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Fans of the Borderlands franchise rejoiced when Gearbox announced that a new game would come out for the series.  Set between the original game and Borderlands 2, Borderlands: The Pre Sequel (a made-up word that’s a play on prequel and sequel) would be the fix fans of the game needed while patiently waiting for Gearbox to start working on Borderlands 3.  So did it live up to what fans were expecting?  For the most part, yes.  However, despite being the best new game that I’ve played this year, it still does not compare to its predecessors.  But that’s okay.  It’s still a blast to play.

Overview

Borderlands: The Pre Sequel is a first-person shooter that supports both single player or online cooperative (up to four players).  It was developed primarily by 2K Australia instead of Gearbox, who is the original developer of the series, and was published by 2K Games.  However, Gearbox did work with 2K Australia during development.  Much to the dismay of many fans, it was released only for PC, PS3, and XBox 360 on October 14.  Gearbox stated that this was because there is much more of a demand of the game for the last generation of consoles versus the current generation (Source: Gamasutra.com).

The Pre Sequel is a nice addition to the Borderlands franchise.

The Pre Sequel is a nice addition to the Borderlands franchise.

Story

Taking place between Borderlands 1 and 2, the player gets to see Handsome Jack (or just “Jack” at this point) go from hero to the  much-hated (or much-beloved, depending on who you talk to) villain of Borderlands 2.  At this point, he’s just an employee of Hyperion, a corporate conglomerate with its eye making tons of money from Pandora (a wild, wild west type planet with a lot of resources; hence, “Borderlands”).  However, after the company’s Helios space station is attacked by a group called the Lost Legion, Jack must become the hero and save Helios and Pandora’s moon, Elpis.  In order to do this, he commissions the help of a group of colorful characters to go to the moon and gain back control.  It certainly was interesting to see Jack as the hero instead of the villain.

I will have to say that the set of playable characters you get to choose from this time are absolutely awesome.  I actually had a hard time choosing which one I wanted to play first.  They are all pretty cool characters, and it doesn’t seem like you can go wrong with any of them.  There’s Athena, the Gladiator.  Her special skill involves a Captain America-like shield that players can either use to block attacks or swing to kill an enemy.  Wilhelm is the Enforcer.  He’s the character that I’ve played the lease but has a cool little drone that flies around and helps you kill bad guys.  Nisha is the Lawbringer, and she is the character that I have played the most.  Her skill involves an auto-lock firing sequence that is actually quite powerful.  Then there’s Claptrap.  He is by far the most fun character to play, especially when playing in a group.  His special skill basically is a malware program that could be one of many different skills, some good and some not so good.  If you are playing with others, the program can actually affect your friends as well.  It sounds annoying, but it’s actually hilariously delightful.  Sure, your teammates might moan and groan if they get affected, but at the end of the day, everyone’s laughing.  The Jack Doppelganger is a DLC-added character as well.  I have yet to play as this character, but will update what I think of him in another article.

The Pre Sequel has a group of really fun characters to play.  It was hard to choose which to play first.

The Pre Sequel has a group of really fun characters to play. It was hard to choose which to play first.

One of the things that makes the Borderlands franchise so special is the fact that the setting and characters are so memorable, especially some of the non-playable characters.  Although some favorites from the first two games make appearances (my personal favorite happens to be Torgue), the new characters on and around Elpis don’t seem to be as memorable in the Pre Sequel.  Sure, there is still wacky humor and some interesting satire, but it’s not quite up to the same level as Borderlands 1 or 2.  The feel of the game is even a bit different, since it’s on a moon instead of on Pandora.  The whole Firefly-like space western vibe that the other two games had going on is lost a bit with the change in setting.  However, I did enjoy the futuristic electronic soundtrack.  It felt a bit Tron Legacy like in sound, but to me, that made it enjoyable (also, speaking of Tron Legacy: there are two characters on Elpis that look like Daft Punk, and I thought it was quite amusing).

