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By Zoe Howard On 16 Jul, 2017 At 06:20 PM | Categorized As Featured, PlayStation, Reviews | With 0 Comments

No GravatarIt can be challenging reviewing a game in a series you have not yet had the pleasure of playing. You may ask yourself, “will this game make any sense without playing any of the previous titles?” Knowing that this game was made in a different style compared to the previous ones, I figured it would be okay to miss the first games in the series. Ultra Despair Girls may deviate from its predecessors, but I think it offers a new audience a chance to enjoy a well-told story.

The story follows Komaru Naegi, a young girl who was kidnapped a year and a half before the beginning of the game. She is finally being released thanks to a battle between crazed robots called Monokuma and a team of fighters called the Future Foundation. One of the members gives her a hacking gun to protect herself from the crazed robot bears and tells her to escape. Upon her escape, she meets up with different people on her quest to flee Towa City and find her family.

To say that this is a very slim summary of the story is an understatement. There are twists and turns everywhere and there are more exposition and back story around every corner. If I was to try and write down the full plot, it would take up the entire review. Therefore, I am sticking to the main plot that serves as not only the central focus but where the main characters draw the most character development from. A good portion of this development happens between Komaru and a member of Future Foundation she meets by the name of Toko. Komaru and Toko travel through the city trying to escape while trying to understand what’s happening around them.

Through Komaru and Toko’s plotline, the player has an opportunity to learn what happens in previous games. It is really a great plot device that catches up those of us who missed the earlier entries. I never felt I was lost when a character showed up or back story was discussed. You are always given enough information to understand what is going on, at least as much as is needed for that point in the story. I can only recall one time that something happened that left me going “what?” and that was with a character that shows up in the last few shots of the game. It won’t take you long to realize that they had more to do with the old games, but it is clear the developers will be giving us more story in the games to come.

The controls for the game are surprisingly well thought out. Considering this game started out on PS Vita, I can see how they probably worked well there, too. This is probably one of the easiest to control games I have played in a while. If you are at all familiar with cover based third-person shooters then this game will probably be an easy pickup. The only difference is you don’t have to take cover during a fight. Sadly, there is one glaring issue with the controls and that is the right sticks camera controls. They are incredibly slow. To make matters worse, there is no option to tweak the settings and increase the speed. What you see is what you get. This is made infinitely worse when you must use the laser sight to target enemies. You can pick up power-ups that will increase your laser sight speed, but I never saw any improvement in performance.

There is a way around this with a quick lock power-up you can pick up, but it’s completely random as to which enemy it targets. This can be somewhat useful on some of the bosses, but there are some enemies with many points you must hit. I left the auto lock off during my play through and focused on giving myself time to aim properly. Persistence pays off on this one. I completed the game using the camera the way it is.

It’s hard to really comment on graphics that were designed for the PS Vita, so I will make this section quick. Ultra Despair Girls is a port, so it will not be as good of quality as a game made for the PlayStation 4. But the aesthetic of the game itself more than makes up for the low resolution. The switching between CG cut scenes to a graphic novel, still, image-cut scenes are used beautifully to express different things within the game. There are so many interesting and fun style choices that really make the game pleasant to see.

The sound design is good for this game and matches the style very well. It is somewhat your typical anime style fanfare but when something isn’t broke, you don’t need to fix it. The music is probably the weakest part of the game. You will hear the same songs so many times during the game you will be sick of them by the end. Some of the voices can be quite repetitive as well. If this game was shorter, then I could see it is serviceable, but the game was quite long and I admit I was begging for it to be over so I didn’t have to hear them say, “Oh look another arcade machine.”

Overall, this game is glitch free. The frame rate was fantastic and never slowed down for a second. Which was even more puzzling to know how well it ran (considering that it had issues that have been pretty much erased from modern games). This issue was at its worst on the PlayStation 2 and has since then been pretty much resolved during the last two generations. There are a lot of wall corners you can get caught on without being close to them. As annoying as this can be, you will learn how to maneuver around them and progress with very little hang up. It just takes some time to get used to it.

One of the more nagging issues in this game is probably also the smallest. One simple option would fix this; there is A LOT of dialogue which is written out on the screen. The in-game cut scenes do not progress unless you press a button to continue after a character finishes talking. You will be pressing this button a lot. This game really needs an option to allow the scenes to continuously play with an option of stopping it as you wish.

I’ve been saving a certain topic related to this game for the very end, and that is the rather adult nature of much of its story. This game is in no way marketed to children, but I feel it is worth saying that this game has a lot of dark topics. What’s darker than the villains being murderous children seeking to spill the blood of the adults? There are jokes about the main character’s infatuation with her older brother. One of the villains in the game experiences traumatic memories and has flashbacks about what can only be interpreted as a form of sexual assault. Toko has odd fetish dreams about her “master” between the levels as well. None of this affects my choice in the score for the game. I just feel this is worth mentioning for anyone who might have younger kids interested in anime based games.

