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By Jonathan Balofsky On 10 Sep, 2017 At 05:38 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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There are many kinds of RPGs out there, both established genres like JRPGs and others such as action RPGs, and when the genres begin to blend together, things become interesting. Fallen Legion is an RPG that blends various styles to create unique gameplay that fits its nature well. But is it a good game beyond that?

In terms of the story, Fallen Legion is a bit on the more simplistic side as with many indie RPGs. It isn’t bad, but fairly conventional, although it does try to change things up by offering choices to make This does help give a bit of variety but to be honest, the allure of the game is not in its story, and that is okay. In the end, the story while fairly generic, is more of a backdrop against what is the more unique points of the game.  As stated, you  must make split-second decisions that are meant to have an impact on the game’s story, but it doesn’t really go that far. What is good, is that Fallen Legion shows  two perspectives in different games, to create a more immersive experience. Its nice, but what is the real draw is the gameplay.

I mentioned above, the JRPG and Action RPG genres, and Fallen Legion: Sins of an Empire serves as a blending of those two, with elements of Strategy RPGs as well. It is actually far more of an action game with RPG and SRPG elements, but it comes out well in terms of combat. The battle system is fairly unique, and fighting requires your attention for all actions.  You control multiple characters simultaneously, and need to master combos, and counters to progress, which is a nice twist on the traditional formula.. There isn’t as much leveling up for characters, again making this more action based, and it wouldn’t exactly be wrong to call this an RPG inspired action game. That to me actually does sound more interesting a concept than an action RPG but that is neither here nor there.

The game’s playstyle is its draw and it does it well. It goes nicely with gorgeous hand drawn art and excellent music to create unique atmospheres for the battles. In fact, I would say the combat in the game is some of the most unique I have ever seen, and I would like to see the developers push that part forward in other games, perhaps making a full on action game with more story focus and less of a Valkyrie Profile inspired game. As it is, I would recommend this for the unique combat playstyle, it is one of a kind.

 

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A review key was provided by the developers.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 8 Sep, 2017 At 02:49 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Interviews, PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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I recently had a chance to speak with Kyle Rebel, the lead developer of the upcoming Skyrim mod, Skyblivion. SKyblivion is a mod that will remake Elder Scrolls Oblivion within the Skyrim engine.

Take a look below and enjoy.

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JB: How did this project come about? Obviously modding Elder Scrolls games has always been a big thing, but where did the idea of bringing Oblivion to Skyrim’s engine originate?

 

KR: It started out as a silly hobby project between Zilav and Monocleus (Ormin in the past) tha was never really supposed to turn into anything, After they posted their first results people like myself showed interest and later on I took the lead in making sure we got organized and recruited the people necessary to turn this idea into something concrete. Our team now consists out of some of the most talented modders found in the TES community. Because of this we are able to do things not seen in mods up until this point such as creatures with custom skeletons, animations and behaviors. Real spear combat mechanics (there exist some amateur mods for this but they dont add actual spear into the game).  On the graphics side for example we are able to create better looking trees and distant details than Bethesda ever could.

 

 

JB:  How has Bethesda’s reaction been to the project? Has there been any backlash? Any support?

 

KR: They have mentioned the TESR projects in the past but nothing major. We appreciate the worlds Bethesda build and for this reason we will require our users to own legitimate copies of the original games in order to install our projects.

 

JB: What has the fan reaction been to the project over the years?

 

KR: Reactions have been wonderful for the most part. There are complaints about how the project takes too long and how we are only releasing videos to make a name for ourselves and feed some nostalgia hype train but people need to understand we are not a professional game developer. Everyone on the project including myself works on this in their free time and doesn’t get a dime for the work they put into it.

For this reason we need to make those videos to let people know the project is still going strong and that as long as it is in development we can use all the help we can get to realize this dream as fast as possible.

 

JB:  Did the arrival of Skyrim Special Edition throw anything off? If so, how?

