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No GravatarBioShock is a first-person shooter released in 2007 for XBox 360 and PC. It was later ported for PS3 in 2008.  It was developed by Irrational Games (they were calling themselves 2K Boston back in the day) and published by 2K.  The game uses a modified version of the Unreal engine with Havok for the physics side.  It was highly praised for its story, setting, and thematic elements.  It later spawned two sequels: BioShock 2 and BioShock Infinite.

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As the player, you take on the character of Jack, a man who survives a plane crash into the middle of the ocean.  Upon swimming to safety, you find a lighthouse.  However, this is more than meets the eye.  After getting into a device called a bathysphere, a type of submersible, you are transported underneath the ocean and are introduced to Rapture, a huge underwater city.

However, there is something completely wrong with Rapture.  Upon arrival, you discover that the once utopian city is now in a state of disarray with roaming “splicers,” creepy little girls called “Little Sisters,” and huge robotic bosses called “Big Daddies.”  I don’t want to get into the story too much because I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but I will tell you that the story is top-notch.  To me, the best part of BioShock is the setting.  I could just walk around in Rapture all day and be as happy as can be.  I know it’s a really creepy place, but it’s also a really interesting place, especially since you have to dig around a bit to figure out what went wrong.  I loved that the game was kind of scary, but not so scary that I wanted to stop playing it.

One of the other great things about the story of BioShock was a lot of really good and really interesting thematic elements of the game.  Rapture’s creator, Andrew Ryan, designed the city to be free of government and free of religion (a nod to Ayn Rand’s Objectivism).  However, without some constraint of morality, the city quickly crumbles into chaos after some bio-engineering and experimentation gone really wrong.  It’s a really interesting and engrossing game.  It’s one of my favorite video game stories of all time.

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BioShock is first and foremost a first-person shooter.  It’s a rather good one at that, especially for the time that it came out.  As an FPS, it plays smoothly and adds some interesting game play elements.  It has a typical style of ever-increasingly fun weapons to play with, but it also adds the “bio” element to it by creating the use of plasmids (a type of genetic alteration involving needles–I told you the game is a bit creepy).  With your left hand, you control your plasmids, which can vary from shooting fire, ice, and even bees out of your fingertips.  With your right hand, you control your primary weapon.  This is a really, really fun combination, and it makes for  some interesting game play.  However, it gets annoying switching back and forth between shooting plasmids and shooting your weapon, since you can only have one or the other at a time.  This glaring issue was later fixed in BioShock 2.

Besides the use of plasmids, the game play also adds some role-playing and stealth elements as well.  The player has options for stealth around security, including cameras and auto-turrets.  Collecting money in the game gives the player options for upgrading weapons, buying new plasmids, or gaining additional ammo or health.  You may also collect gene tonics that give you special abilities.  One of the more annoying parts of the game was the ability to hack certain things like cameras and vending machines.  Although this sounds like a great idea, to hack something, you get pushed into this mini-game, similar to Pipe Dream.  The first ten or so times you do it isn’t bad, but it gets annoying after twenty, thirty, or forty times.

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One of the unique game play aspects of BioShock is fairly original concept of “roaming boss battles.”  In order to gain more power, the player must take on Big Daddies in order to get to the Little Sisters.  There are a set amount of Big Daddies in each level that will appear in various places (but sometimes can feel like at random).

The graphics were very good for the time that it came out.  It has still held up well for an older game.  In fact, it has held up much better than games like Star Wars: The Force Unleashed and even the original Infamous.  Even going back and playing it now, I don’t get headaches from playing a game with crazy old graphics.

One really enjoyable thing about the graphics (and the setting) is how it highlights the amazing Art Deco designs of Rapture.  This is one of the reasons why I will actually play the game just to wander around and explore (I can’t say that for many other games).

I don’t care if the game play is perfect.  I don’t care if the graphics are perfect.  BioShock will always be one of my most favorite games of all time.  It is probably my favorite first-person shooter.  This game is just plain fun.  It has been the most fun that I have had in a game in a long, long time.  It is the reason why I have been so backlogged on so many games: I keep wanting to play this game over and over again.  BioShock made me expect more out of my first-person shooters.  It is a complete must-play, trust me.

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No GravatarWhen asked about the possibility of an NX version of Shakedown Hawaii, the response from the official twitter account did not rule it out but said they had not seen devkits or any NX materials just yet

 

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No GravatarThe Final Fantasy franchise is beloved by many gamers.  They have fallen in love with the characters, the music, and the worlds of this popular series.  When Final Fantasy XIII came out, many were expecting something wonderful.  Instead, fans got the worst game of the series and possibly one of the worst AAA titles of the generation.  Here is what went wrong with FF XII:

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Final Fantasy XIII was released on December 17, 2009 in Japan and in 2010 worldwide as a straight-forward RPG.  It was developed and published by Square Enix for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 (the game was eventually released for PC as well).  It was widely criticized because of the game’s linear game play and storyline, while most western RPGs had gone toward open world.  However, there were other issues with the game as well.

