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By Cataclysmic Knight On 1 Sep, 2017 At 10:46 AM | Categorized As PC Games, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarBioshock: Infinite. Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Season One. Life is Strange. Final Fantasy VII. These are some of the games with moments so powerful I’ll never forget them. It’s a list with some incredible games, and What Remains of Edith Finch definitely belongs on it as well.

Title: What Remains of Edith Finch
Developed By: Giant Sparrow
Available For: Xbox One (reviewed), PS4, Windows (Steam)

When I first started playing the game, my fiancee actually mentioned that the game reminded her of Bioshock: Infinite. It’s gorgeous, and even though I went into the game entirely blind there was always this nagging feeling that there was something dark going on. That balance of emotions – gorgeous, peaceful, curious exploration combined with dread and a twinge of sadness.


In Giant Sparrow’s second game (their first being the unique The Unfinished Swan) you play as Edith Finch, a 17-year-old girl returning to her old home after being left a mysterious key in her mother’s will. Edith is the last living Finch and she’s decided to return and explore. The house is perhaps the most accidentally creepy home ever with the rooms of dead family members sealed off and peepholes added to let people see inside like a museum. These rooms each have memorials to those who lived, and perusing their memorials brings Edith into the final moments of each family member.

These final moments are the true meat of the game, with wildly varying scenarios and themes. A child star famous for her scream ends up having her death told through a horror zine with classic horror music playing and a Tales from the Crypt-like host. A baby plays with a bouncing frog in the bathtub, collecting other toys that bounced around with it. The most unique of all was Edith’s brother, a gamer and stoner who worked a boring job at a cannery. Here you’re tasked with the monotonous task of cutting the heads off of fish with the right stick and controlling a dude in a maze with the left stick with a psychiatrist narrating his story. As he devolves further and further into his imagination the screen is taken over more and more by the old-school game that gradually evolves from something reminiscent of Atari titles into a present-day 3D adventure.

What makes these minigames so particularly wild is that it’s such a juxtaposition of emotions. These scenes are full of joy, of adventure and of wonder and yet, deep down, you can’t help but remember you’re essentially causing this baby to drown to death. Despite always feeling a nagging “what am I going to do to get this person killed?” I always happily continued on. It’s also worth noting that this is a game that will not only hit you in the feels, it’ll continue to do so repeatedly throughout your 2-5 hours with it.

This is a narrative game with even less “gameplay” than typical narrative games where you make meaningful choices that change the outcome of events. It’s incredibly linear, and you never once make any important decision. However, the narrative is extremely powerful, and the controls of the game really made me feel connected to what was going on. You grip things with the right trigger and then use the stick to move your hand to do things like pull a door open or turn a music box handle. I also enjoyed having a plain white orb as a symbol that items can be interacted with as the home is SO full of stuff! I read somewhere that it truly felt like the home was lived in and I couldn’t agree more. Despite how linear the game is and how short it is, it’s a masterpiece. I absolutely can’t recommend it enough, it’s just amazing.

Note: I received a code for the game from the developer in exchange for an honest review.

No GravatarSometimes there are very special games that will forever hold a place in the heart of gamers. Chrono Trigger is one of those games. It is a game that is often hailed as being one of the best RPGs of all time and, in many cases, can be considered on of the greatest games of all time, period. Here are the reasons why:

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Chrono Trigger is a role-playing game developed by Square (now Square Enix) for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES). The game was created by a team of extremely talented individuals, including Final Fantasy’s creator, Hironobu Sakaguchi. It was published in 1995 with critical success and was the third best-selling game of that year. Chrono Trigger was later ported to the PlayStation in 1999 and then repackaged in 2001 with Final Fantasy IV as “Final Fantasy Chronicles.” With such critical and commercial success, it has been later ported to the mobile platforms of the Nintendo DS, iOS, and Android. It is a revolutionary game that spawned the sequel Chrono Cross and gave a lot of fans some very happy memories.

The game follows Crono, a main character who never speaks during the game, Marle, a princess, and Lucca, Crono’s super-smart friend. During a Millennial Fair for the time period of AD 1000 in their world, Lucca and her father demonstrate a new teleporter. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work quite like it was supposed to and teleports Crono, Marle, and Lucca in time. They bounce around both forward and backward in time, learning about a creature named Lavos that wipes out civilization. The party is then determined to do what they can to save the world through time travel.

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It is a fantastic story, filled with twists and turns. Players end up traveling between seven different eras with their distinct characters, setting, and feel. Along the way, you meet the wonderful characters of Robo, Ayla, Magus, and the best and coolest video game character of all time, Frog. That’s my opinion, and I’m sticking to it. Trust me, though. Frog is freaking amazing.

