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Hi, Sean Jacobs here I would like to present my interview with Switchblade Monkeys the wonder team behind the upcoming title Secret Ponchos. I would like to apologize for the delay but, I went Clark Kent and transcribed my interview via my handy digital voice recorder. Lets get into this tasty treat why don’t we.

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Me: Hi, Sean Jacobs here from RealOtakuGamer.com can you Please introduce yourself to our readers at realotakugamer.com

Yousuf Mapara: Hi, I’m Yousuf Mapara and I am the Creative Director (and President of Switchblade Monkeys) of Secret Ponchos.

Me: Well, you just answered my second question because I was going to ask you what you’re relation to Secret Ponchos was!

(Shared Laughter)

Me: What inspired Switchblade monkeys to create such a unique game like Secret Ponchos?

Yousuf Mapara: We really wanted to make a game that takes us back to multiplayer fun, That’s just fun to pick up and is not this huuuge learning curve of like 30-40 hours just to be able to have fun. We are all hardcore fighting game kinda fans and so we love that depth but not the (inaudible) Though, the main thing is that we wanted to make a Spaghetti Western game so, that’s where it all started, ya know? its just such a cool genre. Basically our musician and I were sitting playing Soul Calibur and we had um, were playing Ennio Morricone in the background at the same time and all of a sudden everything just magically synced up the music, the epic trumpets and uh ya know the drama from the music and it felt like everything we felt like everything we were doing was just choreographed to the music so, we were like “WOW we really need to make a fighting western game”

Me: Isn’t it weird how things just come together like that?

Yousuf Mapara: I know, I know it wish there was a cooler version on how the game started but, its stupid but, that’s how it came together.

(Shared laughter)

Me: That’s OK because that is the most organic way to come up with an great idea.

 Me: Were there any other influences drawn from other games pulled into making Secret Ponchos?

Yousuf Mapara: We really wanted to make a game that has this competitive, you pick it up and we want your adrenaline to start pumping, that kind of fun. You pick it up and we want it to feel competitive, fun kind of game… I remember lining up to Street Fighter and getting our quarters and this is the type of game that we wanted to make so you could enjoy. A lot of games recently are awesome experiences but, they have also have became like interactive stories with a lot of cinematic experiences

Me: Yeah, like watching a movie you sometime play.

Yousuf Mapara: …and we wanted to take a step back from that, we have developed plenty of projects like that at AAA studios and we wanted to get to the feeling of  “ah man you got me this time I’m going to go home and practice to get the best of you”

Me: Given the multiplayer nature of Secret Ponchos when it is released will Switchblade Monkey launch some sort of DLC to compliment that element?

Yousuf Mapara: You know uh, so our model for DLC is very interesting we don’t want to be very aggressive with dlc. When you buy Secret Ponchos its a complete experience on its own you don’t need to pay more money or buy stuff to be able to fulfill your experience, with that being said the genre is such an interesting genre for character archetypes that we only scratched the surface with our characters so, we are going to keep expanding on the Secret Ponchos Universe and that’s a better road to DLC. As long as the fans want to see the game universe expanded we will keep have new guys and use DLC to fund new characters.

Me: When I was doing research on you guys on YouTube that’s what I was thinking. I was like  They could be in a good position to be able to spin DLC in a good way if infused correctly. I don’t like the aggressive DLC, I don’t like aggressive salesmanship at all so like, if your company create a great package its going to make us the fans want to buy it.

Yousuf Mapara: Yeah don’t want people to have their defenses up when playing our games as if we are trying to pitch them, if they bought the game its a fun universe, right? we hope people are looking forward to new expansions and new characters and we could use DLC to fund that. When you are really excited for a game, like Diablo and you are really looking forward to the expansion and its a worthwhile purchase that is the type of feel we want to lean towards.

Me: What about this game excites you the most and what can you tell people about secret ponchos that haven’t heard of it?

Yousuf Mapara: The two things we are the most proud of is the art style we really tried to focus on a great art style but, secondly when you look at team shooters and fighting games and there is a lot of them and they are all feeling kind of similar it was really exciting that we have found a new twist a new presentation for a combat game in this genre hey we are a small indie company and just by moving the camera over top we kinda made our own type of combat game and that’s what we are excited about it doesn’t have this superficial feel of a slight change on an existing shooter game it has its own thing and that’s what we are most excited about.

 Me: Thank you again Yousuf and it was a pleasure standing here with you and playing with your staff on multiple matches. I can’t wait for Secret Ponchos and the many ways you will possibly expand its universe.

