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By Jonathan Balofsky On 25 Jul, 2017 At 11:04 PM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Uncategorized, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Friday the 13th: The Game developer IllFonic has denied reports that the studio has moved on from the game.

The following tweet was released.

 

 

IllFonic then went on to note that they have multiple teams and no resources are being taken away from one game for another. Hopefully this puts the false story to bed.

By John Kinsella On 20 Jul, 2017 At 01:31 PM | Categorized As Featured, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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In the 90’s a new game style arose, a scary and brutal game style with games like Resident Evil coming out,showing a scary new world. Vaccine which came out on the Nintendo Switch on July 6th is trying to bring this back. In a world where graphics and beauty have become amazing, this game wants to bring back what was lost. It is really like a game from the past and while the idea is novel, it is also not really a good thing, as this style of game has aged horrendously. The characters look melty and it is hard to distinguish things. This of course is also because that is how the games in that era were, but still.

Though that isn’t to say that the game is actually bad. Vaccine tells the story of two people and one of them is always infected with a terrible virus, with you being given a half hour to save the victim before they die. The story isn’t all that important as it stays the same no matter which protagonist you choose. The whole mansion is always different after the first room where you will always find a knife. You might find a gun or other items but usually you just find the undead. You can’t just go and learn the mansion which makes the game all the more tense and strategic. One playthrough, you might even be lucky enough to instantly find the antidote.

This game is unlike other games like this though, because of an RPG like experience system. Your characters gain experience which will carry through if you win. This game also has one more twist up its sleeve. When you win, you can play again of course. But this time you will have less time and this continues to decrease with each victory. Not only does this game pose the challenge of changing up the mansion with each playthrough, but each win subtracts precious time.

Personally, I cannot for the life of me, see myself playing through this game enough times to see how many minutes get taken off, but it is an interesting idea. Certainly there will be people who play it until the clock will not drain anymore and I salute them for that drive.

While this game might have a lot going for it, it really shows how far we have come. To see a company decide to make a game in part for nostalgia shows that this is important in a way. But, honestly this style really has aged poorly. The game looks terrible blown up on a TV, but it does look good on the Switch in handheld mode. The music drives the tenseness as well, and makes it worth playing in handheld mode. CRT mode is also usable though, which brings on even more nostalgia. So turn on CRT mode and plug in some headphones and try not get to scared.

All in all, Vaccine is a game that is worth playing. If you want a cheap horror game and were a fan of 90’s horror games than this is for you. Younger gamers may not enjoy this game simply because of how it looks but it really is worth it. Really though this game could be the start of a younger gamer’s new fascination with older games and that really would be cool.

So, take your Switch, turn off the light and save your ally from the terrible virus. With only a will to succeed and a knife you will be in for a long fight.

Vaccine is out right now on the Nintendo Switch!

By Jonathan Balofsky On 19 Jul, 2017 At 11:09 PM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Bethesda has released a new trailer for The Evil Within 2

 

 

“It’s all your fault…”

That’s the mantra running through Sebastian Castellanos’ mind. Plagued by memories of the daughter he couldn’t save and a mystery he could never solve, he begins to lose himself in his past mistakes. Sebastian lives out his nightmares every day, unable to pull himself from his downward spiral. Until an old friend-turned-traitor reenters his life with an offer: Return to the nightmare and save your daughter. The Evil Within 2 gives a broken man the chance to make things right and find the peace he so deserves, but he’ll have to go through hell first.

The Evil Within 2 releases worldwide Friday the 13th, October 2017 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

 

The game is looking intense and will no doubt terrify many players when it releases this October.

Will you be getting it?

By Jonathan Balofsky On 15 Jun, 2017 At 12:46 PM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Bethesda has released two trailers for The Evil Within 2, to show off the game some more.

Set in Union, a crumbling city built using Lily’s mind as the Core, The Evil Within 2 presents a mix of closed off, claustrophobic environments that are reminiscent of the first game, and new, less linear areas that will give you the opportunity to explore at your own pace. You’ll be able to wander freely and poke through all the dark corners of the world at your leisure, but this is still a survival horror game, and ammo and resources will be scarce. You’ll need to prepare carefully and move cautiously as you discover the secrets of Union and unravel Mobius’ plans from within STEM.

The Evil Within 2 releases worldwide Friday the 13th, October 2017 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

 

 

The horrifying things Sebastian experienced in the first game left him scarred, but rather than run from the source of his nightmares, Sebastian chased after them. He spent three years seeking answers to the questions that plagued him and trying to find the organization who ruined his life. Who is Mobius? What do they want? What is the true purpose of STEM?

But from this darkness comes a chance at redemption.
The Evil Within 2 releases worldwide Friday the 13th, October 2017 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

The game certainly looks good, and will hopefully succeed in the area where the original fell short. That isn’t to say the original is bad, but it definitely had some shortcomings. That said, This game might just be what we are looking for.

