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Brothers: a Tale of Two Sons is a beautiful game perfectly offset by a dark and bloody story. In Brothers you set off from a nice peaceful town, where the biggest obstacle is a random bully, in order to save your ailing father to dark and bloody areas filled with despair and death. As you travel across the world with their unique controller setup you’ll have to navigate countless simple puzzles and save the occasional NPC who will in turn help you along your journey; which is only becoming more and more perilous as you go.

In between these moments, however, is where you’ll experience the bulk of the game’s brilliant storytelling. Brothers is a nonverbal game where the characters speak in a fantasy language and your only context are the characters heavy use of hand gestures and actions that do a wonderful job of making everything clear while also showcasing each brother’s personalities. While the older brother’s actions are far more focused on helping his father the little brother’s interactions with others and the environment are more carefree.

Simply going down the alternate paths will reward you with experiences you would have otherwise never knew existed. For instance I’m moving on to the next area and I look down to see a man standing on a chair. What I didn’t notice until I went down his path to look was that there was also a noose tied around his neck. Now you can either watch a man commit suicide or have the older brother hold him up while the little climbs the tree and unties the knot. Brothers is full of moments like that in each and every area and the controls really enhance the experience.

In Brothers you simultaneously control them maneuvering a series of puzzles working together through beautiful landscapes. Each brother is assigned a half of the controller and it works flawlessly. While you use the analogs to control each brother’s direction the triggers control their actions. The only problems I experienced with the controls were user based which at times can cause a little frustration. I would routinely have the little brother running into some random wall because I was paying attention to the other or use the wrong side of the controller and falling.

Puzzles or I guess obstacles are obviously the main challenge of the game and all of them use the teamwork component. Whether it’s the big brother using his strength or the little brother using his size each obstacle is easy to navigate for the most part. The challenge comes when you have to “quickly” traverse the area. You’ll be so focused on doing it right and finding your rhythm and it may take you a little longer than expected. The best part about this, however, is that there isn’t a task that will take you forever to figure out or even do. The “harder” ones will take you a few tries tops and you’ll be on your way. Once you learn the controls you’ll be able to fluidly move through every challenge.

Brothers is an extremely short game, but appropriately so. You won’t have this incomplete of rushed feeling by the end of it. Brothers is a must play for anyone who can appreciated a good story and in my opinion should be enjoyed by all. Gamers and non-gamers alike. It’s truly a beautiful game. 9/10.

You can find Brothers: A tale of two sons on Xbox live arcade or currently for free with a PlayStation plus membership.

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 NoirZillaGamer On 24 Jan, 2014 At 04:48 AM | Categorized As Featured, Nintendo Wii/Wii U, Reviews, Reviews | With 0 Comments
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I received a review copy of a game I was eyeing on the Nintendo Eshop roughly a week ago it is exactly what you read in the title above… Welcome to NZ Gamer’s Review of Zen Studios, Castle Storm. Let me start this all off with a disclaimer, Castle Storm has DLC I did not get the opportunity to experience to that portion of the game. I attempted to acquire something from this package yet there was nothing available yet at the time of my review. Though, the online structure is set-up so that you can choose various types of castle sets from the Viking side of the war which is similar in many ways to the knight class of men normally used in single player campaign. These on the other hand have classes of soldiers and projectile types along with your spell casting possibilities are unique to the mystic lore of the Norse people I must also mention that at the times that I had enjoying Castle Storm I could not get a connection with another player on Nintendo’s Network not because of network issues just that the game is fairly new and also the time I decided to play this title. Now that all the jibber-jabber is out of the way lets hunker down and take a longer gaze in the world of Castle Storm.

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From war to peace and back again…

A very long time ago when time moved at the pace of a gargantuan snail yet war was as constant as the sun rise and sun set. There were the Vikings, on the barbaric path to rule all the lands of the civilized world pitted themselves constantly against the Knights of might, magic and chivalrous deeds. The history was torn by tumultuous times neither side making headway towards a victorious end came to a battle of the ages. The greatest battle of their times this war was so great and horrible the goddess wept over the battlefield and the many lost as she wept two gems of tears fell to the ground one red and the other blue. The sheer sound of these gems touching the ground caught the attention of each colliding squad of men as they each grasped each jewel each bearer had unending life creating the atmosphere for peace for all and so the entire land fell into peace. Time passes the kingdom fall under the same woes of past lore forgotten by most though, not by time.

