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By Inactive or EX ROG Staffer On 25 Oct, 2012 At 05:54 PM | Categorized As Featured, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarI don’t really know where to start with Happy Wars because I love this game.

Happy Wars is a game available for free to anyone with an Xbox Live Gold membership, but for those not so fortunate it’s available for download on Xbox Live.

 

The game centers around the idea there are two kingdoms who fight every day for very stupid reasons, which is good enough for me. The game doesn’t take itself too seriously and is pretty funny (inappropriate jokes inserted). Because there’s no real story to get involved in and it just allows the player to enjoy himself. You see your character from a third person view as he faces off against enemies from the other kingdom and that is the layout of the entire game. Happy Wars arrow shower

There are 3 classes to choose from, warrior, mage, and cleric. All of them have the ability to use a combat weapon, which is good for bashing enemies to death once you’ve cornered them, but they all have their own special skills. The warriors have special fighting moves. Mages have the ability to use magic to fight and can even enchant their teammate’s or their own melee weapon which increases their damage. Clerics can build multiple objects. The cannon and ballista are used to shoot at enemies and you can use build either a ladder or battering ram to infiltrate into the enemy’s castle. Not only can clerics do that, but they can also heal and resurrect other players. Sadly they only have melee to defend themselves, but they are vital to a team in huge brawls when your allies are dying left and right.

As basic as the game is you have the option to play in story mode or in multiplayer. In multiplayer you can either face of against AI or with real people, but be warned when playing against others, the server is experiencing some difficulties so if it takes time to get into a match. If you want some of that story mode you’ll need to spend some time in multiplayer anyways. You can’t get to the next level until you reach a certain level by gaining “Happy Stars.” Ultimately story mode focuses on different objectives depending on what stage you’re in. In multiplayer the white and black team face off against each other until one team’s big tower (in their castle) is completely destroyed or one team has the most towers remaining.

I like Happy Wars because I often have to think about what to do so my team can advance, so I often switch classes depending on what is needed at the time. As simple as the game seems it requires a decent amount of effort, and I get a happy feeling whenever my team wins or I beat a stage in hard. As you level up you earn more weapons your character becomes better and weapons can even be combined. Your character is also customizable, but it’s a minor enjoyment in comparison to the gameplay. The scenery is so pretty and colorful you can’t help but become submerged in it and despite it’s simplicity it’s a game worthy of sharing with your Xbox Live friends.

All in all, I give Happy Wars5/5.

By otakuman5000 On 12 Oct, 2012 At 01:56 AM | Categorized As PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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In a surprise announcement, Capcom has revealed plans for the Darkstalkers remake we old school fans have been waiting for. In a press release issued today, Capcom announced Darkstalkers Resurrection. Darkstalkers Resurrection is a HD remake of Night Warriors: Darkstalkers Revenge and Darkstalkers 3. There are so many new and updated features, the press release itself will explain it all.

DARKSTALKERS RE-AWAKEN WITH DARKSTALKERS® RESURRECTION ON PLAYSTATION®NETWORK AND XBOX LIVE® ARCADE

New Digital Title Features Night Warriors: Darkstalkers Revenge and Darkstalkers 3 with Updated Graphics and Robust Online Features

SAN MATEO, Calif.October 11, 2012 — Capcom, a leading worldwide developer and publisher of video games, today announced that the fan-favorite Darkstalkers® franchise is back and ready to take the fight to current gen consoles. Featuring a unique and colorful cast of characters, blended with fast-paced fighting action, Darkstalkers® Resurrection contains two games, Night Warriors: Darkstalkers Revenge and Darkstalkers 3, that will be available to download in early 2013 for $14.99 on PlayStation®Network and 1200 Microsoft Points on Xbox LIVE® Arcade for the Xbox® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft.

The two-for-one priced combo breathes new life into each game with a slew of features including robust GGPO-enabled online game play, HD graphical filtering with multiple viewing options, replay sharing, Spectator Mode, in-game achievements, Challenge/Tutorial Mode and an un-lockable vault filled with concept artwork, videos and more.

Players who want to face-off against their friends online are able to with GGPO-enabled online game play that helps create a virtually lag-free fighting game experience. Building upon the online system previously introduced in Street Fighter® III: Third Strike Online Edition and Marvel vs. Capcom® Origins, online game play now includes upgraded matchmaking with additional options such as region matching, ping lock and ping display.

