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Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons is a beautiful game perfectly offset by a dark and bloody story. In Brothers you set off from a nice peaceful town, where the biggest obstacle is a random bully, in order to save your ailing father to dark and bloody areas filled with despair and death. As you travel across the world with their unique controller setup you’ll have to navigate countless simple puzzles and save the occasional NPC who will in turn help you along your journey; which is only becoming more and more perilous as you go.

In between these moments, however, is where you’ll experience the bulk of the game’s brilliant storytelling. Brothers is a nonverbal game where the characters speak in a fantasy language and your only context are the characters heavy use of hand gestures and actions that do a wonderful job of making everything clear while also showcasing each brother’s personalities. While the older brother’s actions are far more focused on helping his father the little brother’s interactions with others and the environment are more carefree.

Simply going down the alternate paths will reward you with experiences you would have otherwise never knew existed. For instance I’m moving on to the next area and I look down to see a man standing on a chair. What I didn’t notice until I went down his path to look was that there was also a noose tied around his neck. Now you can either watch a man commit suicide or have the older brother hold him up while the little climbs the tree and unties the knot. Brothers is full of moments like that in each and every area and the controls really enhance the experience.

In Brothers you simultaneously control them maneuvering a series of puzzles working together through beautiful landscapes. Each brother is assigned a half of the controller and it works flawlessly. While you use the analogs to control each brother’s direction the triggers control their actions. The only problems I experienced with the controls were user based which at times can cause a little frustration. I would routinely have the little brother running into some random wall because I was paying attention to the other or use the wrong side of the controller and falling.

Puzzles or I guess obstacles are obviously the main challenge of the game and all of them use the teamwork component. Whether it’s the big brother using his strength or the little brother using his size each obstacle is easy to navigate for the most part. The challenge comes when you have to “quickly” traverse the area. You’ll be so focused on doing it right and finding your rhythm and it may take you a little longer than expected. The best part about this, however, is that there isn’t a task that will take you forever to figure out or even do. The “harder” ones will take you a few tries tops and you’ll be on your way. Once you learn the controls you’ll be able to fluidly move through every challenge.

Brothers is an extremely short game, but appropriately so. You won’t have this incomplete of rushed feeling by the end of it. Brothers is a must play for anyone who can appreciated a good story and in my opinion should be enjoyed by all. Gamers and non-gamers alike. It’s truly a beautiful game. 9/10.

You can find Brothers: A tale of two sons on Xbox live arcade or currently for free with a PlayStation plus membership.

By Amy McGarey On 3 Mar, 2014 At 12:38 AM | Categorized As News, News, PlayStation, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarIt’s that time again – If you are a Playstation Plus or Xbox Live subscriber, get ready to download your free games! A Playstation Plus membership will cost you $50 a year, but you get way more than that out of it. Every month you get one Playstation 4 game, 2-3 Playstation 3 games, and 2 Vita games all for free. On top of that, there’s always extra discounts you get in the Playstation Store.

dead nation

The free Playstation 4 game for March is Dead Nation: Apocolypse Edition. This is a game that makes me wish I had a PS4. It’s a top-down view game, like Diablo, but you have guns and kill hordes of zombies. The game also features a Broadcast+ mode, where people can watch your game and make choices for you that make your game harder. Viewers have 30 different effects they can choose to add to the game that can either make your life easier, or make the game a living hell.

Tomb Raider, Thomas Was Alone, and Lone Survivor: Director’s Cut are the free games for Playstation 3. Unit 13 and Monster Hunter: Freedom Unite are the the free games for the Playstation Vita.

civ_rev4

Xbox Live has some good games for free this month through Games for Gold. With an Xbox Live subscription, you get one free game every two weeks. For the first two weeks of March, the game Civilization Revolution is free. This has me excited because I’m a Sid Meier’s freak and I haven’t played this game in such a long time. Even though Games for Gold usually has older Xbox 360 games for free, every once in awhile you get one that has sentimental value to you. The second free game is always an Xbox Live Arcade game, and this month it’s Dungeon Defenders.