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First, I delved into the kingdoms by selecting the Normal difficulty, the other two options available is Casual & Hard. I played this title mainly in Gamepad mode I am a Dad and a Husband so, there is some the full treatment I was able to fully interact with the screen in simple ways like, selecting virtual buttons and opening up menus and sub-menus. This is not the only interaction that is included with the user experience you can also play directly from the gamepad screen via touch controls, independently from the controller’s thumb sticks & face buttons. I found that as a beginner the touch controls are great for a novice though as I progressed through the game I have gotten used to the normal controls. Castle Storm at first glance to would seem like an Angry Birds projectile game with the some swordsmen added to the mix. Making that assumption and sticking with it might be a decision you should reconsider all because Castle Storm is a 3D modeled 2D Tower Defense/ Light RTS/ Action side-scroller it requires a much deeper skillset. Gameplay elements are simple and the light & sometimes funny dialogues in between stages are a good break from the madness that occurs within the game. There are “capture the flag” scenarios along with “raiding” scenarios the latter has you sending your troops by foot to the neighboring castle while, the former has you defend the flag on the opposing troop & your squad tries to retrieve the flag first. There are various types of gameplay scenarios thrown at you through Castle Storm all of which are scored, tallied and hinged upon the completion of certain objectives. All in which are as follows; Main Objectives which is something that will have you complete certain tasks that are typically story involved like Capture the flag or destroy the castle while the Bonus Objectives you have a mission to complete the stage by a certain time limit or to obtain a point score of a great size to be able to receive additional points or coins. There is a statistics system that consists of total kills, headshots, ballista kills and frenzy kills along with kill streaks & longest streaks. In between each main stage you will compete in a arena type stage pitting you against a bevy of baddies such as wild turkeys, boars and the like within a limited amount of time along with some bonus objectives.

 

Ready the arms we have troops incoming!

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There are many different ways to deal death to your sworn enemies in Castle Storm you get 3 different of weapon classes to accomplish your goals. Weapon types can be selected using touch or classic controls by tapping the L & R shoulder buttons the list of your available items will be located on the bottom of either screen you decide to use. Depending on your play style the Ballista will be your choice Reaper of bodies several “Projectiles” are ready for you to use 9 to be exact. The life blood of most of your military operations will be “Troops” whereas you will be able to select from 9 different types. This list ranges from Archers, swordsmen, Healers and many more it will be up to you to figure out the correct range of mighty men to place in your queue choose wisely the kingdom is on the cusp of destruction. Last but not least you have the class of “Spells” in which you have 7 to choose from these spells can be used in the field typically by Temporary Invisibility, Shielding for your castle of course there are others to utilize against your enemies I will let you discover what lies ahead. All these weapon types can be selected in between stages so, that you can reconfigure your plans leading into your future battles. While using your “Troops” you can have them on the field as long as their health meter has energy left. Your projectiles from your ballista are controlled by a timer which can be extended by upgrades to your arsenal. The same can be said about the spells that you will use throughout your battles against your barbaric enemies.

As they huff and puff let’s fortify our walls with strength and grit so that they shalt not fall…

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Castle Creator/ Defense strategy

As your game progresses you will start to unlock castle upgrades initially you can change typical decorative aesthetics. Later, things like your barracks of your Archers & swordsmen also recruitment office quarters & many more will be available to you. These castle upgrades can be positioned anyplace within your castle walls it’s up to you to strategically place these upgrades wherever you see fit. I have tweaked the best positioning that suited my plying style though, I have created several types of castle sets to work great with certain stage difficulties along with the opposition’s projectiles and various troop types. You are able to test your designs within the creator’s ballista which has all the possible projectiles available to you via your single player missions which is great for perfecting your fortifications. As I delved deeper into mastering the architecture of castle building I was pleasantly surprised by how this game came together I tip my hat to Zen Studios of Pinball fame. I can now see that this game company is not just a one trick pony and I hope two things happen 1.) You go out and purchase this game from Nintendo Wii U Eshop available to you for a low $9.99 2.) I hope that Zen studios keep hitting us with games with deep skill sets  and enjoyable to play.