*Before our scheduled interview Yousuf and I had several conversations one that revealed that Secret Ponchos will be on the Steam for early access. Secret Ponchos was originally slated for PS4 release but, after the outcry of the PC community Switchblade Monkeys have decided to appease the masses and give the Steam community an early shot of the former PlayStation 4 exclusive.

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Here is the Trailer for the game.

 

By Tiffany Marshall On 19 Mar, 2014 At 04:28 PM | Categorized As International News, News, PC Games, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments
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Titanfall has arrived on the scene of gaming.. er.. at least for Xbox One and PC. Unfortunately, Titanfall for Xbox 360 has been delayed again.  This time, the game has been pushed back to April 8th for North America and April 11th for Europe.  Originally Titanfall was delayed til March 25th.

In the blog post, they went on to ensure gamers that are waiting that the Xbox 360 version won’t be any less than the Xbox One and PC versions:

The game will feature the same 6v6 gameplay, maps, modes, weapons and Burn Cards as the Xbox One and PC versions of the game.

I have to say this makes me very curious as to what else may be going on and what problems are occurring that there’s yet another delay with the 360 version coming out nearly a month after Titanfall’s launch on the Xbox One and PC.  What do you think is going on?  Are you waiting on the Xbox 360 version of Titanfall? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Titanfall Blog

_-Alpha-Protocol-PC-_

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Have you ever watched a Bond film and thought “that’s what I want to do”? Well, you might change your mind after you play Alpha Protocol. Not because the game is specifically bad, but because you’ll get a feel of what being a spy in the field is actually like.

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Alpha Protocol is an action role-playing stealth game. What a mouthful, but accurate. It was released in 2010, and for a four year old game it feels…older. That’s not a bad thing, mind you.  Most gamers would say their favorites are from a generation of consoles that are no longer distributed, but those games are chosen quite often out of nostalgia. On the one hand those games were the best of their time, but on the other hand they fall short compared to some modern innovations. The point here is that Alpha Protocol feels like one of those games. Something you loved for what it was back when you played it the first time, but over the years it has lost its edge.

To start, Alpha Protocol is truly a spy story. You are Michael Thorton, a new recruit in the Alpha Protocol program, and your job is to serve your country and stop the bad guys. Sounds simple enough given this is the idea behind more than few games. However, you are a spy. Your job is to get things done with minimal exposure. Whether you kill everyone in your way or just leave them with a tortuous headache, no one should know you’re there. Stealth is a great game mechanic, and Alpha Protocol does a great job of using it. Except for the bugs.

Let me talk about those for a moment because most of the issues I had with this game stem from bugged stealth mechanics. There were times when I would be crouched behind a wall, completely out of sight and fully buffed in sound dampening, and taking a few steps alerted a guard more than ten feet away. This would then alert every guard on the map. And if I should come out of cover and actually be seen, one guard would be enough to expose my location to every guard who would then proceed to start shooting. It’s easy enough to rid yourself of guards and turn off an alarm, but in a minute I’ll tell you why this was such a problem.

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This game is good. It’s hard to call it great, and at times it isn’t all that fun, but it’s good. Agent Thorton is betrayed on his first assignment for Alpha Protocol and is set on a path to make things right. Here is where my favorite aspect of the game comes in. Choice. As Thorton you get to choose what happens. How you interact with others can determine how they respond to you and your actions. Gaining friendship has advantages, but so does rivalry. Who you get on your side can change the outcome; deciding who to ally with and who to piss off, that’s the trick. This game requires you to pay attention. Between gathered intelligence, dossier information, and other tidbits you collect along the way there is an abundance of knowledge. Knowing where you’re going, why you’re going there, and who you’re facing will make things far easier. The game doesn’t do all the thinking for you. The missions you choose to do, and the order you choose to do them in, also has impact.

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That’s all great, but how do you actually play? It’s simple enough. There is combat, stealth, hacking, and collecting. In combat you can put points into different weapons: shotguns, SMGs, assault rifles, pistols, and hands. There are also gadgets; from grenades, to flash bangs, to health kits, you can carry a minimal set into missions and use them for different situations. Stealth, while not a requirement in mission, is a good way to get all that you want. Hacking is dealt with in three ways: computers, keypads, and safes. Hacking a computer requires finding a series of non-moving letters and numbers amongst a stream of flashing figures. A keypad is simply hacked by matching numbers is ascending order to their circuit. A safe is a lock picking screen where you move pins into position and click them in place. Collecting is just what it sounds like. Make sure you explore every room because information, money, and security systems may be hiding anywhere (which is useful when you are lacking cash to buy that armor you want). You will spend the majority of the game working on these skills, getting used to being in cover and sneaking into position, only to reach “boss” fights and the final mission.

