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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.


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.


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

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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!


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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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.


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.


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.


No GravatarDragonsDogmaOne of the biggest genres this generation has been the Western-style RPG, typified by games like Skyrim, the Souls games, and The Witcher series. with their gritty Game of Thrones aesthetics and more open-world structure. With Eastern-styled RPGs struggling this generation, Capcom chose a different approach and decided to create its own entry to the Western-style fantasy RPG, while still keeping Capcom’s sensibilities regarding action and combat. The result of this is Dragon’s Dogma, an open-world action-RPG from a team of designers whose members have worked on the PS2 Devil May Cry games, Monster Hunter, and the Eastern-RPG-styled Breath of Fire series.

In Dragon’s Dogma, you play a blank-slate main character of your own design who is attacked by a dragon during the intro sequence and has his/her heart torn out, informed by the dragon that they are now the Chosen One. Known thereafter as the Arisen, you then travel the world fighting the monsters that have suddenly plagued the countryside. The plot is paper-thin pulp fantasy that mainly serves as a backdrop for some great hack-and-slash action. In this way, Dragon’s Dogma is very much like Capcom’s hugely popular Monster Hunter series, only with an eye more towards international audiences.

One of the main features of Dragon’s Dogma is the pawn system. Pawns are player-created servants/battle companions of the main character. They are created using the same classes available to create the main character and are always at the side of the main character. However, in addition to creating your pawn, you can also download pawns created by other players via PSN or Xbox Live, and you can make your own pawn available for download by other players. The pawn system is a community feature. When you draft another player’s pawn into your party, you can rate his/her appearance and abilities as well as send the pawn with a gift for his/her original creator, and likewise other players can do the same with your pawn. You can also share your pawn via Facebook if your Facebook account is connected to your PSN/XBL account. Your companions are controlled by AI, although you do have the standard commands to change your companions’ behaviors as you see fit. The AI is reasonably competent. You generally won’t be frustrated as your pawns throw themselves headlong into an unwinnable situation or draw hordes of enemies upon you before you’re ready to take them on. The pawns will also constantly give you advice and/or warnings about enemies or other hazards in your party’s vicinity, which is helpful at times but can become an annoyance.

The combat is where Dragon’s Dogma really shines and reminds you of its Japanese heritage at Capcom. This is some of the best action RPG combat I’ve ever seen. Unlike so many other RPGs where it feels like you’re fighting paper dolls, the hits in Dragon’s Dogma feel rock solid, both on the giving end and the receiving end. Furthermore, Dragon’s Dogma allows you attacking options like climbing on the backs or heads of large enemies to deal damage, although you’ll have to do your best to hang on. These same large enemies are more than capable of crushing you underneath their feet.  While the combat isn’t as fast as a dedicated hack-and-slash brawler, it’s still among the best in the RPG genre. More than a few long-time Capcom fans have compared the combat in Dragon’s Dogma to that of Capcom’s 90s Dungeons and Dragons arcade brawlers (Tower of Doom and Shadow Over Mystara), and with Dragon’s Dogma’s huge array of melee attacks and magic, this is a fitting comparison.


You’ll be fighting plenty of huge monsters like this as you journey throughout the huge open world of Dragon’s Dogma.

In terms of visuals and sounds, Dragon’s Dogma is solid, if not spectacular. The world is suitably huge and panoramic, with sprawling cityscapes and endless mountains, valleys, and rivers. The character-creation modes are a cut above those of other games and allow you to customize your characters beyond the standard crew-cut males or helmet-haired females. The animations are done well enough, although slowdown rears its ugly head during crowded scenes.  The sound features stock Western-style RPG background motifs and sound effects. As previously noted, your pawns will constantly chatter to you, which may annoy some players, although you do have the option of turning the game’s voices down or off.

All in all, if you like intense, frenetic combat and a huge world to explore and can overlook the paper-thin plot, Dragon’s Dogma is highly recommended. While it isn’t likely to give From Software any cause to worry, Capcom has made a good first foray into the world of gritty console action RPGs, and hopefully we will see more in the future from this promising franchise.


No Gravatar5aa5523c828151b4_Sony-Playstation-4_1The Sony Conference event, started off light, and on time, with an cavalcade of the history of PlayStation brand through the years; from the PlayStation to the current generation, PlayStation 3. Everything was intermingled with the Dual Shock controller, being focused at some point and other PlayStation item as well. But within the first few seconds after the MC or main presenter, Andrew House began, he announced that Sony is indeed bringing the PlayStation 4, with the release window of Fall of this year. As he continued to speak, he talked about how the developer as well as the consumer is the focal point of the PS4. He additionally wanted it to be known, that the PS4 would be an central hub for all entertainment purposes for next generation.


