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By Lethal Minx On 11 Jan, 2014 At 11:25 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Interviews, ROG News, Tales of Real Otaku | With 0 Comments
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560059_545217922223147_21166582_nI had the wonderful pleasure of being able to interview Leon Chiro, a respected cosplayer throughout the nerd community who has won several awards for cosplays like Dante from the Devil May Cry series, Tidus from Final Fantasy X and Dissidia, Caius from Final Fantasy XIII-2, and the list goes on and on. Today we get a sneak peak into the life of a competitive cosplayer from his humble beginnings, his current works in progress, and everything in between.

ROG: The classic question; we all started somewhere in our cosplay careers. Tell me a bit about that – how old you were, what inspired you, your cosplay inspirations, and what convention you did your first debut.

LC: Ok, so it was 2010…

ROG: Oh, so you’ve only been doing this for a little while!

LC: Yeah. I only started to cosplay seriously when I realized what cosplay was. But my first convention was in 2010. I’m coming from the modeling world, and I was asking myself, “Ok, I love doing pictures, but what if I try to take a character I love a lot and I model with them?” So, I was thinking of doing Tidus because he’s my favorite character ever, and I was thinking, “what if I contacted somebody to see how much this costume would cost?” And they said, “Oh, that’s simple!” And I was like, “… what?” “Cosplay.” “Ok, what is cosplay?” So he explained it and I was like, “Oh. Hm. Sounds like a carnival thing.” He said, “No, it’s more than that…” So he explained it to me. I could never imagine what the cosplay world was. So, I took my Tidus cosplay, I went to the convention alone, and I was a nobody. I didn’t know anyone and no one knew me. That was fine because I was like, “Woah.. where the [expletive] am I?” (Laughter) Someone came up to me and said, “you should enter the cosplay contest [with the Tidus cosplay] because you are very, very good.”

ROG: Yeah, you did a really great job on that. I’m shocked that was your first cosplay.

Leon Chiro's cosplay as Tidus from FFX

Leon Chiro’s cosplay as Tidus from FFX

LC: Yeah, I did Tidus’ first and second version. So yeah, this guy said I should do the cosplay contest. Ok, what is the cosplay contest? Well, it’s like a masquerade. You have to do an exhibition and interpret your character, and I said “oh, sounds cool!” I discovered that I made it to the finals without knowing it. I wasn’t expecting that. A lot of people were surprised because I was anonymous and I came from nowhere, and I arrived in a place that other people have been trying to get to for years. I don’t know what I did… I did it with my heart. That’s the thing – I did my character with my heart.

I have to say that a lot of people started to go against me – “Oh, he’s nobody,” “He only has one cosplay,” “He has too much success” – just people talking bad about me. So I said, “Ok, it’s time for me to do a second cosplay.” I did Dante, and I tried to do the cosplay contest, but I didn’t arrive in time and I had some problems. People still continued to talk bad about me because they were like, “Oh, he’s just doing it for the body” or “He’s just doing it because of the abs.” By then it was 2011, and I wanted to stop because I was like “What the [expletive] is this world?” I’m coming from the modeling world where a lot of people respect me.

ROG: Cosplay is supposed to be fun, and unfortunately there’s a lot of hate.

LC: First of all, it was just supposed to be fun. Secondly, in the gaming and comic world, if I’m winning a lot in a short amount of time, they should be happy for me, and that wasn’t the case. I wanted to stop, so I stopped for two months and I thought about it, and I said, “Ok, there are a lot of haters, but I met a lot of special people and I wanted to do an achievement exhibition for them.” So I entered the cosplay contest, and the winner won a trip to Lucca. I won first place with Dante, and a lot of people were against me because I was doing good. It’s not easy in the beginning and you’re alone and you don’t have recommendations, but I started like everyone else – a nobody. Everything I did, I did by myself.

Leon Chiro as Dante from DMC3

Leon Chiro as Dante from DMC3

I started to get more motivated, and I was like “Ok, you hate me because I’m doing good? Ok.” And I did Tidus from Dissidia, and I started to face more haters, and I was winning every contest I entered. People started to look at me with more respect. I went to Lucca with my Kung Lao cosplay because he’s my favorite character from Mortal Kombat and I won the Best Interpretation Award, which is the hardest award to get. When you win in Lucca, you can say that you’re a professional cosplayer. Winning that award made me really proud of myself, so after I won, that’s when I made my facebook cosplay page towards the end of 2011. So yeah… that’s my story. After my first convention, I won something like 14 in a row, including Lucca. The most important thing was that people were starting to know who I was and that I did good work. That was the main victory. It wasn’t about being popular – it was about being respected. I got a lot of respect for my Caius cosplay because it was very hard. Do you know of Kamui Cosplay (another respected cosplayer in the community)?

ROG: Yes, I recently liked her page on facebook because I saw it on your page. So I watched some of her tutorials on YouTube – they’re really helpful.

LC: To me, she’s the best cosplayer in the world. I had the honor of her complimenting me, and that was really satisfying… someone that big complimented me. I’m also talking to Rick Boer from Ubisoft, who’s the official Edward Kenway cosplayer (from Assassin’s Creed IV), and it feels great to have his respect because he’s such a humble guy. He’s my Assassin’s Creed idol. (Laughter) So that was a long reply for just one question!

