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By Ural Garrett On 26 May, 2017 At 12:21 AM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Reviews, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarPlayground Games could have simply felt continent with having the premiere open world racer with Forza Horizon 3. The Australian Outback was a perfect location featuring loads of varied geography, the level of customization from vehicles to online play were insane and the Xbox One exclusive just played sublime regardless of the arcade/sim lean a player wanted.

Makes sense as to why the game till this day retains a 91 percent Metacritic score while selling over 2.5 million units. Instead, developers of the series continue to put the same amount of attention into Forza Horizon 3’s expansions starting with the Blizzard Mountain in late 2016. Despite being a blast drifting through the snow in the latest All-Wheel-Drive vehicles, more conventional vehicles or high priced exotics were pushed to the side (even with the added snow tire option.) Now, Playground has upped the ante and much more through their Hot Wheels expansion.

First, the track design does an amazing job blending the cherished childhood moments of miniature cars racing on plastic winding and twisting orange tracks with the grounded feel that’s made the Forza series so palatable to racing fans.

And, the map is fairly large.

A giant Hot Wheels track on an isolated island also feature hallmarks of the brand. Loops, sharp bends, boost sections, extremely ludicrous jumps specialized cars and even random T-Rex’s make its way into damn near every corner of the map. Also, the track design transitions from dirt road to the pavement in a way similar to the Australian Outback making it feel more entertaining than Blizzard Mountain. This means that there’s enough variety for those who want to drive a suped up Acura Integra, Ferrari 458 or Ford 150 Raptor without feeling out of place. Keeping with the Hot Wheels theme, some races even feature cross sections which only adds to the tension. The track design at times literally seems to rival the over-the-top feel of Mario Kart 8.  

The Forza Horizon series has evolved into the best open world racer one can get this generation and always serve as something for those who don’t appreciate the more technical driving nature of Forza Motorsports. With the Hot Wheels expansion, an already fantastic racing experience gets even better.

By Wade Hinkle On 22 Sep, 2016 At 01:58 PM | Categorized As News, Uncategorized, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No Gravatargears4_gameplay-9c31f219876345bbbef0cac8afcb8a44The Coalition has just released the full list of Achievements that players can obtain in Gears of War 4 along with the launch trailer in celebration of the game going gold. There is not much else to say about it, except without further ado, below is the full list of Achievements.

General Gameplay

  • Zen and the Art of Reloading – Perform 25 perfect active reloads [5G]
  • Drop the Beat…down – Get 3 Dropshot headshots [5G]
  • Now That’s a Knife! – Kill 10 enemies with combat knife after yanking or kicking [5G]
  • Triple Play – Kill 3 enemies with a single Buzzkill shot [5G]
  • Whoomp, There It Is! – Knife execute an enemy that was yanked over cover by another player [5G]
  • I Live. I Die. I Live Again! – Rescue someone from inside a Snatcher [5G]
  • Pounsus Interruptus – Kill a Pouncer mid-pounce with Shotgun or Chainsaw [5G]
  • Stop Hitting Yourself – Kill a Guardian with a Guardian weapon [5G]

Campaign

  • 16 Story Progression Achievements [80G]
  • Ready for More – Complete all campaign Acts (any difficulty) [10G]
    Learned the Hard Way – Complete all campaign Acts on Hardcore or Insane Difficulty [20G]
  • The Night is Dark and Full of Terrors – Complete all campaign Acts on Insane Difficulty [30G]
  • Come And Knock on My Door – Complete one Act in Co-op Campaign (any difficulty) [5G]
  • Brothers Till The End – Complete all Campaign Acts in Co-op (any difficulty) [20G]
  • The Sound Of Silence – Complete the Campaign without dropping your inheritance [25G]
  • Collector – Recover 5 Campaign collectibles [5G]
  • Pack Rat – Recover 10 Campaign collectibles [10G]
  • Completist – Recover all Campaign collectibles [15G]
  • Remember the Fallen – Recover all COG Tags during the Campaign [15G]
  • But You Can’t Pick Your Family – Find 5 weapons in snot bubbles [5G]
  • Look out! Uh… Never Mind – Kill 25 enemies by dropping pods on them [5G]
  • –Spoiler Protected– Kills [5G]
  • Gone With The Windflare – Kill 15 enemies using the environment during a windflare [5G]

