Thursday, August 29, 2013

Magicians and Looters (XBLIG)

If someone were to take the wacky character interactions from the "Harry Potter" series, and mix them with "Castlevania: SotN" you'd more than likely have the game that Morgopolis Studios has created. Their indie game appropriately titled "Magicians and Looters" takes elements from retro "Metroidvania" style games, and adds pun filled humor to build up the story at hand. That story of course involves an unusual cast of young magician apprentices, an elder wizard, and an evil sorcerer who is hellbent on ruining the day. As the gamer you will guide three chosen students known as Vienna, Nyn, and Brent as they traverse various danger filled locations in order to try to rescue their headmaster Versimos from the evil Lord Skree. Along the way you will be collecting loot, and relics of power as you make your way across the connected rooms that make up the students' world. Ultimately one of the students will face off against the evil Lord Skree in a duel that is not much unlike the wizard duel between Harry Potter, and Lord Voldemort. There's even a nod to "Castlevania: SotN" for those lucky gamers who can make it to the final boss fight.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Let's Talk - "Sex, Language, and Violence in Video Games"

This article has been a long time coming folks. It really has. In this year alone I have sat by, and watched the people on my Twitter timeline as well as the rest of the online media outlets spout their nonsensical bullsh*t many times over about how violence, and sexual content in video games is corrupting the youth of our world. That it's even driving them to kill, or commit other heinous crimes. The simple fact is that the ESRB rating system, and the movie based guidelines are there for a reason. When you see an "M" rated game, or an "R" rated movie with several sub-categories of sexual content, violence, and language warnings you can bet your bottom dollar that it was intended solely for a "mature" audience. Not some spoiled little middle school aged kid, or teenager with a lack of respect for parental authority. What gets me the most about this whole fiasco is the fact that it's more than likely the parents who buy their underage children the games, and dvds who are turning around, and b*tching about the games after an associated killing/crime is shown on the evening news.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons (XBLA)

Never in my history as a gamer have I had the privilege to play through a game that was so emotionally thought provoking as this one was. Both 'Josef Fares (A Swedish Film Director)', and the creative team at 'Starbreeze Studios' have put together a grand fairytale that transcends cultures, and language barriers of all kinds. Using love, and it's powerful nature as the main theme the development team behind this mature fairytale of sorts takes you on a visually breathtaking journey like none other you have ever seen before. You'll get to follow along as you guide two brothers who have suffered the terrible loss of their mother, and are in the process of losing yet another loved one. Their journey to find a cure for their ailing father will ultimately take them, and you to various locations of splendor, and even to nightmarish havens where the worst of dreams are realized. As you journey alongside them you'll discover that it is the brothers' undying love for one another that drives them to go against all odds, and will hopefully gain the cure that could ultimately save the life of their father. During your epic adventure with the two brothers your heart will no doubt be ripped asunder with sorrow, and tears may even be shed on their behalf, but in the end you will find reassurance as they both did that love is eternal and will never fade away.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Let's Talk - "Online Safety & Transactions"

By now most of you should know my stance on hacking. It sucks majorly, and is ruining the quality of online gaming at a rapid pace. In fact it's becoming an increasingly popular trend amongst the younger generation of gamers, and PC users. The evidence of this trend is so in your face that if you dare to play a game such as 'Black Ops 2" you will no doubt happen across loud mouth teenagers bragging about their hacking feats. Where they are learning this is anyone's guess. I figure it's from the internet though as there are many online resources for hacking tools made easily available to anyone who searches for them. The fact that parents are letting children do as the please in the privacy of their own online world only furthers the problems at hand. Unsupervised, and unpunished kids often times result in the many heinous crimes that occur today within the youth populations of the world.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Divekick (PSN)

Earlier this year when Evo, and various other fighting game tournaments were going on I caught word of "Divekick" through a fellow fighting game enthusiast who goes by the username @IFD_Delusion. It was by mere chance that I had noticed his tweet about the game, and after seeing him play it hands-on in one of his Youtube videos I knew this was something worth my time, and attention. Very rarely do fighting game developers think this far outside the box. It is insane at how complex the guys, and gals of One True Game Studios were able to make this two button brawler. Initially started as a joke to poke fun at fighting game stereotypes, and gaming industry stereotypes this unique indie title was eventually placed into the Kickstarter program where it evolved into a full fledged fighter worthy of the praise the fighting game community had given it. Thankfully they were able to get the project funded. As an indie fan, a fan of artistic creation, and a fan of the gaming industry I can tell you now through hands-on experience that it's very much worth playing. Being the passing fad, or modern day craze that it is you will no doubt find humor, and fun times along with many others at the helm of this PS3, PS Vita, and PC exclusive.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sunday (Aug. 18, 2013) Update

I've got a few things to talk about in this update. The first thing I need to mention is in regards to my upcoming review of "Painkiller: Hell & Damnation". While the promo copy I recieved shows me enough of the game to be able to review it it is not the game you'd be getting by any means, and being as flawed as it is doesn't help my opinion towards the game. As such I find myself thinking about possibly not doing the review. I want to be able to give you honest, and truthful details about the game you'd get should you decided to buy it. Having a flawed promo copy instead of the final product just doesn't allow me to do so.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Blog Update Aug. 15, 2013

I know there's been a lack of published content lately, but I assure you that I'm working hard behind the scenes trying to secure some new review material for future reviews. Some of the hopeful review material includes "Diablo III", and maybe even "DOA5: Ultimate". I'll also be posting my review of "Painkiller: Hell & Damnation" on the 30th of this month, so that's at least something to look forward to. Kickbeat, by Zen Studios is also another game that I'll be covering here in the near future. I hope that you continue to stick around, and that while you're awaiting new reading material you stop by twitter for a chat. My Twitter username is (@OtakuDante), and I can be found there a lot of the time. I'm all for a good conversation, as long as that conversation is positive. Also keep in mind when following me that I have reached my Twitter following limit, so I will not be able to follow you back. It's an unfortunate drawback to the Twitter program.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Dawn of the Fred (XBLIG)