ROG: (Laughter) It’s not a problem! How a cosplayer started out is usually a long one. All right, so an editor from ROG and I were talking and we were discussing that cosplaying seems to be mostly female dominated. What do you think about that and how to do you feel taking part in something that’s so female based?

1531739_565873086824297_1431166684_oLC: It depends, because people usually focus on half-naked girls. But for me, they’re appreciating cosplay – they’re appreciating modeling. It’s not the same thing. I’m not looking for likes (on facebook) – I want to earn them. I try to mix the two because I come from the modeling world and I’m doing cosplay from my heart. It’s female dominated because it’s easy to be popular when you’re barely wearing anything. It makes me laugh because girls will be like “Oh, you’re judging me because of my half-naked pictures?” They barely know what they’re talking about, and after you see their page, you’ll see them in bras and barely wearing anything. Girls will get angry and nitpick other girls’ cosplays, but they’re the ones doing sexier versions of a particular character. A lot of girls will judge girls that they can’t be as good as.

ROG: As a girl, I understand that totally. All right, so have you ever been an invited guest to a big name convention? And if not, what would be your dream convention to be invited to?

LC: I’ve been invited to a lot of European conventions, but I still haven’t been to America, for example. It’s unfortunately really expensive to go there.

ROG: Yeah, which is a shame. But, in the same way, I haven’t been to Italy because it’s really expensive. A friend of mine just left for Rome a few days ago and I was mentally cursing her (laughter).

LC: I mean, for me, a lot of people that go to America are really lucky. But even if I was invited to an American convention, I don’t think I’d be able to accept it anyway. I’d love to. I hope one day someone sees my cosplay and invites me over, I don’t know. This year, I was invited to three conventions. I’m taking things step by step. If you reach an achievement, it’s because you deserve it. That’s what we learn growing up. For me, it’s hard to keep up the good work because people love my cosplay, and they have a lot of high expectations. I always have to do my best.

ROG: Sure, it can be a lot of pressure.

LC: No, it’s not pressure. It’s kind of motivation for me. If cosplay was a pressure for me, I wouldn’t be doing it and I wouldn’t be doing this interview with you (laughter).

ROG: (Laughter) Trust me, we all appreciate your work. So, you’re from Italy, which I already said I’m totally jealous of, and you’re jealous of the fact that I live in New York. What would you say the biggest difference between American and European convention scenes are?

LC: I wish I could know about the American convention scene, but I’ve never been there.

ROG: I wasn’t sure if you just meant you haven’t been to New York in particular.

LC: I can say about Italy and other European conventions that there is a lot less competition. There are two European championships, and they’re the EuroCosplay, and ECG, European Cosplay Gathering. In every main convention in Europe, they choose 2 representatives and put them against the representatives from all the other countries.
I’m really proud to say that I’m competing in the world championship for Italy. It makes things harder because the competition gets more and more intense. Sometimes, competition isn’t healthy here because a lot of people are doing all they can to destroy the other cosplayers, with flames, with fights.

ROG: So it’s not good sportsmanship.

LC: Yeah, there was this guy who used to be my friend, and we’re not friends anymore. He always used to come into my job and wanted the basics to cosplays, and he’s good now, but he’s so arrogant. At the first opportunity, after I helped him meet a lot of contacts, he turned his back on me and left, and spoke bad about me. For example, we had a TV show to do and they were going to choose two cosplayers – one male and one female. They called me instead of him and a lot of other cosplayers, and I was happy about that. He wrote to the director of the show and said, “how can you choose that shitty Dragonball cosplay instead of mine, just to make me look bad. I didn’t believe he wrote and the director said, “yes, he did. Do you want to read?” So I read it and I was shocked. I was like “what the [expletive]? I don’t know what I did to him. Maybe he just ate something bad (laughter).” So I began to understand that reputation in Italy isn’t always good because a lot of them aren’t able to be humble and honest to someone else. Cosplay is a hobby, not work.

ROG: Yeah, I was actually talking to the rest of my team a few minutes ago that I truly appreciate you taking the time out. It says a lot about the cosplay community – you being good at what you do and so respected, but you’ll still take the time out for others. I’ve known and met a lot of cosplayers who thought they were better than everyone else and slammed other people. We’re all nerds, we all play videogames, read comics, watch anime – whatever. We’re supposed to be a family, but instead we just shut other people down because someone can’t sew and craft as good as someone else.

LC: There should be a middle ground between those who share the same passion. It’s not everyday that you find someone who understands you. You can’t always talk to others about video games. For example, when I was doing my Tidus cosplay, I had my hair blonde. I wasn’t wearing a wig and I had to face university with blonde hair. People would call me names like fleshlight (laughter).

ROG: That’s awful! I thought it looked great. Who cares?