The story itself was extremely hard to follow.  I actually still don’t quite understand it.  From what I gathered, a world called Cocoon and it’s government, Sanctum, is basically committing genocide of people who have come in contact with the world below Cocoon called Pulse.  The main character, Lightning, has a moral epiphany and decides to fight back with a bunch of others.  There really wasn’t anything to love about the story or even really like.  It was completely bland, and many times confusing.

Unfortunately, the characters were even worse than the story.  They were extremely cheesy, and the dialogue was cringe-worthy.  Here are some actual quotes from the game:

“Heroes don’t run from fights.”

“Mom’s are tough.”

“Hang on, baby.  Your hero’s on the way.”

Even the talents of Troy Baker were wasted on the character of Snow because everything that the character said was dumb (you know I think it’s a bad game when I tell you that Troy Baker couldn’t even salvage anything good in the game).

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The battle system is outdated in style and resembled more of a ’90s RPG where characters take turns fighting each other.  It was a system that actually made my jaw drop when I got into the first battle.  Though the game is a bit older, that sort of style has died off for AAA titles.  For a “modern” RPG, it felt like a blast from the past, and not in a good way.  When a player meets an enemy, he or she is entered into a “battle system” with change in music and everything.  Each character takes turns attacking the baddie, and if they aren’t attacking, then they sit and dance around in place.  It was very similar to many ’90s retro RPGS.  Though those old games were so much fun, it is quite bizarre for a game in the PlayStation 3/Xbox 360 generation.

Also, the battle system is way too simplistic.  You don’t even have to pay attention while playing the game.  Just hit “X” (playing on PS3).  You’ll kill almost anything that way.  I could train my cats to play this game.  In fact, for the most part, I really wasn’t even playing it.  I was on Twitter, milling around.  The only part of me that was playing the game was my hand, which kept hitting X, X, X, X.  What’s the point of even playing if the game is that easy?  I didn’t really even seem like a true leveling system.

Unlike most modern RPGs, I was limited basically going in a straight line throughout the maps.  The whole thing felt claustrophobic.  And it never got any better!  I kept on thinking: Well maybe if I go along a little farther, the map will open up a bit, and I can actually do some exploring.  Nope!  It never happened.  For a game that came out to PS3 in late 2009, this is actually embarrassing.  I’ve played Call of Duty campaign modes that were more open than this game.  I can’t believe that Square Enix thought that this would be okay, considering FFXII (for the freaking PS2) gave you more freedom.  In fact, every Final Fantasy game I have every played gave you more freedom.  Heck, freaking Pac Man gives you more freedom (at least you don’t have to continuously go straight).

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Another annoying aspect of the game was the sheer amount of cutscenes in the game.  You could barely go five minutes without a cut-scene interrupting.  It was quite obnoxious.  Sure, the cut scenes were pretty, but most of them didn’t feel like they moved the plot.  I’m still scratching my head at what was going on in the game.  In fact, most of them felt like they were just thrown in there to show off the graphics.  Don’t get me wrong.  I enjoy a good cut-scene, but I expect the cut-scenes that I watch to have a point and move the plot.  It shouldn’t just be a graphics show-off.

Sadly, I think that Square Enix is losing touch with what many gamers are demanding from their games now.  At this point, I think that they are focusing on an audience that wants a true JRPG experience.  If that’s the case, go for it.  However, don’t expect any glowing reviews from me.  That’s just not my cup of tea anymore.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 28 Apr, 2016 At 11:14 PM | Categorized As News, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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No GravatarKoei Tecmo has announced at an investors’ briefing that they are developing games for the NX. No further details are out so far but its good to know of at least 1 3rd party developer officially confirmed to be working on the system. (Square Enix does not count as there has not been official confirmation)

See the below slide from their presentation for the confirmation.

Hopefully their games will do well on the new system.

 

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Bethesda sent out the following press release

 

Mods and the players who create them have always been an important part of our games, going all the way back to Morrowind and The Elder Scrolls Construction Set. We believe that our games become something much more special, when we put the power of creation in your hands. New quests, environments, characters, dialogue, outfits, weapons and more – with Mods, the possibilities of what you can do are endless. You are creating new experiences that enhance and take our games into amazing and surprising new directions.

 

For Fallout 4, our goal was to make Mods easier and more accessible than ever before – for both the creators and the players. By building an all-new system with Bethesda.net we’ve made a huge leap forward in achieving that.

 

You can now browse and search for the latest and greatest Mods, choose your favorites, post feedback, and install them – all within the game. Simply select Mods from the main menu, and start browsing.

 

If you want to try making Mods (and we think everybody should), the Creation Kit – the same tool that we used to create Fallout 4 – is a free download via the Bethesda.net launcher. You can check out the Creation Kit Wiki, our online documentation and help file, for more details and tips on how to make them.

 

We plan to update and evolve Mods and the Creation Kit based on your experiences so be sure to leave feedback in our forums.

 

How to access the 1.5 Update in Steam Beta:

  • Log into Steam
  • Right Click on Fallout 4 in your Library
  • Select Settings
  • Select Betas
  • A drop down menu will appear. Select beta
  • Select OK
  • Wait a few minutes and Fallout 4 should update
  • When done, Fallout 4 should appear as Fallout 4 [Beta] in your Library

For console players, Mods will be coming to Xbox One in May and PlayStation 4 in June. We have a lot to do yet, but we hope it changes console gaming the way it has changed PC.

