that when I went outside, all the dogs kept trying to pee on my leg because they thought I was a tree!

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Caius was the most uncomfortable to wear. It’s a lot to put on. I went to a convention and I took three redbulls with me… I have no idea why I did that. When you’re anxious and nervous about getting on stage, I had to have a redbull. But then I was like, “Oh my God, I have to pee. What the [expletive] am I going to do?” I had to remove all the pieces of the cosplay. It took a half hour to put it on and fix it. Thankfully, the Dante cosplay from DMC was the easiest. I just had the coat, didn’t have a wig, and if I got hot, I could take the coat off. It’s hard with the Caius cosplay because he does a lot of movement, and it’s hard to move in his cosplay. I need to improve some things before I compete with it again for the debut of Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns.

ROG: What do you enjoy doing the most – the outfit, the props, or the makeup and wigs?

LC: I hate the wig part. I have to make them in a way that it wont fall apart. When you’re on stage, you can’t have something like that go wrong. I mean, you’ve seen my Vegeta cosplay. It’s really heavy. I love doing makeup, but I love making my accessories. I’m well known for my props. I can get help with my tailoring and sewing stuff. If I have to do something with a coat, I’ll buy a coat and alter it. Come, on, let’s talk about it. I think it’s stupid. If you need orange pants, buy a pair and dye it. There’s no need to make one. I mean, sure, it can be satisfying, but really. Just buy a pair of pants and do what you need. With the accessories, you make it from scratch. I go to the woodshop, get the wood, and I get to work. Or you can use regular household items, like tubes from toilet paper, paper towels, or wrapping paper. Even plastic water bottles.

ROG: Obviously it takes a lot of work to keep your body in such great shape. What’s a typical workout routine for you? I know you’re all about ‘eating clean and training dirty.’

LC: I avoid fast food and processed food. I train 6 days a week. You have a choice between choosing an elevator or the stairs. Just take the stairs. Exercise is making changes in habits like that. People always complain because they don’t get the results they like because they’re not working hard enough. Or they reach their result and people think they can take a break. No, it doesn’t work like that. You have to maintain it. It’s not just your metabolism – it’s about habits. Everyone can be in shape if they wanted to. We have two legs, two arms, and a brain, and we can do whatever we want. I work out a bit less in the winter – one to two hours a day, a few times a week. During the summer, I’m training three to four hours, six days a week. I’m a trainer too, so I have to make sure I stay in shape. I don’t do the gym… I’m usually in the playground. You should see the face of the kids. They’re like “daddy! This guy is stealing our playground!” Well, you’re gunna have to fight for it. Round one… FIGHT!

ROG: (Laughter) Your cosplays are absolutely incredible. I see that your cosplays are all video game-based. Do you plan on doing any anime or movie characters?

LC: I do video game cosplays because video games, in my opinion, are the best ways to release emotion. Video games give you the power to choose, and to be that character. I believe in the power of books, but that’s the power of imagination. It’s still good, but they have limited potential. You can have great images from a movie, but not control. Video games combine the two – the freedom of movement and the wonderful visuals.
I did do a non-video game cosplay. Well, it wasn’t really a cosplay. It was a tribute to Spartacus. I did it for a new amusement park that was opening in Rome. They were doing different eras – Roman, Greek, futuristic… They wanted to do some entertainment with gladiators and they asked me, “do you have a Spartacus cosplay?” I said no, and that I’ll call them once I was done making one. I have a recycle box with material – if I don’t like a piece of armor, I’ll put it in there because I don’t want to waste materials. So I took out the box, and I made that cosplay in 4 hours with just the recycled stuff.

ROG: Care to share what character we should expect from you next?