March is looking to be a great month for free games, but also a great month for new releases as well. Playstation Plus and Games for Gold have set me back in my gaming backlog once again!

Lineup of 6 MCs

No GravatarBronies hate them or love them do have quite a lot of talented individuals among them. Their latest creation? A visual novel based off of fan art.

 original inspiration

Before you completely dismiss the idea as ridiculous I should tell you of another visual novel called Katawa Shoujo. It was a visual novel sparked by a picture based off posts on 4chan. The link I will post tells the story better than I can. But back to the My Little Pony based game.

The resulting game is Starswirl Academy, where the protagonist is able to attend the prestigious institution his senior year because of his friend Twilight Sparkle. Also the protagonist is a rock named Tom in the original TV show. Before I delve into the plot and what I believe the game’s goal will be based on all the information the demo gives so far I’ll look at the work that went into the visual novel.

Lineup of 6 MCs

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Visually, the game’s backgrounds are as beautiful as that of any visual novel that comes out of top notch companies and the background music is nice and simple. The main problem with the game for some might be in the character designs. I like how they don’t make Pinkie’s hair as big and ridiculous as it is in the show, while some might dislike it tremendously. For me it’s Rarity’s hair that looks ridiculous, and I feel if they had drawn it some other way it might have looked much better.

What makes this game truly special is the touches they put here and there. For example the images of the characters always go through appropriate changes in facial expression, the cutie mark icons at the end of finished dialogue for each characters, and the way they zoom in on Pinkie when she’s too close to you.

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The demo of the game also tells a lot not only about the quality of the work but pretty much told me what the entire game will probably be about. One of their questions on their FAQ page is about why they chose Tom to be the main character, this is their response: “Because he’s a named show character that doesn’t have much fan work associated with him. He provides a good blank slate in terms of personality, but comes off as a very solid character when you get to know him. It also makes us laugh every time we get to make a geology pun.” This “blank slate” is a very important part of the game. The beginning of the demo talks about Tom’s dilemma of not really knowing who he is and letting people make choices for him. He’s not really sure why he wants to attend Starswirl Academy but is hoping to find the answer to that there. The game adds in something extra to make sure the game is not only about Tom’s growth as a person but his interaction with the other characters. The school has a long held tradition of having students give each other pins they call “flair” that represent either their personality or hobby. The flair is usually given by the upperclassman who’s gotten to know a person best, and they are usually very personal. I get a feeling the game will be extremely based on having Tom develop a very close relationship (more than likely romantic) with one of the girls who will give him his flair (although he doesn’t know it) and aid him reach self actualization.

In the midst of unavoidable moe.

In the midst of unavoidable moe.

This has a lot of storytelling potential and can make for a very touching story to some. This game was made in hopes to create something special to both fans and non-fans of the series and I think it can deliver on that promise. I will see if my predictions are correct once the full game comes out. In the meantime you too can play the demo.

You’ve made it this far, so have some Derpy.

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Shoot Derpy we’re treading on copyrights here.

This game will be released for free by Zap Apple Project. The game is made possible by the volunteer artists, musicians, and many other talented individuals lending their time and effort towards making a game everyone can enjoy.

By Inactive or EX ROG Staffer On 12 Nov, 2013 At 09:53 PM | Categorized As Animation, Featured, News, Otaku Events | With 0 Comments
Akira banner

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Akira banner

For the 25th anniversary of Akira, Funimation has really gone out of their way to promote this classic to a new audience and their latest promotional effort is hosting free screenings of Akira across America to the delight of many. The hostees in question are Alamo Drafthouse, a chain of excellent movie theaters. If you fear seats might run out, you can reserve one by buying a $5 voucher which can be used for concession. Out of courtesy attendees are asked to buy concession items to help the theater make up for the cost of screening the movie for free. The theaters will also give attendees a discount code to take 40% off the price of buying the 25th anniversary edition of the movie in Funimation’s online store. The following states will have one or more screenings.