LC: Yeah, who cares? I can kick your ass whenever I want, so…

ROG: (Laughter) I’d hate to get on your bad side…

LC: (shakes head) Nu-uh. Ok, so I go to school for motor science… what I would like to do with that degree – that future degree. University is a

Chiro's cosplay of Kung Lao won him first place in Lucca.

Chiro’s cosplay of Kung Lao won him first place in Lucca.

cruel world. Not everyone can pay to go to university here in Italy. It’s very selective. They’ll choose the best 200 out of thousands of applicants. Luckily for me, they were extending applications to former athletes. I was a former national champion in athletics.

ROG: What sport were you in?

LC: 100 meters. I was a runner. I’m doing parkour right now because it gives me freedom of expression. I would take my degree, get a passport, and come to the USA. I’m doing this major for personal satisfaction. I want to create my own future and do the things I love. If I can do something with it, that’d be great.

ROG: That’s a great point. Most parents in America – when I tell my parents, “hey, I want to go to school for video game design.” The first question out of their mouth is going to be “what are you going to do with that degree?” There’s no such thing as going to college for something that makes me happy; it’s all about how to make money out of it. Good for you that you go to school for something that makes you happy.

LC: You pay for your time to study. You can’t live anymore because you have to constantly study. School should make you motivated, not miserable. A good teacher isn’t someone who knows everything. A good teacher is someone who can give you those few things during your time at university and motivate you. It’s not a competition of knowledge. Sometimes it could be a former student going through their own frustrations and they pass down to you what they’ve learned in life.

ROG: Great point. So, we’ve all had that one costume that was a lot of fun, and others that were extremely challenging. What costume did you have the most fun making, and which one was the most frustrating?

LC: Caius was the one that gave me the most satisfaction. It’s full of armor parts, and it was great winning because it didn’t show off my body [like how Dante and Tidus did], but I spent a lot of money on Caius. Especially making this (shows Caius’ weapon).

ROG: Wow… how did you make that?

LC: (Laughter) I don’t even know. It’s a bit damaged now. You can say that it looks good, but since I created it, I can say that it’s definitely damaged.

ROG: How long did it take you to make Caius’ cosplay?

LC: Ahhhh… a month. One month, every single day for five to six hours. If you look on my page, I have a work in progress album that you can see. I started with a piece of wood, and then cut the shape, added more layers of wood, and just added things piece by piece. I was covered in sawdust. I had so much sawdust on me that when I went outside, all the dogs kept trying to pee on my leg because they thought I was a tree!

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Caius was the most uncomfortable to wear. It’s a lot to put on. I went to a convention and I took three redbulls with me… I have no idea why I did that. When you’re anxious and nervous about getting on stage, I had to have a redbull. But then I was like, “Oh my God, I have to pee. What the [expletive] am I going to do?” I had to remove all the pieces of the cosplay. It took a half hour to put it on and fix it. Thankfully, the Dante cosplay from DMC was the easiest. I just had the coat, didn’t have a wig, and if I got hot, I could take the coat off. It’s hard with the Caius cosplay because he does a lot of movement, and it’s hard to move in his cosplay. I need to improve some things before I compete with it again for the debut of Final Fantasy XIII: Lightning Returns.

ROG: What do you enjoy doing the most – the outfit, the props, or the makeup and wigs?

LC: I hate the wig part. I have to make them in a way that it wont fall apart. When you’re on stage, you can’t have something like that go wrong. I mean, you’ve seen my Vegeta cosplay. It’s really heavy. I love doing makeup, but I love making my accessories. I’m well known for my props. I can get help with my tailoring and sewing stuff. If I have to do something with a coat, I’ll buy a coat and alter it. Come, on, let’s talk about it. I think it’s stupid. If you need orange pants, buy a pair and dye it. There’s no need to make one. I mean, sure, it can be satisfying, but really. Just buy a pair of pants and do what you need. With the accessories, you make it from scratch. I go to the woodshop, get the wood, and I get to work. Or you can use regular household items, like tubes from toilet paper, paper towels, or wrapping paper. Even plastic water bottles.

ROG: Obviously it takes a lot of work to keep your body in such great shape. What’s a typical workout routine for you? I know you’re all about ‘eating clean and training dirty.’

LC: I avoid fast food and processed food. I train 6 days a week. You have a choice between choosing an elevator or the stairs. Just take the stairs. Exercise is making changes in habits like that. People always complain because they don’t get the results they like because they’re not working hard enough. Or they reach their result and people think they can take a break. No, it doesn’t work like that. You have to maintain it. It’s not just your metabolism – it’s about habits. Everyone can be in shape if they wanted to. We have two legs, two arms, and a brain, and we can do whatever we want. I work out a bit less in the winter – one to two hours a day, a few times a week. During the summer, I’m training three to four hours, six days a week. I’m a trainer too, so I have to make sure I stay in shape. I don’t do the gym… I’m usually in the playground. You should see the face of the kids. They’re like “daddy! This guy is stealing our playground!” Well, you’re gunna have to fight for it. Round one… FIGHT!

ROG: (Laughter) Your cosplays are absolutely incredible. I see that your cosplays are all video game-based. Do you plan on doing any anime or movie characters?

