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By Jonathan Balofsky On 18 May, 2017 At 10:10 AM | Categorized As News, News, News, NINTENDO, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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SEGA has began rebranding itself for a new direction. The gaming giant is giving itself a new corporate identity  and it is centered around the concept of “Amazing SEGA”

The new corporate identity concept has been communicated through a bizarre video of an eye, an emotional clip featuring Toshihiro Nagoshi, who works on the Yakuza series, as well as a making of video.

SEFA has stated  that”Amazing SEGA” is an identity which is focused on providing more surprises than ever to the consumers and fans. As such, SEGA plans to turn this into a branding tool for all of their subsidiaries to use going forward.

 

 

 

 

This could be part of SEGA’s plans to revive their dormant IPs, and if that is indeed the case, it is a welcome change.

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By Kira Nance On 17 May, 2017 At 05:47 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarFirst and foremost, I would like you to take into consideration the fact that getting myself to write this review is comparable to pulling teeth. The moment I began my complicated relationship with Rise and Shine I was immediately taken back by the beauty of the beast. Oh man, is this a beautiful game, but beauty is only skin deep after all. While platformers at not my specialty they are also not my Achilles heel, yet I consistently found myself in the position where I was too frustrated to continue. Rise & Shine is a little bit like being in an unhealthy relationship and being too stubborn to leave. Perhaps like dating a supermodel whom, while she is beautiful, is so very used to going on looks alone that they fail to nurture other aspects of their being. I wanted to love this game, perhaps I still do but that’s not necessarily a good thing. 

It’s no surprise that Adult Swim Games has, as of late been dipping their toe into the proverbial pool that is console gaming. After the success of titles such as Katana Zero, Headlander and Rick and Morty Simulator: Virtual Rick-ality it makes perfect sense. The folks over at Adult Swim bring a refreshing attitude to the entertainment table, expressing a strong desire to provide quality entertainment over profit “We don’t have an agenda to sell something. For us, we want to create a really amazing experience.”  said Adult Swim’s Ashley Jex-Wagner, director of events “That’s the most important thing for us is for everyone to have a good time“. 

It seems the developers at Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team are on the same page. In an interview with Invision Community, Enrique Corts (Art Director, Creative Director) stated “Our focus has always been making really polished hardcore games that add something fresh to the table. We believe in making things properly since day one, so we only launch our games when they are completely ready and as much bug-free as possible, even if that means we risk our financial health. Sometimes is really tough having our own quality bar so high, but this is the only way to success we understand.

The four-person team based out of Spain has already seen success in the mobile market with Editor’s Choice titles, Pro Zombie Soccer, Pro Zombie Soccer Apocalypse Edition, and Supermagical, all of which have received Game of the Year in the App Store. Rise & Shine is Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team’s first PC/console title release and consequently my latest headache. So, the big question here is did Adult Swim and Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team accomplishes their goal to provide us with enjoyable quality content? Well, I’d have to say yes and no.

With the combined powers of Adult Swim Games and Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team, comes Rise & Shine a true “think and gun” gem that while frustrating is definitely worth your time. Rise & Shine is basically a playable homage to classic video games. Warped versions of beloved characters such as Link, Marcus Fenix, Q*bert and the Duck Hunt dog make hilarious appearances. The gameplay itself is a bit of a throwback, think Metal Slug meets Contra. This 2-D side-scrolling shooter is anything but basic, sometimes it’s even overly complicated. There’s a cover system to employ similar to the one used in Gears of War but this doesn’t ensure safety from all enemies especially the more volatile ones. Combining aspects of arcade shooters, bullet hells, and puzzle platformers staying focused in Rise & Shine is a major challenge in itself.

You play as Rise, a young boy of Gamearth, who upon receiving a legendary smack talking gun by the name of Shine suddenly becomes his planets greatest hope for survival against the invading Nexgen. You gun your way through 14 levels of unique puzzles, endless robot armadas, hungry zombies and intimidating bosses. Shine also conveniently bestows his wielder with unlimited respawns, unless you share the likeness of Link apparently. Unlimited lives, thank you, Shine, I thoroughly tested those boundaries. You have the choice to load Shine with his standard ammo or electric bullets, electric doing more damage to some enemies and next to nothing against others. Rise & Shine also grants you fun explosive bullets to detonate at will and the ability to guide your bullets remotely (RC), though only through a limited radius. Utilizing each bullet type is essential for navigating the puzzle solving, projectile dodging, enemy slaying chaos that is Rise & Shine. Bosses are no joke, only adding to the retro gaming atmosphere here, for example, the final boss takes upwards of 90 minutes to beat. 90 painfully tedious minutes. Considering the game consist of a mere two hours of actual gameplay with almost no storyline to spice things up, I found this to be severely annoying. I’m sure eighty percent of my time was spent severely immersed in boss fights. Taking damage is never an option as two hits from a base level enemy or projectile is enough to kill you at any point. Mastering the fine art of bullet spray is probably the best defense in Rise & Shine and quite possibly the best way to stay sane. 