 

KR: Not at all, it did tear the modding community apart to some extent but other than that nothing has changed. We plan to release Skyblivion for both versions of Skyrim to make sure as many people as possible will be able to play it. Also SkyrimSE has some handy improvements we can utilize to further enhance the experience.

 

JB:  What are some of the big challenges with this project? Both in terms of programming, design, and resources as well other issues more external.

 

KR: Definitely the production and organization of any and all aspects of the mod.

Keeping track of all our developers and dealing with people going inactive is a big part of my job and I can tell you that its pretty exhausting and takes up a big chunk of my time on the project. We have several department leads who take care of 3D (devided in creatures, weapons, armors, misc props and enviormental assets) 2D, Level design, Music, Navmeshing, UI development, Textures, Mechanics etc. These department leads have to keep track of the people within their respected teams and help/guide them where needed. We are fortunate to have some very experienced/professional people on our team whoes main job it is to assure the content people creature are up to snuff.

Lastly we have the review stage which is time consuming. When someone finishes his/her assets or area in-game, a department lead or myself will have to go over what they did and see if there is room for improvement before we can call it ”finished” and get it ready to be merged.

 

JB:  Will there be any use of Skyrim assets or will the project be avoiding that?

 

KR:  Our aim is to recreate Cyrodiil and Most of Skyrims assets don’t fit into the province that well. We are re-using some simple assets like the rock and mountain meshes and some shrubs here and there but for the most part we are working with our own custom assets to ensure the world looks as vibrant as one would expect from the Imperial province.

 

JB: Bethesda recently revealed creation club. Will Skyblivion be part of that?

 

KR: No, this video will tell you everything you need to know: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f89d0fWCOsM

 

JB: Has the skyblivion team been working with the Skywind team at all? Shared resources/developers and such?

 

KR: Yes, we try to share as many assets and knowledge as we can. This goes for Beyond Skyrim too.

 

JB:  Has there been any temptation to change things in any way? I don’t mean bug fixes but rather serious changes.

 

KR: Most certainly, Cyrodiil’s landscape for instance will be seriously enhanced and overhauled. Weapons and armor sets are also getting a more realistic overhaul. Also we are adding back cut content from the game and repairing some areas that can be found in the lore but are left out in the game like the city of Sutch.

 

JB:  Do you foresee this mod getting a modding scene of its own in the future?

 

KR:  I hope so, unfortunately I myself (and many others) am so close to the development of the mod that I won’t be able to get that ”first time playing” experience that all ours users will be able to enjoy. I hope some modders will go nuts with our work and in turn will give me something new and exciting to check out 😉

 

JB:  How do you deal with the fan demands regarding the project?

 

KR: Generally we like to stick to our own plans, we are very well acquainted with the lore and backstory of Cyrodiil. At the end of the day everyone has an opinion and trying to make compromises based on fan demands would turn into an endless cycle or revisiting semi completed tasks.

That said we do listen to feedback given to us an n occasion make changes based off of it.

 

JB: Is there a current estimate for when the project will be done?

KR: Our personal goal is late 2018 but this is nothing more than an internal goal set in the prime of our development cycle. In order to make this goal come true we will need more help from new volunteers.

 

JB: Is there any concern about expectations for the project?

KR: Not at all, I think people will be blown away by the project when it is released.

 

JB: What will be next for the team after Skyblivion is complete? Perhaps remakes of the first two games?

KR: A loooooong break from modding. This project has been fun but it has been taking up too much of my time for the past 2 years. I am dedicated to bringing TES fans this remake ASAP but after it is released I think myself and many others from the team will take a well earned break and focus on our careers and our own futures for a change.

 

JB: Do you have anything you would like to say to the readers of Real Otaku Gamer?

KR: The same thing I say to all the other Skyblivion supporters, thank you all for the continuing support, kind words and feedback you have provided us with over the course of the development of Skyblivion. We wouldn’t be here without you.

 

We thank you for doing this interview.