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Remember when I said how bugged the stealth system was? Here is where that becomes important. Boss fights, including most of the final mission, are tough. Add in the fact that stealth becomes useless and they get tougher. Here, fight a helicopter that can shoot you through cover, never loses target lock, and you have to fire one RPG at a time at it and those RPGs are scattered across the map. On top of that, here are five men who are going to shoot you, chase you, and know where you are because the helicopter never loses target lock. And if one enemy knows where you are, they all do. It’s infuriating.

I will say that I had fun with this game. The story pulls you in, and you feel like a true spy when things go right. The stealth is fantastic, when it works. The characters are ranging, and often have unexpected stories. I plan to try it again, make some different choices and see what happens, but I do like where my initial instincts lead. And that’s good. This isn’t a game that says “here, make a choice” and then gives you a cookie cutter ending. Who you decide to be will change the path, and that’s nice to see.

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There are other things I could cover. How bad targeting is, how wonky movement can be, how bad pathing is for NPCs, how many boss fights I won because of glitches…

If I were to recommend this game it would be lightly. If you like stealth games and spy stories try it out. If you don’t, skip it. Alpha Protocol requires dedication. It asks you to sit down, pay attention, and accept that things will not always go the way you want. You may do a bit of reloading, but know that the only save option is auto saves.

With all that said, you can always use brute force, and then stealth doesn’t matter so much. It will take more time, you’ll face more enemies, and you may lose out on some of the finer points, but at least you’ll know why all the guards are after you.

By Amy McGarey On 25 Feb, 2014 At 06:28 PM | Categorized As Featured, Indie Spotlight, PC Games, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments
Banished gameplay

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Fifteen people have been banished from their city and left to their own devices in Medieval times. Can you help them get back on their feet? Banished is a city builder/real time strategy on PC where you start with a randomly generated map and fifteen citizens who must survive harsh weather, natural disasters and disease. You assign citizens to specific jobs like farmer, woodcutter, builder, and hunter. The objective is to repopulate the map and have enough resources to keep your citizens alive.

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The Trailer

Banished is about as open to interpretation as Minecraft. All of the things you can build are available right off the bat, all you need are the resources and the workers to build them. The game is incredibly challenging because you have to multitask. Not only do you have to keep your food supply up, but you also have to make sure you have enough firewood ready for the winter. Chopping logs into firewood is a separate job from cutting down trees, so you have to remember to tell your laborers to chop down wood. You also have to make sure your people have warm clothes to wear, so hunters gather leather while tailors make clothes. Then, you have to remember that all of these people need tools to work with, so make sure your laborers are gathering iron and wood so your blacksmith can make tools. It can be quite a mess at times.

The thing I like least about this game is that what you start out with is all you get. Because of that, the game gets monotonous after awhile. There are no objectives other than “don’t die.” You can’t really make upgrades. It’s not like Age of Empires where you can buy upgrades to help your citizens work more efficiently. It’s also not like Sim City where you can make advances in education and medicine. I realize this is a game set in Medieval times and isn’t meant to be advanced through time, but I would have at least liked to see the technology in the game advance through the period.

Banished gameplay

Even though there are no real objectives to Banished, at least you can use the achievements as guidance for how you want to progress in the game. Most of the achievements start at having a population of 300. After a couple hours of play, my town was only up to 100 citizens. The more you play the game, the better you get at managing your town. You also get faster at expanding your population. I think this is the type of game that gets better with more practice. The last city I built, which I named South Park, was growing fast and had more than enough workers. I had tons of food and I kept up a steady amount of firewood. However, earlier in the game I had turned off tool production since I had reached a good amount, and told that worker to go do something else. There isn’t any alert about being low on tools like there is for pretty much every other resource in the game, so I had forgotten to send my blacksmith back to work. Now none of my citizens can do their jobs and the blacksmith can’t keep up with demand. That’s an example of how once you think you’ve mastered Banished, you’ll eventually make a mistake.