If I was to name one thing about this game that really got to me, it would have to be the sheer amount of information thrown at the player throughout the game. The game oozes plot and back-story. By about halfway through the game, I gave up on reading or listening to what the characters had to say about the bonus pick up items. I would just get the items and move on. As it is, the end of the game reminds me of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. They could have ended it at any of about six different moments and it would have worked just fine. I cheered when the credits began rolling; there is a lot to take in about this game. This is one instance where I will say that maybe there was too much.

Ultra Despair Girls is pretty much a visual novel with levels you play to reach the next chapter. I really liked this idea. Even if it goes on far longer than it should. I can also see this concept being cleaned up and made better with later iterations. I do need to say: that you as the potential gamer will be watching and reading a lot more than playing. It’s especially story -heavy in the first and third acts of the game. The second act houses a good portion of the action; there is a decent amount of gameplay here but it could be much more.

I played this game on the default medium difficulty. Sadly, there wasn’t a lot of challenge till about the fourth chapter of the game. Even then it died down in chapter 6 (the last chapter). If you are looking for a challenge I suggest a harder difficulty level. Easy difficulty isn’t really needed considering how basic medium played out.  Most of the difficulty was in controlling the camera anyway.

Ultra Despair Girls was a fun game, all-in-all. It was also a fun introduction to a series I had not yet played before. It has me interested in what the rest of the games say about the events that happen.  I wish I could say whether previous fans of the series would like it or not; I know this one is drastically different in its game mechanics compared to 1 and 2. What I will say is this: the game has a few pitfalls, but it is also fun and will keep you interested in the characters and story. This third-person adventure game will give you your money’s worth with its creativity and well-told story.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 13 Jul, 2017 At 03:54 PM | Categorized As News, PlayStation, Playstation Vita, Portable/Mobile Gaming, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Sony sent out the following

 

Samurai Shodown V Special is one of the most well-regarded SNK fighting games among the fighting game community. It is easily one of the most balanced games in the series and features both brand-new systems and an extra layer of polish on already existing mechanics. The game is designed to place emphasis on the qualities that are unique to the Samurai Shodown series. With much less of a focus on combos and supers, victory in Samurai Shodown V Special at high level play will usually come down to using range and spacing to your advantage.

There are a variety of systems and mechanics that have contributed to the game becoming a favorite among hardcore fighting game fans. Here is a quick rundown of some of the most important systems:

Sword Gauge: A meter that directly affects how much damage you do. Any attack—even whiffs or blocked attacks—reduces the meter and the amount of damage you can do. It slowly regenerates to maximum when you are not attacking.

Rage Gauge: A staple in the Samurai Shodown series. Taking damage fills this meter and once at max it results in increased attack power along with other bonuses. A Rage Explosion command can also be used which can be used to push back your opponent and open up other possibilities.

Weapon Flipping Attack: The super special move of Samurai Shodown V Special. It can be used while the Rage Gauge is at max or during a Rage Explosion. The move will both deal significant damage to the opponent and disarm them.

Concentration One: Only usable under certain conditions, this move will result in your opponent going into slow motion while you move at normal speed. Combined with the damaging Fatal Flash command that can only be used in this state, this command is perfect for staging last minute come-backs.

Overkill Moves: These are ultimate moves that can only be used once during a match against an opponent who is already on the ropes. Landing this move will result in your character executing the opponent with a brutal, visceral secret technique.

 

The PS4 / PS Vita Release

As with all of our collaborations with Code Mystics, this release will feature new content such as online multiplayer, a Gallery mode with unlockable art, and trophy support. This will be the first time the game has been available in its original form on a modern console. And we are happy to announce that we will be showing a playable beta of the game at our booth during EVO 2017!

We hope all of our fans attending the event stop by to try out the game and give us their feedback!

A true samurai fights with dignity and honor.

But that doesn’t mean you have to.

 

This is excellent news, and following the release of Garou on PS4 and Vita, this author is extremely excited about this news.  The game is one of SNK’s best and the fact that it is getting such a good re-release should have many happy.