 

 

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If you would like to know more about Skyblivion, you can visit their website here, or visit their twitter account @TESRSkyblivion      , Kyle can be found on twitter   @Rebelzize

By Stark Wyvern On 5 Sep, 2017 At 10:41 AM | Categorized As PC Games, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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*Note – Game is still in Early Access.

Quake Champions is an Action Team Based Shooter and is now in Early Access on Steam. As someone who hasn’t really played online action shooters such as this usually, I found it to be quite exhilarating an experience. This game is really well crafted, with the characters all being their own and the world being something you want to run and shoot in for hours.

Quake Champions at its core is a serious team shooter, and one where clearly knowing who you are playing with will allow for some advantage. But, it is also raucous and chaotic fun playing with other random people. The game play is clearly quick and rather simple, but of course as you learn the arenas, you will be able to truly strategize. There are power ups to collect such as health, defense, ammo, and attack upgrades such as quad damage. These power ups do in fact respawn, so memorizing where they are would certainly be a good thing to do. While, not so hard to memorize where they are of course, you will be doing this while you play so you might lose your positioning. It really can get rather hectic.

There are 11 champions to play as, and as it is early access I am able to play as them all, with more coming in the future. My favorite has to be Nyx, as she is quite the lithe and speedy blue haired combatant. Though I also found Sorlag to be quite cool, and the other characters also beg to be played as. These other characters include, Anarki, Slash, Ranger, Scalebearer, Clutch, Galena, B.J. Blazkowicz of Wolfenstein, and of course the Doom Slayer from Doom. With all of these characters, they clearly have their own reasons and wants. They are all quite different from each other, and with new costumes to unlock they do honestly change quite drastically.

These characters also have their own attributes of course which change how they might play. What is good though, is that there is a series of videos to watch in game, to get you into it. While they may seem annoying at first,  they talk about all sorts of things from the arenas, to powerups, and even talk about the characters themselves. It really is a good idea to watch all of the videos to really have your head on straight when going into the arena for the first time.

Just like other games of this nature there are lootboxes to buy and obtain through just playing. Getting these can obviously give you new weapons, costumes, and other goodies. While not essential, who doesn’t like opening a surprise? Though it is possible of course to get them through simply playing the game which is also good and gives you something else to have in mine when you are playing.

I also thought it was cool that they included lore scrolls for you to collect, giving you insight into this world you now find yourself in. In a world where detail matters, and characters are simply sent into an arena learning about the world they inhabit always does make the game that much more enjoyable.

The game is still in Early Access but what we have is excellent. Still, there are a lot of changes and additions that will be coming to the game as it approaches its full release, and we will look at it again down the line.

Quake Champions is a shooter that stands out among others and shouldn’t be missed. If you are a fan of classic Quake or Arena Shooters, you should give this one a look!

 

 

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Disclaimer: We were given a game key by Bethesda.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 30 Aug, 2017 At 09:20 AM | Categorized As Featured, News, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Reviews on PS4. The game was provided by the publisher for review purposes.

Ys is a long running and beloved action RPG series made by Falcom, one that I have a long history with. I first played the series on the Turbo Grafx 16 years ago and found it to be amazing, with such a unique charm. I’ve been following the series ever since and as such, Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana was a title I was hotly anticipating.

Ys games are known for great action and great music, and Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana continues that tradition. The game has several new innovations to help keep things fresh, such as new combat mechanics that help keep the series on par with the best of the best in terms of action games. New dodge and reactions mechanics bring a new way of approaching combat that makes this game more involving than the previous entries.

