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By otakuman5000 On 27 Feb, 2014 At 04:44 PM | Categorized As Featured, NINTENDO, Reviews, Reviews | With 0 Comments

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First Appeared on The Legend of Lorie

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze

If you’re looking for a challenge on your Nintendo Wii U system, look no further as Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze will most likely make you go bananas… in a good way, of course. Retro Studios brings a direct sequel to Donkey Kong Country Returns giving players a new adventure, additional playable characters, and unique ways to take on brand new, gorgeous levels.

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze takes place after the Nintendo Wii title, Donkey Kong Country Returns. Starting the game, you see Donkey Kong and his friends watch as their home is overrun by animal vikings known as the “Snomads” who freeze Donkey Kong’s island. Donkey Kong and his gang set off in an attempt to take back their home traversing through water levels, icy terrains, and many other challenges.

Snomads
The evil snowmads that are the new enemies in Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze.

If you’ve played the previous Donkey Kong Country games, you’ll be very familiar with the frustrating yet addicting platforming mechanics. Donkey Kong can roll, jump, and ground smash his way through enemies and obstacles. Besides your basic maneuvering on the ground, Donkey Kong and the gang will need to swing on vines, travel on various vehicles and animals, and now swim through treacherous deterrents. Controlling DK and the gang while swimming will take some time getting used to at first as the controls were a bit shaky, however, I was surprised at the attention to detail that was given to the newly added swimming gameplay. If you were to jump in the water, DK gracefully dives right in instead of his normal clunky, gorilla jump. In addition to the new underwater levels and swimming mechanics; the vehicles in Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze have been revamped a bit. When riding in a mine cart, the screen will sometimes switch to 3D where controls will be shifted to navigate the cart by jumping from side to side. This happens interchangeably from side scrolling, to 3D, and  then viewing the game from above.  This adds a slightly new challenge to the already difficult mine cart levels. Speaking of difficulty, the Donkey Kong Country series has been known to give even the best of platformer gamers nightmares but in Tropical Freeze, the difficulty has been toned down a notch. Now don’t get me wrong, this game is still incredibly difficult. If you press the jump button too hard while on a mine cart level, you’ll hit an enemy flying only inches above the track or an incorrectly timed barrel shot will equal your inevitable demise. Nintendo, however, added a few things to make DK’s adventure a little bit easier for players like a shield power up you can buy from Funky Kong’s shop to help you pass that frustrating mine cart level. Regardless, if you’re a patient person then you’ll be looked at as a saint in the gaming community for beating a pretty difficult game.

DKCTF
Underwater levels are a new and fun addition to the Donkey Kong Country series.

Retro Studios has done an amazing job at rebooting an already beloved video game that originally released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System about 20 years ago. One of the most notable things has been the revamped soundtrack and the stunning graphics. A new soundtrack has been added to Tropical Freeze but veterans of the Donkey Kong Country series will notice a couple of tracks that sound a bit familiar. Why does it sound so familiar? Because David Wise, the original composer of the Donkey Kong Country series, was brought back on board for Tropical Freeze. You’ll find yourself humming or bobbing your head to the catchy, island-y type tunes that are in this game. On the subject of island-y type… “things”, the graphics in Tropical Freeze are beautiful. DK’s home has been transformed into an tropical mix of arctic and fire-y madness. Many levels take place in chaotic situations that DK and his gang have to escape from. One specific example that was actually one of my favorites in the game was a level that took place inside of a tornado. I found myself several times putting the controller down and just gawking at some of the brilliantly thought out levels and scenery. If you’re like me and notice the little things, you’ll see that the updated graphics have improved on the Wii U system. Donkey Kong looks “fuzzy” and you’ll notice Cranky Kong’s wrinkles in his muzzle. Basically, the game is gorgeous and it looks absolutely flawless playing on the television and off-screen on the Wii U Game pad. Tropical Freeze does not utilize the Wii U game pad in anyway except for having the ability to play off screen while leaving the main television screen available for another activity. I was slightly disappointed that there was not as much integration with the Wii U game pad but was still satisfied with the ability to play the game on the game pad when someone else in my household demanded the main television.