Will you be getting this? This author will!

source 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 11 Jul, 2017 At 01:27 PM | Categorized As News, PlayStation, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Sega sent out the following

 

That’s right, you can now digitally pre-order Yakuza Kiwami. Like, right this second now! If you choose to go the digital route, we’ve got a little something extra for you to enjoy before you hop back to where it all began to bash some gangster skulls. It’s a free theme that features some familiar stone-faced Yakuza bros! The boys mean business, so what better way to represent the streets of Kamurocho than by having Kazuma Kiryu and Akira Nishikiyama hang out in the background of your PS4 menu? Check out some screenshots of the theme below!
Yakuza Kiwami Features:
  • A Family Patriarch’s Ransom of New Content – “Kiwami” literally translates to “extreme,” and the game was named that for good reason. Not just a simple graphical upgrade, Kiwami adds nearly 30 minutes of cutscenes alone, providing all-new insight into the game’s plot and creating common threads with series prequel Yakuza 0. There’s also added distractions (Pocket Circuit car racing, MesuKing: Battle Bug Beauties, new hostesses, and more), side quests, combat updates, re-recorded Japanese dialogue, and more to bring the original Yakuza game into the latest console generation.
  • A Place for Newcomers and Veterans – Yakuza Kiwami is the ultimate bridge in the series: newcomers or those whose Yakuza experience started with Yakuza 0 will have familiar, exacting controls, top-notch SEGA localization, and a solid starting point for entering the Yakuza franchise fresh. Veterans will experience a familiar Kamurocho and plot, but with new levels of story depth and graphical polish.
  • But it was me! Majima! – Completely new to Kiwami is the “Majima Everywhere” system, where the series’ deranged, one-eyed maniac will constantly surprise and challenge Kiryu to combat when he least expects it. We’re talking “popping out of a goofy costume” levels of surprise, so players must stay on their toes and be ready to defend themselves from Kiryu’s chief rival.
  • Extreme Revitalization – Kiwami is rebuilt from the ground up with all new HD assets, exclusive Japanese voice audio re-recorded by the series cast, and more; optimized for the PlayStation 4 and running in 1080p/60fps. And following suit with SEGA’s commitment to the Yakuza series, the game will release in both physical and digital formats in the west.
Yakuza Kiwami will be released on PlayStation 4 physically and digitally on Aug. 29 for $29.99 (with commensurate European pricing). In addition to Yakuza 0, Yakuza Kiwami provides an excellent starting point for those who have always heard about the series but have yet to try it. It preserves the charm of old-school, PS2-era beat-em-up gameplay, but deftly combines it with a hard-boiled crime drama punctuated with the liveliness of Kamurocho – the fictional red-light district of Tokyo the game is set in – and all the distractions that a red-light district can offer. The game is rated M by the ESRB. For more information about Yakuza Kiwami and the Yakuza series, please visit yakuza.sega.com/kiwami.
Source: PR Email
Are you looking forward to Yakuza Kiwami on PS4? Will you be preordering the game? Share your thoughts about the series with us!
By Jonathan Balofsky On 28 Jun, 2017 At 11:45 AM | Categorized As News, PlayStation, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The upcoming PS Plus games for July have been announced

PS4
Until Dawn
Game of Thrones: A Telltale Series
That’s You (4th July onward. This is a PlayLink title)
Don’t Die Mr Robot

PS3
Tokyo Jungle
Darkstalkers Resurrection

Vita
Don’t Die Mr Robot
Element4l

This is an interesting selection of titles. What do you all think of it?

Source

No GravatarE3 week has rolled around yet again and that can mean only one thing:  It’s the perfect time to look at your backlog!

Wait, what?  But Days Gone is coming and there’s  Anthem from Bioware and Destiny 2 and Super Mario Odyssey and The Last Night looks fantastic and and and ad nauseam!  This isn’t when you want to look at old games!  Or is it?  The average gamer has more games than they have time to play these days.  On top of that, the industry has normalized the idea of preordering games up to several years in advance just to get your foot in the door when they come out, even though virtually no preordered titles get under-printed.  So with E3 just getting underway, I thought I’d take a look at all the things I still haven’t played yet…and that’s a lot.

I’ve been collecting since the mid-nineties, ever since I sold my copy of Final Fantasy III for the SNES, decided I wanted to play it again, and then couldn’t find a copy for months.  Ever since then, if I buy a game, I keep it until I play it and decide if I like it.  But in the 90s, games came out much more slowly.  By the time you’d rented the game (yes, you could rent games at a corner mini-mart or video store back then), played it to death, and moved on to something else, the next game you were waiting for still wasn’t out.  That simply isn’t the case anymore.  There are so many games out and coming out that it’s hard to even keep track of what might be interesting, let alone everything that’s been released.  And that’s why backlogs are such a problem.  There are more good games coming out than most people have time to even try, much less play through.  Most people simply buy what looks good, get sidetracked, and end up with a bunch of things they don’t even have time to open.  It’s a ridiculous consumer feedback loop that doesn’t benefit anyone but game companies and retail stores.