 

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The Nintendo GameCube era was a time of experimentation for Nintendo. It was during this time that we got games like F-Zero GX via a collaboration with Sega, Metroid Prime and Eternal Darkness. All of these are classic games still loved by players, but there is one game that Nintendo published for the GameCube that sticks out like a sore thumb.

Geist was developed by n-Space, who were under contract with Nintendo at the time. The game went through a period of development hell and was delayed numerous times, as well as undergoing numerous revisions. What started out as a horror themed sci-fi FPS eventually became a first person horror adventure that was a bit of a disjointed mess. The game had some great ideas, such as possessing characters in order to interact with the world, but it was badly handled and was a deeply unsatisfactory experience. The thing is, some of the great ideas the game had, have been used by other games since in some form or another, including Prey to an extent, and these were handled extremely well.

Geist’s problems can be attributed to the horrible development cycle it had, and if given a new developer with a proven track record for success, the game could be rebooted and given a fresh start. There is new tech available today for game design, people are thinking outside the box, and the game’s ideas can be made into a truly epic sci-fi horror game.

But what developer/studio could revive the IP in a successful way, and that Nintendo could trust? The answer is for Nintendo to look inward, as they have the perfect studio to work on it. Retro Studios works best on games that have a western focus/appeal more to the west, and if they are not working on Metroid or Donley Kong, this would be a perfect new project for them to handle. They have the pedigree for amazing sci-fi games and are masters of intricate game design. Moreover, they have the Nintendo design philosophy down pat and can be trusted to deliver a true polished game. People were skeptical about Metroid Prime at first but it is regarded as one of the best games ever made. Their Donkey Kong games are some of the best platformers ever made and have great attention to detail to the extent that they won people over, when they were upset at the idea of Retro working on that series.

Retro could make Geist their big epic project for the Switch and create a new experience for fans. It could be what the original was supposed to be, but on a bigger scale. Moreover, Nintendo is now more open to these kind of games and given the reception many of these games have, it would be amazing for Nintendo to have one of their own, designed in-house, with a top tier developer behind it. Geist had some amazing ideas that weren’t used properly and Retro Studios is the ideal studio to take this IP and turn it into a success.

 

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Bethesda and Arkane Studios recently released a demo of Prey for players to try. Being super excited for the game, I had to give it a look and I have come away very impressed.

Prey is not like a typical first person shooter, or horror game. When people are told that this game takes influence from Dead Space and System Shock, I feel they are not being given an accurate description. Yes, the game takes some ideas from those games, but it builds on them in such unique and innovative ways, that it makes these ideas its own.

First, let me mention the beautiful visuals. The game is absolutely gorgeous and wonderfully stylized. Every detail is immaculate, and the amount of work put into getting everything right is amazing. The game’s look just pops out at you, and it is done in a way that rarely happens anymore. The music is also great in this demo, and it helps create the perfect atmosphere. Not to mention the sound effects are creepy and awesome at the same time.

In terms of gameplay, from what was seen in the demo, Prey, while taking some influence from the aforementioned games, really does things like nothing else before it. It has innovative gameplay, unique weapons, and how you interact with the environment and the enemies is inspired. The developers were not mincing words when they said the station Talos 1 was a character in its own right. The weapons and abilities let you do things that you would never have even considered doing before. You need to stop and think about what to do, because the game gives you so many options to procees.This is one of the most well crafted games I have ever seen, and this was just the opening demo.  I cannot wait for the full game, and I must commend Bethesda and Arkane. This was an amazing demo!

By Jonathan Balofsky On 29 Mar, 2017 At 01:36 PM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Bethesda sent out the following

 

In Prey you’ll need more than just your wits to take on the Typhon aliens that are threatening to destroy mankind. But why stop with the weapons and gadgets you’ll find aboard Talos I? Mankind’s last – and only – hope, Morgan Yu, also has the option of “installing” a wide range of human and alien abilities. Get a look at some of the powers you can use against the deadly Typhon – along with exclusive insights from the team at Arkane Studios in our latest video titled ‘Playing with Powers’

 

Whether you focus on just human powers – allowing you to run faster, jump higher, use firearms better and more – or if you instead branch off into the myriad Typhon abilities, one thing’s certain: Prey offers players a wide range of ways to annihilate aliens. From Superthermal to Psychoshock and beyond, these powers will make all the difference in your mission to fight the aliens and save the world.

 

Be on the lookout tomorrow for a new video featuring fresh insight into Prey’s mind-altering Neruomod Division, and for more examples of how you can combine weapons and powers, be sure to check out yesterday’s ‘Power Combos’ video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Aro7eB53q8.

 

Set to launch worldwide on Friday, May 5, 2017 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, Prey is the highly-anticipated first-person sci-fi action game from Arkane Studios – creators of the award-winning Dishonored series which includes the 2012 ‘Game of the Year’ and the critically-acclaimed follow-up, Dishonored 2.

