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By Jonathan Balofsky On 20 Nov, 2017 At 01:52 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Old School Otaku, PC Games, Reviews, ROG News, ROG Retro | With 0 Comments

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RPGs are a beloved genre, but when it comes to video games, most of the best RPGs trace their roots to one series and that is Ultima, the series from Lord British himself, Richard Garriot. There is so much that can be said about the Ultima series that I will need to do this in parts. Today we look at Ultima Underworld, the spinoff that inspired so many games.

In this game, you explored things from a first person perspective, but unlike dungeon crawlers at the time, this one not a single flash screen affair. Rather, the game scrolled in real time which allowed a deeper sense of immersion than anything else at the time. This was more than just a dungeon crawler though, as there was a massive world to explore with multiple sidequests. It eschewed typical expectations for RPGs and instead created a new format and style for itself. The best games are not those that try to be the best or try to be the most unique for the sake of being unique. Rather the best games are the ones that set out to do something different because they are doing what is best for the game.

Ultima Underworld was the first indoor, real-time, 3D first-person game to allow the player to look up and down, and to jump. This would influence not only later RPGs but also first person shooters as well. The games also told a real story rather than the generic plots of many other RPGs, by expanding on the worlds introduced in Ultima and giving us a new part of it to explore. The result was a fully realized world that even the main series borrowed from. Ultima has always been a series of firsts and the  Ultima Underworld games continued that. This is the point where games started relying less on imagination and moved from telling you the details, to showing them. Suddenly what was once the norm in gaming, became obsolete very quickly.

I do not hesitate when I say that Ultima Underworld 1 and 2 influenced the creation of almost all first person open world RPGs that came out after. This includes multiple styles of games such as The Elder Scrolls as well as Bioshock and Deus Ex. In fact, Warren Spector himself worked on this game. In addition, the music for Ultima Underworld: The Sygian Abyss was done by George Sanger, the fat man himself, and one of his frequent collaborators David Govett, and they brought their best to this work. The soundtrack was created as a powerful work with  great combat music and the best feeling of immersion, with moments of dread and excitement being conveyed beautifully.

Ultima Underworld 1 and 2 can still be appreciated today. Even with the older style of visuals and game design, the games hold up surprisingly well, which is a testament to how well they were made. I encourage you all to try these games, and see for yourself why they helped make gaming what it is today. If you do check these games out ( available on GOG.com right here), you might also be interested in knowing there is a third game coming. Underworld Ascendant will see Warren Spector return to the director’s role for the game and once more bring his insight. Now is the perfect time to see why these games matter so much.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 30 May, 2017 At 03:47 PM | Categorized As PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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GOG.com sent out the following

 

SNK’s signature NEOGEO cabinet was the cornerstone of any good arcade. While trends came and went, SNK’s titles stood the test of time like no other. Today, SNK brings 15 of their classic titles to GOG.com, with several of them supporting GOG Galaxy features like online multiplayer, leaderboards and achievements.

Load the bases in BASEBALL STARS 2, save the world from terrorists either alone or by forming a mercenary squad in SHOCK TROOPERS, shoot your way through soldiers and tanks in the METAL SLUG series, and choose your fighting style in one of the genre’s true hidden gems, THE LAST BLADE.

Aside of the above, PC players can now also get their hands on BLAZING STAR, FATAL FURY SPECIAL, KING OF THE MONSTERS, SAMURAI SHOWDOWN II & SAMURAI SHOWDOWN V SPECIAL, and THE KING OF FIGHTERS 2000 & 2002.

Each game is available individually or as part of three bundles; the METAL SLUG Bundle, the Arcade Games Bundle, and the Fighting Classics Bundle. And to celebrate the addition of SNK games to GOG.com, all titles are now 50% off, while bundles get you additional discount making them 75% cheaper.

For the full list of SNK games and bundles, be sure to visit GOG.com.

I am loving the revival of SNK and how they are doing what they can to bring their games to a new audience. This is a great move for them and  hopefully gives these great games like King of the Monsters and The Last Blade a new generation of fans.

Source: PR Email

By Jonathan Balofsky On 2 Feb, 2017 At 08:07 PM | Categorized As PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Gambitious Digital Entertainment sent out the following

 

Gambitious Digital Entertainment and indie developer Arachnid Games have released the submarine exploration and action game Diluvion today on Windows PC and Mac for $19.99 through Steam, GOG.com and the Humble Store.

A collector’s edition of the game – Diluvion Fleet Edition – is also available today for $24.99. It includes an exclusive playable submarine called the “Manta,” a comprehensive digital art book and a downloadable copy of the game’s evocative original soundtrack.

Deep below the frozen surface of a world devastated by a global flood rests an enormous undersea realm teeming with derelict vessels, unknown terrors and the last remnants of human civilization. As a freelance captain hunting riches and glory, Diluvion lets players pilot their very own submersibles, assembling their crew, managing resources, discovering uncharted harbors, trading loot, collecting bounties and fending off threats human and inhuman in real-time 3D combat to survive. Players can even build their own home bases to shelter their growing fleet of nine unique and upgradable ships over the course of their adventure through this hauntingly beautiful domain.