The controls are slightly over complicated, requiring you to aim with the left trigger, shoot with the right trigger and guidance is provided by the right stick. When your screen is full of enemies, storms of bullets, lasers, and explosions this less that kind control system gets in the way. add in the bumpers to cycle through ammunition all while dodging, jumping and dashing to avoid getting hit. Oh, and don’t forget to reload. Seriously I’m exhausted just explaining all that.

Visually, the folks at Super Awesome Hyper Dimensional Mega Team nailed it. This is where the quality of the game shines through. The story while lacking in detail, plays out in charming comic panels that showcase the developers love for comic books. Each level’s background is made up of hand-drawn illustrations with multiple parallax scroll layers, giving new depth to each scene as you progress. I seriously lost myself in the artwork of Rise & Shine, it was easy to imagine myself gallivanting around the streets of Gamearth blasting away space grunts. The in-game audio and soundtrack are top notch thanks to the talent of Jerry Goldsmith Award nominee Damián Sánchez (Reservoir Dogs, Blues and Bullets). However, aesthetics alone cannot carry a game and Rise & Shine left me raging in the end. It’s a title deserving of your time and respect but I can’t in good conscience recommend it for anyone with anger issues.

Review code was provided by the publisher.

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 17 May, 2017 At 01:53 PM | Categorized As News, PC Games, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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PC Gamer sent out the following

 

PC Gamer today announced that Xbox will join the upcoming annual PC Gaming Show for the third consecutive year, as both a sponsor and key presenter, and revealed more companies and speakers set to appear. Taking place in Los Angeles on Monday, June 12, 2017 at the Theatre at Ace Hotel, the show will feature appearances and announcements from some of the biggest brands in the PC gaming industry.
Leaders and renowned game developers from Xbox and streaming service, Beam will join the show to talk about their latest developments in PC gaming, as well as showcasing upcoming PC games.
Fans can expect news and updates about PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS from Bluehole Inc., BATTLETECH from Paradox Interactive in partnership with Harebrained Schemes, Total War: Warhammer II from Creative Assembly, and Raw Fury Games.
“PC gaming is a huge part of our gaming ecosystem – across Windows, Beam, and Xbox,” said Mike Nichols, Corporate Vice President of Xbox Marketing at Microsoft. “The PC Gaming Show is the perfect place for us to talk about what’s next from Xbox for PC gamers.”
For more information and to register for press or content creator access, please visit: www.PCGamingShow.com and follow #pcgamingshow. For consumers interested in attending the show, please visit: www.PCGamingShow.com/tickets. Viewers will be able to stream, the 2017 PC Gaming Show live on Beam.
The PC Gaming Show is powered by Intel and supported by partners Bohemia Interactive, Xbox, Cygames, Nexon, and Tripwire Interactive.

The PC Gaming Show is always a great part of E3. While it may not get as much recognition as the other conferences, it is still a noteworthy event. Will you be watching this year?

By Jonathan Balofsky On 17 May, 2017 At 01:01 PM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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CD PROJEKT RED sent out the following

 

CD PROJEKT RED, creators of The Witcher series of games, announce the Public Beta for GWENT: The Witcher Card Game. Scheduled to begin May 24, Public Beta will be available for PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

“Public Beta is the next step in the game’s development process, one that we’d be honored to continue alongside everyone who’s been with us thus far,” said Benjamin Lee, Development Director at CD PROJEKT RED. “It’s also a chance for many new gamers to play GWENT for the first time and we’re looking forward to making the game even better with their help,” added Lee.

GWENT’s Public Beta is a fresh start for everyone. Card collections and player progress will reset to ensure gamers begin on equal footing. Everyone who participated in the Closed Beta will receive Card Kegs, as well as other in-game rewards for their activity. Additional information regarding Closed Beta participation rewards is available here.

The switch from Closed to Public Beta will entail a short technical transition period starting May 22. Until the start of Public Beta on May 24, game servers will be offline for maintenance. During this time, GWENT’sFacebook and Twitter channels will provide updates on the game’s status.

More information about GWENT is available in the FAQ section of playgwent.com

With the Witcher trilogy concluded, it is great that GWENT lives on. Card spinoffs of popular RPGs are becoming a big deal now, and this is a great addition to the field.