While taking a break from competition, players have replay sharing and Challenge Mode at their disposal to help them hone their fighting game skills.  Replays can be uploaded to the game’s match server or directly to YouTube. The Challenge/Tutorial Mode contains trials to help players deepen their knowledge of the characters and their specific strategies. For those that prefer to learn from watching other people play, Spectator Mode and “Watch With Friends” allows players to watch games either live online or saved from previous matches. Players can discuss both live and saved games in real time.

 

Now this is amazing news to this editor. This was hinted earlier this month on Yoshinori Ono’s Twitter feed, and Capcom announced it at the 25th Anniversary Panel at New York Comic Con. We at ROG cannot wait for this title to be released.

Here are screenshots and the announcement trailer.

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By otakuman5000 On 29 Jun, 2011 At 04:49 AM | Categorized As PC Games, PlayStation, Portable/Mobile Gaming, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 2 Comments

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Hello and welcome once again my faithful readers to another wonderful edition of Cards n’Flux.  My name is Corlando and I will be your guide through the in and outs of Magic the Gathering.  Today, we will be finishing off Specials Month as we look at the most recent edition of Duels of the Planeswalkers and find out if it is actually worth your money.

 

Duels of the Planeswalkers is an Xbox Live, PSN, and Steam game that allows you to play Magic the Gathering without heading down to your local game store and having to deal with actual human beings.  The original Duels of the Planeswalkers came out on June 17, 2009 and gave you eight decks to play with, each based around a particular planeswalker or legendary creature.  Each deck started off with sixteen cards to unlock so you could customize your deck.  You unlocked these cards by playing through the campaign, or you could do what I did and just face your first opponent sixteen times.  The original game also had three expansion packs, which gave the old decks new cards as well as gave you all new decks.  In form and function it was a pretty basic game, which did help to bring new players to the fold.

Now, you all might be wondering why I just spent a paragraph talking about the old version of Duels of the Planeswalkers instead of the new version.  Well it is because, in all honesty, the two games are nearly the exact same.  There are a few new features such as the ability to play Archenemy matches with friends, you get ten decks instead of eight, you have three campaigns (including an Archenemy Campaign) ready to run through, and the overall look and feel of the game is more refined.  However, the new version of Duels of the Planeswalkers still leaves me feeling like a Disney princess, I want more.

 

First we shall talk about the new mode in Duels 2012, Archenemy.  Archenemy, as I laid out in a previous article, is where three players try to kill one Archenemy before the Archenemy’s schemes totally destroy the players’ plans.  When I first heard of Archenemy in Duels 2012, I tell you I was excited.  The idea of slinging schemes or fighting an archenemy really got my mind drumming and my smile up as I thought of all the fun I would have with friends.  Yet, when I got the game I tried to do an Archenemy game with four players, one of us would become the Archenemy, and found that you can only face computers.  Wizards, come on now!  You should have realized that no one wants to just face computers with Archenemy.  They want to glory over their friends as they crush them to death or triumph with them as they finally take own their local tough guy.  People do not want to just be limited to ten planeswalkers they may or may not care about.  Wizards missed an awesome opportunity and I am disappointed about this.  However, if you do not mind just playing against computers then the Archenemy is totally serviceable.

A Magic the Gathering game would be nothing without some solid decks?  Well Duels 2012 brings a pretty solid effort with most of the opening decks.  As I said above you start out with ten decks each designed to correlate with a Planeswalker.  You have an equipment/soldier Gideon deck, an Elf Token Nissa Decks, a Vampire Sorin deck, two burning, fiery Red decks for Koth and Chandra, and a few more.  And the unlockable cards are still active and you can even unlock multiple copies of a card at the same time.  This cuts down on having to fight Garruk again just to unlock another card.  Another great improvement on the decks is you are actually able to customize your deck, except for the number of lands.  If you want to make your deck more creature centered, you can.  Or, if you are going to be facing someone with a lot of creatures, you can bring in some creature hate.  However, there are two parts of this that I feel I have to say something about.  First up is that some of the cards you unlock are complete trash.  For example, in the Garruk Deck, a creature centered bashing deck, you can unlock three Hunter’s Feast, a card that gives target players 6 life.  Question, why does a big Green stompy deck want life gain?  Wizards could have put in something like Sacred Wolf, a 3/1 that cannot be the target by spells and abilities your opponent’s control.  Along this line, there is also the fact you simply do not unlock enough good cards.  The thing that makes playing a deck fun is consistency, being sure you will draw a card you need when you need it, and if you only have one copy of a card in your deck, good luck trying to drawing it.