I’ve mentioned a few times in this review already but obviously Donkey Kong can’t save his island alone and in Tropical Freeze he has more than just Diddy Kong to help him on his quest. Besides Diddy Kong, additional playable characters have been added to the game with nifty abilities that will help with certain challenges players will come across. Diddy and Donkey Kong’s blonde haired friend, Dixie Kong, joins the gang and has some pretty useful tricks up her sleeve… or should we say ponytail? Look for the barrel with the cute, pink text to release Dixie and utilize her helicopter-like pony tail ability. This ability will help Donkey Kong hover in the air after a jump and will also lift him higher for a bit. If you’re playing as Dixie in co-operative mode, Dixie uses a bubble gun and a projectile and can also double jump. Cranky Kong also joins the team this time and even though he’s old, he is definitely still useful to Donkey Kong. Cranky can use his cane to bounce DK off of the ground and traverse through terrains that contain spikes or thorns. If you’re playing as Cranky Kong in co-operative mode, he throws dentures at enemies as his projectile weapon. With all of these playable characters; when you collect 100 bananas, you can utilize a new ability called “Kong Pow”. When you use Diddy Kong’s kong pow, all enemies on the screen will be turned into red balloons which are extra lives. If you use Dixie Kong’s kong pow, all of the enemies on the screen will turn into golden hearts which allow Donkey Kong to withstand one more hit before depleting red hearts. Last but not least, if you use Cranky Kong’s kong pow ability, all enemies into banana coins which allows players to purchase items from Funky Kong’s shop. With the addition of these characters, tackling the challenges in Tropical Freeze makes things a bit more interesting.

After collecting 100 bananas, players can activate the "kong pow" ability which does different things depending on which character DK is partied with.
After collecting 100 bananas, players can activate the “kong pow” ability which does different things depending on which character DK is partied with.

Donkey Kong Country Tropical Freeze is a fantastic addition to the Donkey Kong Country series. Fans of the Donkey Kong Country series will instantly recognize the upbeat music, the difficult yet addicting platforming mechanics, and the memorable characters that really make the Donkey Kong Country series special. Don’t be fooled, however, this game is different from it’s predecessor. With a new story, new ways to take on the environment, additional playable characters, and a brand new soundtrack; you’d be doing yourself a disservice to not have this game in your Wii U library.

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!

56065_382701528474788_999287362_o

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 otakuman5000 On 16 Oct, 2013 At 11:52 PM | Categorized As PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Uncategorized | With 2 Comments

No GravatarQuantic Dream, creators of Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy, take a baseball bat to our hearts and grand slams it out of the park. Beyond: Two Souls is a PS3 exclusive starring Ellen Page, who plays Jodie that has a cursed gift of thanks to her supernatural friend Aiden, and Willem Dafoe, a scientist who specializes in the paranormal. With a game that is jam-packed with emotion, stories, ominous soundtrack, and the perfectly placed thrills, it’s easy to understand why
we’re all hooked on it.

Jodie (Ellen Page) and Nathan (William Dafoe) running through an experiment.

Jodie (Ellen Page) and Nathan (Willem Dafoe) running through an experiment.

Quantic Dream is well known for their incredibly accurate graphics, which makes this game all the more personal. Every pore, snowflake, and texture in fabric is discernible, and quite frankly, it’s really gorgeous to watch. Despite its greatness that myself and my peers rate it, others have their gripes. Although it has the classic Quantic Dream feel and controls, it’s nothing like you’ve ever played before.

A few facts need to be straightened out: Beyond is not a video game, and for those who have played it will understand what that means. This is more of an interactive movie. Here are a few key features to note:

You can’t decide your fate. Yes, QD has taken away the ability to have this game end alternate ways. However, the game leads you to believe that it does due to the amount of options you have with what and who you interact with. You can choose what to wear, what to cook, what to say, etc. There are certain scenes where bad things happen, and you have the choice to take revenge or walk away.

Linear… well… a lot of things. This one is a double-edged feature. This is an interactive movie, after all; the ending will end the way the creators designed it. The sequence of certain scenes will unravel in the same way. When you have control over Jodie or Aiden or any other character, it doesn’t matter what you choose or what you say. That’s also the game’s biggest issue. All that aside, the game makes up for it in many other ways.