Will you be taking part in the GWENT beta?

 

Source: PR Email

By Jonathan Balofsky On 16 May, 2017 At 04:23 PM | Categorized As News, News, News, NINTENDO, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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This is unexpected. A new name has entered the arena of E3 as Devolver Digital will be holding a conference.

 

There are no full details yet, but this is a pretty big deal as Devolver is one of the fastest growing publishers and a new conference at E3 is always big news. Hopefully new details come soon.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

 

Does Sega truly realize what they have done?

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 15 May, 2017 At 09:34 PM | Categorized As News, News, News, NINTENDO, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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WB Games sent out the following

 

 Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment, TT Games, The LEGO Group and Marvel Entertainment today announced LEGO Marvel Super Heroes 2, an all-new, original adventure and sequel to the smash hit, LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes. Bringing together iconic Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains from different eras and realities, along with signature LEGO humor, the latest epic adventure from TT Games transports players into a cosmic battle across a myriad of Marvel locations ripped from time and space into the incredible open hub world of Chronopolis. LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2 will be available starting November 14, 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. The game will be released for Nintendo Switch this holiday.

“With a completely original branching storyline, LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2 introduces amazing new gameplay features, including the ability for characters to manipulate time and a four-player competitive Super Hero battling mode,” said Tom Stone, Managing Director, TT Games. “With a huge array of brand new characters from the Marvel Universe, including old favorites in new guises, this game is sure to thrill both LEGO and Marvel fans, as well as newcomers to the series.”

“The LEGO Group is delighted to continue the stories of the legendary Marvel characters in a new LEGO adventure,” said Sean McEvoy, VP Digital Games, The LEGO Group. “Fans young and old will love playing through this all-new cosmic saga spanning the Marvel Universe as seen through the LEGO lens.”

“As we look to bring amazing games to Marvel fans of all ages, we’ve teamed up yet again with our incredible partners at LEGO, Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and TT Games,” said Jay Ong, SVP, Games & Innovation, Marvel Entertainment. “LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2 brings characters from across Marvel’s history into an original story told in a way that only LEGO games can, offering hours of epic gameplay.”

Players will go head-to-head with the time-traveling Kang the Conqueror in an epic battle across Chronopolis, from Ancient Egypt and The Old West to Sakaar and New York City in 2099. Along the way, gamers will be able to take control of a host of iconic characters, from Cowboy Captain America from the past to Spider-Man 2099 from the future along with Thor, Hulk, the Guardians of the Galaxy, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Doctor Strange, Green Goblin, and dozens of other Marvel Super Heroes and Super Villains.

Packed with entertaining LEGO humor for fans of all ages, LEGO® Marvel Super Heroes 2 features a four player multiplayer mode, allowing friends and family to play competitively or cooperatively as a team.

 

 

This is great news, as the first game was amazing. This promises to be an even bigger adventure and the gameplay will no doubt be awesome.

Source: WB Interactive PR

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The Elder Scrolls is a beloved series that has been ongoing sine the 90’s. Each game since the first one has been set in one province of Tamriel, with the second game taking place in the kingdom of Daggerfall in High Rock, the third game in Morrowind, the fourth in Cyrodil and Oblivion and the fifth in Skyrim. There has been heavy speculation that the upcoming sixth game will be set in Valenwood and this wood be excellent, but I have a different idea. To me, it makes much more sense for the sixth game to be set in Hammerfell, the home of the Redguard people.

There are many reasons that this is the case. For one, Hammerfell is a unique setting and while parts of it are desert, it also has cities, plenty of ruins both Dwemer and Ayleid and areas like mountains, and areas similar to Skyrim, and a coastal region as well. In fact, the island of Stros M’kai would be the perfect setting for DLC with a pirate theme, as it is a base of pirates according to the series lore, much like Solstheim was for Skyrim and Morrowind. As well, the Alik’r Desert itself is described in ways that make it almost a living character in its own right, much like the terrains of Skyrim. It could have some survival elements that would make things tougher than in Skyrim which should satisfy those who felt the games have become too easy.

There are enemies that would be truly unique that are established in the lore for Hammerfell like Assassin Beetles and others. These would help establish the setting and its unique nature much like Skyrim and Morrowind did. But what would the plot be? Well, following on from Skyrim, we know that the Hammerfell is in conflict with the Aldmeri Dominion and is not on good terms with the empire. Hammerfell also borders Skyrim and there has been speculation that should the next game establish that the Stormcloaks won the civil war, the Alik’r warriors might see a connection in their struggles and seek to ally with the stormcloaks. Even if the next game establishes that the imperials won, the story could also have the Empire trying to get Hammerfell to rejoin again.