 Game Play

The game play has not changed too much from Borderlands 2.  Zainy missions, skills trees, Badass Rankings, and tons and tons of weapon choices and loot are still there.  There have been a few new game play elements that were added as well.  Laser guns were added because, you know, it’s the moon and why not?  Besides the usual elemental effects for guns, a freeze one has been added, though it’s probably my least favorite of all of them.  Due to Elpis’ low gravity, players can jump higher and do “Butt Slams” (no, I didn’t make that up), where the players smash down on enemies from above.  Also, since it’s a moon without an atmosphere, non-robotic characters must wear Oz kits in order to breathe.  Oz kits also generate effects for Butt Slams.  I played with one in particular that made farting sounds every time I did a butt slam.  It was quite hilarious.  All of these new elements were pretty good additions.  However, the one thing that I really did not like was the wacky level designs for many of the areas.  Because of the low gravity game play, a lot–and I mean A LOT–of vertical level designs were used.  That might sound fun, but it can be quite frustrating when where to go isn’t exactly clear.  I had to go to YouTube several times to figure out where I needed to be to complete a mission.  Also, there were too many cracks and crevices throughout some of the larger maps.  Those made it very hard to just goof around with friends when there is constant worry about jumping over places.

The cooperative is pretty much the same as Borderlands 2.  It’s four player co-op at its best.  I wish that there were other games like it, but at this point, it’s pretty unique since I can play by myself as much as I want, and then invite a group of people into my game without missing a beat.  One of the things that I love about Borderlands is that it really does encourage goofiness and fun among a team.  You really can’t take the game that seriously with how it presents itself, and that’s a good thing, since I can’t stand when people take online FPS games too seriously.  The game was a bit glitchy at launch and didn’t seem as polished as Borderlands 2.  Still, it wasn’t too bad, and I was able to play both by myself and with friends without any major issues.

The Pre Sequel isn't as polished as Borderlands 2, but it is still a blast to play.

The Pre Sequel isn’t as polished as Borderlands 2, but it is still a blast to play.

 Graphics

The graphics are pretty similar to Borderlands 2.  Obviously, if you are looking for a pretty game to play, choosing the cell-shaded Borderlands franchise and a last-gen game probably isn’t for you.  With the new group of games that have come out, the graphics do show their age a bit, but that’s okay.  You don’t play Borderlands for the graphics.  You play it for the game play and the goofiness.  You play it for the amazingly fun online cooperative.  In a way, the very original style that Borderlands creates with its cell shading is making waves in its own way.  It’s immediately distinguishable from other games, and it also lets the play know that the game doesn’t take itself too seriously.  I maintain that if it had been “pretty,” it wouldn’t have done as well.  Most fans would also argue that they wouldn’t want it any other way.

 Fun

At the end of the day, games are here for our enjoyment.  Borderlands: The Pre Sequel hits high marks under this category.  The zany story and characters are good enough to keep a player’s attention, the game play is a blast (even with a few issues), and the online cooperative is still probably the best in the industry.  It’s one of those games that you can get on with a good group of friends and have a blast and goof around.  The game will keep you laughing, regardless of whether it is something in the story, a silly character, or one of the crazy weapons.  For me though, the best part is the fact that I don’t have to be online to play if I don’t want to.  I don’t have to worry about if a server is working or not.  My game doesn’t become a paperweight if the Internet is out, which is one (of many) things I really don’t like about  Destiny.  Sometimes it’s just okay to play on your own.  However, if you want the awesome team experience, it’s right there for you.

The Pre Sequel is the most fun I've had in gaming all year.

The Pre Sequel is the most fun I’ve had in gaming all year.

 Overall

Unfortunately, the time frame that the Pre Sequel came out was a little too late.  Many people have moved on to a newer console and some have even sold their last-gen console.  I’m not seeing as many people playing, and there is a lot of steep competition from this fall’s slew of next-gen games.  The Pre Sequel probably could have done a lot better if it had game had come out in the summer when there was a dry spell in the industry for new games.  However, the game is definitely worth picking up if you are a fan of the franchise.  It’s actually been the most enjoyable game I’ve played this year.