LC: I do video game cosplays because video games, in my opinion, are the best ways to release emotion. Video games give you the power to choose, and to be that character. I believe in the power of books, but that’s the power of imagination. It’s still good, but they have limited potential. You can have great images from a movie, but not control. Video games combine the two – the freedom of movement and the wonderful visuals.
I did do a non-video game cosplay. Well, it wasn’t really a cosplay. It was a tribute to Spartacus. I did it for a new amusement park that was opening in Rome. They were doing different eras – Roman, Greek, futuristic… They wanted to do some entertainment with gladiators and they asked me, “do you have a Spartacus cosplay?” I said no, and that I’ll call them once I was done making one. I have a recycle box with material – if I don’t like a piece of armor, I’ll put it in there because I don’t want to waste materials. So I took out the box, and I made that cosplay in 4 hours with just the recycled stuff.

ROG: Care to share what character we should expect from you next?

LC: Sure, why not. I’m planning on doing Lloyd from Legend of Dragoon. I usually like to do characters that are newer, but I want to do some nostalgic cosplays too. So, Lloyd from Legend of Dragoon will be my next cosplay. Next, I’m going to work on Gladiolus from Final Fantasy XV. He is such a badass. I don’t think this cosplay is a secret anymore (laughter). I want to learn more about him before cosplaying him. Adam Jensen, from Deus Ex, is a dream cosplay of mine. I really wanted to do Nathan Drake. I could cut my hair, but I don’t want to cut it just for him. I want to keep my hair longer for some cosplays in progress and future projects.

ROG: I can say for myself that you’re a true inspiration for cosplayers around the world – whether just starting out, or an expert. To those just starting, what would you consider to be the best piece of advice you can give them?

LC: Like I said before, do everything with your heart. If you really love a character, do it from your heart, and don’t care about the critics. Don’t do it because you like it – do it because you love it.

So, there you have it – backstage access to the world of cosplay through the eyes of a professional. I was fortunate to be told some exciting news and future cosplays (I was sworn to secrecy!). Thank you again to Leon Chiro for graciously allowing me his time and contribution, 

You can find Leon Chiro on Facebook at Leon Chiro Cosplay Art and look through the rest of his work. You can also find him on Instagram at Leonchiro, and on YouTube at LeonChiroCosplayArt.

By Will On 12 Dec, 2013 At 08:37 PM | Categorized As Featured, Mobile Gaming, PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 1 Comment
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Duels of the Planeswalkers, is the console version of the 20 year old Trading Card Game Magic: The Gathering. As a player of the game for the past 11 years, I’m super critical about the game in both the cardboard and digital forms. This is the fourth is the series going all the way back to 2009, and has come along way sense the beta I played at the World Championships in 2008, (In Memphis baby!) but how much has it improved?

The Good:

The modes are available right from the start, minus “Revenge Mode”, and includes “Sealed Play” for the very first time. “Sealed Play” gives you 6 packs of cards, and you build a deck much like the paper counterpart. If you feel lost in what to play, there’s a meter on the top of the screen that assists you in the process of making the best deck possible. Although the game can’t assist you on what you should play, as you place cards in the deck you will have the meter rise and fall depending on what you put in and take out capping out at “Awesome”.

The single player campaign follows the Planeswalker Chandra Nalar, as she retrieves artifacts to aid her in her battles. Even though this is as basic as a storyline gets, it’s a first in the history of the franchise. The other versions just pale in comparison as this subtle addition just adds to the flavor of the game.

Magic-The-Gathering-2014-4As of this review, I haven’t had the time to review the online multiplayer and when I do I’ll write another review on it. The Bad:

As you play through the campaign, you unlock cards to add into your deck. The cards are then automatically added to the deck, if you like it or not. This is the biggest issue I have with the game. Not only do they do it against your will, but it even makes your deck bigger when the AI adds lands to help with the lands to spells ratio. The first time I checked to see if this happened, I unlocked all 30 cards for the deck, and when I checked the card count it was at 97! This has plagued the game sense the beginning, and even though it’s small, it’s super aggravating.

“Revenge” mode is unlocked after you complete the campaign, and it’s brutal. Even though I was wanting to 100% the game, it was impossible. The difficulty is turned insanely high, and there wasn’t enough patient bones in my body to sit and try to complete it. Unless you have a high IQ, or have a friend sitting next to you for the assist, it will be a tough and challenging road ahead.

Now it’s time to turn on the megaphone and stand on my soapbox about the biggest issue I have.

pic5The Ugly:

Wizards of the Coast allows you to print out a code to redeem one of three packs, depending on the platform you bought it on. In order to redeem said packs you have to go to a participating store, and bring them the code. No harm, no foul right? That’s where your completely wrong. As I call around to the shops in the area, I was told that they had completely “sold out” of the packs I was trying to claim. The Steam version had a Scavaging Ooze which retails for $10, which gives you your money back. Upon talking to other Magic players at the shop during a “Standard Format” event, multiple players mentioned how they obtained multiple copies of the foil, alternate art, rare. One player mentioned how he preceded to buy his codes from EBay to get the last 8 copies of the cards from the store we were currently sitting in. Knowing that I was looking for the game he even had the balls to attempt to sell me a copy of the Ooze for $25, knowing I should have gotten it for free. Being behind the curve of the actual release of the game, I was pissed knowing that people were going through these lengths to obtain a card, while I’m stuck behind the 8-Ball knowing that I will never get the card unless I pay money out of my pocket. My plea to WotC, put the redemption service back to where it was back in 2009.