Whiplash. Even though the game has so much charm (honestly, it does), it does leave you feeling a bit dazed because it’s not told in chronological order. Jodie tells you this in the beginning, so at least we had fair warning. However, once you finish the game, you can play it in chapter order which will then help you rearrange your thoughts and the story. Maybe you’ll decide a different choice, anywhere ranging from getting revenge to what to wear for your date.

Homeless, hungry, and cold Jodi during her homeless years.

Homeless, hungry, and cold Jodi during her homeless years.

Likable characters. The characters you interact with, I feel, are perfectly executed. Page and Dafoe aside (because honestly, they could never do any wrong), the other main characters each have their own personality, and you see many different sides of them, even if it’s a character you interact with for one chapter. Jodie has just the right amount of sarcasm, wit, charm, and bad-assery that makes her a great lead role. Dafoe woos you with his sincerity and a shocking lack of ulterior motives, which you would expect when dealing with a girl like Jodie.

A great story. While Beyond is practically like Insidious, except without the focus on horror, the game is original. You have a girl whose powers are almost limitless, and somehow Quantic Dream creates a game that is all-encompassing fun, thrills, somewhat comedic, tragic and emotional, and action-packed. The perfectly placed thrills are what makes the game, in my opinion. When you’re dealing with the supernatural, you typically end up with a horror movie, or a comedy like Ghostbusters. If it’s neither one of them, it’ll probably be a flop. Not this time; Quantic Dream really knows what they’re doing.

Overall… It’s a great game and a must play.

Every game has it’s good and bad qualities (except for The Last of Us, which was pure perfection, in this reviewer’s opinion), and gamers will definitely feel hooked and connected to each character on a deep level. You’ll choke, you’ll giggle, you’ll feel content, you’ll be bored sometimes, and you’ll even take a deep breath during the more scary moments; Quantic Dream will cater to all the feels.

By SarahTheRebel On 29 Jul, 2013 At 08:15 AM | Categorized As Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarFirst appeared on www.NerdyButFlirty.com

Less than a month after releasing their first DLC, DrinkBox Studios announced the new level “El Infierno” for the amazingly fun PlayStation exclusive Guacamelee!

Guacamelee-El-Diablos-Domain-DLC-6

Plot

“There are farm animals and luchadores wandering through my workplace and I have no idea who to complain to about this” – Skeleton worker.

Players battle skeletal enemies in the bureaucratic nightmare of the Devil’s domain, where tortured souls are given never-ending paperwork, and the Devil is too chicken to hit the elevator button to his office without your help. See what I did there? Chicken?

I enjoyed that the set up for the level was intriguing and clever, per the DrinkBox team usual. I recommend talking to every skeleton you see.

Gameplay

Their last DLC was a costume pack, and this DLC is a new level of challenges, with unlockable costumes. There are also seven new trophies. I’ll warn you though, it is not a traditional new level, like many of us would want. Instead we have a basic level filled with seventeen challenge rooms. Each challenge room has the opportunity to score a bronze, silver or gold medal. The medals unlock the new costumes, and the new costumes make the levels easier, if you’re smart about it.

If you’ve played Guacamelee through and won the super special chicken ability, these levels may actually seem too easy for you, with only two or three providing a real challenge. However, since you only need ten medals each to win the costumes, you can actually just skip the hardest levels completely, leaving only the truly masochistic or trophy hunters to take on the challenge.

Personally, as a less skilled brawler who can never remember her combos, I found the challenge to be perfect. On my first quick run through of the levels I snagged nine bronze, two silver and one gold before getting frustrated and walking away. For a player on my level, this new DLC provides a few hours of content, as you constantly return to get a higher score. For a more skilled player, I’d say there’s about two hours of game time if you unlock everything on gold.

Costumes

  • El Portero – A soccer goalie with a keen eye for style and a devastating throw
  • Alebrije – Harness the awesome power of these dream creatures to deal epic destruction, but players beware of the massive damage they will sustain themselves
  • Diablo’s Suit – Drain the life of enemies while looking good enough for an interview on Wall Street

Get the Alebrije costume and turn into a chicken. Try not to squeal with joy.