The music that we have come to expect from the series is still here of course and the composers did an excellent job. A mix of multiple styles including rock, folk, and others give Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, one of the best soundtracks in recent years. Great boss themes, incidental music, area music and so on. The voice acting is admittedly hit or miss, but that is a minor issue at best to me. I admit it could be a bit distracting at times, but not too bad,

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, has a great story, and you will find yourself lost in the game for hours on end. In addition, the characters are mostly well written and likeable. Yes there are some overused tropes in the game, but a trope is a tool and if used well, it is fine. My issue is that some dialogue just seems stilted occasionally, which may have been why I found the voice acting hit or miss, but as I said above, it is not too bad. With Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, we have been given an epic action RPG that makes great use of resources. This is the biggest and best Ys game yet and truly feels like it can rival some of the big players in the genre.

For players new to the Ys series, don’t worry. the game does a good job of catching you up to speed in a way that will not leave you confused. Yes the series has been continuously following the adventures of Adol Christin, but you will not feel left out. If anything, you may become curious because the game does a good job of both being an epic sequel and a great entry point for new players. Grant Morrison once said that every comic book is someone’s first comic. That can also be applied to video games, and Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, is a game that is very much aware of that.

Ys VIII: Lacrimosa of Dana, is a game that honors its past while paving a bright future for itself. You may not be familiar with the series, but this is a good way to learn more about it. I highly recommend it.

 

 

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Disclaimer: A review key was provided by the publisher.

By Stark Wyvern On 22 Aug, 2017 At 10:04 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo 3DS, Portable/Mobile Gaming, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Disclaimer: Game came from my own collection

Miitopia is a game that I had been unsure of when I first learned of its existence. It made sense that it would exist but I had no idea how it would function. After seeing footage though, I was hooked as this game really did have a chance to be great. After playing through the main story line, I have found that this is really a great game.

Miitopia is a solid RPG title that brings in Nintendo’s beloved Mii characters into their own Fantasy set game. This game thrusts your main character, who can even be you, onto a grand adventure. With many different jobs to choose from, it is up to you to pick the right job for you. Joining you are 9 other characters who you can make anyone you wish. Make them friends, family, celebrities, anyone you choose, and you get to pick jobs for them and eventually change jobs. Another big part of this game is the relationships that form. Pairing up characters can be done in the inn or out in the field and even in battle. Your characters relationships can really turn the tide of battle in your favor or your enemies. If all your characters hate each other of course you won’t get all of the extra damage.

The story itself is a solid one, involving an evil lord played by whoever you choose, stealing the faces of people everywhere. You can choose a character for this demon or have it auto picked. My villain ended up being Team Flare’s Boss Lysander of Pokemon X and Y fame. This villain is powerful and you will need to gather and train your friends. An interesting thing that happens is when he comes and spirits your friends away multiple times. This forces you to choose a new job and start journeying with three new characters.

Along the way, you will meet a variety of other characters who help you, while journeying through dungeons to find keys and other lost items you eventually defeat your foe. But like in most JRPGS the story is far from over as a new boss appears. Since I don’t plan on spoiling it though, I will just say as soon as this boss is defeated, you will be granted more character slots. With new characters to raise this game becomes infinite in a lot of ways. You can always start the game over, or you can grind levels of new characters in the same file.

There is always new quests to take once the boss is defeated. There really is so much to do as there are even extra jobs to find. This game really is something to be played. You not only get to cast the characters but the randomness of it all is just fantastic. Miitopia is out now on the Nintendo 3DS Family of Systems. So gather your miis and head out on a quest to take down the Dark Lord!

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 20 Aug, 2017 At 06:44 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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There is always that one game. It is the game that you loved and played constantly, the game that enthralled you, that made you say “Wow, this is awesome”. That feeling of joy when you play that game is hard to recapture for multiple reasons, and chief among them is that your memories make the game seem better than it really was. This often leads to remasters that go overboard in updating a game’s look, only to make the game look less like the memories and more like a modern game. It is for this reason, I was nervous when I heard Blizzard would be remastering StarCraft 1. I was worried that too much would be changed and it would defeat the purpose. I am happy to say that I was wrong in that regard.