  • Texas
  • Missouri
  • Colorado
  • Virginia
  • Michigan
  • New York

You can get more information by going to Funimation’s announcement page. To those in participating states I really hope you get to experience this movie on the big screen like it should be experienced.

By SarahTheRebel On 9 Sep, 2013 At 10:41 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga | With 0 Comments
By Inactive or EX ROG Staffer On 5 May, 2013 At 12:40 AM | Categorized As Conventions, Otaku Events | With 0 Comments
Banner for free Ichimura event

No GravatarBanner for free Ichimura event

The yearly anime convention called Chibi-Pa will be hosting a free event tomorrow at Ichimura Japanese Garden, located in Miami.

I will be hosting panels and possibly giving free stuff. Get there early, the panels have no solid schedules and will be randomly scheduled at the event. The panels hosted will be

  • Spot the Fakes: How to Avoid Ripoffs and Other Unlicensed Goods
  • Otaku on a Budget

So if you live in South Florida, drop by.

By SarahTheRebel On 22 Apr, 2013 At 12:42 AM | Categorized As Contests | With 0 Comments

No GravatarReal Otaku Gamer has partnered with Indie Game Stand to bring you our latest contest: The Three Game Indie Giveaway!

We’re giving away codes to Cognition, Escape Goat and Gimbal on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.

Enter our giveaway here. You can enter multiple times a day, and complete different entry options to gain even more entries.

The contest goes live Monday at midnight, so hurry and get those entries in!

What is IndieGameStand?

In September, IndieGameStand launched as the first pay-what-you-want site to put a new, hand-picked indie game in the spotlight for a full 96 hours. They feature a new indie game every four days.

By Inactive or EX ROG Staffer On 20 Apr, 2013 At 11:00 PM | Categorized As Conventions, Featured, Otaku Events, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarHurricon is one of those conventions that are only feasible due to the tremendous dedication and love of otakus who want to bring joy to other otakus. I attended Hurricon in its first year, and I can confidently say I’ll keep going for as long as I stay in Florida, but it is a young event that still has much to learn. Going this year as a panelist has made me more aware of what Hurricon needs to be better and I’m going to list what’s wrong here. I am not saying Hurricon is not worth attending I had loads of fun and for what it’s worth (free entry for everyone) you shouldn’t miss out.

Unused rooms and time gaps

What do I mean by this? Many rooms went unused during the little time the con was active. When I looked at the schedule I felt my stomach drop because both my panels were scheduled during the costume contest and its prejudging, which would wipe out a good part of my potential audience. Many rooms were unused prior to the time, and I don’t mind presenting early. My turnout was smaller than it is in other cons, but the audience was wonderful and I’m glad they dropped by. As a panelist however, the bigger the crowd the better, and the schedule wasn’t working in my favor.

Panel rooms are split in two

Basically the center of operations is a big building I believe serves as a two story student lounge. All the vendors and the cafe is outside, the first floor hosted one vendor, an exhibitor, and the karaoke setup, and the second floor hosted all the ballrooms and the video game room. But the schedule has some panels held in “The Learning Center” which is a long tiring walk all the way to an orange building. I’m alright with it, but because of that 10 minutes between events is probably not enough for people to bother going to see those faraway panels, especially since most congoers are used to having everything in one place (convention centers spoil us).

Almost no vendors

I was disappointed in the selection provided this year despite that there were more sellers than last year. Out of the many people who got a spot to sell stuff only three merchandise vendors showed up, the rest were artisans and artists. I support the latter, but I much prefer an import figure than a piece of jewelry (although I occasionally bite). This is the first convention I didn’t want to buy anything from. The first year I did want to buy but this year nothing really stood out to me. Of course the convention is not responsible for what their sellers sell, but I hope a wider variety of vendors come next year because that revelation was quite shocking. Good news is no one was selling fake merchandise, yay!

Your refreshing honest vendor, sadly nothing he sold interested me.

Your refreshing honest vendor, sadly nothing he sold interested me.

Some artist tables. The lovely Reimu cosplayer is Zipper Tan, check her out.

