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By Jonathan Balofsky On 16 Jan, 2018 At 09:21 AM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The Nintendo Switch has accomplished things thought impossible. Companies that have traditionally not worked with Nintendo have come on board and brought with them some amazing games. One of these is a port of 2016’s DOOM. But how does a powerhouse game hold up on Nintendo’s hybrid system?

I was excited for the port of DOOM from the beginning but was worried about how it would perform. The Switch is not as powerful as the PS4 and Xbox One, let alone high end PCs, so there was reason to worry. However, I am delighted to say that the game proves what I said at the very beginning: Nintendo Switch accomplishes things thought to be impossible. DOOM is a technical marvel on the Switch, both in docked and handheld mode. While sacrifices have been made to ensure optimal performance, the game is still here and still feels as fast paced and smooth as ever. It may be half the FPS of the other versions, but still retains the feel of intensity.

There are some issues I do have, mainly that Snapmap is not included. This was my favourite part of the original release, and the improvements that were made on it since release made it even better. It is sorely missed in this version, and I hope it can eventually come later. What I do like however, is that the multiplayer was not gimped in any way. This ensured that the Switch would have a great multiplayer shooter and I feel DOOM has performed well in that regard. The Switch seems to allow the multiplayer to stand out more for now, mainly due to the lack of competition in the market, but I was shocked how well fans took to it. It seems the improvements made over the original release were appreciated by making a new first impression.

DOOM is a great game and an amazing port on Switch. It may not have Snapmap but it has everything else and it plays great. Even the arcade mode just works well when you want to play for a few minutes while on the go. Portable DOOM wasn’t thought to be a good idea, but Bethesda and Panic Button proved everyone wrong. I highly recommend this!

By Jonathan Balofsky On 11 Jan, 2018 At 11:06 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Like many, I miss the days of classic 3D platformers such as Banjo-Kazooie and others from Rare. I was therefore delighted when several former Rare employees for Playtonic Games and announced Yooka-Laylee as a spiritual sequel. My eagerness for the game was lessened after hearing about the issues many had after launch, but I was determined to make my own opinion.

Well, Yooka-Laylee is certainly an interesting experience from start to finish, but I do not know if that is a good thing. The game starts out strong, with many callbacks to its spiritual ancestor, but issues arise almost immediately. To begin, I must address the camera issues that have plagued many. The camera feels like its taken from the N64 era and not in a good way. It interferes with the game and causes you to miss jumps and attacks. There is an option to change the camera movements, but this only helps a bit. But the camera isn’t the only issue, as aiming projectiles is much harder than it needs to be. I can never aim in the right direction and the projectiles constantly go where I was not aiming. Add to that, the fact that in several areas there are platforming scenarios that combine these two problems, and you have a recipe for frustration.

It is not all bad though, as the spirit of 90’s Rare is here. I do feel there is a good game that could have been, but the full vision was simply not realized. There were several moments such as certain boss battles, where I really did get a nostalgic feeling for Banjo-Kazooie, but then the uneven parts hit and I was ripped from the past. I feel Yooka-Laylee could have been a great game but perhaps it simply had too much pressure on the developers. Taken as a standalone game, it isn’t perfect but is more forgivable besides the camera and projectile issues, and could have been better received if not for expectations.

That being said, I find I have a hard time putting the game down. I do not know what it is, as I am often frustrated by it, but will keep returning to it in the end. I genuinely was not expecting to react to Yooka-Laylee that way, and that tells me that even if the game is flawed it definitely has that special something that keeps you from staying away. Maybe it is the amazing music from Grant Kirkhope that expertly recreates the mood of BK while adding in its own sense of identity, but the game does have a charm that works for it. In the end, I know I will keep coming back to this and that is an accomplishment for any game.

 

 

Disclaimer: A review code was provided

By Jonathan Balofsky On 5 Jan, 2018 At 09:17 AM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The Horus Heresy: Betrayal at Calth is  the latest game from indie developers and publishers Steel Wool Studio. Based on the board game Betrayal at Calth, the game details the events of the Ultramarines being betrayed by the World Bearers on Calth, which then caused a schism in the Imperium.  In this game, you will take control of Magos Sarc and a squad of Ultramarines in an attempt to recover from the attack on Calth.