 

By Amy McGarey On 23 Oct, 2014 At 11:05 PM | Categorized As News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments
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From now until December 31, Microsoft is offering an awesome pre-order bonus for ordering games through their online store. Pre-ordering upcoming Xbox 360 and Xbox One games will get you an extra $10 dollars to use on Xbox Live. In addition, if you are an Xbox Live Gold member, you can earn an additional $5 credit. The offer is valid on pretty much every game coming out this holiday season. It’s a great deal especially when most of the upcoming games will have DLC soon after release.

For more information about Microsoft’s pre-order bonuses, check here for details.

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mortal kombat x

Here’s the moment many of us have been waiting for! The release date for Mortal Kombat X was announced!

When will it be released?

Why, April 14, 2015 is the date we will finally see this game on the Xbox One, Xbox 360, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and PC!

Are you excited for this game? Let us know in the comments!

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At 3 A.M. PDT Thursday, June 19, Konami released a 30 min. gameplay trailer of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. The gameplay trailer is the same demo that was on display at this years E3. The trailer will be in English and shown on Kojima Station.

The Phantom Pain technically takes place after the most recent release of Metal Gear Solid: Ground Zeroes, but if you’re familiar with the Metal Gear series you know the games were released in anything but a linear order.

If you’re thinking of playing the Metal Gear series to “catch up” to this release you have more than enough time as MGSV: The Phantom Pain does not yet have a release date and isn’t expected to come out this year.

Here’s a link for the live stream currently going on on YouTube.

By Brandon Boatman On 8 Jun, 2014 At 09:07 PM | Categorized As News, News, PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments
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Mortal Kombat

Mortal Kombat X is happening and the teaser released earlier today looks awesome. Developer NetherRealm Studios is bringing their next installment of the fighting game to current and next-gen consoles. Ed Boon, Creative Director, of NetherRealm Studios said in a press release, Mortal Kombat has always been about over-the-top, visceral fighting and with  Mortal Kombat X  we wanted to utilise the power of new-gen consoles to give players our most intense game yet.” If the game is anything like the trailer I for one will not be disappointed. 

By Amy McGarey On 5 Jun, 2014 At 07:56 PM | Categorized As News, News, PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments
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It’s the first of the month, and that means a whole new batch of free games! First off, is Microsoft’s Games With Gold. June is the first month of Microsoft’s revamped Games With Gold Service. Although the free game service has only been available for a year, fans have griped over the amount and content of the free games offered each month. For starters, the games have been some of the oldest games in Xbox’s library and none of the games have been available to play on Xbox One. Microsoft has finally listened to fans and is offering two free Xbox One games, two free Xbox 360 games, and one bonus game for the one year anniversary of Games With Gold. I’m actually excited about this month’s free games, as I’ve been dying to play Halo: Spartan Assault and I’ve also been interested in playing Max: The Curse of the Brotherhood. The free games for Xbox 360 are Dark Souls and Charlie Murder. The free bonus game is Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade edition, which I’m excited about because my Hello Kitty x Street Fighter fight stick will be dusted off and getting some love this month!

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Halo: Spartan Assault

I usually gush about the free games for PlayStation Plus each month, but this month I’m a little disappointed about the offerings. I would assume because of Microsoft announcing their new Games With Gold services, PlayStation is changing their services to two free games per console: PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, and the Vita. Formerly, PlayStation Plus offered one for PlayStation 4, three for PlayStation 3, and 2-3 for Vita. This month’s free PlayStation 4 games are Trine 2: The Complete Story and PixelJunk Shooter Ultimate. On PlayStation 3, we get NBA 2K14 and Sly Cooper: Thieves of Time. On Vita, there’s Terraria and Mutant Mudds Deluxe. Maybe I’m a little biased against this months offerings because I still don’t own a PlayStation 4 and don’t like sports games.

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Trine 2: The Complete Story

No matter how you feel about this month’s free games, you really can’t argue with free. Especially if you’re going to subscribe to monthly online subscription services anyway. Think of it on a positive note – at least you’ll have more time to focus on E3 announcements this month!