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Thank you, for your stay and please enjoy the rest of Real Otaku Gamer your place for Nerdgasmic pleasures!

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Contrast is an ode to the storytelling of the early 1920’s.It has an artistic film noir feel to it, this is one of the main reasons why I downloaded this game on PlayStation Network (though this game is also available on Steam) Oh, plus this game is free of charge brought to me by my lovely PlayStation Plus subscription also available for $15

Contrast-PS4  First, I will touch on the gameplay because the crown jewel of this game is the actual story which in today’s gaming scene is hard to come by. This game first starts you off by briefly going through tutorials while pushing the story forward. The mechanics are simplistic in nature there are only four moves you learn Jump, Dash, Interact & Phase in/out (For transitioning into & out of the shadow world). It is slightly difficult in some parts due to timing or maneuvering of the game worlds objects you have to position to progress forward. Contrast is setup like a stage play the game is broken into acts. Within each act there are a set number of light orbs called “Luminaries” you will need these orbs to lighten certain paths needed to progress through the stage. Contrast is considered to me as a 3D puzzle platformer and plays as such but, the shadow play really adds complexity to this simple game. The design of the game has been used before but, is still fairly new to me and to the console platform as far as I know. Games like Super Mario 3D World has touched on this artistic shadow game mechanic along with a few others. Shifting from reality to the shadow realm is part of this games allure fun and frustration will ensue because of this new found mechanic. You will find yourself in precarious situations whereas you will find yourself stumped in several puzzles. Please do not fret because simplicity is the key and it is not as hard as you think it is. In many cases you will find that you were over thinking the whole situation.

When first playing Contrast you will see it doesn’t shine with all the next gen shiny graphics. Easily something that can be done with last gen tech. Though,  it does have some high res textures throughout the world you can still come to appreciate the beauty that this game portrays. The neon lights through the city scape to the brownish toned film noir feel the world has down to the shadow play game mechanics that are the main catalyst propelling the games storyline forward. You will be impressed how the developers and story writers let the story unfold. The crown jewel of this is definitely that, the story.contrastkep02This game drops you off into a story about a family torn apart by the complexities of love, trust and loyalty. The main characters of the game are Didi and Dawn the latter is the avatar you will play as. Dawn (The playable character) is the imaginary burlesque circus performer dressed friend of the adolescent girl Didi. The Mother of our character is a nightclub songstress Kat whom is fed up with her husband Johnny because he lives in the skies with lofty get rich schemes. While her parents try to hide the ever-present issue they face as a couple. Didi just wants her dad to live back with them because Mom kicked him out once again. Johnny failing at almost everything he does. He truly wants the best for his family. His dreams in the clouds are not helping paying the bills. While Kat is struggling to keep her home together and a roof over Didi’s and her head all alone is left to do things that drives added stress into their lives. Kat leaves her daughter to her own devices at home alone while she tries to make a living. Dawn is created to help her coupe the emotional stresses put upon this young lady as they escape to the city to have a little fun much is revealed to us through their night time adventures.

contrast1-545x306There are a few more caveats to add spice to this story but, I will leave it to you experience because I repeat the story is what you truly what you want to experience with Contrast. I tried to eliminate as much of the spoiler content within my review while exposing enough of the story to you so, that it will shine just enough light on this title in hopes that you will purchase/download Contrast .Please try to get into this sweet and touching story that displays the skills of the developers skills in storytelling.

 

 

By Gehennakat On 19 Nov, 2013 At 10:39 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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The cold was starting to creep into my bones. It was starting to near midnight in Sacramento, California and I was at my GameStop picking up the next generation console from Sony. The line was about 100 deep and we were all waiting with baited breath to get in so we could get our mitts on the coveted console. As the line started to move people were discussing everything from hoping they could get online to how big the required installs were for most of the new games. I finally approached the register and received my prize.

The Sony PlayStation 4 was launched on November 15, 2013, in North America at midnight and was touted as being the next step in our gaming evolution. With over a million pre-orders just in North America alone it’s looking to be one of the more successful launches in recent memory as well. That being said there have been a myriad of issues reported that people are claiming to be popping up such as freezing, blinking red lights, no video, bad connectors, etc.