For example, I still have Super Nintendo games that I haven’t gotten around to playing yet.  I bought them in the nineties!  It’s a habit that becomes a compulsion; the fear of missing out on the next Suikoden II or Shantae or Panzer Dragoon Saga.  What if you don’t buy it and when you go to get it, you can’t afford it anymore?  But will you ever play it?  Do you even have the time?  Assuming you work a 40 hour work week or go to school full time, you likely have limited time for gaming.  Add a commute, a relationship, or even a child to that equation and you have even less.  You might get three to five hours of game time in a week.  The average game takes around 20 hours to complete.  That’s ten weeks to finish one game, assuming you don’t play anything else or get bored of it.  You might be able to finish five games a year at that rate.  Round it up to ten for people with summers off or extra free time.  But even at ten games a year, you aren’t remotely scratching the surface of what comes out in any given year, and that’s just looking at mainstream titles!  If you have PlayStation Plus or Xbox Live Gold, you get four to six games free every month on top of what you purchase.  If you have Steam, GOG (Good Old Games), Origin, or uPlay, you might get another 5-10 games free a year if you pay close attention online.  That’s well over a hundred games excluding retail purchases if you use all of those services.  At an average of 20 hours each, you’re looking at roughly over 2000 hours of gameplay, and following our formula that says we have five hours a week, that backlog becomes 7.7 years of gameplay.

Over seven years of gameplay just in random titles from online services.  Then we add in the AAA titles that most people buy and tend to play more heavily and the average serious gamer has a backlog of up to ten times what they could realistically play at any given time.  A quick look at my collection made me nearly nauseous when I used this formula.  On Steam alone, I have 1003 games, many of which I have never even installed.  For the PS2?  128.  The DS?  101.  The PS1?  72 games.  That’s over 1300 games and doesn’t include about two-thirds of my collection.  And don’t forget about flash carts.  I have access to every single US and Japanese game for the NES, Genesis, Turbografx 16, and DS.  Thousands of titles.   My Steam library averages out to about 77 years of backlog.  Statistically, I will literally die before I can possibly play every game on my Steam account to completion.  An actual, honest-to-goodness lifetime of gaming is at my fingertips at any given moment.  And yet I still I buy games all the time, but I literally cannot play them.  I’ve talked to other gamers that have backlogs on Steam of up to 3000 games.  It’s almost a status symbol for them.

We don’t need this much media.  But as we buy more and more, faster and faster, we show developers that they don’t need to take their time or fully playtest a game for us to buy it.  Half the time, we stick it on a shelf and don’t get to it for six months.  Or a year.  Or five.  Or even ten.  The situation has degraded so much that there are even sites like www.backloggery.com that allow you to track not only your collection but your completion rate as well.  Steam does this for you automatically, and it can be rather disheartening to see right there in black and white.  I’ve been a Steam member for 12 years and I’ve only managed a 13% completion rate.  However, even that is inaccurate because that number is calculated on the achievements you’ve earned, not the games you have finished.  I wouldn’t hesitate to say that most people don’t end up finishing the games they start these days due to the nature and volume of the market, and it almost doesn’t matter that the developers haven’t properly programmed and playtested those games.

So what does all this mean?  To me, it means the market is utterly flooded; inundated with content ranging from indie games to AAA titles to the point where it’s hopelessly diluted and difficult to have a pure gaming experience.  Very few games end up being memorable and at the same time, we’ve created a sub-culture where people brag about all the items they own but never actually use them.  There are too many games and we can’t play most of them.  A lot of the most highly advertised titles end up being terrible too, due to compromises made to appeal to wider audiences.  Reviews are bought and sold like commodities and it’s very difficult to judge for yourself what might be good.  E3 is the perfect example of this, creating massive hype for titles that test well with audiences and critics, overproduced shows of products that won’t be coming out for some time, and generally driving a multi-billion dollar ad campaign that sucks dollars out of the pockets of hard-working people.  As I write this, Xbox has wrapped up their E3 presentations and already most of the bigger titles are available to preorder on Amazon, even though the release dates are as far away as next fall or later.  Money is flying into the pockets of companies as we speak for nothing more than a promise of things to come drifting on the wind.

Gamers need to stop and think about how excited they were for the items that are already sitting on their shelves when they were announced.  We can’t let that feeling of wonder end the second we get the actual product.  If we all stop to play what we already have, perhaps it will make the industry also reconsider the type of games it is releasing and the volume it is releasing them in.  Having a backlog says a lot about a person, but it also speaks volumes to the way marketing and consumer culture affect us as individuals.  That’s a message many of us need to heed more often.   So take a look at your shelf.  Make an effort to try that game you’ve always been meaning to but were never in the mood for.  You might just recapture the magic in gaming by popping in a hidden gem.  And you might find that the entertainment you’ve been scouring the net looking for is something you already had the whole time.