Here are some tips where I’ve learned from my mistakes:

  1. Keep building houses! This is the number one way to keep your population growing. Your citizens have babies, and those babies grow up to be workers. The parents get old too, and die of old age eventually. In one of my earlier towns, I didn’t keep up with building houses and it turned out all my citizens were over the age of 80!
  2. Never turn off firewood production. At the beginning of the game, you’re going to think once you’ve hit your woodcutter’s limit for firewood, that you can send him to a different job and turn off firewood production. You will run out quick, especially as you expand your population. Always keep several woodcutters available to make firewood. That “Low Firewood” alert is annoying!
  3. Keep a couple laborers handy for when you need raw materials. These are citizens who don’t get assigned to specific jobs, they just hang out until you need someone to cut down a tree, or gather stone or iron. It’s really a good idea to always have laborers gathering raw resources.
  4. Create hunters and gatherers first thing. These guys gather food quicker than farming. So while you’re planting farms and orchards and waiting for livestock to mate, hunters and gatherers are going to be your main food source. If you have enough workers, you can build more lodges.
  5. Herbalists aren’t that big of a deal. In my last and best town, I decided not to worry about an herbalist hut. As a result, that was one more worker for something important, my citizens were still at maximum happiness, and I was at maximum health for my longest time yet!

The Score

With all its frustrations, I would give Banished 8 out of 10. Even though there are no clear cut objectives, it’s very rewarding when you’ve learned something new on your own and can implement it in a new town. As a huge fan of strategy games, I’ll be playing Banished for weeks to come.

If you want to get banished you can buy it on Steam or DRM free from the source!

By Will On 18 Feb, 2014 At 07:53 PM | Categorized As Featured, Mobile Gaming, PC Games, Portable/Mobile Gaming, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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One of the best ways to know how well a story is written is when it drags you in and become emotionally attached to a character or plot within it. Nihilumbra has that story and character as the tutorial just had me in tears as I had flashbacks in all the most negative ways. The more and more I played the more and more I was dragged into the depths of depression as I tried all that I could to to enjoy the game. I completed as much as I could after the tutorial but I couldn’t go any further. I closed the game and tried to calm my nerves. Coffee, cigarettes, talking to family, all of this couldn’t get me out of this funk I’m in, so I’m carrying on as I write this review.

The Good:

The story, the story, the story. What else can be said about a silent protagonist that escapes “The Void” only to be tracked down by monsters that want to make the hero a part of “The Void” yet again? Nothing, but what really makes the story come to life is the narrator.  The disembodied voice, helps out when needed but in between moments of usefulness, he decides to rip into you verbally. It adds a new wrinkle in the game, as you have assistance, yet you have this sense of someone giving you the middle finger while your the only one there.

The artwork done on the game is by far the best I’ve ever seen. With the unique monsters and the lead character itself (Him, Her?! The hell if I know.) looking like nothing I’ve never seen before.

The game gives you colors as your power ups. Blue makes the ground covered in ice, as green allows you to bounce higher after leaping off a high perch. These powers are so balanced that there’s not one that’s overpowered, and you will catch yourself using all the powers through the game.  You use the mouse scroll wheel to quickly switch between the acquired powers and you move with WASD keys so for those FPS players that want a game that they don’t have to relearn the controles, this is for you!

The Bad and The Ugly:

This game is the first form of entertainment that actually made me cry, due to the story hitting too close to home. I might be reaching far, but the best part of the game might also be a downfall about it. I might not have been in the right mindset to take on such a emotional role, but it had to be done.

The minor thing that was such  was that when the voice over started and you went on to the next screen, you would have to kill yourself somehow to go back and listen to it all over again.

Overall it was a awesome game, but I wouldn’t recommend it to gamers who had a tough, personal issue in the past.

Nihilumbra is now available on PC, Linux, and Mac, buy directly from official website to get both a Desura and Steam key for the game. You can also play on the go by downloading it on any of your iOS devices. This review is based off the gaming experience on PC so gameplay might be different on your mobile devices.

By Tiffany Marshall On 13 Feb, 2014 At 06:22 PM | Categorized As International News, News, PC Games, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments
Titanfall

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Titanfall

If you want to play the Titanfall Beta, now’s your time to turn in your applications.  In order to participate, you must have either a PC or Xbox One.

Those that are selected will know by February 17th at 11:59pm PST.

You can apply for the beta here.

Titanfall will be available on the Xbox One and PC on March 11th in North America, March 13th in Europe and Australia, March 14th in the UK and New Zealand, and on the Xbox 360 on March 25th in North America, and on March 28th in Europe.