During the first release of “Duels” they had them ship you the cards by a in game redemption service and they would ship you the cards. No EBay, StarCity.com, nothing outside of you and the XBox you were on can hinder you receiving it. This is the way it was, and should have been from the start and I beg Wizards to return it to the way it was.

 

 

Firstlook 2013 Destiny

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Firstlook 2013 DestinyThe month October is very special for Dutch gamers because every year we get to visit the “Firstlook” convention. Firstlook 2013 focused on Sony and Microsoft’s next-gen systems and gave visitors a chance to experience a ton of new games. I was there to report the convention on behalf of Real Otaku Gamer so check out this Firstlook 2013 impression.

The Convention floor

Firstlook is meant for the consumer and this is getting clearer every year. There are many fun activities, awesome prizes, free goodies, cool games and ofcourse lovely ladies.

Dutch retailer Game Mania attended the convention with their usual yellow schoolbus, where visitors were able to play Tear Away on the PS Vita. Game Mania also handed out a load of goodiebags and this sent many visitors home with a huge smile on their faces. Another very popular stand was Activision’s Destiny statue, where fans could get their picture taken. It was pretty impressive, although the Titanfall mech at Gamescom was way more epic. Visitors could also collect a special set of Destiny promo cards that will grant access to a special item when Destiny launches next year.

League of Legends fans had the opportunity to meet cosplayers, watch a live tournament on a big screen and socialize with other LoL fans. There were a couple of merchandise booths on the convention floor too and they mainly sold tshirts, retro games and game merchandise. Prices were kind of high so I wouldn’t recommend spending your hard earned cash at Firstlook. Stick with the online webshops.

Microsoft’s Xbox One booth had such a long line that I just couldn’t get myself to stand in line for hours to play a couple of games that I’ve already played at Gamescom. The people that were patient enough got to play Ryse: Son of Rome, Forza Motorsport 5, dead Rising 3 and Killer Instinct. I did feel bad that I didn’t get to try out Killer Instinct, but I surely will in the near future!

FPS fans got to experience the digital warzone that is known as Battlefield 4 on dozens of computers that EA brought to Firstlook 2013. Many headsots and stray bullets later the deed was done and we had a lot of fun. Battlefield 4 is shaping up to be an awesome game and I’m looking forward to how the full version will play. EA also brought two lovely ladies that glady took pictures with geeks of all shapes, sizes, gender or appearance. Who wouldn’t like that?!

Lovely Ladies

In my humble opinion every game (or comicbook) convention needs lovely ladies and EA wasn’t the only publisher that rallied a couple of the most gorgeous Dutch models to represent their products and services. Logitech brought a huge disco-container where visitors could show off their dancing skills to a couple of enthousiastic booth babes. Ubisoft stole the show with six pretty ladies that gave multiple Just Dance demonstrations and also gave away awesome Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag prices, like a pocketwatch, posters, coinbags and more! It was a great weekend and I will certainly visit Firstlook again next year. If you ever visit the Netherlands in October, definitely go check it out!

FF-Lightning

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I’ll be the first to say that the last good Final Fantasy game that was made was X, however I cannot deny that the Final Fantasy XIII series keeps opening my eyes to the superior graphics that Square Enix continues to dish out.

A few months ago, I wrote an article on Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XII’s story plot. Square Enix just revealed their opening cinematic, and I’m truly impressed. What’s rare for any game, book, or movie, is when the consumer feels like the following installments are better than the original, and I can say that’s how I feel about the FFXIII series. As stated in my previous article, I dreaded every second of playing the first one. It had potential, but then it became complicated too fast, and without the in-game journal of the plot, I’d be lost entirely. The second one was decent as well, introducing a familiar Kingdom Hearts element by allowing the ability to travel through time to fix the world order. According to Square Enix, this next installment will be the last in the series, and I almost want to say “thank God.”

However, this cinematic is extremely awesome, and raises a ton of questions for those who have played FFXIII and FFXIII-2. I don’t want to spoil anything, but there are a lot of  what and why‘s going on.

What do you guys think? Will this be a great game, or will it be just another great cinematic to lure you into something sub-par?

By Garrett Green On 4 Sep, 2013 At 09:47 PM | Categorized As News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments
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After Sony announced the Playstation 4 launch date, many wondered how Microsoft would respond. Would it release a week before the PS4? 2 weeks before? Many believed that Microsoft would take an advantage and release their console before the PS4, well that seems to be a half-truth. Microsoft announced the Xbox One would launch in America, Canada, and 11 other countries on November 22, one week after the PS4 launch in America but a week before the PS4 launch in Europe.

