Monday, September 30, 2013

Blog Update (9/30)

What's up all ye lads & lasses? I'm here once again bringing to you an update on the behind-the-scenes happenings here at "OtakuDante's Gaming Inferno". Currently I'm in the middle of my playthrough of "Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness". The game's amazing as expected, and is quite the fun, and relaxing RPG experience. It's filled to the brim with features including NISA's (NIS America) own brand of humor. For those of you who have been following, and playing the series throughout the years I strongly suggest that you get out there, and pre-order the game for the additional pre-order bonuses. I think the bonus includes a CD soundtrack as well as some art promo items. It doesn't hurt to get something extra for free as I always say. I should have my review of "Disgaea D2: A Brighter Darkness" posted by Friday of this week, so be sure to stay tuned here for that. I will of course be tweeting links as usual for those who follow me via Twitter (@OtakuDante).

Friday, September 27, 2013

Magic: The Gathering - Theros set released today!!!

I know I don't talk about it much, but growing up as a kid I used to love to play MTG any chance that I got. Often times me, and some other friends would take our MTG card decks to the school library during break time, so we could play. Back then schools weren't such a !@#$% about rules, and regulations though. There also weren't as many thieves around stealing your cherished collectibles. The world has become a harsh place, but I digress. The reason I brought all that background info to your attention is that I've been following the release of the "Theros" MTG set since it was first announced. Naturally I'm always excited to learn about new card types, and this new 240+ card set aims to bring new things to the forefront. Mark of 360pr has kept me in the loop about the new cards as well as an event that is to take place starting today through this coming Sunday. It's basically an MTG release celebration that will be held at any 'Wizards of the Coast' supported hobby store. While I won't be able to attend I thought that you might be interested in checking it out in my stead. I'll leave with you the memo from Mark as well as a link to the official site with all the details. MTG is an awesome game, and is definitely one worth getting into. I hope that you will give it a chance as I did so many years ago. You won't regret it.

MTG 2014 - Expansion DLC (XBLA)

Wizards of the Coast, and Stainless Games up the ante with their latest MTG 2014 expansion DLC. Along with five new decks, and five new challenges you'll find a completely new story arch with an entirely different protagonist. This latest female planeswalker known as "Elspeth Tirel" is basically on a quest for immortality. In her quest to find the items she needs to complete the spell she first seeks out the gods' council, and ends up challenging some of the most formidable adversaries seen thus far in the planeswalkers storyline. You will follow her through five of the most difficult challenges you have ever encountered within the console series of the game, as well as ten campaign encounters, three planeswalkers duels, and five revenge duels all of which will put your MTG knowledge to the ultimate test. Whether, or not you, and this planeswalker prevail will lie heavily on your understanding of the game thus far.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Gaming Glance - "Pac-man Championship Ed. DX+" (PSN)

For those of you who are unaware of it Namco Bandai released a significantly different version of "Pac-man Championship Edition DX" recently in the form of a free update (assuming you have the game already). This update is of course "version 1.10" as you'll find out when you load up the game. While this new update, and version of the game contains many noticeable visual, and functional changes it is still a trial until you purchase the accompanying DLC that was also released in it's wake. For those of you worried about losing the core experience you payed for before fret not, because all of the former in-game content from the previous version is still very much intact. It merely had a visual overhaul. The more prominent features that you'll find this time around are things like highly detailed friend comparison charts, in-game stats, and even Facebook sharing options which were added to make playing the game a more "social" event. As far as visuals go you'll be quite surprised that everything in the game looks worlds better than it did before.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

GTAV (PS3): "First Impressions"

For some reason, or another I went with the "In Crowd" on my purchase of GTAV. I guess curiosity finally got the best of me. In all honesty though it was online that really caught my attention in this instance. While many gamers have no doubt spent hours upon hours playing through the previous GTA games I'm one of those rare exceptions who has never (and I mean "NEVER") played a GTA game in my life, so my purchase was more of an impulse buy in that respect. I did watch my brother play through Vice City once, but that's about it when it comes down to my prior knowledge of the series. Luckily for you guys & gals that means I went in with a totally unbiased opinion. I didn't really know what to expect from the game. Of course I've heard plenty of tales about banging strippers, boobs, and all the criminal activities that a modern day gangster wannabe could hope for though. Regardless of my knowledge, or lack thereof I feel I should I should give to you my first impressions of the game. Aren't you lucky? xD

Atelier Totori Plus: The Adventurer of Arland (PS VITA)

The "Atelier" (meaning: "an artist's workshop") series of RPGs has been around for quite some time now. You'll find that there has been an impressive amount of releases on both consoles (PS1, PS2, PS3, Dreamcast), and handhelds (WonderSwan Color, Gameboy Advance, Nintendo DS, PSP, PS Vita) throughout the years (1997 - 2013). These games range from Japan only releases to limited stateside releases, and even remakes. Gust Corporation who were the developers behind this unique series of alchemy based RPGs have always stuck to their tried, and true formula of introducing a new alchemist with each game release along with a unique story to accompany that individual. The gameplay of each title as one might expect is centered mostly around alchemy, and the crafting of various items. Throw in an alchemist against an ominous threat/situation, and you'll have the experience in a nutshell.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Dragon's Crown: "Patch 1.02 & Patch Notes"