The other issue I have with the decks in Duels 2012 is specifically directed at a single deck.  I have made it no secret that I am a Tezzeret fan.  I quote him at the end of every article.  However, the Tezzeret deck in Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 is absolute crud.  Tezzeret’s deck is a White, Blue, and Black deck that splashes White for all of four possible cards and only two of them are any good.  This is not all.  The unlockable cards for Tezzeret’s deck are horrible as well.  Here is a list of the cards you unlock that are actually good: Wurmcoil Engine, Mirrorworks, Master of Etherium, and that’s all.  I’m serious.  The rest of Tezzeret’s deck is filled with a few good cards like two Steel Overseers, which tap to put a +1/+1 counter on all artifact creatures you control, and a Darksteel Colossus you never get out because you only have one and you never have enough mana.  I hate what Wizards did to this deck and I can only hope that in future expansions they fix this egregious mistake.

 

With the actual gameplay itself, I have to say I am happy with what Wizards has done.  The game feels much more refined, it looks a lot better, and the controls (though sometimes annoying) are pretty easy to work.  The only problem I have with the gameplay is that in multiplayer games, there is a timer for each of your turn’s phases.  Now, this is a salvation when you are playing some of the online people because people do have the potential to run off and forget they are playing a game, meaning you would have to wait for them to do something.  However, in Archenemy matches, this lifesaving timer can actually lead to your demise.  On a number of occasions, my friends and I have actually been killed because we ran out of time to do something.  For example, my friends and I were playing against Garruk and by this time in the game Garruk had about eight to ten creatures, all with two or three power.  I stood with a few blockers, a few spells, and just a little life.  My friends were also not in the best of shapes, so when Garruk attacked me I was caught a little off guard.  I quickly went to start preparing to block and before I could finish blocking, the timer ended and I was sitting in the grave asking, “What hit me?”  That was probably just bad playing on my part but with a few other instances of the timer hurting players, I feel that maybe the timer could be extended a little longer to help prevent this in the future.

Now I have harangued Duels of the Planeswalkers 2012 a lot throughout this article, but I have done it with love.  The game itself is very good for those who just want to play Magic or for those who want to learn the basics.  If you can forgive some of the issues I have raised throughout this article I feel the game is totally worth its ten-dollar price tag.  Perhaps some Wizards employee will read this article, become enlightened to my problems, and improve the next issue of Duels.  Either that or they will put me on the kill list and one day I will be attacked by Wizards of the Coast’s secret, magic-wielding attack squad.  In an effort to throw the death squad off my trail I have enlisted a few friends to tell me what they thought of the game as a whole.  Some names have been changed for the safety of the speaker.

 

Kazandu Blademaster:

A good improvement from the first, smoother, with more decks to play.  Archenemy is a bit slow and I hate the fact the land taps for you.

 

The Man in the Tight Pants:

Overall, much more streamlined and less clunky than the first, much more enjoyable to navigate and play. I do wonder why they dumbed some of the decks down…but this is a lot more fun to play and less frustration.

 

Manic Vandal:

I like the added content especially the extra decks.  However, I felt the system was still broken due to auto land tapping, the A.I. was lacking, and the avatar awards are crap.

It seems that the article is coming to a close so it is now time for everyone’s favorite sections, the Closing Questions section:

 

1. What is your opinion of Duels 2012?

 

2. What is your favorite deck to play in 2012?  Are there any changes or card suggestions you would make for your preferred deck?

 

3. What is the worst deck of 2012?  What would you do to improve it?

 

4. What do you hope to see from future expansions of 2012 and future installments in the series?

 

There you have it folks, the end of an article and the end of a theme month.  I hope you enjoyed the article and come on by next week for another fun romp through Magicland.  And always remember, “Etherium is Limited.  Innovation is not.”  This is Corlando signing out.

 

By otakuman5000 On 20 May, 2011 At 01:44 PM | Categorized As Indie Spotlight, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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One of the hardest things to achieve in gaming is to take a concept that has already been cloned a million times down the years and try to make something fresh from it.

Decimation X3 from Xona Games is one such game that tries to do something fresh with a well used idea.  Taking the tried and tested formula of Space Invaders, Decimation X3 manages to ramp up the experience, adds a thumping sound track and boss battles to the formula without actually losing the essence of it’s main influence.

