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I love classic style turn based RPGs. There is something about them that just takes me back to an older era and lets me enjoy myself without worrying about all new combat mechanics ( for the most part), and one company that makes this style of game still is KEMCO. I noted in my review of their game Revenant Saga that KEMCO had begun to move out of their paint by numbers approach to making RPGs. While the games they made are great, they had a problem of being formulaic and not deviating much. They were fun to play and lose yourself in for hours but eventually they all became the same. Revenant Saga brought some refreshing change and now Antiquia Lost pushes them further in that new direction.

Antiquia Lost follows a bit of the typical KEMCO formula but plays with it so much, that it becomes new. The game eschews the 3D battle screens KEMCO has been using lately, in favor of a classic 16 bit style battle screen. Its a nice touch and helps the general feeling of the game :making . I must also note that the visuals are surprisingly excellent on Switch, with the art looking sharper than in previous games. I must say though, that I am not happy about the miscrotransactions being in the console versions, as it feels like a step back from KEMCO’s work with consoles. Still they can be ignored, but locking some staples behind a paywall doesn’t feel right.

Antiquia Lost introduces new play mechanics as well, but keeps them grounded in their previous games and they don’t feel overwhelming. I do like that the way the characters interact is different, and using a different character is much more involved this time. The story of the game also immediately deviates from KEMCO’s normal pattern and I must commend them for that. Right away we are given an experience that uses what KEMCO utilized before, but doesn’t stay firmly in the past. Instead, Antiquia Lost takes what was done and uses those ideas to chart a new path, and it is a most excellent journey. It doesn’t overwhelm you and it is familiar enough while still being a fresh experience. Even with the flaw of microtransactions, I recommend it.

 

 

Disclaimer: A review key was provided by KEMCO

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No one did arcade games like SNK with the Neo Geo. Everything with them was on a completely different level than the rest of the industry, with games that were both intense and fun. Sports games on the Neo Geo often took sports that didn’t seem like they would action packed and made it work, like with Neo Turf Masters. So imagine what they could do with Soccer/Football, a game known for its passionate fans.

Soccer Brawl was like an early predecessor to later games like Sega’s Soccer Slam and Super Mario Strikers/Mario Smash Football. It was less of a sports game, rather than an action game that used sports as basis for the action. The game is set in the future with soccer that is played with bionic people or cyborgs as the players. And with that description, how can this not be awesome?

Soccer Brawl is is a two-player game where your team is representing one of eight countries,. These countries are Germany, Japan, Brazil, The United States, Italy, Spain, England and South Korea. After selecting a team, you will then select one of two stadiums which will be a dome or an open field. Then you begin with a 5-on-5 match and the action gets intense. Forget all the rules for the game, because in this, there are no fouls and anything goes. This makes the game much closer to an intense brawler than you would expect.

Many cite Midway’s arcade sports games as being the games that defined what an arcade style sports game should be. Those people should look instead to SNK and games like this, because Soccer Brawl makes NBA Jam look tame in comparison. SNK threw out any pretense of realism and made it all about fun and action. This is a game that sadly hasn’t received the attention it deserves. Neo Turf Masters is well known ( deservedly so) and I cannot understand why Soccer Brawl doesn’t also get as much attention. Every modern sports game that uses arcade style action to differentiate itself ends up owing something to this game. I urge you all to check it out as it has just been released via Arcade Archives on modern systems. This is a damn good game, and one that I would love to see SNK revisit in the future.  It is too good to just be left in the past.

 

 

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Two things have stood out as key ingredients for a wonderful time in childhood, Comics and Lego. Both are tools of imagination and open the mind up to new possibilities we would not have considered before. This is why, despite many criticizing the Lego Adaptation Games, I love them immensely. They are a great take on the various media they adapt and often serve as a gateway series. The criticisms the games get often end up missing the point of the games. They are not meant to be pure adaptations, but celebrations that merge different methods to tell a tribute story.

Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 continues this tradition of merging different forms of creativity, and gives us a new world to explore that is once again a celebration of all things Marvel Comics. The first thing I must say is that the game is absolutely gorgeous. The visuals are well done and stand out so beautifully, creating a real comic book Lego feeling, which suits the setting perfectly. Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 brings in more characters from both the movies and the comics like Spider-Gwen and even makes some new ones, without giving spoilers, I was surprised to see some unique fusions of other characters.

Lego Marvel Superheroes 2 uses some new abilities, which are tied into the main storyline of the game. This time around, Kang The Conqueror is attacking not just the main universe but several universes and timelines. Taking inspiration from a certain other villain, he is capturing and taking cities  from these locations and merging them into his realm of Chronopolis in order to take over the world. However, this also means many heroes are there to fight back and try and stop him.