This sounds like a truly unique game with a lot of interesting ideas. The sheer potential the game presents for experimenting with genres is immense and we hope to have a review of the game up soon. Will you be buying this?

Source:PR Email

By Jonathan Balofsky On 13 Oct, 2016 At 05:41 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, PC Games, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Shadow Warrior’s 2013 reboot was an amazing game that succeeded for so many others had failed. It took a 90’s FPS game based around pushing the envelope, similar to Duke Nukem, and mad a game for the modern era that not only kept the spirit of the game alive, but was a great game as well. Now the sequel has come with much hype behind it, and I have to say it doesn’t live up to the hype…..it far surpasses it.

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Shadow Warrior 2 continues the series tradition of taking what other companies have tried, and actually succeeding where they failed. The game is now partially procedurally generated, so no two playthroughs will be the same, and there is a story reason for that as well. A good way to describe this game would be DOOM 2016 meets the Diablo series, and that isn’t a bad thing. The game is still a hybrid FPS/Hack N Slash game but now you acquire more loot and gear like a rougelike. Skill Upgrades, Item Modifications and Upgrades and more are a big part of this game, and learning how everything works is actually rather fun.

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The single player campaign is around 12 hours ( more if you try and get every secret), and you can replay it in co-op mode with up to four players. Things change a bit in co-op mode, such as enemies taking more damage for example. Given that the game gives you the chance to go in with melee attacks or long range guns or close range guns, co-op might work better if every player picks one style they use as their role and sticks to it. The co-op mode really does add to the replayability of the game and I much prefer it instead of a competitive shooter mode that some other games have.

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Visually the game is stunning, with a lot of detail put into the animations and textures, as well as character and enemy designs. While some characters and enemies do start looking similar to each other at times, there is still enough variety to keep things fresh. The game’s areas are huge and may seem empty, but do not let that fool you. There are many secrets to find and things to do. Just wondering for a while will lead you to something, so I encourage you to do that.

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Shadow Warrior 2 retains the over the top nature of the first game. I would say it repeatedly crosses the line, but in truth, there really are not anymore lines it can cross. Nothing is off limits for the game, but it doesn’t just go all out offensive in a way that comes off as juvenile. Rather, the game seems more aware of itself and its writing. The writing, while spouting out some ridiculous things, is very well written and the characters are organic. You have Lo Wang who is a loudmouth and annoying to many, and the other characters are often frustrated with him. There is a lot of humor in the interactions he has with everyone. The throwbacks to the original game are welcome and a treat for old school fans. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the amazing soundtrack in the game. With songs by people like Stan Bush and more, the game has amazing music that really helps get you into the game and get things done. Shadow Warrior has one of the best soundtracks in modern gaming and also one of the most fun. It is just that awesome and a great way of using music.shadow-warrior-2-screen-5

If there is one fault I have with the game, it is that there could be a bit more variety in everything. Not to say that the game is short on content, because it isn’t. Rather, it just feels like you move through it all a little too quickly. I have no doubt more content will find its way into the game eventually, and my issues are minor at best. If you have a decent PC, I highly recommend checking this out. This is an FPS that knows what it wants and what it should be. I highly recommend it.

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 12 Oct, 2016 At 10:21 PM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarLo Wang is back in the sequel to 2013’s Shadow Warrior reboot. The game, from Devolver Digital and Flying Wild Hog , now has an amazing launch trailer to show off itself. Do you have the touch?

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 4 Aug, 2016 At 01:12 PM | Categorized As PC Games, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarGOG.com sent out the following press release

 

GOG.com and Disney have teamed up to bring three beloved classics
of the 16-bit era to a new generation of gamers and Disney fans. Disney Aladdin,
Disney The Lion King, and Disney The Jungle Book are available now, for Windows,
Mac, and Linux, exclusively at GOG.com.

Previously unavailable to modern gamers, all three titles have been meticulously
updated to be compatible with modern operating systems while preserving the original
graphics, sound, and gameplay. Each game is available separately for $9.99 USD
($8.99 with launch discount), or together as a discounted bundle for $19.99.

Developed during the golden age of platformers, Disney Aladdin, Disney The Lion
King, and Disney The Jungle Book established themselves as hallmarks of the genre,
earning the praise of fans and critics alike for over two decades.

Of course, no mention of these revered platformers would be complete without a nod
to their groundbreaking visuals. With the advent of Digicel technology, hand-drawn
cels from Disney’s animation team brought the characters to life with a level of
vibrancy that was unparalleled at the time, and remains impressive today.

Disney Interactive made its DRM-free, GOG.com debut in October, 2014, and together
they have re-released over a dozen must-play classics, including Star Wars™: X-Wing
Special Edition, Star Wars™: TIE Fighter Special Edition, Star Wars™: Rogue
Squadron, and Sam & Max Hit the Road, to name just a few of the titles that have
become staples of the GOG.com catalog.

Disney Aladdin, Disney The Lion King, and Disney The Jungle Book are available now,
DRM-free at GOG.com

It should be noted that Aladdin is the genesis version, widely regarded as the superior version of the game.

You can check out a trailer for the three releases below