StarCraft Remastered actually managed to take the game and redo the art in a way that doesn’t betray the original game and does feel like a big improvement. The sprite based artwork has been redone with a heavy emphasis on detail and you can see the textures and amazing artwork much better. It even manages to give the game’s sprites the illusion of 3D at times. This is aided by a zoom in feature that has been added to the game which, when used on units and areas, shows just how much work went into every last part of the game. I am absolutely amazed at the excellent job done with this, and Blizzard’s team did great work. The new lighting effects really make things pop, and it just brings me so much joy to play this.

Other changes to the game include missions being preceded by new 3D talking portraits in the ready rooms. The ready rooms have also received an awesome makeover, which helps keep things fresh. As well, ranked multiplayer has a ranked Elo number that reflects wins and losses, with matchmaking working extremely well in this version. Best of all is that most of the custom maps are still here.

Now for the bad part ( for some). Some of the game’s features are very dated in terms of mechanics, due to not updating things such as unit pathfinding. This can create some annoyances, and there is an adjustment back to how things were played before, but to be honest it feels right that the gameplay was left this way. It may be alienating to some more casual players, but it is how StarCraft was meant to be played, and fits with this game being StarCraft as you remembered it.

 

In the end, I had a blast with this remaster and truly appreciate what Blizzard did. I must fully recommend this game to everyone.

 

 

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 17 Aug, 2017 At 10:06 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Sonic hasn’t had a good time as of late. Many of his games have been lacking and the fans have been divided. There were many who felt Sonic belonged in the past……and others took inspiration from that idea. Sega had worked with indie developers on ports and remasters of the original Sonic games in the last few years. These games were well received, and thus an idea was born, a new game would be made from a remix of classic levels with new ideas and content. The result is Sonic Mania, a game that returned to the past and proved why we fell in love with Sonic.

Sonic Mania is a beautiful tribute to the original games, and serves as a what if? type game, for what kind of Sonic we may have seen on the 32x or Sega Saturn. New ideas such as the drop dash are brought in and they fit wonderfully with the gameplay The new stages and content feel right at home in a Sonic game, and I have to give a lot of credit to the developers for doing this so well. In addition, the games pays homage to various Sega and Sonic games in a variety of ways, from small shoutouts, to a major point that I will not mention due to spoilers. The game definitely keeps things fresh and changes things at the right pace.

There are some issues, namely the Switch version has some delay when interacting with the home button and share button, and there are some bugs that still managed to seep through. It can get annoying but I have not personally noticed anything gamebreaking just yet.

One thing I must comment on is how the game has so much replayability to it, just playing the stages gives you many ways to progress but Playing as a different character really does change things up, especially if you play as Knuckles. It adds a lot to the game, and makes me want to keep playing and experience more. From the boss battles, to the levels, there is great music and animation. The tunes in this game are great and just give you an immersive feeling.

Sonic Mania is a Sonic game that just feels right, even with the bugs. It is a well made game and looks great, and has the right mix of nostalgia and new. It really does help remind people why Sonic became an icon. This is the best Sonic game made in years and I hope Sega continues this. You should definitely check this out.

 

This game was reviews on the Nintendo Switch.

 

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I am a fan of The Elder Scrolls series as should be well evident from my articles by now. Instead of talking about a particular game today however, I wanted to do something else and discuss the various DLC expansions released for the main games. I will not be discussing Elder Scrolls Online at this time, but may do another list in the future. This list is purely my opinion, and I ranked the DLC based off of quality, what it did for the game, how well it was received, and how well it held up years later.

 

 

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

 

 

Without further delay, let us start with Number 7.

 

7: Hearthfire 

Hearthfire is a great little DLC, but there is emphasis needed for the word little. It doesn’t have a huge amount of content like the other expansions, but what it does offer is some new followers, new houses and children to adopt. It isn’t the most exciting DLC but it does help the role playing experience and does allow a greater degree of immersion. There isn’t much to talk about. Its a nice way to build on the game but there isn’t much to it.

