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By Inactive or EX ROG Staffer On 23 Nov, 2013 At 02:53 AM | Categorized As Conventions, Featured, Otaku Events, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarChibi Pa has kicked off today to the delight of many. One of our new writers, HMK, has hosted several panels today (and on his birthday, such a champ). I will be hosting panels tomorrow and Sunday while HMK will be hosting his podcast live tomorrow. Here are the events starting Saturday in chronological order.

Chibi Pa: Future

  • EPIC and HECTIC LIVE (JJ & HMK): Saturday 4-5 PM
  • Let’s Play with Slenderman! (Isabel): Saturday 9-10 PM
  • The History of Vocaloids and their Fandom (Isabel): Sunday 10 AM -12 PM

I will be giving away freebies courtesy of the website to anyone who attends my panels. We’ll have a lot of fun, guarantee. Chibi Pa is also an amazing convention that has welcomed us with open arms repeatedly, and for that we are proud to help them have another spectacular show! Anyone currently in South Florida should make sure not to miss this opportunity.

By Gehennakat On 19 Nov, 2013 At 10:39 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, PlayStation, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThe 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 Inactive or EX ROG Staffer On 12 Nov, 2013 At 09:53 PM | Categorized As Animation, Featured, News, Otaku Events | With 0 Comments
Akira banner

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Akira banner

For the 25th anniversary of Akira, Funimation has really gone out of their way to promote this classic to a new audience and their latest promotional effort is hosting free screenings of Akira across America to the delight of many. The hostees in question are Alamo Drafthouse, a chain of excellent movie theaters. If you fear seats might run out, you can reserve one by buying a $5 voucher which can be used for concession. Out of courtesy attendees are asked to buy concession items to help the theater make up for the cost of screening the movie for free. The theaters will also give attendees a discount code to take 40% off the price of buying the 25th anniversary edition of the movie in Funimation’s online store. The following states will have one or more screenings.

  • Texas
  • Missouri
  • Colorado
  • Virginia
  • Michigan
  • New York

You can get more information by going to Funimation’s announcement page. To those in participating states I really hope you get to experience this movie on the big screen like it should be experienced.

ComicFest

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ComicFest

Any hardcore comic enthusiast is bound to have Free Comic Book Day permanently engraved in their minds. Since 2002, the event has brought masses flocking to their local comic book stores for free comics. It’s a day celebrated all over the world that might just have a new comic centered event rival it.

Halloween ComicFest is like Free Comic Book Day except it takes course over two days. During Halloween ComicFest retailers that choose to participate in the event give away as many free comics as they want, with comic book publishers providing them with special edition comics for the special occasion. The goals of these events are similar, to raise an interest in comics and comic book shops, because money is always good. However this is where Halloween ComicFest has the upperhand. Halloween as a holiday raises mainstream interest in strange subjects like zombies, witchcraft, monsters, and other classic Halloween staples, which are very common in many popular comics. This makes it more likely that regular joes will participate and thus will introduce comics to more people.

The new event is starting off with a bang, having many comic shops in the US and Canada as well as some stores overseas participating. Currently 20 comics are available with enough varieties to please anyone. And the official website is holding a costume contest (US/Canada only, sorry) with fabulous prizes for those who win.

Halloween ComicFest takes place on October 26 and 27. Check out the official website for more information and to locate comic book shops participating in the event.

By Inactive or EX ROG Staffer On 18 Jun, 2013 At 08:44 PM | Categorized As Conventions, Otaku Events | With 0 Comments
End of panel audience

No GravatarThis year’s Mizucon was held June 14-16 to lovely weather and sunshine at the Miami Sheraton hotel. Mizucon has always been one of my favorite conventions due in no small part from the tremendous effort and love their volunteers and staff put into it. But last year the followers of the con learned Mizucon was now under new management after an amazing run. And you know how most people react to change.

NO.

The new management was under an extremely reliable group called the Japanese Anime Investment Group that run conventions like Ikkicon in Texas and Anime Crossroads in Indiana and have investors as well known as AAA Anime (the only United States distributor that sells Good Smile Company merchandise) and Yes Anime (another distributor that is the largest in the Francisco Bay area), and the con chair himself owns a store and online retailer called Anime Pavilion, also an investor. To me it seems this well funded group and the staff would be capable of pulling off another hit this year. Well let me analyze how everything went.

In terms of activities available and use of space they get a thumbs up. There were the necessities, a video game room, maid and butler cafe, vendors room, artist alley, and plenty of roaming space. But the promise of karaoke and an anime viewing room went unfulfilled. The panel rooms were spacious enough but my panel room on Saturday lacked sound and the staff had to fetch me a cable and the likes. Needless to say I believe every panel room should be prepared prior to any presentation but the staff were constantly running around doing things and I could forgive them. The panels were varied enough so there was something for everyone to do. This abundance of activities made it unlikely for anyone who decided to look at the schedule to be bored.

End of panel audience

I ended my panel earlier than expected and ended up improvising, lots of people showed up so now I have a new panel to host…

I loved the vendor’s room and walked out with some amazing deals and the vendor’s alley had great artisans but my funds were limited and I really wanted some merch. The video game room had Super Smash Bros. Brawl but other than that nothing interesting.

The cosplayer attendance was huge, I believe there were more cosplayers than casually dressed people, and the costume contest had great entries. The most impressive costume I saw during the convention was definitely the Alphonse Elric armor that won Best in Show.

Alphonse Elric cosplay

What made the con was the attendees who were hanging all over the place because there were huge problems all three days of the con. All of them were largely the fault of the hotel who caused major inconveniences for the organizers, panelists, and attendees. I’ll break the problems down by day because there were plenty.

  • Friday: Panel rooms were missing and the schedule was changed, panels were pushed back and moved around, and attendees didn’t know when certain panels were being held.
  • Saturday: Solid schedule set but late night panels were cancelled because the hallway containing all the panel rooms was closed off early. The rave was shut down early for unclear reasons and attendees that were planning to stay late were made to leave at the same time.
  • Sunday: The convention was made to end earlier than expected.

Needless to say, the con chair is now looking for a new venue for next year.

The new management of Mizucon definitely tried the best they could to create a good show and it was a pretty good show. Next year will definitely be better with a hotel capable of handling conventions, a larger staff and volunteer pool, and the knowledge gained from this year’s experience to make a show that lives up to the image Mizucon has held for so long. And I’ll definitely be looking forward to next year. All picture taken of the convention are below.

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