The premise of the game is simple.  Destroy line after line and wave after wave of attacking alien ships.  The more ships you destroy in each wave, the faster the remaining ships scuttle across the screen, their sole intent is to get to the bottom and destroy you in the process.  Simple yet addictive fun.

On screen graphics are always clear despite frenetic action

Decimation X3 is actually a sequel to Decimation X.  Both games are similar in their basic objective, but X3 adds much more to the party.  The graphics are big and bold, the game plays fast and once you start progressing through the levels, the intensity of the action become incredible.  This just doesn’t pay homage to Space Invaders, it literally blows it out of the universe.

After a preset number of waves are completed you are faced with a boss battle.  It is a great way to break up the game play, not that there is much time to ever get bored playing this.  The pace is frenetic, the aliens get more and more aggressive and can take more than one hit as the levels go on.    All is not lost though.  There are a number of power ups that you can pick up which can be done in two ways.  The first is by simply destroying the alien ships, the second is a line of power ups that drop from the top of the screen periodically after you score enough points.  The power ups give you a wider spread of bullets, a faster stream of bullets, shields for you ship to hide behind should the action get too intense and so on.  You can also get extra lives – which believe me you will need!

If you think that powering up your weapons will make life easy, think again.  The aliens rain walls of laser death from above on you which requires a keen eye, fast reflexes and a touch of luck to avoid.  It is testament to the quality of the programming that the balance between the powering up and the difficulty is perfect.

In addition to the single player, you can also enjoy the fun with up to four people on the same console.  If you want an additional challenge you can also elect to play the game without the benefit of shields to hide behind, the reward for this is higher completion bonuses.

Multi-player ramps up the action and the insanity!

Graphically the game is excellent.  The pixel dot construction of graphics and text gives a good retro feel fitting for a game of this type and everything moves along at a super smooth pace.  More importantly for a game like this where there is so much happening on screen, the graphics are also clear and well thought out with the alien lasers being clearly discernible from everything else.  So often with frantic shooters like this, the things you need to avoid get lost in the overwhelming assault of on screen images.  Not so here.

Decimation X3 is a fantastic game.  It’s simple concept and excellent execution makes it addictive to play, and the desire to better your previous score harks back to those days when getting to the top of the leader board was the main reward for playing a game.

It is available on X Box Live Indie Games on X Box Live Marketplace for 80 points.  For that small amount you simply cannot go wrong with this.  It is well worth checking out.

By otakuman5000 On 19 May, 2011 At 05:30 AM | Categorized As Featured, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarIf there are fanciful anime characters on your TV screen dodging hundreds of bullets that are nearly covering the whole playing field, chances are, you’re playing one of Japanese developer Treasure’s bullet-hell shmups. D3 Publisher has brought the latest and greatest edition of one of Treasure’s most enduring franchises, Bangai-O, to Xbox Live Arcade in HD.

While there are the obligatory copious flying projectiles (in this case, missiles), swarming around the screen, Bangai-O offers something different from the usual vertical- or horizontal scrolling shmup fare. In Bangai-O, you’re in command of an armored mecha and must use your missiles to destroy the buildings, guns, and vehicles scattered throughout the playing field, particularly around the edges. You can move and shoot in eight directions, utilizing both analog sticks for movement and shooting  in the same way as classic shooters like Robotron and Smash TV.  The arenas in Bangai-O are fenced in, and typically as you destroy enemies, barriers will open to allow you to explore more of the playing field. The dual stick controls are very responsive and executing special moves is kept fairly simple.

 

The "Counter Attack" in action.

In addition to the moving and shooting, Bangai-O give the player a number of special attacks. The Dash attack allows you to ram enemies. The Freeze Attack freezes enemies in the immediate vicinity. The Counter Attack allows you to unleash a devastating barrage of missiles, either directed if you tilt the right stick while using it, or in all directions if the right stick is left in neutral. The ability to use these attacks is tied in with how much destruction you’re causing, as higher multipliers yields better HP and EX gauge recovery items, so be sure and take the fight to the enemies! You are also rewarded if you maintain a steady stream of destruction (a combo).

Though Bangai-O HD sports Treasure’s infamous difficulty, it is also somewhat forgiving. If you’re having trouble with a certain stage, the game will eventually allow you to skip that stage and come back to it later, keeping you from becoming frustrated at being stuck on a certain stage. Bangai-O HD also offers two-player co-op via Xbox Live, where the players both help each other and compete for the highest score.