LC: Sure, why not. I’m planning on doing Lloyd from Legend of Dragoon. I usually like to do characters that are newer, but I want to do some nostalgic cosplays too. So, Lloyd from Legend of Dragoon will be my next cosplay. Next, I’m going to work on Gladiolus from Final Fantasy XV. He is such a badass. I don’t think this cosplay is a secret anymore (laughter). I want to learn more about him before cosplaying him. Adam Jensen, from Deus Ex, is a dream cosplay of mine. I really wanted to do Nathan Drake. I could cut my hair, but I don’t want to cut it just for him. I want to keep my hair longer for some cosplays in progress and future projects.

ROG: I can say for myself that you’re a true inspiration for cosplayers around the world – whether just starting out, or an expert. To those just starting, what would you consider to be the best piece of advice you can give them?

LC: Like I said before, do everything with your heart. If you really love a character, do it from your heart, and don’t care about the critics. Don’t do it because you like it – do it because you love it.

So, there you have it – backstage access to the world of cosplay through the eyes of a professional. I was fortunate to be told some exciting news and future cosplays (I was sworn to secrecy!). Thank you again to Leon Chiro for graciously allowing me his time and contribution, 

You can find Leon Chiro on Facebook at Leon Chiro Cosplay Art and look through the rest of his work. You can also find him on Instagram at Leonchiro, and on YouTube at LeonChiroCosplayArt.

By Isabel On 18 Aug, 2013 At 03:26 PM | Categorized As Featured, Indie Spotlight, PC Games | With 0 Comments
eXceed 2nd Vampire REX banner

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 eXceed 2nd Vampire REX banner

eXceed 2nd – Vampire is the sequel game to eXceed – Gun Bullet Children which I’ve previously reviewed. Produced by FLAT and later remade by their shooting focused brand Tennen-sozai as eXceed 2nd – Vampire REX, this game is extremely different from its predecessor.

In the previous game you played as one of the Gun Bullet Children and now you’re an enemy of the church, a vampire named Lia Fyle on a mission to help lay a siege on the Holy Land. On the way you encounter characters from the previous game as well as new ones and battle each other.

It’s a fact of life young girls are some of the most powerful entities in Japanese fiction.

The game is still divided into stages that have preliminary enemies attack you until you meet the boss for the stage but the gameplay itself changes entirely by introducing a “polarity” system that allows you to absorb enemy bullets and inflict twice the damage on enemies hit by a different polarity than the one they have. There are two polarities, holy and evil, and you can freely switch between the two to suit your needs. Absorbed bullets raise the bomb charge gauge which when full can be detonated to unleash a blast that will cancel all bullets of the opposite polarity and blast enemies on screen.

Holy Canon Blast

Holy Canon Blast!

The game is incredibly fun and requires quick reflexes to not get shot by any wrong bullet. The challenge also lies in trying to get bonus points, and chain bonuses for hitting enemies of reverse polarity gives incentive to start dodging instead of constantly switching polarities to absorb bullets. The game is made unnecessarily harder by having your character larger than the original game and having fatter bullets, hence making the polarity really useful in tight spaces. It’s a minor detail, but takes getting used to.

The dialogue throughout the game presents a simple but interesting look into every character’s personality and yes, the voice acting is superb and the translation simply perfect. Some of the backgrounds in the game are ones from the previous game and some newer ones are present, and although I think familiarity should be part of a series of games such a simple game should make more changes to their scenery to expand upon their flat world. The music is even more kick*** than the previous game and matches the feel of the game pretty well. The graphics feel crisper and almost everything is an improvement from the previous game.

Battle between Lia Fyle and Miyabi Housen

This second installment is a sign of a great series and honestly speaking, has made eXceed one of my favorite indie games.

You can see what the game is all about by downloading the demo here. You can buy it here from a variety of sources including Steam and GameStop, but I highly recommend getting the eXceed Collection which has all three eXceed games for $9.99. And remember how I said the music kicked a**? You can download it right now. With great upbeat techno music, it’s possibly one of the best video game soundtracks in existence.

I will soon review the third and last eXceed game made so far, eXceed 3rd – Jade Penetrate.

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