Versus

  • Big Ol Hero -Get the “Big Ol Hero” Ribbon ten times [5G]
  • Bounty Hunter – Complete 20 Bounties [10G]
  • Chest Candy – Earn one of each launch Ribbon [10G]
  • Custom Made – Win a match using a non-Starter Character and non-default Weapon Skin [5G]
  • Ranked and Filed – Achieve a rank in all launch Core and Competitive game modes [5G]
  • Rollin’ With the Homies – Earn the maximum Consecutive Match Bonus in Versus [5G]
  • Say Hello to My Little Friend – Get the final winning kill in Arms Race [5G]
  • How’s it Going to Work? Teamwork! – Win a Casual Co-op Versus match [5G]
  • Teamwork Makes the Dream Work! – Win a Normal Co-op Versus match [5G]
  • Talent Gets Kills, Teamwork Wins Games! – Win a Hardcore Co-op Versus match [5G]
  • To Go Fast, Go Alone. To Go Far, Go Together – Win an Insane Co-op Versus match [5G]

Horde

  • At First I Was Afraid, I Was Petrified – Survive the first 10 consecutive waves of Horde in a squad (any difficulty, any map) [10G]
  • Bilford Bogin! – Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde in a squad (any difficulty, any map) [25G]
  • I’ve Killed Things, Seen Places – Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde in a squad on every Launch Series map (any difficulty) [50G]
  • I Have Approximate Knowledge of Many Things – Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde as Scout on Insane in a squad (any map) [20G]
  • Job’s Done – Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde as Engineer on Insane in a squad (any map) [20G]
  • Oh What a Day! What a Lovely Day! – Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde as Soldier on Insane in a squad [20G]
  • I Choose Violence – Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde as Heavy on Insane in a squad (any map) [20G]
  • Give a Name. Any Name. – Complete 50 consecutive waves of Horde as Sniper on Insane in a squad (any map) [20G]
  • I Have a Very Particular Set of Skills – Upgrade a Skill card to maximum level [5G]
  • Skills That Make Me a Nightmare – Upgrade 5 Launch Series Skill cards to maximum level [10G]
  • Classy Move – Reach level 10 in one Horde Class [5G]
  • Stay Classy – Reach level 10 in every Launch Horde Class [10G]
  • Gold Digger – Spend 100000 Power in the Fabricator (across all sessions) [10G]
  • Sugar Daddy – Deposit 1,000,000 power in the Fabricator lifetime [10G]
  • Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. – Upgrade Fabricator to maximum level (in one session) [5G]
  • Call a Dr. If Lasting More than 4 Teammates – Resurrect 4 teammates using the Fabricator in a single session (any difficulty) [5G]

Progression and Cards

  • Level 10 – Reach level 10 [10G]
  • Level 50 – Reach level 50 [25G]
  • It’s a Start – Earn 1000 Credits lifetime [5G]
  • Moving on up! – Earn 10000 Credits lifetime [10G]
  • I’m Drumpf – Earn 100000 Credits lifetime [20G]
  • Craftsman – Craft a card [5G]
  • Master Craftsman – Craft a Legendary card [10G]
  • Thank You, Sir. May I Have Another? – Re-up once [10G]
  • Please Sir, Can I Have Some More? – Re-up ten times [100G]
  • Seriously 4.0 – Complete Insane Campaign, ribbons, rank placements, Horde maps, re-ups, classes and five skills [200G]

No GravatarSine Mora is a game developed by Hungarian and Japanese game developers Digital Reality and Grasshopper Manufacture. They have been well received and have been made available on PC, many consoles including the OUYA, as well as receiving mobile game releases. I can’t speak on the merit of the mobile adaptations of the game because I played the game on PC, so consider this a review of how the game plays on PC and consoles.

The game itself is a horizontal shooter where the gameplay involves controlling airplanes through a barrage of projectiles while attacking your opponents. In terms of bullet hell it isn’t as hellish as some other games I’ve played but challenging nonetheless. The challenge largely comes from the bosses, whom can be frustrating if your weapons aren’t leveled up enough. The game doesn’t involve skills as much as it involves strategy due to two factors: capsules and special attacks. Different capsules have different effect, which can save your life when dodging especially difficult bullet patterns or a barrage. Special attacks depend on the character you’re playing. Special attacks tremendously help when you’re trying to finish off bosses when used wisely. The game can be played either in story or arcade mode, with only arcade mode having the most difficult settings, hard and insane.