Chronopolis is a city of time which gives the player the ability to manipulate time and go to various locations and eras. You can travel to classic locations from the comics, and other media versions of Marvel Comics and this is a real treat for the fans. From going to the Noir universe, to a medieval era, there is something for every Marvel Comics fan here. This is also a great way to introduce younger players to the world of Marvel Comics, and I must say that this would be an excellent game for parents to play with their children. It is a game that will appeal to both generations and players of all kinds.

There is also a four-player competitive super hero battling mode in the game, which enables players to fight each other in battle arenas. This isn’t a main attraction for the game, but it is a great side mode and offers some great replay fun. In general the game has very few flaws, but I do feel that one issue is that the camera feels awkward at times, for me at least. This is not a deal breaker, but the camera, and in fact a few other minor control issues do pop up from time to time, along with an audio issue, but that is a lot more rare. Still, I do know these will be patched soon, and the game is one of the best in terms of design, but this is still something I have to mention.

Overall, I feel Lego Marvel Super Heroes 2 is one of the best Lego adaptation games ever done. It is a loving tribute to everything Marvel Comics, while also bringing some new ideas to the games overall. If you are a comic fan, or a parent of a young child, this is a must play. For those who just want a fun game, this is also a good choice to consider.

 

 

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Disclaimer: A review key was provided by the publisher.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 21 Nov, 2017 At 08:57 PM | Categorized As News, News, News, NINTENDO, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Bloodstained: Ritual of The Night will be coming out sometime in 2018. Development seems to be nearing the end, and the developers are now asking for fan input on bonus lines and content they are interested in seeing. This is mainly in terms of Easter Eggs and such and not major changes.

They also noted they are accepting more than one submission, and all they ask is that the submissions be impressive to them.

They sent out the following tweet

Will you submit an idea?

 

We will have a review of Bloodstained: Ritual of The Night when the game launches in 2018 (Disclaimer: This author was a backer of the kickstarter)

 

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 21 Nov, 2017 At 04:10 PM | Categorized As News, PlayStation, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Aksys Games has announced that Under Night In-Birth EXE:Late[ST] will be getting released in the west on PS4, PS3 and PS Vita in February 2018.

They made the announcement via the tweet below.

 

 

Will you be getting this?

By Jonathan Balofsky On 19 Nov, 2017 At 09:52 PM | Categorized As News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The King of Fighters XIV is not done yet.

SNK’s newest fighting game masterpiece will be bringing in a new DLC character and stage.  The character will be a Saudi Arabia-themed fighter and the stage will be a Masmak fort stage.

This DLC is the result of a contest held by the company Manga Productions in the Middle East to design a character and stage to appear in a fighting game. Over 300 entries were received from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, and so on.

This new DLC will be coming soon but no date was given. It is great to see the world of fighting games getting even more international.

 

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 17 Nov, 2017 At 05:56 AM | Categorized As News, News, NINTENDO, PlayStation, ROG News | With 1 Comment

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Arc System Works has revealed three new characters for BlazBlue: Cross Tag Battle. Yukiko Amagi from the persona series,, Gordeau from Under Night In-Birth and Azrael from BlazBlue.

 

See the trailer below.

 

The game is looking amazing and will be a must play next year!

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The quirky and off beat shoot em up Ice Cream Surfer will be coming to Switch, PS4 and PS Vita very soon. This was revealed by the developer on twitter.

 

Ice Cream Surfer is a unique shoot em up that is certainly different. Will you be checking this out?

By Jonathan Balofsky On 15 Nov, 2017 At 05:56 PM | Categorized As News, News, NINTENDO, PlayStation, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Bluehole, the publisher of Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds have revealed some interesting news.  They will be working on a new IP that will be developed for the Nintendo Switch and PS4. This game will be targeted for the Asian market.

Bluehole noted that this is being done due to the massive success of PUBG.

Hopefully we will see this new IP soon.

 

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By Jonathan Balofsky On 14 Nov, 2017 At 05:47 PM | Categorized As News, News, News, NINTENDO, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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The future is looking bright for SNK. The company shared their official financial statements today,  and revealed some very good news. SNK has returned to profit in 2017 despite losing 558 million yen FY 2016. This change in fortune can be attributed to SNK moving away from pachinko and back to game development.

CEO Koichi Toyama has decided that SNK would return to their roots as a game developer and rebranded and SNK from SNK Playmore  as part of the return. Their first major effort was The King of Fighters XIV, which has been doing well for the company, especially on the esports scene. Hopefully SNK keeps this up, because they make great games and the industry is better with them in it.

 

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