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June looks like it will be our first slow month of 2014, and I’m sure our wallets will thank us. Never fear though, each console has at least one awesome game releasing this month. So, if you’re not busy with Watch Dogs at the moment, check out this month’s new releases.

June 2
Ultra Street Fighter IV (PS3, 360)

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WildStar

June 3
1001 Spikes (PS4, Vita, PC)
Call of Duty: Ghosts – Invasion DLC (Xbox One, 360)
Hyper Dimension Neptunia PP (PS3)
Murdered: Soul Suspect (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, PC)
Hyperdimension Neptunia: Producing Perfection (Vita)
PlayStation Vita Pets (Vita)
War Thunder (PS4)
WildStar (PC)
Worms Battlegrounds (PS4)

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Murdered: Soul Suspect

June 6
Tomodachi Life (3DS)

June 10
Enemy Front (PC)

June 17
EA Sports UFC (PS4, Xbox One)

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Pushmo World

June 19
Pushmo World (Wii U)

June 20
Divinity: Original Sin (PC)

June 24
Atelier Rorona Plus: The Alchemist of Arland (PS3, Vita)
BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma (Vita)
GRID Autosport – June 24 (PS3, 360, PC)
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare (PC)
The Swapper (PS4, PS3, Vita)
Transformers: Rise of the Dark Spark (PS4, Xbox One, PS3, 360, Wii U, 3DS)

June 25
Valiant Hearts (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, PC)

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Sniper Elite 3

June 27
Sniper Elite 3 (PC)

My picks for the month are WildStar, Sniper Elite 3, and Murdered: Soul Suspect. What will you be picking up this month?

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May is yet another month to empty out your wallets – probably the biggest month for major titles. If you’re a Nintendo fan, be prepared to work some overtime. Not only is Mario Golf coming out in a couple days, but you’ve got Mario Kart 8 at the end of the month, too! There’s really something for everyone. You’ve got Bound By Flame next week for people who are into RPGs. There’s also major titles like Wolfenstein: New Order and Watch Dogs, finally getting released. You can also see that Sony is still churning out exclusives for the PlayStation 3.

My top picks for this month are Bound By Flame, Watch Dogs, and Mario Kart 8. What are you picking up this month?

May 2
Kirby Triple Deluxe (3DS)
Mario Golf: World Tour (3DS)

May 6
Borderlands 2 (Vita)
God of War Collection (Vita)
MLB 14 The Show (PS4)
Stick it to the Man (PS4, Wii U)

May 7
Peggle 2 (360)
Tesla Effect: A Tex Murphy Adventure (PC)

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May 9
Bound By Flame (PS4, PS3, 360, PC)
Killer is Dead: Nightmare Edition (PC)

May 16
Minecraft (PS3 – Retail)

May 20
Drakengard 3 (PS3)
Mugen Souls Z (PS3)
Transistor (PS4)
Wolfenstein: The New Order (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, PC)

May 21
Always Sometimes Monsters (PC)

May 22
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing II (PC)

May 23
Tropico 5 (PC)

watchdogs

May 27
Mind Zero (Vita)
Watch Dogs (Xbox One, 360, PS4, PS3, PC)
Sly Cooper Collection (Vita)

May 30
Mario Kart 8 (Wii U)

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South Park on TV can be a vulgar and shocking show. It can be crude yet hysterical, poking fun at celebrities, social trends and issues, anything and everything under the sun. When the released their movie in theaters back in 1999, having more freedom from censorship, the movie reached new levels of raunch and shocking their audience. Even now the show finds new ways to shock people. However, this game blows all of that out of the water! If you are someone who doesn’t like how far South Park pushes the limits, let me give you your review, stay away from this game. For all those who like South Park and RPGs and want to know if this game is any good, the answer is…

Yes, not only is this game fun, its hysterical and outright shocking at times. And I mean seriously shocking, I hesitate to mention to mention some of these moments as it would take away knowing what you will see. But there were a few instances where I had to pick my jaw up off the ground due to what I was looking at. But a game can’t survive on shock factor alone, how was the actual game?