The game is soon to be released in early access and it shows. It has user interface is a mix of standard 2D overlay and semi-transparent 3D overlays that comes across as dated. Hopefully it is changed in the final release, but right now it is not the best. There is also very little information about units and abilities It is clear that the game is still early in development, and given that the early access release was delayed, it makes me suspect that the developers realized it is not ready yet. There are no tooltips or information screens like you would expect, and a lot of the game is trial and error.

 

Another issue is the animations of the game. They are somewhat lackluster and have no variations. Attacking feels lifeless and underwhelming, and just shows how unfinished everything is. Again, I realize how this is soon to be an early access title, but a game like this just feels too soon for early access, and I am glad the developers delayed the planned release. Calth just feels empty at this point, when it should be a fully realized part of the Imperium. It doesn’t feel like there was just a major attack, and in truth, it doesn’t give any real impression which is not good for a WH40K game. This isn’t even mentioning the camera issues and graphical glitches of which there are many.

The worst part is that the game doesn’t feel optimized at all yet. I have a decent computer rig and yet the game caused several issues with overheating and more than one CTD. This interfered with the gameplay available and made it difficult to continue. Speaking of the gameplay, the outdated methods of control are an issue, but so is the fact that the game is just not fully reliable yet. Doing the actions required is more of a chore than it needs to be, which made me want to stop playing.

I know I sound harsh, but I do want to praise the developers for realizing the game had issues and delaying the early access launch. Hopefully this can be fixed and the game can truly flourish because there are seeds of a good game here. It just is unpolished right now, but can be good.. I will post more impressions as updates come, leading to a full review.

 

Disclaimer: A review key was provided.

By Stark Wyvern On 3 Jan, 2018 At 01:38 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, PC Games, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Have you ever wanted to fly a ship through a body, taking out vile entities? Well, Transcripted might just be the game for you. In this game you fly a ship through a body taking out cells that want you dead, while matching. Yes, while this game might be a match 3, it marries itself well with a space ship shooter.

As you fly through this damaged body, you must destroy viruses, and transcript them accordingly. Blasting a virus will give you a new piece to the puzzle and that is always good. It can get interesting when you are being shot at and still must try to solve the puzzle before you. You never know what’s coming next so you always have to keep an eye on the enemies as they appear.

Transcripted is an interesting game and one that I honestly wouldn’t have thought I would enjoy. It’s an interesting shooter on its own but with the match 3 element it really changes the game. I would honestly highly reccommend this game to just about anyone who likes either or both of these elements. Besides the interesting gameplay fusion there are many other good things about this game. There are 25 levels to beat and 5 different challenge modes. This will obviously offer up a lot of game play. As you progress through the story you will even be able to upgrade your ship. The cool thing is that it is completely customizable so you can choose how you want to progress. The music is also quite lovely and really helps to keep the game pleasant.

All in all Transcripted is a lovely game, that is isn’t too expensive. It will offer you alot of content and sometimes a cheap game full of content is just what the doctor ordered. So, what are you waiting for, there is probe that needs to fly through a body, and you are the only one who can do the job!

Transcripted is out now on Steam and Nintendo Switch!

By Jonathan Balofsky On 2 Jan, 2018 At 11:25 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Mega Man may have recently had a new game announced, but there was a long time the series went without a game. In that time period there were those who tried to make spiritual sequels to the series, with the most well known being the infamous Mighty No 9. However, while that game got all the attention from the media, another game was slowly building up a fanbase and showing off some true indie spirit. That game was 20XX, and is what I feel to be the true spiritual sequel to Mega Man.

20XX is an action platformer like its inspiration, and perfectly captures the feel of Mega Man that so many others have tried and failed to do. It has a perfect art style and a wonderful soundtrack, but best of all, the gameplay is so refined that the game ends up feeling like a “Best of” Mega Man game, in that it takes the best parts from each game. Its obvious inspiration is the X series, but there are plenty of tributes to the other series as well.