The specs of the PS4 have definitely come back down to earth, from the cell processors and its raw power to a more easily programmable, but still power X86 CPU and an Advanced GPU, which easily allows 1st & 3rd party developers to get the most out of it. Sony is additionally giving, what all developers wanted, 8GB of unified memory and a supercharged architecture, again, which is catering to the developers, since Sony learned from previous PS3 development, and the grips most developers, that weren’t 1st party had to deal with. And from the out of the gate, a larger internal storage, which will come in handy with what will be explained next.

Sony has completed an massive infrastructure of involving mobile devices and primarily the Vita as the on the go version of the PS4, with turning your PS4 into a server of sorts. With the mention of the Vita, the games from your PS4 with the of Gaikai Cloud computing, which was acquired by Sony last year, is allowing for your catalogue to be on the go with you, mainly with the Vita but with other devices as well. With the Vita on the go, being more integral than before, it was shown by transferring, a new game for the PS4, called Knack, to the Vita as it was played, without missing a beat or any downgrade of graphics to the Vita’s clearly smaller screen. Also, Knack, slightly reminds me of the 360 launch game called Kameo, but that may just be me.


Next, is the new PS4 controller, which is simply called Dual Shock 4, its almost the same design as before, but with a touchpad where the Sony logo and Start & Select buttons were on the Dual 3. This gives the controller, a look of being a bit heavier, but it’s one of those things, people were saying the Dual 3 was too small, and cumbersome. With the touchpad comes, the integrated share button, right on the controller. It looks to be out of the way from accidental sharing, but convenient. Also, the light on the front of the controller, is continuously sending information to an almost Kinect like device, which is a stereo camera, which will track the controller as your playing.

The Share button takes me into the complete social integration as well other steps Sony is taking to further advance the PS4, with 5 words, each explaining the functionality of the PS4. First was Simple. Allowing for developers, be it, big companies or Indies to develop more easily for the PS4, and for the consumer to simply share and gain games for their PS4, more easily than ever before. Second, was Immediate. This was explained in the way of, a second chip, specifically, for background downloads, updates while playing a game either online or offline. Also, allowing for almost immediate, see what I did there, pick up and play from a suspended state of the game, even when its turned off. Third was Social. This is the heavy integration of the Share button.

PS4-1The PS4 will be partnered with Facebook and Ustream, to allow for a better PSN profile, almost Facebook like, but Sony tailored. Also, with the Ustream and Gaikai, you can stream gameplay or upload screenshots or bits of gameplay directly to Facebook and other social media, and allow for immediate access by your friends on the media site as well as, your PSN friends, all the while retaining your anonymity, if you want. With the ability to stream, you or your friends can sit in on one another, if the person allows it, to watch them play, or even “pass the controls onto them” for help if need be. Also you can leave comments while they’re playing, be it helpful or even trash talk. Fourth was Integrate, allowing for the consumer to continuously, regardless of location or device do almost anything with the PS4. Finally was Personalization. This feature, is like smart shopping where, over time collected data from your purchases, from the PlayStation Store, or actual disk, and give you games and content, already fully downloaded to your PS4, and you’ll have to do is hit the buy button.

Moving back to Gaikai, Dave Perry, mentioned that, over time, the PS4 will have the catalogues of the PS1, 2, and 3, able to play digitally on the PS4, with the use of its technology. Also, with the service, they are adding, the Free to Try ability, giving the consumer, the ability to play actual full games, not a shortened version or a downgraded version, and buy at any point and time during that trial, and all without hassle.

LB_0788_large_verge_medium_landscapeAfter the beginning, they began to show games, videos, and live demos, from both 1st party and 3rd party. First up was Guerilla Games, with live gameplay of Killzone: Shadow Fall. The game is brighter than previous versions, and looks amazing. Next was Evolution Games, game Drive Club, a team based driving game about challenging the World as a team or Club, with a heavy integration in mobile devices for the challenges. Next, was Sucker Punch, bringing us back to the world of Infamous, the game calling Infamous: Second Son, and I was giddy with joy over this announcement, and I can’t wait. After which, Braid developers, Jonathan Blow, with the next game for the PS4 at launch, with The Witness, this has 25hrs of unique puzzles, and the music amazing with a Celtic feel.