A Contest And An Addendum

In writing the above article and looking at my backlog, I also realized that in addition to a ridiculously large backlog, I also have a ridiculous number of games sitting about unused on my Steam account and other digital accounts.  These are extras I’ve gotten to give as friends, freebies that came with purchases, and just random extra codes I’ve acquired over the years.  I thought to myself, “What better use could I have for all these games than to give them away to people who will play them?”  And so, The Great Real Otaku Gamer Steam Backlog Contest was born!

For those of you that are interested and want to put in a minimal amount of effort, I’m going to give away my extra Steam codes!  But the rules for winning are something a bit different.  The winners for this contest will be the entrants with the smallest uncompleted backlogs!  After all, in this day and age with everyone oversaturating themselves with media, maybe the person who actually finishes what they start deserves a reward!  So please take a moment and head on over to The Great Real Otaku Gamer Steam Backlog Contest right here on Real Otaku Gamer and drop an entry my way!  You might just win a new game to play…and it might even be good!

By Nate VanLindt On 28 May, 2017 At 04:24 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Opinion, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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13,925.  693, no platinum trophies.  5,906 XP – Level 29.  These numbers are meaningless out of context.  The fact is, they’re pretty much meaningless in context as well.  Chances are, you already know what I’m talking about if you’re reading this, but for the few that don’t, the above numbers are gamer scores and achievement statistics.  Specifically my personal gamer statistics.  I had to look them up because I had absolutely no idea what they were and I didn’t really care.  They are from Xbox Live, Playstation Network, and Steam respectively if you’re wondering.  That’s the point, however.   Why have people become obsessed with their personal statistics?

Gamerscores and stats started almost at the same time as gaming with the advent of the high score.  The very first high score was in Sea Wolf, way back in 1976.  Most games of the early gaming era featured scoring systems of one kind or another, whether it be the number of points scored in a Pong game or the points from the number of alien ships shot down in Galaga.  High scores stuck around until the mid to late 80s, when the NES reigned supreme and longer, more complex games at home became the standard.  Even then, many games still had score tabulation functions, whether they were the game scores in R.B.I. Baseball or a run n’ gun like Contra by Konami.   In other words, high scores have always been kicking around, but as gaming advanced, high scores slowly disappeared and became less meaningful, excluding a handful of genres like SHMUPS (SHoot eM UPS such as R-Type, Gradius, and Raiden for those who aren’t familiar with the term). 

But then, something odd happened in 2005.  Microsoft introduced achievements on the Xbox 360.  All of the sudden, every time you completed a specific set task in a game, you got a digital attaboy.  A little notification would pop up on screen and tell you you’d completed a task that you didn’t even know you were working towards and it added to what Microsoft calls your “gamerscore”.  Suddenly people were trying to have the best gamerscore, competing with their friends, doing things they’d never bother to do in a game before and spending lots of extra time in a game to do it.  Companies noticed this.  Nearly every game had achievements in short order.  In 2007, Valve added their version of gamerscores, badges, to Steam.  The next year, Sony added Trophies to the PlayStation Network as well.  Suddenly, everyone had a scoring system to track how much better (or worse) you were than everyone else you knew.  People bought into it.  Companies offered rewards for the highest gamerscore and Microsoft even gave away a lifetime membership to Xbox Live Gold in 2013 to the player with the highest gamerscore.  The entire concept had entered the collective consciousness of gamers and they have accepted it as a standard.

Should we be paying attention to our gamerscore and our trophy list, however?  Perhaps we should not.  In 2006, Gears of War was released for the Xbox 360.  It was one of the first games I played that had achievements.  I’d seen the achievement notifications pop up before, but I generally just tolerated them.   As I played Gears of War, I reached the end of a section and defeated the Berserker the first time, earning the trophy “My Love For You Is Like A Truck”, a reference to a fairly obscure song called Berserker by a band called Love Among Freaks.  Unfortunately, the trophy notification popped up prominently onscreen in the middle of a cinema sequence, blocking me from seeing the cinema fully and destroying my immersion in the game instantly.  On top of that, I couldn’t go back and see the cinema again without replaying that entire section of the game.  From that moment on, I was dead set against gamerscore in all its iterations.