The zombie genre is a hot topic in many forms of entertainment these days. You'll find zombie survival guides at your local bookstore, zombie television shows via your cable subscription, zombie movies on dvd/blu-ray, and even a crap ton of zombie shmups on the XBLIG marketplace. While I'm not a fan of overused ideas I think StickyDPad Games does well enough with their creation to consider it a "Unique" indie title. Their creation, otherwise known as "Dawn of the Fred" aims to capture your attention with nods to other video games as well as some tribute material that pays homage to earlier zombie movies. The really cool thing about this particular indie though is that the characters, and zombie creatures were all designed by the StickyDPad Games development team. It is this artistic attention to detail that gets the most respect from me. Not many developers would be bold enough to incorporate their own character designs within a game, but in doing so I think the lads, and lasses over at StickyDPad Games deserve some recognition for doing such an amazing job breathing life back into this slowly dying genre of indie shmups.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Let's Talk - "Proper PR Etiquette"

I've mentioned my opinions of certain gaming PRs several times throughout my (unpaid) career as a gaming journalist. Some of my opinions were harsh, and some filled with praise. None of my remarks were without merit though. Through personal experience I've come to know that some PRs in the business are very pleasant people to work with while there are others that are total assholes (for lack of a better term). The fact is that public relations representatives (PRs) can either be helpful (as they are meant to be), or be a pain in the ass if they are not fit to fill the position that they are currently in. Any which way you put it being a PR is a job, and should be managed as if it were one.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

XboxOne: "Enhanced Reputation And Enforcement"

During my routine browsing of today I ran across an article about the XboxOne's "Enhanced Reputation and Enforcement". Basically this article tries to confuse the gamer by throwing in a few glamorized sentences, and some fancy words while practically stating that the reporting system will be handled exactly the same way it already is. This same old "judgement by peers" system will still take in account how you negatively, or positively affect other gamers, just as it always has. The only significant difference this time around (According to what I can interpret from Microsoft's play on words) is that instead of simply allowing other gamers to be the final judge on your behalf your own in-game actions will also be monitored, and you will judged accordingly.

When I read this I thought to myself "How the f*ck is that supposed to work!?". Perhaps with Microsoft's/XboxOne's all seeing eye, otherwise known as the next-gen Kinect? Anyways, the article on Major Nelson's site states that such things as grieving, and even the joining of certain higher ranked lobbies with the intention of disrupting them will result in reputation demotions. What the hell!? What if I wanted to join a veteran lobby without the intention of disrupting it? How's Microsoft going to know my intentions? It's this type of uneducated nonsense, and half-assed solutions that have me worried about the future of gaming altogether.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Beat Hazard Ultra (XBLIG)

As a gamer I've never quite encountered a game series such as that of "Beat Hazard". Being the shump (shoot'em up) fanatic that I am I gave the original version a try years back when I had first got my Xbox 360. It had set me back five dollars which is definitely not chump change by any means, but seeing as it was liked by the online gaming community I thought I'd give it a proper chance anyways. From the moment I began playing the game I was hooked. I had never imagined that a developer such as "Cold Beam Games" would be able to implement a system which thrived solely on the music that I owned outside of the core game. Being able to use my own collection of music to engage in such a solid gaming experience was awesome. For those of you who are unaware of the game, and it's offerings it literally takes music from your collection, (whether you upload MP3 files via a memory card, or rip your CDs directly to your console) and applies every beat, melody, and tune contained within the tracks to make the onscreen shmup action to come to life.

Saturday, August 3, 2013


When it comes to originality in the RPG universe hardly anyone does it like Square-Enix. Sure you'll have the occasional RPG developed by a developer who can think outside of the box (NIS America -"Time and Eternity"), but for the most part they all follow a very similar pattern. You heroes, or heroines usually come in the same RPG related classes (Barbarian, Wizard, Dwarf, Mage ...), and the enemies in an equally similar selection. Often times said hero, or heroine must face insurmountable odds against an evil army, empire, or all powerful creature or character. To say that the genre has become repetitive would be an understatement. Thankfully though the guys, and gals over at ACE Team have created a unique RPG experience like no other. Their previous release of the arcade RPG "Zeno Clash" which was hailed as a "Stonepunk" experience ended up being mostly overlooked by the gaming community, but did gain that cult following that gaming companies such as Atlus are known for. Zeno Clash had it's own mythology which was filled with interesting creatures, and characters who looked as if they were ripped from the pages of "The Island of Dr. Moreau", and rooted within a more science fiction type of world. The game's design even had an interesting Jim Henson flair about it (Dark Crystal, Labyrinth). It's the type of creative effort that would easily compete against Yoshitaka Amano's Final Fantasy creations.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

CastleStorm: From Outcast to Savior (XBLA)

When last we left our fabled friends of "CastleStorm" Sir Gareth had been separated from his troops, and continued to seek out vengeance against the viking leader Chief Ramhorn. With the aid of the lovely viking princess Freia he continued on into viking territory in order to put an end to the evil ruler's reign. If you took my advice, and purchased the game you would know that the first chapter ended quite abruptly leaving the story open ended. Lord Rufus, the devious King's adviser who had been giving ill advice all through the plot of the first chapter convinced the King that Sir Gareth was a traitor, and that he had joined forces with Chief Ramhorn. This is of course where the core game ends, and the DLC picks up.