Quantic Dream, creators of amazing Heavy Rain, showcased its pushing of the PS4 with a live demo of rendering facial and eye design and emotions with amazing lighting and textures, and small nuances. Media Molecule, the creators of Little Big Planet, shows full use of the Move with an sculpting and allowing your dreams to be created. This gave way to a recorded live performance of a show featuring “puppeteers” of a musical performance. With that, House mentioned that it had full support from, almost, if not, every major 3rd party developer for the PS4.

watch-dogs-logo1Capcom, with Yoshinori Ono, showing a gaming engine code named Panta Rhel, built specifically for the PS4 and a game being developed in conjunction with Panta, called, Deep Down (Working Title), showing beautiful lighting, character models, and amazing action, that seemed to be what real time action will be. Square Enix, showed the tech demo running the Luminous Engine by Hashimoto Yoshihisa, and the other Hashimoto, Shinji saying a new Final Fantasy title is in opening stages of development and more information released at E3. Ubisoft Montreal, showing an live demo of Watch Dogs running on the PS4. And the game looks amazing, and can’t wait till I get my hands on it. Blizzard, with Chris Metzen, announced that Diablo 3 will be coming to both the PS3 & PS4. And finally, the last announcement was from Activision’s Eric Hershberg, bringing Bungie’s new IP Destiny, to the PS4 as well as, the PS3, with exclusive content to the Sony family. All gameplay trailers, demos and videos will be on our site as well.

Sony came out hard hitting in this press conference. Showcasing that they have learned from their previous mistakes in the current generation, and looking forward to showing why Sony’s PlayStation was always a bright star, and not a waning one, as they were saying Sony was. Sony, came out saying, contest us now Microsoft, we will see you on the field of battle come this console launch. And Sony certainly means business, this generation.Ps4Holiday2013-610

Asura Title

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


No Gravatarsfxt 2013

Street Fighter X Tekken is back and much better with it’s recent 2013 update. Improving the core mechanics of its fighting system and making every match more fun, Street Fighter X Tekken finally deserves the recognition it should deserve.

Upon starting up your copy of SFxT, you are prompted with an update to the game which will in turn change a huge portion of the game. For starters, the damage is more apparent as combos just seem to hurt more and it also helps that when tagging out your point character, any damage received takes longer to regenerate. It helps to alleviate the frequency of time outs that the prior version had far too many of.

There are also small changes done such as more time added to Pandora Mode, having the Fight! logo remove quicker and not having the camera pan in at the end of a Cross Rush combo. It helps to quicken up the pace while also making matches seem in better control of the player(s).



Even subtle tweaks such as gems not being so bright on top of characters helps. There are also tons of character specific changes that alter the majority of the rosters take on their matchups. I almost forgot to mention in my opinion the biggest change to the system, normally when you are attacked you have two different parts of health (yellow life & red life). The red life is recoverable when the character is not on point but now as soon as a throw is performed on any character with red life all of their recoverable health is gone along with the damage of the throw. It invokes a certain mind game mechanic in competition especially since you cannot roll safely off a knockdown.

With all these changes made to the game it helps freshen up a lifeless corpse that everyone in the fighting game community had long forgotten. But I sense a strong sense of change happening to make this dead game rise from its grave. I strongly recommend any naysayer of the game to try it again. Who knows, it might change your opinion. Plus its free…what harm can it do?

By Isabel On 23 Jan, 2013 At 11:57 PM | Categorized As Featured, Indie Spotlight, PC Games, Reviews | With 0 Comments
CTHCC Main Menu

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CTHCC Main Menu

Cherry Tree Comedy Club is the type of Japanese game you never see brought over to English audiences because it’s a type of game rather obscure to the action seeking video game audiences here (at least what you’d think it’s what they are from video game developer decisions), a visual novel, what makes it even more unique is it comes from a small doujin group known as 773.

You are Miley Verisse, the school’s goofball, and your ultimate dream is to become the next great stand up comic to come out of your high school and to get closer to that goal you aspire to revive the CTHCC, the comedy club founded by the famous comedy duo The Grinmeisters. So far you and your best friend are the sole members of the comedy club and you need a minimum of five founding members to create an official school club, so your goal is to recruit at least three more students to get your club up and running. Of course you have your arch nemesis and former friend Octavia Richmond trying to see that it doesn’t get to happen. Via social interaction and coordinating your daily activities, you work towards becoming close friends with potential recruits until they decide to join.

Cherry Tree High Comedy Club rivalry

CTHCC is unlike a typical visual novel considering you manipulate your character strategically to achieve the goal of the game. Visual novels tend to be pure dialogue as the story is already made up for the player and the only interaction the player will get goes along the lines of, do action A or action B, and after that the story goes on. This game has you move your character as an 8 bit version of themselves throughout Cherry Tree Town and doing whatever the hell they want (sometimes only if she has the money for it).