In case you didn’t know, you can actually turn off achievement notifications on both Microsoft and Sony consoles.  On the Xbox One, it’s under Settings,  All Settings, Preferences, Notifications.   For the PS4, the option is under Settings, Notifications.  I did this as soon as the option became available on each network (as far as I know, it still isn’t available on Steam unfortunately) and I never looked back.  As a gamer for over 30 years, I ask you to consider it this way.  Games are designed to have fun.  They’re a form of escapist entertainment.   We generally play games to try and either finish them or get a high score.  But with achievements, we play through tedious grinding activities just to get an ephemeral payout of gamerscore so we can brag to friends and strangers.  That’s not only weird, it borders on pointless.  Take Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End for example.  I played Uncharted 4 right after it came out.  I blew through the game in my spare time (about a week).  The pacing is fantastic, the story moves just the right amount at a go, none of the gameplay holds you up too badly, but you still feel challenged.  It’s one of the most well-crafted games I’ve played in years in terms of pacing and structure.  I finished the game, had a blast, and came away fully satisfied with my experience.  I can’t speak highly enough of the game (keeping in mind that to enjoy it fully you must play the entire series in order).   Now, take a look at my personal trophies on the PS4 for Uncharted 4.

That’s right.  I got a measly 14 bronze trophies playing through a game that I raved about as one of the best games I’ve ever had the pleasure of playing.  A game that I just stated I was ‘fully satisfied’ with.  There are sixty-eight trophies in this game.  Sixty-eight!  Essentially, I didn’t ‘play the game’ according to the current thinking in gaming.  How could I possibly call myself a gamer?  Obviously, I don’t take gaming seriously enough, right?  Wrong.  Gaming is for fun, and I had fun playing Uncharted 4.  A lot of fun actually.  I don’t want to waste my limited free time finding 109 treasures that have no bearing on the story in my well-paced story-based game.  I am not interested in spending hours hanging from ropes to get the trophy for making 20 headshots while hanging from a rope.  And I certainly don’t want to buy an apple just to let the lemur steal it in chapter 11.  Because that’s not fun.  It’s tedious make-work in a game I’m playing for entertainment.  And achievements, trophies, and badges get much more ridiculous than that, up to and including repeating a specific activity or action thousands of times just to get that pop-up payoff.   Let’s call it what it really is, a Pavlovian response pattern that reinforces obsessive-compulsive tendencies in a mostly antisocial social sub-group.   In short, they are a prize with no value.

And yet there is a large and vocal demographic online that openly mocks anyone who dismisses the value of achievements.  Gamers often minimize the impact of these psychological tools, resorting to simplistic responses such as ‘if you don’t like them, just ignore them’, or ‘only people that suck at gaming hate trophies’.  Who is missing the point here?  Obviously, games are designed for both types of gamers now, the trophy hunters and the purists.  There’s no arguing that.  But are game designers themselves compromising their vision to provide a game that appeals to a wider audience due to the frothing demand for achievements?  It seems like they are.  Adding online content, online trophies, and various other extras to games that don’t really need them seem like pandering.  Some games force you to go online to get some of the achievements, necessitating play against others as well as paying for premium network access in the form of Xbox Live or Playstation Plus.  And gamers are falling for it.  In a recent discussion with a colleague, he informed me that he was replaying a game after finishing it so that he could “platinum” it because he loved the game so much.  When I asked him about the achievements though, he related that many of them were tedious and difficult to achieve.  After this discussion, I asked him about his game backlog and he admitted that he has games that he hasn’t even opened yet.  In other words, achievements are artificially inflating the average gameplay and dissuading gamers from moving on to the next title, regardless of the next game’s quality, even after they’ve finished a game and have stopped enjoying it.

It seems to me like this is an issue that gamers should actually take seriously.  Not because it matters whether you play for score, but because game developers take it seriously and they design games based on the trends of the market and the input they receive online.  The best games, the ones that everyone raves about for years or even decades, are the ones that provide an uncompromised creative vision.  These games are at the top of everyone’s list for a reason.  They were designed to enjoy, not to appeal to every single person, and that makes them rise above.  Too few of those games exist these days, and fewer are released every year.  Maybe if we focus a little less on finding every flag or using every weapon for a thousand headshots or revealing every single tenth of a percentage point of every single map and a little more on just immersing ourselves in the fun a game can provide, we’ll all get a bit more enjoyment out of gaming.   Try turning off your notifications for a game or two and see if you have more fun.  If you don’t know you’re missing out…maybe you aren’t.

 

Source 1  Source 2  Source 3  Source 4

By Sebastian Marco On 26 May, 2017 At 08:44 AM | Categorized As News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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This morning Ubisoft unveiled a new trailer for Far Cry 5, following the build up they’ve  been teasing all week long. This time around players are cast into Hope County, which is definitely a change of scenery considering this is the first game that takes place in the United States. Hopes County looks to give players new skies, rivers, woods and all that the Montana countryside has to offer. The main antagonist of FC5, Jospeh Seed and his fanatical cult followers will be challenging players in this new environment and push them and react to the choices made in the game.