6: Knights of the Nine 

Knights of the Nine was the first major expansion for Oblivion and it was well received at the time. However, I honestly feel it hasn’t actually held up as well as the main game or what came later. To me, Knights of the Nine feels like an attempt to bring Morrowind’s narrative style to Oblivion in a way that just didn’t fit. The story was good, don’t get me wrong and the expansion did offer a neat experience, but it just has not held up as well as others. It is also rather short and doesn’t feel as well developed as the other expansions, bar Hearthfire.

5: Tribunal

I can hear the anger already. Tribunal serves as a direct sequel to the story of Morrowind, one of the most acclaimed games in the series, so how could I only put it at number 5? Well, to be honest, it isn’t very good. I rated this above Knights of the Nine because of the fact that the story is a continuation of the events of the main game and is very important for that reason. That being said, the expansion has a lot of issues, a story that feels ill plotted at times, and game mechanics that take you out of the immersion. It is an important DLC but not one that I particularly like.

4: Dawnguard

The top 4 DLC expansions are all amazing and I had a hard time choosing which to put in number 4 through 2, but I came to the conclusion that Dawnguard fits best in this spot. The vampire threat is a big departure from the main quest of Skyrim, but the story does actually build on the lore of the game and the series in general. It introduced amazing characters like Serana, explored the history of Skyrim and the Falmer, and showed us the truth about the soul gems. It had an atmosphere of adventure, tough enemies and great new abilities. Plus it overhauled the perk system and due to the choice you make early one, there are two ways to actually explore the DLC.

3: Bloodmoon

The 2nd expansion for Morrowind is far and away the better one.  This is the first time we are introduced to Solstheim and the Skaal people among other things. Bloodmoon introduced the Lycanthropy ability to the game and offered a unique area that felt large and yet different from the main game. it felt new and different and had a great charm to it. The quests were great, there was a lot to do in the expansion and it brought a lot of innovation. It does not get the attention that Tribunal gets, which is a shame because it is a far better expansion, as it is better developers, has a better story, and a much better sense of immersion with more choices for the player.  It has aged better than tribunal and is simpley a better experience.

 

2: Dragonborn

The third and final dlc expansion for Skyrim, Dragonborn is set once again on Solstheim, only 200 years have passed since Bloodmoon. You can now see how things have changd, while exploring a familiar setting for players of Morrowind. As with Bloodmoon, there is a lot to do in this expansion, but it goes beyond as we get an epic plot that discusses the nature of the Dragonborn more, awesome new abilities and shouts, great new weapons and armor and more. This isn’t even mentioning the excellent quests and characters that are in the dlc. Reviving Raven Rock gives a real sense of accomplishment, and honestly, this feels like proper semi sequel to Skyrim more than Tribunal felt like a continuation of Morrowind. This is a story that emphasizes how things have changed and how you are the one to help make things right.

 

1: Shivering Isles

There was no other choice for the number one spot. Shivering Isles  is the greatest DLC expansion for an Elder Scrolls game so far. If Cyrodil felt like too much of a typical European fantasy setting, then this solved that problem by making the setting a bizarre would where madness ruled. It made Sheogorath into a fan favourite character and gave him some amazing lines. There was so much to do, and so many ways to do them. There was a sense of whimsicalness as well as a tragic undertone building up throughout the story. The ending was amazing, with Jyggalag being freed from his curse and the cycle of the Greymarch broken, and then your character ascending to godhood as the new Sheogorath. Nothing has topped this yet, and I doubt anything will. Shivering Isles could have been a standalone game and it would still have been amazing. There is a reason the fans love this one the most, and time has been very kind to it, unlike some other expansions. It is simply a masterpiece of game design.

 

 

Well I hope you enjoyed the list. Let me know what you think of it, and some suggestions you think would make good lists.

 

 

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The above was the opinion solely of the author and not necessarily the views of ROG or its staff.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 10 Aug, 2017 At 11:51 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Few fighting games have made as much of an impact as Super Smash Bros. The party/platformer/fighting game obviously had the big draw of being a Nintendo crossover, but the combat has gained attention as well, due to its unique nature.