One of the many revolutionary aspects of Chrono Trigger was the possibility of multiple endings. However, there were other advancements including plot-related, character-driven sidequests. These may not seem like a big deal today, but in 1995, that was unheard of.

Though the game play is a fairly standard RPG, there were several new ideas to come forth as well. Done with beautiful two-dimensional graphics (that still look good, by the way), the player can roam around in an overworld typical of RPGs of the time and visit different areas. Each area has things to interact with, whether it be people to talk to, puzzles to solve, or enemies to defeat. One change to the traditional RPG is that Chrono Trigger has random encounters for enemies, some which may be visible and some that will ambush you. Unlike other RPGs at the time as well, the game’s battles take place in the same map area instead of being whisked off to a different screen.

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During fights with enemies, Chrono Trigger uses an active battle approach. Each character can do an action based off of a personal timer that is affected by that character’s stats. Characters can either do a straight attack or use their Techs, which use their magic points. One unique feature for the time was the ability to do combined attacks with characters using the Techs. The characters can double or triple their Tech use to create an even greater effect.

The game play is a lot of fun and allows a player to use many tactics to defeat enemies. Another really cool element that Chrono Trigger officially introduced was the New Game+ feature that allowed players to keep their characters’ stats, techniques, and inventory when playing a new game. This helped players go through the multiple endings easier. Though this idea may have been used in earlier games, from my research, it does look like Chrono Trigger was the first to actually use the term “New Game+.” Pretty awesome, right?

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One of my favorite game elements of Chrono Trigger is actually the soundtrack. It was primarily done by Yasunori Mitsuda, who had some help with the legendary Final Fantasy composer, Nobuo Uematsu. The shear amount of tracks for the game was an amazing feat for the time frame. The music is otherworldly and consists of some amazing songs, one of which is my all-time favorite: Frog’s Theme. Seriously, whenever I do something cool, I start humming it. Yes, the song is THAT epic.

Chrono Trigger took some giant leaps forward for gaming. It helped push some of the gaming elements that we all love so much in modern RPGs, especially Western RPGs. The game will always hold a special place in my heart, and I am planning on making it the first game that my daughter and I play together. It is just THAT amazing.

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.

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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.

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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 Sean Jacobs On 17 Jan, 2014 At 02:06 PM | Categorized As Games You Slept On, Indie Spotlight, NINTENDO, Reviews | With 0 Comments

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Nano Assault Neo is a great game that harkens back to the old school games of the 16 bit era brought to you by Shin’En. Games like Gradius, R-Type are ones that I think of when I am trying to sell this game. While, I only use these classic titles as mere reference points into luring you the reader or any random person whom is looking for a good game to try, this game packs so much more. Nano Assault Neo is a very beautiful, fast-paced (16:9 60 frames per seconds) space shooter based inside the microscopic world in linear PCM 5.1 surround sound. Nano Assault isn’t just a side scrolling shooter like the games I originally mentioned yet it is a 3D hybrid of those titles. You will face all sorts of microscopic creatures that will come at you from various angles even from ways you can’t even see them attacking you from. These strange creatures come in all shapes and sizes with a large arsenal of projectiles speeding your way these will not be your only obstacles neither, the world itself presents its own challenges.

NanoAssault stage                                                      Nano-Assault-Neo-2                                                                                          nano crazy legs boss

“A warrior never enters a battle without a proper weapon” with the “Nanoshop” provided to you in between the 16 stages divided between 4 uniquely designed microscopic cluster worlds you can upgrade your ship with points collected on the previous stage completed with up to 3 different types of Subweapons and 4 Satellites which are position-able anyplace around your ship via your Wii U Gamepad. You can buy extra lives, Item Attractors, Score Doublers amongst other additions to your arsenal. Each world has its own large “extreme boss” after the 4 stages are completed within each cluster. Then fun can also be shared with a friend locally via co-op play using the TV & gamepad the gamepad even displays a small live feed in the corner of it displaying the action that’s going on screen with your team member. Additionally, missions are given to you that you can decide to complete if you desire along with competing with online with the ranking system provided to you the system ranges from all modes available to you within the game like single-player, two-player  & survivor mode to name a few.

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This game is another great title that utilizes the Wii u gamepad well in small subtle ways that are intuitive and not overly done. Nano Assault can be used totally independent of the television, which is a plus for a parent of a house load of children and a wife who just might want to use the TV right when I am deep within a battle on one of these tyrannical micro worlds of Nano Assault Neo. This game can be played by any level of gamer but, you have been warned this game is not for the faint of heart, just endure the pain that will occur you will be thankful afterwards. This is an excellent shooter to the controller gripping end, I hope my words has moved you to go pick up this title on Nintendo’s Eshop now available for $9.99 in the U.S. Don’t miss out on this great game you already slept long enough on Shin’En games Nano Assault Neo.

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