As with all Treasure games, Bangai-O sports a unique aesthetic. The stages are very detailed, even if they don’t always make sense within the context of the game, as is true of most Treasure games. The explosions and sheer amount of projectiles flying around on the screen is impressive, and would cause terrible slowdown on a less powerful system, and the game makes good use of the 360’s HD capabilities. Soundwise, Bangai-O features a lot of explosions and music that’s largely interchangeable with every other shmup ever made, not impressive but pleasant and unobtrusive. You won’t feel the need to play Bangai-O with the TV muted.

Bangai-O is one of the rare Treasure games that offers the challenge the Treasure faithful expect, yet is accessible to newcomers who are otherwise intimidated by bullet hell shooters. And at 800 Microsoft Points ($10), it’s an excellent value for your gaming dollar. Don’t miss this one.

Treasure understands that sometimes you just want to blow things up.

No GravatarSega and Treasure are bring back the good ole days of gaming with the announcement of Guardian Heroes for Xbox Live Arcade. The game is a port of the Sega Saturn Classic. Yes, you heard that right. If you are not up to speed on this great game,you should do yourself a favor and pick up the sequel for your GameBoy Advance right now.

 

Here is the official press release from Sega:

SEGA of America, Inc. and SEGA Europe Ltd. today announced the upcoming re-release of Guardian Heroes, a classic Action-RPG Brawler by celebrated developers Treasure. Originally released for the SEGA Saturn™ in 1996, Guardian Heroes has been re-mastered with enhanced graphics, online co-op and battle modes, all-new modes of play, and more. The game will be available via Xbox LIVE Arcade for the Xbox 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft this fall.

“Ever since we began to make SEGA’s classic Dreamcast and Genesis / Mega Drive titles available for modern systems, the fan response has been overwhelming – and the demand for their favorite games has been pouring in,” said Haruki Satomi, VP of Digital Business at SEGA. “Players have been clamoring for this treasured favorite from the Saturn days, and we cannot wait to show them what we have got for them – all of the fantastic side-scrolling action, branching story paths, and distinct characters, now in a fully HD, widescreen presentation with online support. ”

Guardian Heroes brings the Saturn favorite to life with new HD graphics, presenting Treasure’s iconic fast-paced gameplay on a new generation of hardware, with all of the convenience of purchase via instant download. The game also features:

Action-RPG Brawling: Choose one of four heroes to level up and guide along a branching storyline with five different endings
Friends, Foes, and Fighters: Play the game’s Story Mode alone or with a second player, or challenge Versus Mode with up to 12 players at once
Extended Gameplay: Time Attack Mode, Arcade Mode, Arrange Mode and more allow players to explore every nuance of 45 different fighters
Fully Re-Mastered: All-new graphics and visual effects bring the classic to life in a completely high-definition, widescreen presentation

 

One more tidbit, We have received word that you will have the ability to switch between HD and Classic Modes on the game. Here is a video of the Saturn version to catch you up.

Here are the HD screenshots that have surfaced Courtesy of Gamersyde

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By otakuman5000 On 5 Dec, 2010 At 05:59 AM | Categorized As Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 1 Comment

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Located in Quebec, Canada, Sarbakan Game Studio has finally launched it’s own web site and has signed an agreement with a multinational company to release two Kinect titles. This independent game developer has worked on several online projects as well as working with Microsoft to create the XBLA title, “Lazy Raiders”. With over twelve years of experience in creating cross platform games, it’s exciting to see what the company has in store.

Sarbakan was founded in 1988 and has since worked on well over 600 titles for platforms ranging from handhelds and mobile to console and online apps. Some popular works are Tron Legacy: Digital DJ, Wedding Dash, and Disney Online’s Pirates of the Caribbean series. Starting off with Kinect for 2011, Sarbakan has announced that its Kinect titles will be released and sold in both the U.S and Europe.

“We are truly poised as a forward-developing studio… As we broadened our services to include iOS and Kinect platforms, our existing and potential partners have really ramped up their creative development with Sarbakan to provide their titles and brands across multiple platforms. -Guy Boucher, President of Sarbakan

Although Serbakan is a company with over 80 employees, they are looking for more people to join their ranks. While their new website still seems fairly empty, it does symbolize what the team is all about. You can keep track of the team and it’s news at Sarbakan.com