Some artist tables. The lovely Reimu cosplayer is Zipper Tan, an artist and talented cosplayer.

Video game room uninviting

Let me begin by saying the video game room was all male, which is odd because other conventions have females in their game room. I could see a few problems. The biggest blunder was all the consoles and television were set up too close to each other, making a small square in between and leaving little space to roam and see what could be played and comfortably watch others. This is important, in fact so important that is why most successful arcades have plenty of free space. Also there was too little light, which somehow makes the small space worse. The room had plenty of space, but it seemed instead of moving around the seats in the lounge  to create an ample gaming space they just decided to make a small circle of doom surrounded by them. As for the gamers themselves? It seemed many of them have been camping there since the con started, it made me feel too uncomfortable to ask if I could play a round. I could play the same game at home anyway.

But enough with everything wrong, what was good?

The location is beautiful

UM should pride itself in its campus because I can say with confidence it has the most beautiful one in Florida. The location difference from your typical convention center is refreshing. You’re surrounded by trees and sculptures done by students, the walkway to the learning center passed a peaceful fountain, and the student lounge has an appealing modern design and awesome murals. To the delight of many, the first floor had plenty of plugs and phone charging stations with all types of cell phone charger cables.

UM campus

Many talented cosplayers

I am not kidding when I say Hurricon brings the best of cosplayers out. Maybe it’s the fact the hobby can be expensive and the entrance is free that makes the magic happen. Theories aside they’re everywhere, and friendly so you can take pictures of them without hassle. This also probably makes it harder to win the costume contest.

Some cosplays

Engaged panel attendees 

Despite being left with a smaller audience than I would have desired the ones that stuck around were great. There are two types of good panel attendees, the ones that are so excited they often shout insightful comments and funny remarks or quiet, attentive, and engaged attendees. I got the latter which is a refresher from the usual excited fans and they also gave feedback, asking questions and answering some question I asked. Other panels varied, but the typical audience was made up of good people. I can say with confidence you will feel comfortable at one of their many panels.

Everyone is friendly

Like the cosplayers this rule also applies to everyone. You can talk to anyone like you’ve known them for a long time and they’re open to almost anything. This is a convention were there is not as many groups as in your larger con, and it opens opportunities to make new friends and have a good time.

Summed up it is undeniable the con did have its flaws but they’re not bad to the point I would recommend staying away. I had fun and I really want it to become a UM tradition. Everything that isn’t wrong is so good fixing what was wrong would create the perfect convention.

If you live in South Florida attend the next Hurricon in 2014, it’s a great otaku treat.

By Inactive or EX ROG Staffer On 28 Mar, 2013 At 09:45 PM | Categorized As Animation, Conventions, Featured, News, Otaku Events | With 0 Comments
Hurricon's Mascot

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Hurricon's Mascot

So cute you can’t deny it.

The University of Miami Anime Club is hosting their second annual anime convention, Miami Hurricon, on April 14. Yours truly will be hosting panels during the event on behalf of ROG. Although the con schedule has not been released yet both of these panels have been confirmed.

  • The History of Vocaloids and their Fandom
  • Spot the Fakes: How to Avoid Ripoffs and Other Unlicensed Goods

Hurricon does have many other things to offer. Two guests have been confirmed, Marianne Miller who’s an American voice actress for English dubs and Little Kuriboh creator of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series. A costume contest will be held again this year and so will a video game tournament sponsored by Anime Gaming Experience. This a free event anyone who lives nearby shouldn’t miss. You can RSVP on the Facebook event page and like their official Facebook page to keep updated about their plans and future events.

I hope to see a great turnout this year, and if you can come drop by one of my panels that would be awesome!

 

littlekuribohUPDATE: Unfortunately, due to a scheduling conflict Marriane           Miller will not be at this year’s Hurricon. But her husband (Little Kuriboh) is still coming as scheduled.

By Houston Christopher On 3 Feb, 2013 At 06:09 AM | Categorized As News, News, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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).

SFxT2013

 

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?