 

Far Cry 5 is scheduled to release February 27, 2018. We hope to see more details and footage at E3.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 16 May, 2017 At 09:54 AM | Categorized As News, News, News, NINTENDO, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Sega promised us something different for Sonic Forces and they were not kidding. The game’s much speculated about third style, will feature third gameplay style is a powerful gadget touting customizable character. This character will be fully customizable to the player’s desires and specifications.

 

“In this just announced gameplay style, players will be equipping their custom Hero Character with one of a variety of powerful unique gadgets called Wispons. Wispons are an evolution of the Color Powers from Sonic Colors and double as both offensive abilities and as a way to platform through levels quickly. Along with the Wispon, the Hero Character will have a grappling hook they can utilize to quickly traverse across zones. Players can also customize the Hero Character’s looks by choosing and swapping between hundreds of accessories and outfit options to change the character’s appearance as they play through the game.”

Sonic Forces features seven base animal types that serve as choices and each comes with varying special abilities for more variety.

Wolf – Automatically draws in rings when near them
Rabbit – Has longer invincible time after receiving damage
Cat – Keeps one ring after being hit
Dog – Restarts with five rings after the player dies
Bear – Blows away enemies with a homing attack
Bird – Flies high with double jump abilities
Hedgehog – Collects rings when getting damaged

SEGA then stated that the character players create “will be a key part of the story, appearing not only in cutscenes, but by being a crucial element in helping Sonic reclaim the world from Eggman’s domination.”. In other words, your OC became canon just now.

 

Does Sega truly realize what they have done?

source

By Jonathan Balofsky On 12 May, 2017 At 02:02 PM | Categorized As News, PlayStation, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Sony has revealed a new PSN Flash sale that starts this weekend. details on games below.
PS4 Games:
DOOM – $19.79
DOOM Digital Deluxe – $39.99
Mirror’s Edge Catalyst – $9.99
inFAMOUS First Light – $5.99
Kerbal Space Program – $15.99
Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime – $5.99
Risk of Rain – $3.49
No Man’s Sky – $23.99
Destroy All Humans! – $7.99
XCOM 2 – $23.99
XCOM 2 Digital Deluxe Edition – $29.99
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty – $4.99
Axiom Verge – $9.99
SOMA – $8.99
Battlezone – $23.99
Evolve – $7.49
Evolve Ultimate Edition – $12.49
Evolve Digital Deluxe Edition – $9.99
Hyper Void – $3.99
The Technomancer – $15.99
Zen Pinball 2: Aliens vs. Pinball – $3.99
Assault Android Cactus – $4.49
Shadow Complex Remastered – $5.99
Slain: Back From Hell – $5.09
The Little Acre – $5.19
Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark Gold Edition – $19.79
Zen Pinball 2 Mars – $0.62
2064: Read Only Memories – $7.99
Asemblance – $3.49
Crimsonland – $1.39
Doki-Doki Universe – $5.99
Galak-Z – $7.99
Lichtspeer – $4.99
Manual Samuel – $3.99
MouseCraft – $1.99
Nova-111 – $1.99
One Way Trip – $4.49
Paranautical Activity – $1.99
Red Faction – $4.49
Super Mutant Alien Assault – $2.99
The Fall – #3.99
Time Machine VR – $11.99
Alone With You – $3.99
Final Horizon – $3.23
Headlander – $5.99
Neon Chrome – $4.49
QUBE Director’s Cut – $2.49
Sky Force Anniversary – $3.49
Stealth Inc 2 – $2.49
Stealth Inc Ultimate Edition – $3.74
There Came an Echo – $5.09
The Swapper – $3.74
Titan Attacks! – $1.99
Tower of Guns – $3.74
Ultratron – $1.99
Unmechanical: Extended – $2.49
Xenoraid – $3.99

PS3 Games:

Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype – $2.99
Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype Complete Bundle – $2.59
Mass Effect Trilogy – $14.99
Red Faction: Guerrilla – $3.99
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified – $1.99
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Gold Edition – $9.99
Doki-Doki Universe – $5.99
I Am Alive – $2.99
Mars: War Logs – $2.49
QUBE Director’s Cut – $2.49
Red Faction: Armageddon – $3.99
Red Faction: Battlegrounds – $1.99
Sky Force Anniversary – $3.49
Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark Gold Edition – $9.99
XCOM: Enemy Within – $5.99
Zen Pinball 2: Aliens vs. Pinball – $3.99
Zen Pinball 2: Mars – $0.62
Big Sky Infinity – $2.49
Deus Ex: Human Revolution Director’s Cut – $7.49
Hyper Void – $3.99
MouseCraft – $1.99
Nova-111 – $1.99
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty – $4.99
Red Faction 2 (PS2 Classic) – $2.49
StarDrone – $1.19
Stealth Inc 2 – $2.49
Stealth Inc – $2.49
The Swapper – $3.74
Ultratron – $1.99
Unmechanical – $2.49
Velocity Ultra – $1.99