By Will On 28 Jan, 2014 At 06:05 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

The Good:

IT’S COMPLETELY FREE!! You don’t have to pay a dime to download it, which is the best type of game for me, but there’s a HUGE draw back when it has a optional paid service where one could buy packs and arena entries. How is this a good thing? You have the option to either buy with in game gold, or real life currency. (Packs are $1US  or 100 gold,with the more you buy the cheaper they are, where arena is $1.99US for a entry where it’s Blizzards idea of drafting.)

The HUD is insanely beautiful with all four corners of the play area intractable there’s a very low chance to be bored as your opponent smashes face. There are “Gold” versions of cards that you can get through playing the game, (Not sure if they are obtainable through crafting or opening packs.) and as of late they have added animation on all of the gold versions of cards.

HeartStone-Heroes-Of-WarcraftThe ability to disenchant cards to get what you want is a HUGE bonus in my book, as this is technically the only way to trade. There is not, and will never be, player to player trading, so this is the best as we can get!

If you happen to be a TCG freak like I am, or a Blizzard nut, you don’t have to be both to get into this game.  I have played many matches where I’ve thought “Who the hell is this?” but still enjoyed it to the fullest. With the past 10 years of playing TCG’s under my belt, it was insanely easy to pick up even with the easy to learn tutorial.

The arena is the easiest way to get a better experience out of the game. When you pick your random deck of 30 cards, you have a 12 game win cap. People who have achieved this awesome winning streak get things like crafting dust, gold, and packs. I personally am unable to achieve this feat but there’s players like Trump who have always gotten that far. I always recommend watching other players before you get into their games. (Don’t watch me play arena, I suck.)
The Bad:

The only bad thing is that when you collect packs and open them, you have a high chance of getting extra cards. The collection tab at the main menu will direct you to disenchant ALL extra cards because the max you can have of any one card is 2. Yes 2 copies of cards is also the most you can have in any one deck as well. (I’ve been spoiled for 4 copies of cards for years and was legitimately disappointed when I noticed this for the first time.)

After playing the game for a month, they started nerfing.

Hearthstone-Heroes-of-Warcraft-betaThe Ugly:

The idea of putting out a game with a optional paid service boggles my mind. I understand that it’s a optional service, but why put it in to begin with? The “Dailies” are there to assist you in acquiring gold but why couldn’t you just use that as the major currency of the game? The ability to “Pay To Win” is the only thing that would make this game a complete turn off to anyone.

Overall, the game is pretty solid now after a few patch updates after nerfing of the Mage, and Warlock classes. Even though I haven’t played in a while due to these patches it is a complete FREE package that can appeal to anyone.
Here’s a video of me playing through ranked mode! Enjoy!

By Jesse Willoughby On 2 Jan, 2014 At 07:12 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, Reviews | With 2 Comments
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One of my recent buys has been Lord of the Rings: War in the North thanks to Humble Bundle. I don’t play many co-op or multiplayer games but this game doesn’t require that. I’m sure it plays much better in multiplayer when an actual person is controlling one of the three main characters, but I’ll do my best to tell you about this one anyway.

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Lord of the Rings is, if you don’t know, an extension of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Since its adaptation to film LotR has exploded. Games, merchandise, music, and more movies. Truly it is a story for the ages. I’m no lore master (and you may want to explore The Silmarillion and A Tolkien Miscellany for any deeper information) so I can’t vouch for the validity of LotR:WitN but it matches close enough to what I know.

Lore aside, LotR:WitN is a good game, if frustrating. I’m a fan of RPGs, they tend to be my favorite. While LotR:WitN isn’t an open world game it is still fun to take a good look around. Most levels are filled with secrets, and they are worth finding (though hard at times) as they often provide rare armor and typically a batch of much needed arrows. Or, if you’re like me, much needed potions.

This path is rather fun to look at as well. Landscapes range from vast mountains, to sprawling forts, to tangled forests. The characters, on and off the main cast, are original and look good. The Eagles flutter, the combat animations are smooth, and all around it looks nice. It’s still animation, the lips don’t quite match words, some established characters (coughAragorncough) look strange, and the hair moves in an odd way (in a different way than most games), but mostly you have a graphically strong game.