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The unboxing after waiting in line was your typical affair. The unit was smaller than I heard with no external power supply (brick). It came with one of the new controllers and a micro USB 3.0 connector to power it. It also came with a power cord and HDMI cable to get it powered up and connected to your display of choice. The final thing I came across was what I assumed was half a headset. I say this because the included mic is actually just one ear bud with a mic and switch attached to a single cord that plugs into the controller (think 360 controller/mic setup). Needless to say, once I got home and rummaged around in the dark to set the system up, it was 2 AM and time to go to bed because I had work in 3.5 hours. The console itself has an HDMI in the back, Ethernet, optical, and two USB 3.0 connectors in the front. I tried connecting right before bed and was unable to connect to the PSN (under maintenance). This was the only time I’ve encountered this issue.
Once I came home from work on Friday I fired it up and crossed my fingers. After waiting all day and hearing the issues that had plagued other gamers I was a touch anxious. She came alive right away with the familiar PS logo and launched right into its initial patch for day 1 launch (330 mb). Once that was completed the unit restarted and was ready to play with. The PS4 main menu is pretty much the same layout albeit more streamlined. It definitely has more a user friendly feel to it and seems easier to navigate. The newest addition is that of the party system with cross chat functionality. Anyone who has had a 360 is familiar with this. For those uninitiated, that means you can create a party with your friends and chat with them regardless of what game you’re playing. Now, me personally, it gets irritating to be in a firefight on BF while talking to someone racing in NFS, but that’s a personal preference. It is nice, though, to get a chat going while someone is finishing up a level on another game while you wait for them to join up on you in a lobby. I didn’t invest in the new camera so I don’t have any hands on experience with that (waiting for something other than Playroom to use that on). One nice thing is that main PS4 menu seems to act as more of a portal so that if PSN is down you can still connect to the servers of the individual games.

Now my launch line up consists of Killzone: Shadow Fall, CoD: Ghosts, BF4, and Resogun. Now I had purchased a disc for PS3 that needed to be upgraded (BF4 for PS3), a digital download (Ghosts for PS3), and the actual disc for KZ on PS4 to see what, if any, issues occurred installing or upgrading. To be honest I had zero issues installing and upgrading anything. The biggest issue for me was the amount of time it takes to install almost 50 GB for the next gen games… that’s it. Killzone actually negates this to a degree by asking you which mode you want to play first, campaign or multiplayer. The system will then install your second choice in the background so you can play your initial choice right away.

I’ve played the system for over 6-8 hours each day during the weekend and never once had any sort of heating issue, display problem, freezing or anything. The only issue that I came across during the whole process was a strange whirring noise the system made on the BF4 disc when it was done installing the game. Since the BF4 disc is only used to upgrade the game to PS4 I can attribute that to the fact it’s an incompatible format for the PS4 and was trying to read and reread the disc to figure out what it wanted to do with it. Once you actually start the game, or simply eject the disc, the noise ceases. It does not make this noise for PS4 discs at all or if there is no disc in the drive.

All in all it has been uneventful launch for this gamer, but that is not to say there aren’t defective units. Sony is saying failure rates are as low as .5% and Amazon users are saying 8-9%. If you purchased a defective unit I’m sorry, and I’m sure Sony will have something in the works for you to get you back up and running, just follow the proper channels. Just remember before we start yelling about failures and how the Xbox fans are laughing about any issues that have arisen, that the 360 had a really rough launch with almost a 50% hardware failure rate and it still continued to garner support.

Now we’ll be doing reviews for all the launch titles, but I have to say everything I’ve played designed for PS4 has been beautiful. Killzone especially has earned its rightful place as a launch title. Resogun is also a nice entry into the launch list by Housemarque as well a game called Warframe that’s free for Plus members. Keep in mind as the Xbox launches, and the fan boy war rages on, that we’re all gamers and have diverse tastes. There’s no reason to bash one over the other. Simply follow your games and enjoy the company of other gamers on your platform. There’s no such thing as a perfect system… except maybe the Dreamcast.