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The game starts with you creating a silent protagonist who moves to South Park with a mysterious past. From there you meet the other kids who happen to be having a LARPing session. You can choose from one of four classes; Fighter, Mage, Thief, and Jew. Yes, Jew. They all play pretty similar aside from their special abilities and attacks. You play with Cartman’s faction of Humans and Kyle’s faction of Elves and eventually decide who’s side you want to join. From there you get involved in an adventure way bigger than you and meet just about all the colorful characters of South Park. From the goth kids, to Al Gore, just about every South Park Character is in this game. This game is also filled with tons of easter eggs long time and even short term fans of the show will be able to appreciate.

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The mechanics of the game is like Paper Mario. You and a single partner fight in turn based RPG style battles, Cartman remarks that it’s lame but that’s the way they are playing. In battle, you choose an attack, magic, buffs/debuffs, or super and either hit the on screen buttons or press the attack button when you character glimmers for adding attack power. There are some magic effects such as gross out and on fire that add strategy to your battles, overall it’s a pretty simple battle system just about anyone can pick up. Outside of battle you can explore a fully realized South Park. You can walk around, enter people’s houses and businesses and such for a plethora of collectables and surprises.

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This game looks just like an episode of the show. If someone walked in on you they might think you’re watching the show, if the FCC just decided not to care about them anymore. As mentioned before, if you dislike the show, you’ll hate the game. The vulgarity will turn someone people off, and that might be the only downside I could find about the game. It was reported some players experienced a lot of bugs and framerate drops. I can say that for me the game never crashed, though sometimes in exiting one part of the map and entering another there was a little drop in framerate.

South Park: The Stick of Truth is a fun RPG that took me roughly 15 hours to complete. With tons of collectibles and side missions, easter eggs, social commentary and even jokes on the video game industry itself, this game will having you either laughing on the floor or backing away in disgust. If you know this type of humor isn’t for you, stay away. However if you can get past that type of humor or enjoy it, you’ll be presented with a fun hysterical game.

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By Will On 25 Apr, 2014 At 12:29 AM | Categorized As PC Games, PlayStation 3/PlayStation 4, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments
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Divekick Update Logo

The Good:

Made by Iron Galaxy, the company behind the port of Street Fighter 3 Third Strike, Marvel Vs. Capcom Origins, and the second season of Killer Instinct, have made fun of the franchises that millions of people watch on a weekly basis on Twitch.tv It’s poking fun of the over complexity of fighting games by introducing the world to a 2-button fighting game. The buttons are simply labled; Dive (Into the air) and Kick. While you can rebind the keys for your keyboard it seems really natural on a controller as well.

The characters are each unique like any traditional fighter, but they are complete parodies of members of the fighting game community. The most noticed was the story line of Mr. N, who happens to be a parody of Marn.

Mr. N, a Divekicker who once rigged a bracket in a tournament, resulting in a mass disqualification of all the players, the cancellation of the tournament, and the end of Uncle Sensei’s Divekicking career. He is notorious for his shady dealings in tournaments and is often found around his best friend, star Divekicker Dustin Weinburger. He is constantly on the run from the mob, to whom he owes money. Mr. N is a parody of the character Rufus from the Street Fighter franchise and professional gamer Martin “Marn” Phan
-Divekick’s Wikipedia Page

They continue from S-kill (Seth Killian), Markman (MadKatz Community Manager Mark Julio) Dr. School (Dr. Doom) and many more. Included in the latest patch is Johnny Gat, the recurring character in the Saints Row franchise.

Each of the characters have 2 special moves, one of which they can perform in the air and on the ground. How do you activate the movies on a 2 button fighter? By pressing them at the same time! The timing is a little akward playing against the CPU, while playing against opponents in ranked and casual mode are damn near impossible to me. I guess I need to just grind to get better.

The Bad:

The only issue I happen to have with this game, is that it appeared as a “Flash in the Pan” kind of game. With all the hype behind it and the budding tournament scene kinda make it worth picking up, but the only downside is that it has a moment where your having fun with your buddies drinking and having fun, but like Mario Party games it’s done in small doses.

Want to see how easy this truly is? Here’s a video of UFGT9’s Top 16!

 

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