The conflict with the Thalmor would be a major plot point like before, but it doesn’t need to be the only one. Hammerfell is one of the three provinces of Tamriel where the Dwemer once lived, along with Morrowind and Skyrim. Fans have been wanting a resolution to the mystery of the Dwemer for a long time, and Skyrim confirmed the Dwemer are still out there somewhere. Interestingly, the character who reveals he has seen the Dwemer, is a Redgaurd himself. This could be the game that establishes the return of the Dwemer, and positions them as a major threat much like Skyrim was about the return of the dragons.

Morrowind had the protagonist be the Nerevarine (possibly), the reincarnation of Indoril Nerevar, and the following games also had the player character have a connection to older forces ( becoming a Sheogorath, and being the dragonborn respectively). So what would this game have for its protagonist? This is actually the easiest to answer as its established that the Redgaurd have among their gods, HoonDing, the make way god, who appears when the people need him. Instead of the Thu’um as in the previous game, this game could use Sword Singing techniques that the player can learn as you progress.

As mentioned, there is a lot of potential for DLC such as island of Stros M’kai, but DLC could also be set directly in Skyrim  or at least the parts of Hammerfell controlled by Skyrim and maybe even let you fight a dragon or two.  There is a lot of potential for the game if it is set in Hammerfell. We could get a full backstory for the Redgaurd’s beliefs ( unlike in Skyrim where they used the worship of the divines) and we could see the next step of the war with the Thalmor. It would let us directly see the fallout from Skyrim, and we could see the next step of the Elder Scrolls evolution.

I hope I have made my case for it to some of you at least.

 

Let me know what you think of this idea. I would love to find out what other fans think.

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 15 May, 2017 At 11:37 AM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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The following was sent out

 

704Games, NASCAR Team Properties’ exclusive console simulation-style video game licensee, announced today that NASCAR Heat 2, a new NASCAR racing game, will be available in North America on Sept. 12, 2017 for the PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, Xbox One and Windows PC.

NASCAR Heat 2 builds on the core experience of its predecessor, NASCAR Heat Evolution, with advancements from returning developer Monster Games. These improvements include enhanced online multiplayer, a deeper career mode, track updates, additional drivers and other features in line with the 2017 NASCAR-sanctioned national series formats.

“We’re excited to continue our relationship with Monster Games for NASCAR Heat 2,” said Paul Brooks, CEO of 704Games. “This new game will have a very different look and an enhanced overall experience that reflects the insights of actual NASCAR drivers. Over the coming months, we’ll announce additional new features that we believe will really excite our fans.”

NASCAR Heat 2 improves on the strong racing foundation established in NASCAR Heat Evolution,” said Richard Garcia, President of Monster Games. “We added a slew of new features designed to take NASCAR games back to their roots, while delivering an authentic racing experience for fans.”

704Games is again working with Toyota, an Official NASCAR Partner, for a new cover athlete competition. From now until Friday, May 19, fans can vote at www.NASCARHeat.com/CoverRace for the two Toyota drivers they want to see go head-to-head to be the face of NASCAR Heat 2. The first of these finalists to finish Stage 2 at the Monster Energy All-Star Race™ on May 20 will become the cover athlete for NASCAR Heat 2. This is the second year 704Games and Toyota have partnered to offer additional racing content to elevate the in-game experience.

“The inaugural Monster Energy All-Star Race is going to be one of the most entertaining weekends of the year,” Brooks concluded. “Being featured on the cover of a video game is an honor for any athlete. Teaming up with a forward-thinking partner like Toyota for the NASCAR Heat 2 Toyota Cover Race is a thrilling addition to up the stakes of the weekend and increase fan involvement.”

Additional information on NASCAR Heat 2 will be available throughout the summer on the game’s official website: www.NASCARHeat.com. Fans can also follow NASCAR Heat 2 on Instagram and Facebook for the latest updates.

This is some good news and I am sure racing fans will enjoy this. NASCAR deserves more licensed games, so this is a welcome addition.

Source: PR Email

By Jonathan Balofsky On 14 May, 2017 At 09:31 PM | Categorized As News, News, News, NINTENDO, PC Games, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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SEGA has a new plan to become a big name again. They have said that they realize creating titles that become global hits will be a major issue .

Sega says that to do this this, their plan is to revive classic IPs, use existing IPs and also use external IPs. This will be done through numerous development channels, which include mobile, PC, and game consoles. The aim is for major projects to have a global simultaneous release.

This is exciting news, what could they be reviving? Perhaps a new Shinobi from Platinum Games? A new Streets of Rage? We will have to wait and see.

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