By Lethal Minx On 16 Oct, 2013 At 11:52 PM | Categorized As PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4, Reviews, Reviews, Uncategorized | With 1 Comment
BTS

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Quantic Dream, creators of Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy, take a baseball bat to our hearts and grand slams it out of the park. Beyond: Two Souls is a PS3 exclusive starring Ellen Page, who plays Jodie that has a cursed gift of thanks to her supernatural friend Aiden, and Willem Dafoe, a scientist who specializes in the paranormal. With a game that is jam-packed with emotion, stories, ominous soundtrack, and the perfectly placed thrills, it’s easy to understand why
we’re all hooked on it.

Jodie (Ellen Page) and Nathan (William Dafoe) running through an experiment.

Jodie (Ellen Page) and Nathan (Willem Dafoe) running through an experiment.

Quantic Dream is well known for their incredibly accurate graphics, which makes this game all the more personal. Every pore, snowflake, and texture in fabric is discernible, and quite frankly, it’s really gorgeous to watch. Despite its greatness that myself and my peers rate it, others have their gripes. Although it has the classic Quantic Dream feel and controls, it’s nothing like you’ve ever played before.

A few facts need to be straightened out: Beyond is not a video game, and for those who have played it will understand what that means. This is more of an interactive movie. Here are a few key features to note:

You can’t decide your fate. Yes, QD has taken away the ability to have this game end alternate ways. However, the game leads you to believe that it does due to the amount of options you have with what and who you interact with. You can choose what to wear, what to cook, what to say, etc. There are certain scenes where bad things happen, and you have the choice to take revenge or walk away.

Linear… well… a lot of things. This one is a double-edged feature. This is an interactive movie, after all; the ending will end the way the creators designed it. The sequence of certain scenes will unravel in the same way. When you have control over Jodie or Aiden or any other character, it doesn’t matter what you choose or what you say. That’s also the game’s biggest issue. All that aside, the game makes up for it in many other ways.

Whiplash. Even though the game has so much charm (honestly, it does), it does leave you feeling a bit dazed because it’s not told in chronological order. Jodie tells you this in the beginning, so at least we had fair warning. However, once you finish the game, you can play it in chapter order which will then help you rearrange your thoughts and the story. Maybe you’ll decide a different choice, anywhere ranging from getting revenge to what to wear for your date.

Homeless, hungry, and cold Jodi during her homeless years.

Homeless, hungry, and cold Jodi during her homeless years.

Likable characters. The characters you interact with, I feel, are perfectly executed. Page and Dafoe aside (because honestly, they could never do any wrong), the other main characters each have their own personality, and you see many different sides of them, even if it’s a character you interact with for one chapter. Jodie has just the right amount of sarcasm, wit, charm, and bad-assery that makes her a great lead role. Dafoe woos you with his sincerity and a shocking lack of ulterior motives, which you would expect when dealing with a girl like Jodie.

A great story. While Beyond is practically like Insidious, except without the focus on horror, the game is original. You have a girl whose powers are almost limitless, and somehow Quantic Dream creates a game that is all-encompassing fun, thrills, somewhat comedic, tragic and emotional, and action-packed. The perfectly placed thrills are what makes the game, in my opinion. When you’re dealing with the supernatural, you typically end up with a horror movie, or a comedy like Ghostbusters. If it’s neither one of them, it’ll probably be a flop. Not this time; Quantic Dream really knows what they’re doing.

Overall… It’s a great game and a must play.

Every game has it’s good and bad qualities (except for The Last of Us, which was pure perfection, in this reviewer’s opinion), and gamers will definitely feel hooked and connected to each character on a deep level. You’ll choke, you’ll giggle, you’ll feel content, you’ll be bored sometimes, and you’ll even take a deep breath during the more scary moments; Quantic Dream will cater to all the feels.

By SarahTheRebel On 30 Sep, 2013 At 08:25 AM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments
star wars legacy #7

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First appeared on www.NerdyButFlirty.com

Star Wars: Legacy #7 takes place 138 years after the events in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope and features a descendant of Han Solo – Ania Solo – and a jedi named Jao on their quest to save the galaxy. Yup, the main characters of this expanded universe Star Wars series are a black man and a female Han Solo. Everything I ever wanted in a comic.