As with any big product, fans have their own ideas for how to do things, and in one such case, a spiritual sequel came to be in the form of Brawlout. Brawlout takes what works from the Smash Bros series, and gives its own unique spin on it. It is a well designed fighting game and while it doesn’t have the unique characters of Nintendo, the characters of Brawlout have their own charm to them. The developers could have gone the easy route and made the characters generic but instead they actually do feel like characters.

The combat mechanics are mostly similar to Smash Bros Melee but the game does take some hints from Brawl and other fighters. This is not a bad thing at all, and the game feels less like a clone, than a tribute. I was concerned I would find the fighting bland, like with many tribute games, but instead I really got into it and had a blast. The game ran smoothly and the fighting was quick and without fault. Playing against others was fun and made me appreciate all the work the developers did.

Brawlout is amazing more when you realize it is still being built on, as it is an early access game. It doesn’t feel incomplete, but rather it feels like the developers just happen to have more they want to do with it and that is fine. I am eager to see what comes next in the game.  Some have said this surpasses Smash as a fighter, but that isn’t a necessary comparison. It compliments Smash by making you realize how well done both games are. That is a rare feat and Angry Mob games did well with this. I recommend checking this out.

 

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A review key was provided for the game

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Warning: This post contains spoilers

When DOOM released last year, it had a lot of interesting ideas and concepts in it. The multiplayer was not to everyone’s liking, but the single player was viewed as one of the best games ever made. It  featured great gameplay, amazing action and a good amount of energy. But what wasn’t acknowledged by many ( although some did), was the way the game handled the narrative. Namely, in a game that was a throwback to old school shooters ( and a successful throwback at that), DOOM had a surprisingly strong narrative that elevated it above being a mindless shooter. Many shooters have a strong narrative but DOOM succeeded in an area that few others do: Show, don’t tell.

The game contained large amounts of lore that you could find that detailed the backstory of the Doom Slayer and the demons. This is reminiscent of other games like Metroid Prime, but with one major difference. That is, Metroid Prime is exploration and adventure focused, while DOOM is action focused. Thus id Software essentially blurred genres while still keeping the game focused on action. Its been pointed out by people like Jim Sterling, that the Doom Slayer’s mannerisms make him a unique character in that even without saying anything and only really showing a pair of hands. It was just the way he moved, the way the camera was angled at certain times, that conveyed emotion and told a story without needing words. You could feel his anger in his reaction to what happened. He came off less as psycho who could only solve things by shooting, and rather as someone who honestly felt everything had to be stopped because he had seen the true extent of the damage that could be caused by tampering with Hell’s power.

But it goes even further. As user, Sir Bill noted here on the SpaceBattles forum, DOOM actually has a large degree of moral ambiguity. Using the Argent energy means tampering with Hell, but Dr. Hayden has a point. The humans have been using it for decades and have devoted fields of science to it. There is no alternative available. The Doom Slayer has seen what horrors Hell can do, with the destruction of his home world being a clear example. Hayden is fighting to keep humanity alive the only way he can, and the Doom Slayer is opposing him because he has seen the damage and destruction this can bring. Both sides have a point and both are right. No words are needed about the matter because the game tells you this without words. It is a masterful case of showing instead of just telling, with the closest acknowledgment in the dialogue being part of Hayden’s reasoning at the end for banishing the Doom Slayer.

DOOM 2016 was assumed to be just an action game, albeit an awesome one, but now we can see that this game has subverted the expectations of what narrative in an FPS should be. Given all id Software and Bethesda accomplished here, I cannot wait to see what they do next. I doubt narrative driven FPS games are going to be the norm in the future, but this is an awesome way to do it, as DOOM, despite the gore and violence and high energy, is subtle in an area where most developers struggle to be subtle. That is skilled writing and I must commend the team on that.