Final Verdict

Score: A-

El Infierno is worth the price point of three dollars, offering continuing challenge to Guacamelee lovers and pretty new costumes for fashionistas.

El Infierno is available now as a cross-buy download on the PlayStation Network and PlayStation Vita for $2.99 in North America and in Europe for €2.49/£1.99.

By Inactive or EX ROG Staffer On 22 Sep, 2012 At 12:29 AM | Categorized As Previews, Toys and Merchandise | With 0 Comments
Fiona, Cake, Marshall Lee, and Prince Gumball figures

No GravatarI’ve showcased many, many anime figures, which is a good thing, but there are many other fandoms with some pretty awesome figures out there. With great pleasure I introduce to you….

Regular Show 2 Inch Action Figure Collector Pack 

Love it or hate it, it’s undeniable Regular Show has a thriving fan community and a name for themselves. So when I found out a six figure pack with all the main characters was coming out as a Toys”R”Us exclusive, it’s needless to say I was psyched.

 

Unfortunately, the one thing that’s disappointing is the paint job, and this is a picture from their official Facebook page. They also seem somewhat misshapen, but I guess I can only really judge once I see the real thing.

Maker: JazWares, Inc  Online price: $22.50

Adventure Time Deluxe Packs

These sexy “deluxe” packs come with four 2 inch figures for your enjoyment. There are three I’ve found that I think are pretty cool.

Candy People,

Cany People line

Fiona and Cake,

 

Fiona, Cake, Marshall Lee, and Prince Gumball figures

and Undead people, that glow in the dark!

Zombie Adventure Time characters

Because you know, Adventure time has its macabre moments too.

Because they’re four figure packs, bundled together they cost less than the usual two figure packs, and how they each seem to have their own theme makes them perfect for display together.

Maker: JazWares, Inc  Average online price: $21.73

Ultra Detail Legend of Zelda Figures

Had to post about some pretty awesome Legend of Zelda figures featuring link I saw scanning the Internet. You have your original Link and cartoon Link from “The Wind Waker” that will make great decorations for your video game shelf.

My favorite is the original Link, he really does have an amazing old fashioned vibe to him. They’re about 6 cm each and a tad expensive in my opinion, but a must have for any Legend of Zelda fan.

Maker: Medicom Toys  Average online price: $18.00

By otakuman5000 On 28 Aug, 2012 At 12:39 AM | Categorized As Movie News, News, PlayStation, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

The last we heard about the Uncharted film was the news of Limitless director Neil Burger taking the reins. However, Variety reports that he is “no longer attached” to Sony’s adaptation of Naughty Dog’s famous franchise.

 

Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune‘s film adaptation has been described as following the journey of Nathan Drake as he looks for hte long sought after treasure of El Dorado, which is the premise of the video game, as well. Though, seeing as the film will sign on new writers, the film may go in a new direction.

 

The duo who wrote Disney’s National Treasure franchise, Marianne and Cormac Wibberley, will be rewriting Nathan Drake’s cinematic experience. Look for updates from Real Otaku Gamer as we follow Nathan and his treasure hunt to Hollywood.

 

By otakuman5000 On 14 Oct, 2010 At 10:55 PM | Categorized As PlayStation, Reviews | With 1 Comment

No GravatarHeavy Rain is a PlayStation 3 exclusive intense interactive thriller game set in a waterlogged city with a murky past.

Let’s not beat around the bush. I’ll get this off my chest before saying anything else about this game. There is nothing wrong with interactive video games! Yes, you’ll be watching some of the time, but that isn’t always everything. They are structuring the idea that there are others ways to play a game rather than getting a few headshots. The main draw of this game is that you build a relationship with the characters and you want to see them go down the right path, but it’s easier said than done. You can’t go down such a path and not run into complications, which is exactly where this game receives its charm.