A surprising move by Microsoft to not take advantage of prior knowledge of Sony’s release date and launch before it here an America. However one week will not make a huge difference if any at all. And with many preorders for both systems sold out in many places, I think the date will play little into how many units are sold. November marks the beginning of the new generation of video games. Have you decided which system you will get?

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gsm_169_bioshock_infinite_multi_review_032513_09_640

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1361226210-timed-exclusive-lizI can say for everyone who has finished the game that the ending was nothing but a series of mind-blowing, awe-striking, pure amazing-ness. I can also say that 99% of those who have finished the game, we wanted to play it again immediately.

Folks, I have some wonderful news for you. The new Bioshock Infinite DLC, Burial At Sea, is the first of a two part story featuring all
new environments, and all new interactions between Booker and – yes, a playable Elizabeth. This adventure will take us back to Rapture, where all the mindblowing originated from, however you will be  in a way that will fulfill all your hopes and dreams for the game. Booker and Elizabeth’s relationship will be on an entirely new level, and I can’t express how excited I truly am. I promised myself I wouldn’t insert any spoilers, so I can’t reveal much about the why’s and what’s. You can, however, safely watch the trailer with no spoilers. For the rest of us, we will squeal with utter excitement.

Although there is no release date, there is, however, a new DLC that was dropped today called Clash in the Clouds, featuring an arena type of fighting, priced at $5, there is a season pass priced at $20 which includes Clash in the Clouds, and episodes 1 and 2 of Burial at Sea. Yes, 3 DLCs for $20, whereas each episode is priced at $14.99 each.

If you purchase the season pass, you’ll also get the Early Bird Special Pack. Included in it is a machine gun and pistol damage upgrade, gold skins for both weapons, five infusion bottles, and four pieces of gear. Soooooo.. if I wasn’t stoked about it before, my interested is definitely piqued now.

As a special treat for you all, here is some input from our very beautiful, lovely, and talented Sofie Sheik:

I share Heather’s previous sentiments about being excited for the upcoming Bioshock Infinite Burial At Sea DLC. I have been staunchly anti-DLC since the introduction of the concept, making very few exceptions. I’m so anti-DLC that I am surprised that I even wanted to comment on its release, to be honest, but I believe that the Burial at Sea DLC is important. In the trailer for the DLC, we see Elizabeth, the Artificial Sidekick Intelligence of Bioshock Infinite, as a smouldering femme fatale type character, instead of the youthful, innocent Elizabeth we became acqainted with in Bioshock Infinite.

I find the transition between archetypes fascinating, mostly because it doesn’t happen often, especially when video games are involved. Most of the type, video game characters are static in their personalities, because it’s hard enough to establish the personality of multiple characters through a medium like a video game, especially early on in the game itself. The exception to the rule seems to be the innocent, naive hero/best friend turned dark, anti-social and brooding type (also known as paladins), but most of the time, the hero is a male. Perhaps I am showing my age, but the last major female character I can recall that changed so quickly (I say quickly because in this example, we do not have the information of the circumstance of Elizabeth’s purported change) is Olivia Newton John’s character in Grease, a change so memorable that to this day, I copied her “cigarette on the floor” signature move and still use it.

A lot of people had issues with the original Elizabeth because they felt that she was very wooden, so perhaps they will like playing as the femme fatale version of Elizabeth more – I know I (probably!) will. I’m just very excited to see the elements of Americana noir permeate pre-destroyed Rapture just in general. One of my qualms with Bioshock Infinite was that it was a complete departure stylistically from the original Bioshock (as Bioshock 2 doesn’t exist right? ) and that was incredibly disappointing. I also hope that this creates a flood of noir-inspired artworks and cosplays and all of the other things that people are so wonderfully inventive about.

Irrational Games has been quiet about the exact release date, so hopefully if we cross our fingers and wish on enough stars, the release date for Burial At Sea will be tomorrow.

By Marc Washington On 28 Jun, 2013 At 09:14 PM | Categorized As Podcasts | With 0 Comments

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On this episode we are joined by Herny Knox (Knoxx Broadcast) and Mandy aka LadyLuck from GamerTag Radio. We discuss how the community and Xbox may have split and the road it has to repair its image. Can Sony take advantage of this? Find out in this epic episode where we have debates and slight bit of Apple bashing. Also we have found our 3rd Chair host in fanmail that we have gotten….who is this person? We have all of that and more in this epic episode of The Phoenix Podcast. If you want to leave the show feedback please Email: PhoenixProject404@gmail.com or Call our Voicemail at (678) 753-5144


 

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e3-2013

It has begun.

E3 2013 is all about Sony versus Microsoft, and I think I can say for everyone that this is going to be the most anticipated, fierce, and earth-shattering year for both consumers and developers alike. For the first time ever, both Microsoft and Sony will be releasing their consoles around the same time, whereas the XBox was released 20 months after the Playstation 2, and the Xbox 360 being released a year before the Playstation 3. Everything that we’ve all heard since the start is boiling down to what’s going to happen within the next few days. There are so many websites that provide different information on the Ps4 and XBoxOne that it’s really hard to get all the facts put together in one article from a reliable and non-biased source. Real Otaku Gamer to the rescue!

