Thursday, February 28, 2013

H.i.v.e. (XBLIG): "A Visually Pleasing Strategic Board Game"

When I first got the request from Sean Colombo of "BlueLine Game Studios" I was honestly skeptical. I've seen board games come, and go on the XBLIG marketplace. I have even reviewed one or two of them here. For the most part the board game based indies you'll find are neat in their own respect, but these newer generations of gamers love the more ultra-violent, and action packed games offered today. It's a sad truth that becomes more evident with time. As I first got into the game via the solo aspect (2 Player Pass and Play) of "H.i.v.e." I thought, "Dude, what have I gotten myself into!?". Thankfully Sean Colombo (The Developer) was willing to play some online matches with me. After spending a little over 30 minutes playing five matches with him my thoughts turned from dread, to excitement. The game was both fun, and engaging. It's not often that you'll find an indie board game this fun. Hopefully through my following review I will be able to properly relay what this game is all about.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Pinball FX2 (XBLA): "Star Wars Pinball"

In 1977 George Lucas brought to light one of the most highly, and significantly influential sci-fi film sagas ever to grace the entertainment industry. Through this cinematic creation George Lucas set the standard for how a sci-fi film should be created. Many new Star Wars related story archs spawned from this award winning film franchise following the success of the original trilogy's theatrical release, and are still being introduced to this day. Star Wars related merchandise, clothing, novels, and even video game spin-offs have come, and gone over the years. To say Star Wars was popular would be an obvious understatement. Even too this day Star Wars has one of the largest cult followings of any sci-fi related fiction. You likely won't find many people who havn't heard of the many characters that make up the Star Wars universe. Often times you'll even find tons of new internet, and store content relating to the original trilogy, and it's many successors. Recently news about a new Star Wars movie was also leaked.

It's no surprise that a pinball giant such as Zen Studios would pay homage to the greatness that is Star Wars as well. In fact that's the reason why I'm here typing up this review for you today. In an unexpected, and most Awesome turn of events Zen Studios partnered up with Lucas Films in order to bring to us faithful 'Pinball FX2' players an official set of Star Wars movie tribute tables. Through inside information I have found out that there will be a total of 10 Star Wars themed tables released over time. The first set will be a mixture of the old, and new Star Wars film related features. In the following paragraphs I will give you a brief history on each of the table's themes. I'll also do a descriptive breakdown on all the features that each table has to offer. Without further adieu, sit back, relax and prepare yourself for one hell of an interesting read!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Persona 4 - The Ultimate in Mayonaka Arena / Persona 4 Arena (PSN/PS3)

First thing's first. I would like to thank the two people who made this review possible. The first person, Isako Tsuburai of Arc System Works has been more helpful to me than any other PR I've ever worked with. This Japanese PR has gone out of their way numerous times to help me with my inquiries pertaining to various Arc System Works releases. Without their help I would have gotten nowhere fast. Thank you Isako! You have been a godsend. Secondly I'd like to thank Alex Armour of Atlus for providing the code for review purposes. Without Alex following through with the code this review, once again would have not been a possibility. Both representatives are definitely awesome in my book, and I hope to continue working with them in the future. It's not often that you'll find such high ranked gaming PRs who are willing to work with smaller journalistic outlets such as the one I provide. I definitely find myself very fortunate in those respects.

Without further delay though I am here to get a job done, and that's what I intend on doing. I hope that you enjoy reading the following review of "Persona 4 Arena", and that it's an informative experience that will help you in your decision on whether, or not the game is worth the asking price.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Serious Sam Double D XXL (XBLA): "A Content Packed Indie With An XBLA Facade"

In 2011, prior to the release of "Serious Sam 3: BFE" it was announced through various media outlets that Croteam was partnering up with some indie developers on a promotional project. This project included three Serious Sam spin-offs from three different indie game developers. One of the developers would be releasing a Serious Sam title as a "runner" type of game for mobile devices. It would be called "Serious Sam: Kamikaze Attack!". Another game that was scheduled for release was a turn based Serious Sam RPG titled, "Serious Sam: The Random Encounter". As of now I do not know whether, or not either of these games ever seen the light of day. One thing is for certain though, "Serious Sam 3: BFE" was released before the indie spin-offs were. The third, and final indie spin-off I'm here to review today will be released on the 20th of this month. It's a 2D sides-crolling platformer by the ever popular XBLIG developer, "Mommy's Best Games", and "Devolver Digital". The game is not entirely unique though since it was previously released as a STEAM title. With that being said though, "Mommy's Best Games" did go out of their way to add some additional content for the gamers.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Undead Empire: Hellfire (XBLIG): "Sequel to Big Rook Game's Apocalyptic Horror-Survival Shmup!!!"