sine mora gameplay

I would highly recommend this game if it wasn’t for the life system and the game’s pace. You’re “alive” (your plane doesn’t randomly blow up) as long as your timer doesn’t run out. This would be perfect if the game was more rapid, or the landscape progressed along with the player, but no. The screen drags along to an almost unbearable snail pace. Your time gauge only get replenished if you get the appropriate powerups and kill enemies. This is extremely inconvenient when you’re in the hard or expert mode with less time in a part of the game with barely any enemies. In story mode they were obviously designed as exercises in control with cramped spaces and few enemies in the way, but they’re needless and frustrating when you’re praying the next giant slug comes out so you can replenish your time gauge seconds away from instant death when you haven’t even been hit by one thing! Even the great capsules you can’t use in story mode don’t make up for this major flaw.

Even in story mode this was frustrating.

Even in story mode this was frustrating.

Not only does it make it inconvenient to play in arcade mode, but the game itself feels dragged out when playing in story mode. The cut scenes even have a fast forward option if you don’t want to spend 5 minutes looking at footage of planes flying. Hell even when you play the game there are “cut scenes” with the plane flying by itself, but there are no different camera angles, transitions, or anything else that would prohibit the player from flying normally or continuing to play.

When you’re buying this game consider you’re only getting it for the story mode. The story itself is pretty good, although a bit confusing with anthro animals and planets and races and whatnot. This however did not keep me from enjoying the characters whom had good dialogue and made me more interested in the story. When story mode is finished you unlock an encyclopedia with all the info on the world of Sine Mora, which I’m halfway through and found pretty well done. A lot of thought went into this game; if it weren’t for its fatal flaws it would’ve been another memorable shooter, and what a shame. This is definitely a game made with love, considering how much planing went into a story where you only see the characters on the side of a dialogue box.

Durak

I love Durak, she’s a badass!

Sine Mora is a good game, but you should only expect to kill a few hours with it since it has low replay value. Try it if you want to but, just don’t pay full price for it.

By Houston Christopher On 9 Dec, 2013 At 07:31 PM | Categorized As Editorials, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThe next generation of video games have finally arrived on store shelves and some if not most of us have had the opportunity to experience them first hand. Im here to give you my unbiased opinion on all three major consoles and what improvements are needed for each console to succeed.

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While the Wii U has been out for a year it still feels left behind while the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 feel fresh and new. That’s not saying the quality of the system is bad, it just feels a bit lacking in certain areas that other consoles even in the previous generation provided that the Wii U still doesn’t. For starters, it seems unacceptable for any disc based console to lack the ability to play a CD or DVD. Hell, the Wii U has no option for music whatsoever. As far as an entertainment console goes it definitely doesn’t succeed without it having rudimentary tasks. It does offer a pretty strong selection of games at this point in time, more so than the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. The innovation that Nintendo is bringing to this generation may not be enough for the company to last very long. I personally expect to see a new console from them in the next 4-5 years. The only real thing Nintendo can do is provide quality while it can. The main problem is the lack of third party support that Sony and Microsoft are getting. I guess only time will tell.

The PlayStation 4 is truly a console for gamers and it truly shows that Sony accepted feedback from their consumers and went forward to make a console with very bold ambitions. Some of the first improvements come in regards to the controller being so much better than its PlayStation 3 counterpart. The D-Pad is improved, the triggers actually are stable, the thumb sticks are more appropriately placed, there are grips on the sides for more comfort. My only complaint is the options and share buttons and the giant touch pad. It just seems kind of pointless and takes up too much space on the controller. Graphically its a powerhouse of a system and seems very efficient at everything it does. The only problem with the console in its launch state is that the launch lineup really brings nothing to the table. The two main exclusives are Killzone: ShadowFall and Knack. Killzone is a very strong title while Knack is not that great. Luckily PlayStation Plus is the most enticing thing to acquire with the console along with great third party titles.

ps4-boite-650x365So many aspirations yet not enough fulfillment. The main thing that pushes Sony in front of Microsoft is the price difference. I am still interested in seeing how it’s Gaikai streaming service is implemented when it rolls out in the later half of 2014. I do see something strong with this system…unfortunately it just isn’t in plain sight as of now.