Cherry Tree Station

There are about four things Miley can do. One of the most important things is she can do several activities to increase her expertise on select subjects, video games, romance, whodunnits, fashion, music, sports, art, travel, history, pets, politics, and cooking. Getting expertise on subjects is of primal importance because the best way to quickly advance the relationship you have with the characters is by discussing subjects with them, but be careful, characters can either love, like, feel neutral, or dislike a subject, and the best way to figure out their feelings on them to select the right conversations is to occasionally chat with them and get notes about it on their profiles. Now knowledge can be gained in a variety of ways whether it’s through reading, watching something, or going to various locations, but the options are as endless as the cash to accomplish some of these activities is limited. You go up to level 5 at the highest for each category starting from this.

Cherry Tree Comedy Club Miley's expertise

The second activity Miley can do is earn money. One of the easiest way to earn it is to run around town and look for yellow circles on the floor. You can get a bottle you’ll collect and once you collect 10 turn them into your dorm manager for a bit of cash. Sometimes you’ll get an old discarded magazine and get a free boost from whatever category it covers, a great free advancement…. or if you’re really unlucky dog poop, but whatever. The only other “jobs” Miley has is making jewelry, cleaning up at a shrine, and later on in the game help at organizing an art museum. But watch your fatigue or Miley screws up whatever she’s doing.

Paid less

Dammit Miley!

The single most important action however is interacting with other characters, some just drop from the sky while others have to be discovered. I didn’t discover the last character until playing a second time and actually chatting with Harriet Sinclair, the only friend in the club with me. Choose your conversation topics and give them time to chat idly in school and over the phone because the deadline will be close before you know it.

The fourth thing and definitely the last thing you want Miley to do is have her waste her time by going back to her dorm early. If you ever do that you’ll regret that precious lost chance to do something.

With the game explained I’ll go further into my personal opinions about this game. The translation from Japanese to English has been done in a Phoenix Wright fashion, with the story localized in America and with the script occasionally changed to make references and jokes any English gamer can understand. I’m usually against localizing because sometimes I find it extremely unnecessary to deny the fact a game takes place in Japan, but because this series centers around stand up comedy and I’m sure Japanese people don’t know who the hell Dane Cook is any more than we know their stand up comics so it’s fair use. They did a pretty good job explaining why there was a shrine in America and they changed a character’s background pretty well. Basically an air headed foreigner’s ethnicity was changed from American to Swedish, however if you play the game with this knowledge it might be painful seeing how other countries view Americans.

The humor in this game is pretty nice, Miley Verisse is basically the type of overly excited girl often seen in anime and manga, and as a result some pretty funny stuff comes out of her. Also some outrageous shenanigans and subtle manipulation occurs, keep the every day aspect of the game interesting.

I hear you're 30 years old, keep a wild beast in your dorm, and climbed Mount Everest.

Miley’s comment afterward: Those were all rumors I started myself!

The characters you recruit in this game in general are very multi- dimensional and have a story that comes with them. As you get to learn more about them they start revealing themselves to you and you begin to understand them more. It’s sad that Miley on the other hand is more of what I call a “simulation character” on that aspect, a character who is rather undefined compared to the others so the player can feel it’s them in the story. It’s sad you only learn about the person who’s had the most impact on Miley’s life from Harriet and she doesn’t break out from her genki mold even in serious moments.

Sad moment in Cherry Tree High Comedy Club


As for the look and feel of the game it’s very smooth. The background is charming, but a bit too simple in some parts. My only real complain is that I can’t play this game full screen and I’m restricted to a small window. I’ve read many other reviews complaining about the music but I personally like it and always keep it on while playing the game. Different atmospheres and scenes also changes the music so it doesn’t get very repetitive. The controls are simple and allow me what I want to do, all you’ll need to play are your arrow keys, enter, and escape, just perfect.

 background of shrine

This game makes it easier to attain the best ending by saving your info on likes and dislikes of potential recruits as well as all the gains you’ve made with your repertoire. I still haven’t attained it, but I know it’ll be worth it. Honestly I really want a second Cherry Tree High Comedy Club game where you manage the club that time around, but whether or not that’ll happen depends on the support the game gets. Here’s my first ending.


And with that I give Cherry Tree High Comedy Club an 8/10.

You can buy the game now for $7.99 from the official website and other sources such as Steam, Gamestop, and GamersGate.

REAL OTAKU GAMER is using WP-Gravatar