20XX differs from those series in a major way though, in that the game is more akin to a 2D procedurally generated rougelike adapted to the Mega Man formula. This is both its greatest strength and its greatest weakness, since each playthrough is different. Its a positive in that no two playthroughs will be the same, and this essentially gives us near endless variety of levels to indulge in. But its weakness is in the fact that with the Mega Man series, there was a familiarity to the environment. This is especially true in the X series that 20XX pays homage to, as the environments would be impacted by what you did in other stages. It is therefore a bit of a tradeoff, but while I personally prefer individually crafted levels, I can see the value in what was done here.

I also want to comment about the co-op modes. It was extremely fun playing online and this is an area in which 20XX far exceeds anything done by the series that inspired it. I have to say that while 20XX wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be, it grew on me fast. Yes, I was not found of procedurally generated levels, but I did manage to learn to appreciate them in the game. if you have an itch for that classic game feel but with a  modern bent, then 20XX is the game for you.

Note: A Code was provided as part of IndieXmas

By Stark Wyvern On 2 Jan, 2018 At 10:41 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Deer God, is a beautifully crafted game released recently for Nintendo Switch. This game is just so well crafted in its 8bit style that I just find it so appealing. This game really does make you one with a deer and that is a nice change of pace. I honestly would not have thought I’d find myself enjoying playing such a game as a deer but here I am. Deer God tells the story of a hunter who has killed too many. A regular man out in the forest trying to hunt, presumably not for sustenance finds himself at the feet of the Deer God. This God has had it up to here, with this man, and decides its time to punish him. The man is suddenly transformed and wakes up a fawn.

As a fawn you have free reign of a forested world to run around and do in as you please. Though this forest is something special, as it truly is in the domain of the Deer God. You can even learn special abilities from the other Deer. It really is interesting seeing you talk to deer and them telling you all the secrets of the forest. Obviously they just know you are a deer, but its actually a man, who is learning how amazing deer can be.

Deer God, is all about this hunter working to fix his transgressions, or keep on keeping on as it were. There is a legitimate Good and Evil system in place. This makes me happy for a few reasons, as it lets you know the score. You can simply kill everything and be deemed the worst, and suddenly you are a porcupine who can’t jump. I mean you aren’t defenseless but this is a platformer and you will certainly meet your doom. If you decide to be good, you can complete quests, and solve puzzles. These puzzles will unlock new skills and let you progress in the game. You really need to only kill the vicious animals as they are the ones that mean you harm. There are even nice humans who may ask for your help and it would behoove you to help them too.

This game is a simply beautiful one, and one that you could play for hours. It will tell you how far you have traveled in the game and your deer will in fact age, the longer you play as it. This leads to its own kind of scoring system, where you can track how long you’ve been playing as a certain deer. In fact as you play if your deer meets a lady deer, it may even give you an offspring. This is another life, though I found my offspring died quite easily, as they follow their father.

Deer God, is a simply majestic game and one that I just find to be utterly relaxing. This game will really show you how peaceful life can be as a deer. It’s also nice to imagine hunters being turned into deer, and learning that maybe shooting for fun, isn’t such a good thing to take part in. All in all, Deer God is a game worth playing, and if you have will suggest you do it, go on, it might redeem someone.

 

Disclaimer: A review code was provided

By Jonathan Balofsky On 31 Dec, 2017 At 08:27 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Gauntlet is one of those absolute classic videogames. The kind that have inspired generations of gamers and led to many more games bearing its influence. From games like Diablo to God of War, many action games take their direction from Gauntlet and that tradition continues in Hammerwatch.

Hammerwatch starts out by having you select your class from the various choices, each with their own pros and cons. Choosing the character that best fits your playstyle is the key to succeeding, for example, I will always choose a melee character as that is the playstyle I developed while playing these types of game. Hammerwatch makes the choices feel right almost immediately, and gives you the chance to truly understand how to play.