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Don’t get too excited about voice acting though. Sean Astin is the only movie actor to sign on as their character’s voice. While Tom Kane does a good job as Gandalf and Fred Tatasciore is good as Beleram, I feel like no one else quite captures a character. In a way it’s nice, everyone is stoic and calm no matter the circumstances and it makes you feel like that’s just how those characters are, but it can drag on you. After you meet a couple lively characters, who are either from The Hobbit or not in the main story, the rest just seem so dull. Maybe that’s what the creators were looking for, but a bit of feeling isn’t a terrible thing.

I know I mentioned combat before, but it needs more explaining. Each character has a specific set of abilities that you can upgrade as you level. It’s not an in depth system but it’s not a bad one. While combat feels smooth, and looks great, it is the most frustrating aspect of this game. While you deal massive amounts of damage, upwards of 2,000 in one blow as you advance, you will still find yourself struggling. My main grievance with combat are the enemies. The small ones are easy to dispatch, but after so long you stop meeting hordes of small enemies and you are faced with hordes of major ones. These bigger enemies, not to be confused with bosses of which there are a few, flood the battlefield at times. They can withstand your major hits without effect, and while you can knock them back at times, mostly they ignore everything you throw at them. You will use a charge attack and they will stand not phased as they perform their own charge that knocks you down. It can be frustrating, especially when your AI companions glitch out and get stuck somewhere. Also, while the characters have both ranged and melee attacks (which both work well and can be switched between fluidly), when you enter into ranged mode your movement is stunted. You take a slow moving stance, good for aiming, but you can’t sprint even while holding the assigned key. Your best option is to roll out of the way but you are forced right back into aiming. The only way to run from an enemy is to switch back to melee and back again to ranged when you’ve gone where you want to go. And while using melee attacks you have little control over aiming. You’ll begin attacking in one direction but if the enemy moves, and you’ve been clicking like a mad-gamer, you’ll have to wait for the attacks to stop before you can change direction and attack something other than air.

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Outside of combat there are a few minor quests. Most of them are achieved while you are on the main quest, harvesting plants and the like, but hold little consequence to the main story. Speaking of story, I like this one. This game is based along the main LotR plot only separate from it. You meet Frodo, and Aragorn, and Gandalf, and many others, but you exist outside of their path. The same goal is sought, defeat the forces of Sauron, but the trio of characters are faced with fighting Agandaur, one of Sauron’s most powerful minions. This trio (an Elf named Andriel, a Dwarf named Farin, and a human named Eradan guided by the Eagles) are powerful and brave and persistent. Against all odds they fight an enemy over whelming where no one else can, or will.

Overall LotR:WitN is a good game. It has its faults and can feel, at times, a bit forced, but I have enjoyed my play through. If you like RPGs, and Lord of the Rings, and are looking for a game that has both then check out Lord of the Rings: War in the North. I say play it, if you can stand the combat after level ten.

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…Thanks to Amazon Local!

I signed up for Amazon Local a few years back (and for those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s kind of like Groupon), and boy – it really did not disappoint!

I woke up one morning to an email saying “Access to Online Game Design Training for One Year” offered by the School of Interactive Design. As an editor looking to acquire as many skills in the gaming field as I can, I hopped on the deal right away. The good news for those of you who will need a little bit to recover from Christmas shopping is that this deal will be available for about another month (26 days from this date, actually).

mayaHere’s what you need to know about everything this will include:

  • One year’s worth of access to easy to understand tutorials on Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, Maya, Unity, and Game Salad.
  • On the voucher when you pay for the deal, it will say that you will not need to make any further purchases and that all software will be included an free. No, this does not include Photoshop and Illustrator. It includes Game Salad, Maya, and Unity. The videos will show you how and where to download these softwares from.
  • The voucher also says that buying this deal doesn’t register you for classes, and that you need to do this by April 18th, 2014. I called and inquired, and SoID (School of Interactive Design) said that Amazon won’t remove this verbiage and to disregard it.
  • This is not an online college where you have class times and homework. This is a laidback, go-at-your-own-pace type of thing. Makes it really convenient for most of us whose lives are hectic like mine.

My advice to anyone is to treat this like school. Practice, practice, practice. And take notes, because in a few years from now, you may forget how to use these programs.

How much will this run you, exactly? It will only cost you $99. Seriously? Yes, seriously.

Click here to head over to the website to get you on your way! Godspeed, and may the Force be with you!

 

By Isabel On 13 Nov, 2013 At 11:35 PM | Categorized As Animation, Featured, Indie Spotlight, News, PC Games, Previews, Reviews, ROG News, Uncategorized | With 1 Comment
Lineup of 6 MCs

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Bronies 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.

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