 

Prey has been rated M for mature by the ESRB. For more information about the game please visit prey.bethesda.net.

Prey just keeps looking amazing. This might just be the most innovative FPS in a long time. We hope to have a review around launch time.

Source: PR Email.

By Nate VanLindt On 5 Mar, 2017 At 06:12 PM | Categorized As Books, Editorials, Featured | With 0 Comments

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Since the advent of Harry Potter, the popularity of teen and children’s writers has skyrocketed.  As many adults are reading these books as kids are and bookstores have assembled whole sections of their stores for the wide variety of teen material available.  Much of the volume of material available tends towards teen science fiction and fantasy, following in the Potter and Hunger Games trends.  Other writers have branched out into suspense and even horror.  But this isn’t a new genre.  A few spectacular writers broke ground in these genres decades ago.  One of these early few was the esteemed young adult writer John Bellairs. 

Bellairs wrote several books in the mid to late 60s, ranging from religious parody to fantasy.   In the early 1970s, he wrote a dark fantasy novel for adults, but publishers recommended he rewrite the book for young readers and in 1973, The House With a Clock in its Walls was born.  With artwork by the legendary artist Edward Gorey, The House With a Clock in its Walls found immediate success.

Bellairs’ flair for the macabre along with Gorey’s edgy panels drew together a uniquely dark story.   His characters were realistic, flawed, and captivating.  The villains had no issues torturing and killing children, much like the original Grimm’s Fairy Tales and this stark look at the supernatural underbelly of 1950s New England went on to win 5 literary awards between 1973 and 1982.  He went on to win 13 more awards for his other books as well.  But Bellairs wasn’t done.

He went on to write a total of 15 children’s horror novels primarily focusing on three main characters.  Of those 15 books, 12 were stunningly illustrated by Edward Gorey.  Notably, the Dial hardcover library editions of Bellairs’ books feature wraparound dust jacket artwork by Gorey and a unique font, creating a wondrous and foreboding atmosphere before even opening the books themselves.

What’s truly remarkable about Bellairs’ work, however, is how enduring it is and how well it has aged.  Each book comes in at around 150-200 pages, but the length belies the quality of the content.  Evil wizards and sorcerers abound and time travel, human sacrifice, and Armageddon are common themes.  They aren’t simply dark, though.  The characters are well-written, the stories cohesive and self-contained.  For an adult going back to re-read these books, they have managed to stay compelling and powerful and should be a must-read for the kid who loves a scary story in all of us.

John Bellairs died in 1991 at the age of 53, but he left a legacy of fiction for all of us to treasure.  Several movies and shows have been made of his work based on The House With a Clock in its Walls and The Treasure of Alpheus Winterborn, but they are extremely difficult to locate and have low production value.  Eric Kripke, of Supernatural fame, has been rumored to be working on a current movie adaptation of The House With a Clock in its Walls, but the project has yet to have materialized.  Kripke is said to have been inspired by Bellairs’ work as a child.  With any luck, a modern movie of Bellairs’ seminal work will inspire a whole new generation in the years to come. 

For those that are interested, most of John Bellairs’s books are in print (and have been continuously since their release) and available on Amazon or at your local library.  An original set of the Dial hardcover library editions can run upwards of $500.00 on eBay, even for ex-library copies.  A fan tribute website still runs to this day.

 

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 17 Aug, 2016 At 07:44 PM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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While Beginning Hour acts as a setup for the main game, this time you’ll see a found footage videotape segment that will appear in the final game. (Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you, the videotape graphical effects are distinct to these segments and aren’t representative of the rest of the game.)

If you played Beginning Hour, you encountered one of these found footage type segments where you were introduced to the “Sewer Gators” film crew and witnessed their grisly fate. This time, you’ll get a sneak peek at content from a tape labelled “Mia,” and you’ll get to see some other areas of the house that you saw in Beginning Hour and characters within — including Marguerite.

Source: PlayStation Blog

 

You can check out the rather unnerving trailer below.

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 9 Aug, 2016 At 03:50 AM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Pete Hines, the Vice President of Bethesda Softworks spoke with Finder.com.au about various subjects and the issue of game sales was discussed. It was revealed that Both The Evil Within and Rage sold well enough to warrant sequels. This doesn’t mean sequels are confirmed though as Hines refused to comment on what Bethesda has planned.

Pete Hines: I can’t talk about the unannounced stuff and what we may or may not do. I get myself in trouble whenever I do that. Even when we were talking about the Morrowind Remaster, if I come out and say, ‘I just don’t think that is going to happen,’ then people freak out. So I won’t confirm or deny stuff we may or may not do, as people jump to the wrong conclusions. But I do think both The Evil Within and Rage did well enough that we could make sequels. Personally I loved Rage and had a tonne of fun playing it, but we have a lot of stuff in the pipeline right now so you will have to wait and see.

With this known, it is exciting to think that we might see sequels to these games in the not so distant future. We will just need to wait and be patient.

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