I have to say, that I truly appreciate this kind of game being on Switch, even if this is not the best version of the game. The framerate is not as good as on other platforms, but that is an acceptable compromise. What is more annoying is having the enemies not being fully visible sometimes while playing. These hack’n’slash games require you to see the enemies so you can progress, but when they blend in with the background too much, that creates a major issue.

However, I am pleased to say that this was the only real issue I had with the game. It played just like the evolution of Gauntlet that I have wanted, and I daresay it is more true to the arcade original, than some recent Gauntlet games. The expansions on the concepts, and new paths to pursue are a welcome idea, and interacting more does help expand the immersion. Plus this game is excellent to play with friends, as it is one of the best co-op games on the system. I say that because this is a game that truly recaptures that classic feel from the golden age of gaming when you are at the arcade with friends, and I do not feel that is done often.

Hammerwatch is a game that just makes me want to keep coming back. It is an indie game that surpasses its inspiration and takes it to heights never done before. Despite the issue I had with enemy visibility, I do feel that Hammerwatch is an amazing game. There are multiple modes to play in the game, and you will even want to try the other classes. This isn’t even mentioning, that there is more planned by the developers. If you have a Switch, then check out Hammerwatch. You will be in for a great time, either by yourself or with your friends. This is gaming at its purest!

 

Disclaimer: A review code was provided

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Nintendo has always tried something new and innovative with their games, for better or worse. One major attempt at trying something new was the Satellaview add-on. Thus was a way to bring new games through satellite broadcasts, and brought new versions of several games like The Legend of Zelda and F- Zero. The intention was that these could only be played during the broadcast time , and afterwards they were gone for good. These were only available in Japan and not released anywhere else.

Now fast forward several years and fans outside Japan have learned of these games and developed an interest in them. The most well known Satellaview games are the Zelda games, which are remakes of the first game and A Link to the Past, complete with new content and stories. The latter, known as the Ancient Stone Tablets, has been restored and fan translated, allowing new players to try them.

Zelda wasn’t the only series to get this treatment however, as there was also a Satellaview version of Excitebike  which had a lot of new content. There was a major change to in this version where the racers were replaced by Mario characters, and also included a “SUPER” mode where the player has unlimited turbo, as well as the addition of coins. The coins are spread out on the courses and increase top speed, very similar to the Mario Kart series. Yes there was a Mario Kart-like Excitbike well before Mario Kart 8.

Other games for the Satellaview were F-zero sequels that had new tracks and vehicles. More importantly however, they included a track editor if you were bored of what was offered already. It was way ahead of its time and yet the game can only be found via rom dumps. Then there are the Mario Paint games, Super Mario Bros, Wario’s Woods, Wizardry, Super E.D.F., Kirby, Harvest Moon and Square Enix RPGs on the service. All of these games had something new to them and yet players outside Japan never got to experience them. These include games like Dragon Quest 1, which actually got a SNES remake this way in Japan. This disappointing that the were not ever brought to the west but this got me thinking, that ff the games’ source codes still exist, should Nintendo and the other publishers/developers bring them back now?

Obviously for some games this would require localization and may not be worth it, such as for the minor games. For a series like Zelda on the other hand, there would definitely be a market. The Chrono Trigger games brought to Satellaview would definitely be big sellers for Square Enix, along with the Dragon Quest remake. The games like the F-Zero sequels and Excitebike. have some great new content that players outside Japan would love to play. If these games could be brought over to the Nintendo Switch eShop when the online service for classic games launches, they would be some of the top selling games. VS Excitebike and The Mysterious Mursame Castle prove there is a market for the games by being big sellers when they were brought to the Wii U and 3DS eshops respectively,

I truly hope Nintendo does consider this, as not only would gamers in the west be thrilled to finally play these games, but it would also open up new fandoms and generate new sales. It might be labour intensive, but it is a risk worth taking.

 

Disclaimer: The above was the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect that of Real Otaku Gamer or its staff.

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 28 Dec, 2017 At 09:50 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Reviews, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Rougelike RPGs are making a comeback in various ways. From games like Legend of Grimrock and Heroes of the Monkey Tavern that are inspired by classics like Eye of the Beholder, to newer takes on the genre like Etrian Odyssey, there is always something new. I truly enjoy playing these games, but I always want to see something new or done in a new way by them and I may have found a game that does just that.