 

Finally, we’d like to thank all the Modders who volunteered to beta test the Creation Kit and Mods during our closed beta. Your feedback has been invaluable and we couldn’t have done it without you. For them and for all our players, we can’t wait to see what you create.

Fallout 4 was an amazing game that deserved its accolades. I personally cannot wait to see what he modding community can do with this game. Kudos to Bethesda for bringing the mods to consoles, even though that will be a lot of work.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 28 Apr, 2016 At 10:09 PM | Categorized As PC Games, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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I love fighting games and they are among my favourite genre, so it is always great when I find one I had not heard of before but has been around for a bit.

Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code is part of the Melty Blood series and I was not sure what to expect with this game. What I got was an amazing fighter with both a great arcade mode and amazing netcode. Playing online was such a smooth experience, comparable to Killer Instinct on PC ( another fighting game I am fond of) and I didn’t have any connection problems while I played.

The game has story mode, arcade mode and more options and there is more than enough to keep both those wanting single player and those who want multiplayer happy. There are good modes in the game to help you learn its unique mechanics and I found that very helpful.

The game’s mechanics really do make it interesting, while some of them have been cribbed by other fighting games since then, Melty Blood Actress Again Current Code does them better. Everything blends well and within an hour of playing, I was doing great at the game. I love games that are extremely accessible like that and don’t try and only appeal to fanatics of the genre.

 

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Not all is good though, as the game does have a bit too much flashing at times which gave me a headache. I am not epileptic and I cannot imagine what it would be like for someone with epilepsy to play it, but I myself had some issues after a while because of the flashing. Another problem was the controls sometimes going wonky in the middle of a combo, and never in a consistent way. That threw off my play time a bit, but I suspect that might have actually been an issue with the fightpad I was using to play.

The characters in this game are unique and interesting and fun to play as. I do not have a favourite but rather like to switch between them. I still have not played all the characters so I cannot single out just 1 who is the best for me, but I have had a good time while playing, aforementioned issues aside. This game felt refreshing and I look forward to continuing to play it going forward.

I highly recommend checking this out on Steam!

 

 

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No GravatarJoy Mech Fight, a Japan only Famicom game, was another early attempt at a fighting game from Nintendo. The game took a lot of influence from other fighting game but also Capcom’s Mega Man series. It had 2 scientists who made robots, one scientist went evil and reprogramed the robots except one. The difference in JMF was that after defeating the other robots, they became playable characters, much like story mode unlocks in modern fighting games. The graphics and music were impressive for the time, even as they fought hard against the limitations of the Famicom system ( This was during the transition phase between the 8 bit and 16 bit generations), and while they are not impressive by today’s standards, they were still a technical marvel. The game actually had the largest roster for a fighting game, with 36 characters, until the King of Fighters 98 came out and had 38.

Now there is the question of how to revive it, and to that I say that this is a chance to kill two birds with one stone. There is another game Nintendo was working on for Wii U that seems to have stalled, with no further direction. I refer of course to Project Giant Robot

That game would be perfect to repurpose as a reboot of Joy Mech Fight. It could be the game finally done right, with unique characters that feel like their own character, with the full character shown and not the way they were in the Famicom version with the disembodied limbs. In HD with 3D graphics, this would be an amazing game and if treated right, could be a unique fighting game for Nintendo to have on the NX. The two game concepts seem perfect for each other and would blend well.

Custom characters could be done fantastically in this and the opportunity is there for a variety of modes, such as story ( like in the original), Arcade, Local Multiplayer, Online Multiplayer and Custom Local and Online Multiplayer among others. Nintendo has stated recently that they are unsure of what to do with Project Giant Robot, and retooling it into a reboot of Joy Mech Fight just seems like a perfect way to make this into gold. As for who can make it, perhaps Platinum Games, with their track record of action games and robots in their games. Or maybe Next Level Games, with their unique offbeat games. In the end, whomever makes this, this is too good an opportunity to pass up.

 

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 27 Apr, 2016 At 07:18 AM | Categorized As Portable/Mobile Gaming, ROG News | With 0 Comments
Nintendo

No GravatarComing out of the Investors briefing, Nintendo is planning mobile games of Animal crossing and fire emblem. We will keep you updated with news

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 27 Apr, 2016 At 07:30 AM | Categorized As News, ROG News | With 0 Comments
Nintendo

No GravatarNintendo announced during the investors briefing that the NX will be released in March 2017 globally. The Legend of Zelda will launch on both Wii U and NX

 

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 25 Apr, 2016 At 07:02 PM | Categorized As News, PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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No GravatarSNK ( feels good to type that) and Atlus have released an official trailer for the KOF 14 that unlike the character trailers, shows off the various modes such as mission mode, online training, online 3 on 3 battles and story mode. There will be a bonus day 1 dlc for early buyers and more can be expected down the line. Have a look below.

 

 

 

The game releases August 23rd in North America

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