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The plot is fast-paced and interesting, with plenty of mysteries, but never so many as to leave the reader frustrated. Ania is a straight-talking, “shoot first” kind of girl with plenty of room for her character to grow.

I also love the art and all the fantastic creatures in the series. The colors and design is dark and lovely, and really fits the Star Wars universe.

I can’t wait to read the next issue! Damn cliffhangers…

Check out our other Star Wars: Legacy reviews!

Plot

After a terrible vision of Empress Fel being struck down by a Sith, Ania Solo and Imperial Knight Jao ignore direct orders and set out in search of the murdering Sith. It’s the right thing to do…but it’s also scratching their itch for adventure!

The Deets

Writer:
Corinna Bechko, Gabriel Hardman
Artist:
Brian Thies
Cover Artist:
Livio Ramondelli

By SarahTheRebel On 29 Sep, 2013 At 07:51 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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First appeared on www.NerdyButFlirty.com

Mass Effect: Foundation #3 is supposed to be the story of a great assassin working for Cerberus, but we’re treated along the way to a few old friends, like Wrex, and in this issue, Ashley Williams.

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I love the classic BioWare storytelling, the strong female characters, and the bloody fight scenes. The art is still meh, but the story is so good that I don’t really care.

I don’t want this series to end.

Check out my review of ME: Foundation issues 1 and 2!

Plot

The loss of the human colony Eden Prime was the first in a series of catastrophes to mark the return of the Reapers—a race of sentient AI that would threaten all life in the galaxy. Now, in her own words, Gunnery Chief Ashley Williams reveals what she saw.

The Deets

Writer: Mac Walters

Artist: Tony Parker

Colorist: Michael Atiyeh

Cover Artist: Benjamin Carre

Buy Mass Effect: Foundation #3 here!

By SarahTheRebel On 20 Sep, 2013 At 08:15 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments
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First appeared on www.NerdybutFlirty.com

Skullgirls is a 2D indie fighting game that was released on PSN and Xbox Live last year. The game has just come out on PC. So how does it hold up?

Amazingly, as long as you have a controller or a fight stick.

I had no problems with lag or dropped connections, and the art is just as stunning and unique. I think this is a solid port of the game. On the other hand, the immaturity of the character design and the lack of polish on some of the gameplay aspects leave me wanting more.

Skullgirls is really a fighting game for people who love fighting games. It’s very meta and constantly references other fighting games and even pop culture. Peacock, in particular, is an inspired character. And no, I’m not just saying that because she references Popeye.

Plot

“Legend tells of a mysterious artifact known as the “Skull Heart” that has the power to grant a young woman’s wishes. Of course, there’s a catch. If she has an impure heart, even a selfless wish will be twisted in the most vile of ways: peace brought through brutality, eternal life through perpetual childhood, or a lost love returned as an undead monster.

Hundreds have sought the Skull Heart, but so far none have been deemed worthy and spared its cruel power. Those judged impure are transformed into the fearful instrument of their twisted wish…a pale and lovely tempest, a beautiful nightmare – the Skullgirl!”

As with most fighters, the plot is pretty threadbare, and in story mode you will often find yourself in fights with no context, which I really disliked, especially since some of the fights DID have context. It just seemed sloppy.

On the other hand, what little plot there is is very deep and dark, with themes such as assault, mutilation, sexual assault, and the torture of young girls.

Skullgirls

Another disconnect is between how very unique and interesting these fighters are with their female bodies but often masculine symbiotes. I can appreciate the attempt to be different, but I also think it was very clumsy, and many of the stories left me a little angry. For example, Filia is being sexually assaulted. Her (male) symbiote beats the bricks off the guy touching up on her. Immediately afterwards, Filia chides the symbiote for making a scene…uhh…hello, rape culture, anyone?

Anyway, I think most people won’t get too hung up on the issues, as the emergence of a fighting game that attempts to make women more interesting than “boobs” is still cause for praise. Even if five of the seven playable characters have ridiculous boob physics. They are also batshit insane and kind of gross. So, like I said, points for trying.

Graphics

skullgirls

Skullgirls is gorgeous, with art hand-drawn by Alex Ahad. It also has the most animation frames per character to ever be displayed in a fighting game, the result of which is an almost Disney-like vibrancy.