I stated on twitter earlier today, videogames are not about which kind of gamer is better; it’s about a family of outcasts who come together to share their passion, not war. Unfortunately, there’s no stopping the PC/Sony/Microsoft war that’s erupting, but as an avid gamer myself, keep videogames as a hobby, not a religion. I want to make it perfectly clear that while the staff here has their own opinions and the console they’re excited for, it is not war, and the gaming community should never feel like it.

With that being said…

We’ll start with the Playstation 4.

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The Dualshock 4, equipped with LED bar, touch pad, options and share buttons, and gamer sensor underneath to recognize the user.

For everyone who’s into the specs and the hardware, the console will feature 8GB GDDR graphics ram, a single chip custom processor, a low-power “Jaguar” CPU with 8 cores, and an AMD Radeon GPU. The controller itself will have a new design that will be easier to hold, featuring all the classic L and R bumpers and triggers, a touch pad, and a share button which will allow video streaming so you can prove that amazing KD ratio you tell everyone about. The controller will also have built in speakers (I’m sorry, that’s sooo cool!), rechargeable battery, LED lights so you can identify other gamers easily, see when your character is low on health, etc., and will also have the ability to sense if you’ve passed the controller onto someone else and will automatically adjust the split screen. The camera, called PS Eye, will not be required for all games, but will be fore some. That should not come as a shock to as since the available dancing and exercise games require the camera.

Let’s hop to Sony’s pros and cons with this console:

Pros:

- Because the camera will not be required in order to play this system, that will keep costs down for consumers. For more More About the Playstation Eye, click the link!

- It will use the same GPU, CPU, and hardware used in the best gaming PCs. Sony was smart in this area because they know that PC gaming is becoming the new standard. Built with a Solid State Drive, where the output will be able to have more cinematics, which is more than what many PCs can currently do. Check out the PS4 System Specs and the system specs in greater detail here.

- Sony designed this console to have a 10 year lifespan. We understand things are buggy at first release, but I think both Sony and Microsoft learned from their latest consoles what went wrong with their rings and lights of death.

- Controller can charge when the console is off. Can I get a ‘Hallelujah’?!

- Sony is keeping their focus with the “This is a game console” mentality. The KISS (keep it simple, stupid) method has always been good. When you focus on too many capabilities, you short-change on all of them, making each utility sub-par.

- Every game released for the PS4 will be available for PSN and will have a playable demo.

Cons:

- Not backwards compatible. Note: There will be an alternative BC service through Gaikai that will be offered through this console. We are also unsure on whether or not original Playstation games will be able to play.

- While the PS4 is dedicated to being a game console, it is still just that; a game console – a more powerful PS3

- There is no definitive answer as to how used games will work, whether there will be a fee, or it will work like Microsoft’s system. Thankfully, this question will be answered very soon.

- Probably the biggest problem is that we don’t know much of anything. Xbox One, at least, gave us a decent amount of information whereas Sony did not.

So in conclusion…

Playstation 4 is for gamers. It is designed to do just that, and aside from the familiar apps (like Netflix or other TV services) and capabilities (like bluray), there’s not much else. That’s not said in a drab way, but like I said, this console is designed to game. That’s it.

For more information on this beast, please visit the Sony PS4 Official Website.

Now, onto the XBox One!

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The console at the reveal last month, featuring the console, controller, and Kinect.

There’s no denying the uproar and outrage about the recent news and information Microsoft reveal. Some people just don’t care because they love Microsoft, they love all the utilities it’s capable of, and that’s great for someone who can and will use them all to the max. Microsoft will be providing over 300,000 servers as opposed to the 15,000 that the 360 currently has. This console also features the 8 core x86 processor like the PS4. It will have 8 GB of RAM and a 500BG HD.

Pros:

- The long awaited Blu Ray abilities will be available.

- You can download your games straight to the cloud. No more missing/scratched disks. You can access your movies and game saves anywhere, anytime. And no need to spend money on extra hard drive space because the games will be stored in the cloud. That also includes no more waiting for game updates.

- You can add up to 1000 Live friends as opposed to the original 100.

- It’s an all-in-one media center that will connect your gaming needs, music, cable, Skype, Netflix, and everything else into one place, all voice activated. No more switching inputs!

- A multi-useful Kinect that will sense your body and movements better than its predecessor. You will also be able to skype with your friends while watching TV or playing your games. If you play on a Fantasy league, your stats will be automatically updated for you.

-  Personalized console that knows what you like and what you don’t, and saves your preferences.

In all honesty, there is a lot to be said about the XBox One due to the fact that it does so much. This console is going to be great for those who love everything and don’t have enough screens to do them all with. Microsoft has put all control in your hands and your voice; your gaming, your way. For a full list of its functions, please visit the XBox One Official site.

Cons:

We all have heard, and given these cons, I agree that we’re really being screwed over. On the other hand, we don’t know much about the PS4 either, so it’s just a waiting game.

- The Kinect is required in order for the Xbox to do its functions. Because there is additional hardware that comes sold, the initial cost will be much higher. The Kinect also cannot be shut off, and if it does break, then you’re really out of luck with playing your console.