PS Vita:
Big Sky Infinity – $2.49
Doki-Doki Universe – $5.99
Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype – $2.99
Soldner-X 2: Final Prototype Complete Bundle – $2.59
Xenoraid – $3.99
Alone With You – $3.99
Axiom Verge – $9.99
Crimsonland – $1.39
Hyperdevotion Noire: Goddess Black Heart – $4.49
Lichtspeer – $4.99
MouseCraft – $1.99
Neon Chrome – $4.49
Nova-111 – $1.99
Oddworld: New ‘n’ Tasty – $4.99
Paranautical Activity – $1.99
Risk of Rain – $3.49
Sky Force Anniversary – $3.49
Slain: Back from Hell – $5.09
StarDrone Extreme – $1.19
Stealth Inc 2 – $2.49
Stealth Inc – $2.49
Super Stardust Delta Interstellar Bundle – $5.99
The Swapper – $3.74
Titan Attacks! – $1.99
Ultratron – $1.99
Velocity Ultra – $1.49
Zen Pinball 2: Aliens vs. Pinball – $3.99
Zen Pinball 2: Mars – $0.62

The sale can be found here

By Jonathan Balofsky On 8 May, 2017 At 12:22 PM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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WB Games sent out the following

 

 

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today announced the Injustice 2 Championship Series Presented by PlayStation®4, a global esports program for the upcoming Injustice 2 video game from NetherRealm Studios.  The 2017 series has Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment teaming up with ESL, Gamelta esports Professional League, GameStop, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system and Twitch to further build the fighting game community around the world.  The program offers amateur and pro players throughout North America, Europe and Latin America a chance to compete in different programs for a portion of a $600,000 USD prize pool.  The best players from these different programs will qualify for the Injustice 2 Championship Series grand finals that will take place this fall.

Injustice 2 Pro Series

The Injustice 2 Pro Series kicks off May 26 broadcast live on Twitch (twitch.tv/netherrealm), with a four-month online and offline season drilling down to the top 16 players from around the world.  The 16 finalists from across North America, Europe and Latin America will advance to the Injustice 2 Pro Series Finals for a throw-down.  The Injustice 2 Pro Series Finals will take place September 17 in Los Angeles.

 

Injustice 2 GameStop Hometown Heroes

The Injustice 2 GameStop Hometown Heroes tournament offers an all-new way for gamers in the United States who are not competing in the Injustice 2 Pro Series to participate in a program and battle for cash prizes. Operated by ESL, open online qualifier tournaments will begin June 4.  Eight Regional Finals tournaments will take place in local GameStop retail locations on August 12, leading up to the Injustice 2 GameStop Hometown Heroes Finals at the 2017 GameStop Consumer Expo in Las Vegas, August 27.

 

Injustice 2 Path to Pro Tournament

European fans will have a chance to participate in the Injustice 2 Championship Series with the Injustice 2 Path to Pro Tournament.   Operated by ESL on PlayStation®4, the competition will open on May 20 for players in the Benelux Union, France, Germany, Nordic territories, Italy, Spain and U.K. who are not participating in the Injustice 2 Pro Series. The Injustice 2 Path to Pro Finals will be held online on August 19 with 12 finalists from the participating territories.

 

Injustice 2 Liga Latina

Players from Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Peru get their chance to battle it out in Injustice 2 Liga Latina.  Operated by Gamelta esports Professional League, online and offline qualifier tournaments will be held for each region beginning in May.  The best players from each of the countries in which the program is offered will face off in the Injustice 2 Liga Latina finals on August 13.

 

In addition, fans in Brazil will have a chance to compete in a regional tournament.  More details for Brazil will be coming soon.

 

For more information, or to sign up for an Injustice 2 Championship Series Presented by PlayStation®4 tournament, visit www.injustice.com/esports.

 

Injustice 2 is the super-powered sequel to the hit game Injustice: Gods Among Us that allows players to build and power up the ultimate version of their favorite DC characters. Featuring a massive selection of DC Super Heroes and Super-Villains, players can personalize iconic DC characters with unique and powerful gear earned throughout the game.  Additionally, for the first time, gamers can take control of how their characters look, fight and develop across a variety of game modes.

This is awesome news, and it shows WB games and NetherRealm Studios have a commitment to a eSports scene, Injustice 2 looks amazing, and will be a hit for casual players and those who just want single player, but this shows that the developers and publisher have not forgotten the competitive scene.

Hopefully the tournament will be awesome.

Source: PR Email