During my time as an XBLIG journalist I've played a handful of noteworthy top-down zombie shmups (shoot'em ups). Whether it was "Claustrophobia", "Block Zombies", or "Attack of the Zombie Horde" each game stood alone as a somewhat unique experience that entertained me for quite some time after my initial review. Big Rook Game's latest sequel, "Undead Empire: Hellfire" also provided such fun induced playthroughs as the previously mentioned games did. While I have never played the original title I was definitely glad to see that the developer included recap of the last game's plot during the intro sequence. It helped me to understand what exactly it was that my chosen character was fighting for. In this particular series it turns out that the zombie apocalypse was started by a mad scientist whose plan was thwarted by 6 unique individuals who were trying desperately to save mankind from the threat. As you can imagine the story did not end with the first game. The fight began anew as the reality of six heroes situation presented itself in a very unlikely manner.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Undead Empire: Hellfire (XBLIG) Release Contest!!!

This morning I received some Awesome news from the PR who works with Big Rook Games, Andrew Peggs. The email detailed a release contest that involves their latest XBLIG release "Undead Empire: Hellfire". The prizes are plenty, and some of them are surprisingly quite expensive. I figured I would share the original email with everyone since it better explains what the contest is all about. You'll also find a link to the contest within the copy & pasted email. I hope that you will give the game a chance, and try your hardest to win some of the prizes. I wish you guys & gals the best of luck. May the best zombie slayer win!!!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Special Forces: Team X (XBLA): "An Impressive Mashup Of Various Shooter Genres"

Atari, and Zombie Studios have worked together to bring us what could be best described as a third person cover based shooter. The game itself seems to borrow what's great from other popular shooter titles, and make a unique experience with the well known game mechanics. There's definitely a hint of games like "Borderlands", "Call of Duty", and even a tiny fraction of "HALO" thrown into the mix. If I had to compare it to any shooter series though it would definitely be more like that of the "Gears of War" series. The cover-to-cover combat is definitely the game's more prominent feature, and focal point. While the game definitely borrows some ideas it still stands alone as a unique gaming experience.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Good Morning Everyone!

I thought I'd do things a little differently this morning. I know I usually give you guys & gals a greeting via twitter, but I thought Doing a greeting from my blog would work just as well. In the mornings I find that I'm quite the handsome devil. As conceited as that may sound it's the truth. I find that snapping photos during the daytime tends to show my more hideous side, so a morning mirror image works out much better. I'm not sure if it's a curse or what, but looking in the mirror in the morning shows a reflection of the beautiful me while snapping a direct photo displays my more horrific self. Different mirrors also show different reflections (^.^). I guess the reason I'm saying all this is it's about time for a new "OtakuDante" photo to be released. Aren't you guys & gals so lucky (^.^). Anyways ... I hope you enjoy this new photo, and the morning greeting that accompanies it ...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Arcadecraft (XBLIG): "Run Your Own Virtual Arcade!!!"

As a youngster I often took advantage of family trips to Kmart, the movie theater, and the local mall. These were the only arcade sources that were available in my area unfortunately. The good thing was that these sources kept some impressive up-to-date arcade cabinets in stock for shoppers to enjoy. I was able play games like Street Fighter Alpha, Tekken 5 & 6, Soul Calibur, Killer Instinct, and even Samurai Showdown III: Blades of Blood. I ended up spending a sh*t ton of quarters whenever I got the chance to do so. It was a public outlet that allowed me to compete against other gamers I never knew of. Keep in mind this was long before online gaming ever came into play. Looking back those were definitely some of my greatest gaming days. I guess my point in reminiscing is that Arcade venues are becoming a thing of the past. These days you only hear about the stories from gamers who actually lived their lives playing at the arcades. Thanks to 'FireBase Ind.' though we now have a cool little indie game that breathes life into the arcade legends of old. While it may not mirror the experience it offers the gamer a peek into what it was like to run such a business. In essence it's an homage to an almost extinct genre of gaming.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Skulls of the Shogun (XBLA): "The Arcade Game That Could Have Been An Indie"

You guys have heard me complain about PRs in the past, and having to deal with them, so I will not got into a rant about dealing with 17Bit. I will however say that thanks to my good friend WOLFZKRIEGER I was able to gain a code for this latest XBLA title. 17Bit totally ignored me, so they will not be getting any credit from me. If it weren't for my friend you would not be reading this following review from me. As such my thanks goes out to my friend WOLFZKRIEGER for being so generous. I hope that one day I can share a code with him as well. With all of that aside let us delve deep into the world of the interesting XBLA strategy hybrid that is "Skulls of the Shogun"!