Now last but not least is the Xbox One. This is probably the console with the biggest uphill battle ever since it was revealed. It was announced with promising feature and weird rules that eventually were changed to accommodate the demands of supporters. It’s now on store shelves and available to the masses…so does it deliver? I can thankfully say it works really well and seems like a pretty cool system. But there are some things that I would like to see later down the line.

136916150664The Kinect inclusion makes the price tag increase but it feels almost necessary for the system. The interface is simple to navigate but a little convoluted. Things seem buried within several menus and its just a lot to get through without using the Kinect. Other than that everything generally works fine. I would recommend that Microsoft provide an update to its interface in the future. Other than that the launch lineup is pretty strong in terms of first party. There is almost something for everyone and each title isn’t too bad. Ryse being the weakest title at launch shows that Microsoft still is all about the games and not just the entertainment. I will say it is strange that the company decide to get rid of a few key features that shouldn’t be that hard to keep in tact.

As for a final thought on every console, your safest bet is to wait at least a half a year for any system as the current gen is still strong. Don’t rush into anything expecting greatness because at this point in time it isn’t worth it.

By Houston Christopher On 15 Nov, 2012 At 03:15 PM | Categorized As Featured, Reviews, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

Halo 4. If someone were to ask me to describe it in two words I’d say “simply astonishing”. This is how a video game should be made. There is little to nothing wrong with this package and is a must buy for any fan of the genre or anyone who owns an Xbox 360.

Right off the back you are greeted with fantastic visuals from the simplistic yet beautiful menu design to the in-game visuals to the cg cutscenes. Characters look very realistic and almost rival LA Noire in terms of character models. The grand scale places are simply breathtaking and awe inspiring to say the least. Even subtle nuances such as the effects from gun bursts and grenade explosions look good. It’s pushing the power of the Xbox 360 to its limits and it is well worth it. Usually there are two things that people think about when Halo gets brought up into conversation, awesome story and fun multiplayer. 343 Studios really showed they cared because both of them are amazing.

The campaign while not long in length, compared to the previous titles, is still excellent and may be my favorite one to play through. The story starts with you waking aboard the ship you were last on at the end of Halo 3 and are greeted with a familiar foe in the Covenant. Soon enough you learn that they are not your biggest threat. Prometheans, a new cybernetic enemy faces off against you trying to resurrect the Didact. All the while trying to return Cortana to her former creator because her life expectancy as an A.I. has expired and there may be hope of restoring her.

 

Without trying to spoil to much the story is very gripping and not as hard to follow as prior entries in the series. It gives Master Chief more personality and helps the player to better connect with him. While the ever moving story of the fight is appearing the true story is between Chief and Cortana. It’s moving and makes you care all the while giving a deeper story that makes you think about military issues and the way society views soldiers. The only real problem with the campaign besides its length is that it feels very traditional in mission layout. No mission truly stood out but they were all enjoyable nonetheless.

Then there is the multiplayer, forge, theater and Spartan ops offering. Spartan Ops is the replacement for Firefight and it’s pretty good. Nothing really to brag about so far, but still entertaining. It picks up immediately after the main campaign and is episodic in content…and it’s free. The four player cooperative mode may be a nice distraction but nothing is enticing you to replay it due to the lack of scoring. Either way it’s a nice inclusion.

Multiplayer, the bulk of where time will be spent with most people doesn’t disappoint. The feeling of it is basically them taking all of the good parts of the Halo: Reach multiplayer and mixing it with it’s own and adding a bit of modern shooters to boot. It’s incredibly addictive and overall fun. This time around you get a custom class loadout to make that lets you pick your starting weapon and armor abilities along with specializations (perks) for your player. These may be more ammo for starting guns or extra grenades to increasing the range of the radar. It works and adds a new dynamic to the classic halo formula. Did I mention ordinance drops? They are essentially drops from out of nowhere that benefit the player if they have done well. You’ll get several tweaks to how you play and you choose from 3 different things. You could get a drop that has Overshield, Sticky Detonator & Plasma Grenades. It’s always random and you can hold on to it however long you desire.

Then there is forge mode where they made it easier to build maps and custom game types. Its basically the same mode that you love with tweaks in place to make it that much better. The same goes for theater mode. It’s good and is still great.

Overall, Halo 4 is like a swansong for the Xbox 360 offering so much in just one game. It’s definitely worth the price of admission in overall terms of sheer bang for your buck. It will go down as one of the best game of this year and perhaps the best game in the lifecycle of this generation. Just go and buy it.

 

9.75/10