- You must connect to the internet on your console once every 24 hours. If not, you will not be able to play and the Xbox will be a pretty paperweight until you can connect.

- Only certain, pre-approved retailers will take your trades. Because less places take the trade, you will get less money for it. You cannot lend games, rent games, but you can sell games if the person has been a friend on Live for at least 30 days. Once they purchase it, it will be theirs forever and it cannot be sold.

-Not backwards compatible.

- If you’re sitting with your significant other while one wants to watch a game while the other wants to watch Teen Mom, at the sound of the voice, the TV will switch. “XBox, play Knicks Game.” Switch! “… XBox, play American Idol.” Switch! Very prone to trolling.

To sum it up…

I think the cons are tending to outweigh the pros in this area. But when looking at what it can do as a whole, it really gives the player ultimate control over all entertainment.

Putting PS4 and Xbox One Into Perspective

Understand that this is not a final list, but this is a good chunk of what all gamers should know going into Microsoft and Sony’s conferences. Us here at Real Otaku Gamer want you to be as informed as possible, without bias, straight from the source (or at least the credible ones). The pros and cons are great and concerning on both ends for this to be considered a very neck-and-neck competition.

So what do you all think about the story so far? Will PS4 win over the population, or Microsoft sway the audience with their all-in-one media center?

By Marc Washington On 9 Jun, 2013 At 08:34 PM | Categorized As Podcasts | With 0 Comments
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Tomorrow is the first day of E3 and man do we have a great discussion on our hands on this episode. I am joined by Manny and Rocco (Friends of mine) and we discuss the great things about E3 and some crazy predictions about the BIG 3. Please leave feedback and subscribe. Leave a voicemail: (678) 753-5144 or an email at PhoenixProject404@gmail.com

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Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. Ah, the end of the Final Fantasy 13 series, finally. It’s been a long time coming, and initially I felt that it should have ended a very long time ago. Playing the first one, I hated nearly every second of it. Despite my mind talking me out from repeatedly picking up the controller, it seemed that I just played it simply because it was in my console. And then FFXIII-2 came out, and I let out a soft sigh, mumbling here we go again. I do have to admit that the second installment was 10 times better than the first with a much more cohesive and comprehensible story line  enjoyable worlds to visit… very reminiscent of Kingdom Hearts in a way. After I beat it, I was left with 25% of my brain saying that I couldn’t wait to see what was next. Albeit a bit late, the game now takes a change in what seems to be for the better. Before we get into technicalities, we need to establish the background of this latest installment.

A screenshot during Toriyama's presentation in Tokyo, Jan 2013.

A screenshot during Toriyama’s presentation in Tokyo, Jan 2013.

Following the events in FFXIII-2, In 1000 AF, Valhalla and Gran Pulse have merged after Etro’s death. The result of the chaos is called the Nova Chrysalia – the four continents in the Sea of Chaos and Bhunivelze as the new Cocoon. Due to the merge of Valhalla and Gran Pulse, people have stopped aging. On one of the continents named Luxerion, the citizens start to form a closed religious city where those who do not believe are cast out. Lightning then awakes, and in 13 days, 13 hours, the world will be decimated. She is then called by the god Bhunivelze to save the world. She reunites with the old gang along the way and fights her way through those who oppose her mission in hopes of saving mankind.

I have to say, the idea sounds pretty frickin’ awesome and solid.

lightning2

Motomu Toriyama, the series director, stated that Lightning will face her final battle. Whether or not she will return or not in any future games outside of FFXIII is not clear, but what is clear is that this trilogy featuring Lightning’s story is over. Toriyama made it a point to the directors to bring the power and glory in her eyes, to make her fierce, persistent, and relentless towards her mission. I like it! That tells me that there will be even greater graphics to bring emotion onto the field, trying to close the chasm between player and character. Let’s move on as to what will make this game very different from what we’re used to.

When it comes to gameplay, think of the doomsday clock element of Majora’s Mask and the interactive abilities of Assassin’s Creed. She will be able to hang off ledges, duck around corners, jump, etc. The characters will also be able to freely move during combat, which is an element that didn’t really catch on much in the Final Fantasy series. In addition,  this game will feature a more realistic time setting where the day is split into morning, afternoon, and night and interactions with other NPCs (non-playable characters) will vary depending on the time of day (inspired by Skyrim). The monorail that takes you from continent to continent or between cities will run on a regular schedule as well, so yes, you might have to practice your patience when transferring to different places. Yet another familiar feature are the Schematas, where Lightning can change outfits that will change her abilities during combat (a la Final Fantasy X-2) instead of the Paradigm Shifts that we’ve been accustomed to. In one person’s review of the demo, the combat system is very easy to get accustomed to and requires less strategy that was required in the series’ predecessors. That’s not to say that the boss battles will be easy nor simple. It does make it convenient that we no longer have to worry about the different paradigms that are in the queue in order to survive.

The demo will make its debut at E3 next week, where we will have more information on whether or not the game is a yea or nay. Check out the E3 trailer below and tell us what you think!



The game is set to release Fall of 2013 for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.

 

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