DragonFangZ – The Rose & Dungeon of Time is a Rougelike RPG with a heavy JRPG and anime influence and tells the story of a half dragon girl and her fair companion. They must travel through dungeons to find their way home, defeating enemies and levelling up along the way. The gameplay is rather interesting since, in addition to taking place on grid based levels from a top down perspective, the game manages to evoke the feelings of a first person dungeon crawler as well.

You can move in multiple directions and attack from an angle which is a nice touch, but what makes the game stand out is the fang system. You can equip different fangs dropped by enemies and these will have different impacts on your character and abilities. There is a neat collection aspect here and this offers incentive to replay and retry consistently, in order to try more combinations. In that, the game takes influence from some modern JRPGs that have similar mechanics, but applying this idea to a rougelike works wonderfully.

The detailed item system is another standout, as while you will get new items and weapons, you wont know what kind of weapon it is until you identify them. You might find a great upgrade or a lower quality weapon and it is rather random. You will also find tools to identify items faster and magic tomes as well, which offers some more familiarity.

The game is not all perfect though, as the controls are rather slippery at times, leading to attacking in the wrong direction occasionally. I also noticed a few bugs here and there when traversing areas that I should not have been able to pass but did, and vice versa.

However, these flaws do not get in the way of the game. The dragon timer gives you an incentive to get through the levels quickly, since you will start to automatically take damage as soon as it expires. However, the game also gives incentive to explore the dungeons at the same time, which ends up making you want to replay the levels over and over, even if they are randomly generated.

In conclusion, DragonFangZ – The Rose & Dungeon of Time is an imperfect but still excellent rougelike RPG. It tries new ideas and offers great innovations on the genre, which is very welcome. If you have a Switch and want a rougelike to play, then DragonFangZ – The Rose & Dungeon of Time is the game for you!

 

Disclaimer: A review code was provided

By Jonathan Balofsky On 28 Dec, 2017 At 12:54 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, Reviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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At this point, my love of fighting games should be well apparent. I have spoken about my love of games like King of Fighters, Guilty Gear and more, and now the time has come to discuss Arcana Heart 3 LOVEMAX SIXSTARS!!!!!!, an upgraded version of the original release. This version comes with some new content including such as the dlc characters and new ones and new arcana, and slightly tweaks and refinements to the original release.

Arcana Heart has always been a series full of intense action made playable on an accessible level with enough unique content to differentiate itself from the rest of the pack. The Arcana mechanics can be difficult to grasp at first, leaving some new players feeling overwhelmed initially. However, the more you play, the more you will grasp how things work. Arcana Heart 3 LOVEMAX SIXSTARS!!!!!! adds a new Arcana to the mix as well, so there is still room to learn and grow.

The visuals and bright and fluid and stand out well. These games just have a gorgeous art style and always seem to show off the best visuals of this style of game, The music is excellent as well, and helps keep the action passed perfectly. There is just something about the soundtrack that really helps you get into the fight.

There are some issues to mention though with Arcana Heart 3 LOVEMAX SIXSTARS!!!!!! and the first is the online. It isn’t bad per se, but it feels a bit dated considering there are better types of online fighting connections these days. It is definitely good and playable, but just doesn’t seems to reach the heights it could.

The other issue though, is that Arcana Heart 3 LOVEMAX SIXSTARS!!!!!! may not have enough content to justify purchasing again if you bought the original game. It has new content yes, and some great tweaks, but this might not be enough to sell you on the game. If you are new to the game altogether, then this is the perfect entry to try. Those who have played it before however, might want to give this some thought. It is certainly an amazing experience, and some of the best action ever, but just be aware of what there is.

As it stands, I do like Arcana Heart 3 LOVEMAX SIXSTARS!!!!!! and feel this is one of the best of the genre right now. It stands out compared to some big names on the market and easily holds its own. If you have never tried the series before, this is the game for you.

Disclaimer: A review code was provided.