Madison

You alternate between four main characters in this game:

Scott Shelby, a retired police officer who is currently working on his own as a private investigator trying to solve the mystery of the Origami Killer.
Madison Paige, a photojournalist who has sleeping problems. She tries to solve her problem by checking into motels- that is usually the only time she can actually get sleep.
Norman Jayden, an FBI profiler who was sent to help the local police force with the Origami Killer case. He struggles with his triptocaine drug addiction that gets in his way of work.
Ethan Mars, an architect who lived with his wife and two sons before losing one in an accident. His wife left him so he now lives alone, depressed with the loss of his older son, but still sees his younger son, Shaun who he looks after once in a while.
The Origami Killer has struck again; only it’s the son of Ethan Mars. He already lost his first son and losing another would completely drive him over the edge. He has to follow the breadcrumbs of the origami killer in order to find his son before he is killed. This is no easy task for Ethan, as he must complete various tasks set up by the killer himself to get clues as to where his son may be.

I was very impressed with the way Quantic Dream created this game. Within the first 5 minutes of playing the game you’ll be drawn in and after that, there’s no escape. You’ll play more and more wanting to find out what happens next, to what character and how they
will react to it. Switching characters is done through chapters. Once you have completed a certain goal in the level you will move on to another character. The loadings screens even show different characters showing you the amount of detail they put into the game. During gameplay there are tons of ways to complete the level. When your person is faced with a decision, you can hear the characters thoughts by pressing L2, which brings you an even closer connection to the person you are playing as. After reading listening to their thoughts you can choose to make any decision you like, but choose wisely as every decision can have a pro as well as a con.

Madison looking out the window

The graphics really show what the PlayStation 3 is capable of. In the Heavy Rain demo, you can see the amount of detail they have implemented in this game. This game really shines when you and your character are outside in the pouring rain. It looks very real even when the rainwater soaks the characters. My only argument with the game was that there is so much rain in the outside environments of this game, but there was no water when a character was washing his/her hands in the sink. I found it to be weird since they’ve used so much water in other places of the game that they didn’t bother with water coming out of the faucet.

The controls of the game are actually pretty neat. I remember when the demo came out and I was a little bit hazy about using R2 to walk. Me, as well as any other gamer might find this a bit awkward at first, but once you get into the groove of the game it won’t be a problem at all. The camera angle is somewhat fixed so it’s nothing like Uncharted where you can pretty much look wherever you want. The only downside is that you would sometimes have to walk in a certain direction to see more. Turning the characters head doesn’t expand what you can see as much as I thought it would.

The left analog stick is used to look around which works so smoothly. They really managed to make good use of the DualShock Sixaxis controller. There are many examples of the game where you had to move your controller a certain way, to shaking frantically to get out of a tricky situation. This was well done and other PlayStation exclusives should do the same.

The game has also received a PlayStation Move update allowing you to use the Move wand for even more motion controls. I’ve yet to try it, but I will be picking up the PlayStation Move soon, so I can re-experience the game with movement controls.

In terms of difficulty you don’t have to worry about missing the button pressing too much. I consider myself to be somewhat of a casual gamer but my first play through was on the hardest difficulty. There are still ridiculously easy parts to play so I don’t think you will have to play easy mode. Its funny, I was playing on hard mode and they made drinking orange juice so easy. All you had to do was shake your controller (to shake the box) and push the right stick up. If you fail to do that correctly he’ll just stare at the box of juice in his hand with an expressionless look on his face

This game features 22 different endings so that tells you that depending on the choices you make in the game can alter the grand finale. If the character you’re playing dies, it’s over for that character. However, you can still continue to play the game with the other characters to reach another specific ending depending on the choices you’ve made. This gives great replay ability to gamers who want to know everything that could have happened in a situation a character is in. It’s fun to replay a level again choosing to do different tasks and see how the character will respond to it as well as see what the character starts thinking about.

I think it’s safe to say that Heavy Rain is a masterpiece for the PlayStation 3. The game will take you for a ride on an emotional roller-coaster with your own steering wheel. You make the choices and you deal with the consequences.

I highly recommend Heavy Rain to anyone who enjoys a good mystery to solve. It’s definitely worth the money because you’ll keep playing it to see if you missed anything the first, second or even third play through.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JKPPdgBK3r8&feature=related