I cannot gush enough about the art, so just trust me: it’s distractingly good.

Sound

music

Oooh, that sweet jazz music will just make you feel like a boss. The music team included Vincent Diamante from Flower as well as Michiru Yamane, who did the Castlevania games released after Symphony of the Night. Yamane’s involvement marks the first time a Japanese composer has scored a Western-developed game.

The voices are also pretty cool for each character, as they quip, pun, and smack talk their way through the fights. If you know me, you know I love puns, so I quite enjoyed the scant dialogue.

My only complaint is actually just a wish for even more voices! I know, however, that Skullgirls is an indie game, so I’m not mad at them, but the snippets I can hear sound so intriguing.

Gameplay

gameplay

Each character has a completely unique fighting style, making up for the lack of characters. Some are quick, some are powerful, some use tech, some are best for airborne attacks, the list goes on. I truly appreciate how much effort went in to creating such different characters.

Additionally, there is perhaps the greatest tutorial I have ever run across in a fighting game. As in, I’m now better at all fighting games because it taught me how to actually use the tools provided in fighters. In the tutorial mode, you’ll learn about mix-ups, OTG attacks, and cancelling. Although I missed the opportunity to gain muscle memory for combos, I was able to fill that need in the training room, and this information was much more helpful than memorizing a long combo chain I never get to use because I get my butt handed to me.

In Skullgirls, you can fight with one, two, or three fighters on your team, trading versatility for raw strength and health. You can also stop infinite combos, which is a relief to a rage quitter like myself (only that one time in MvC3, but still…). You can also customize your assists, which is a nice touch and kind of makes you wonder why more games don’t allow you to do that.

Other than that, the gameplay really resembles any 2D fighter, in particular Marvel v Capcom 2. As a novice fighter, I found the controls very similar to Street Fighter.

As for the matchmaking, if you aren’t familiar with fighting games the choices might look confusing, but basically you can either play local (someone in your house) or play online. If you play online, you can either get in a lobby or do a quick match. As a beginner, you will probably get your butt handed to you the majority of the time, so getting in a lobby can be a good way to practice against the same fighting style for a while to improve and learn.

Something I kind of hated was the lack of spectator mode. When in a lobby but not fighting, I couldn’t figure out a way to watch the fight that was taking place.

Final Verdict

skullgirls2

While this is, without a doubt, a gorgeous and refreshingly different fighting game, it doesn’t quite have the polish of a grade-A game. But is it fun? Hell yes.

Skullgirls is available on Steam for $14.99.

By SarahTheRebel On 20 Sep, 2013 At 03:15 PM | Categorized As Comics/Manga, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments
kiss me satan

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First appeared on www.NerdyButFlirty.com

Kiss Me, Satan is a new series by Victor Gischler (Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Spike—A Dark Place, Punisher MAX, X-Men) and Juan Ferreyra (Colder, Rex Mundi).

I’m really enjoying the story so far. It’s a very grown-up fairy tale story, but not too mature to have some fun. I get a very Dogma vibe, and since that’s one of my favorite movies, I take it as a good sign. All-in-all, the writing is engaging and fun, and I can’t wait to see how our ‘heroes’ get out of this one.

As for the art, it’s just perfect. Dark, saturated, intricate and, at times, disgusting. Oh yes, be warned that this comic is graphic. I’m loving the character designs and the ingenious way Ferreyra is able to capture the essence of a monster in a human face. For example, the werewolves actually kind of have dog-like faces when they’re human, allowing one to instantly recognize which mystical species you’re looking at.

The first issue was a fun, action-filled, supernatural ride, and I can’t wait for issue two!

Free Preview

kissmesatan

Plot

Cassian Steele is the boss of the werewolf mafia in the Big Easy, and he’s got a problem. The old witch Verona knows his secret and has gone into hiding. Cassian wants her dead. So he sends out the word: An open contract. The first monster to dust Verona gets a big payday. What no one realizes is that Barnabus Black, a demon desperately trying to regain his halo, is her protection.

The Deets

Writer: Victor Gischler

Artist: Juan Ferreyra

Cover Artist: Dave Johnson

Buy it here!

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