Greetings fellow Dragon's Crown adventurers! Both veterans, and new players alike will be glad to hear that the team at ATLUS is continuing to hear your voices, and deal with any issues that may, or may not be plaguing you. In this latest update, deemed "Patch 1.02' you'll find such things as game stability fixes, online improvements, and even character changes. It's definitely nice to hear that ATLUS actually gives a damn about their game, and their audience unlike some other developers out there ... eh, Infinity Ward/Activision? Anyways, I will more than gladly share with you a copy & pasted version of this update detailing all the changes that have been made. If you find that you run into any other issues that have yet to be fixed be sure to get in contact with ATLUS as they will no doubt help you out.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

CHAOS CODE (PSN): "Secret Character Variation"

It has been my experience with fighting games over the years that some developers love to hide hidden features, or characters with the constructs of their game. Seeing that FK Digital's "Chaos Code" was inspired by such 2D fighters I decided to check out the game's roster more closely, and see if I could find any hidden characters. Surprisingly enough I have found one such character based secret, and knowing the developer there may very well be other secrets hidden for us gamers to find. As far as the character secret goes it is basically a variation of the pervy "Hikaru". Every anime fighting game with any hint of humor will always have such a character in their roster. It never fails. Even so, this new variation known as "MG Hikaru" takes perverted to the next level.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Art of the Month Update & Special Review Opportunity

In this blog update I have two new things that I need to discuss. First of all the lovely, and very talented UK artist 'Danielle Tunstall' has agreed to be this blog's official artist of the month. This means that every month, from now until the end of the blog's life span readers will be privileged to see 6 new pieces of her art. They will be located in the usual spot for ease of access. Danielle sells her art often in the form of prints, and even amazing toys called "Dunnys". Anytime I see her share info about her products on Twitter I will retweet them, so that you can make the most of her often times discounted deals. From time to time I will even provide links to her Ebay items as well as other Danielle Tunstall art related links. She's an amazing artist, and it truly is an honor to be able to share her art with you on a monthly basis.

Diablo III (PS3): "A New Playthrough"

When it comes to starting a new playthrough in 'Diablo III' there are some things I feel you should know. The first thing is that whether you choose to continue your adventure with the character you just beat the game with, or choose to go with a new character there will be some things brought over into the new playthrough that will definitely be helpful to you. For example, If you choose to continue with your previous character things like your earned gold, your blacksmith/jeweler mastery, and even your chest full of collected equipment will carry over into your next playthrough. The catch though is that if you choose to go with the character you did your first playthrough with you will have the option to go into the game with the next difficulty setting in place (Normal, Nightmare, Hell, Inferno). If you choose the latter option, and go with a completely new character you'll still be blessed with all the same perks (gold, blacksmith/jeweler mastery, equipment), but will do so in the initial difficulty setting.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Chaos Code (PSN)

I can make a total ass of myself sometimes. I really can. Last night just so happened to be one of those moments in my life. Before closing for the night last night I got into a somewhat heated conversation with Tenryo, the English community manager for "Chaos Code" through twitter. I complained about how poorly designed the characters were in comparison to some other fighters as well as certain indie games I had played in the past. While the game definitely appeared to be that way to me last night I found that when I continued with my playthrough today the game didn't look all that bad. Sure there were some slight imperfections with character designs, and some stages looked better than others, but for the most part the game wasn't all nearly as bad as I had had made it out to be, especially for a 2002 Japanese arcade release. Seeing the error of my ways I'd like to take the time to apologize to 'Tenryo', and 'Arc System Works' for my accusations earlier. I'm truly sorry, and hope the following review makes up for my mistaken claims.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Blog Update (Sept. 10, 2013) - "PR BS & Blog Progress"

What's up Inferno readers?

I've been quite the busy journalist as of late. I've been dealing with PR who want to see me fail, and other PR who are more than willing to work with me. It's just the way things go in the journalism biz. I'm glad I had the balls to email Kristiana Suess of EA a link to my article "Let's Talk - "Proper PR Etiquette" though. While it may not have helped EA's, or FortySeven's opinion of me it's something I feel they needed to read.

Too many PR agencies, and game developers have poor opinions of us journalists, and think that our jobs pale in comparison to theirs. The fact is that their job which they get paid handsomely for only requires the copying, pasting, and sending of emails along with some phone calls. In the end it is a paying job, and if done correctly it will not only help us journalists help the PRs succeed, but will also help all of us keep the gaming companies we are trying to support afloat in these uncertain economic times.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Kickbeat (PSN/PS VITA)

Out of all of Zen Studios video game creations "Kickbeat" could have easily been the game to outsell, and outdo their famous pinball tables. The key phrase in that statement though is "could have been". While the game looks absolutely stunning, and has an awesome music feature that I'm all for I found the gameplay to be flawed to a point that having fun while playing the game was almost an impossibility. Instead of easing the gamers into the gameplay Zen Studios almost immediately has them hammering out button presses to fast paced songs that honestly should have been used in the much harder difficulty settings. It is these combinations of hard hitting songs, and  extreme challenges that have made the review process frustrating for me.

While I could (barely) complete the first two songs on the 'Normal' difficulty setting in the story mode I found trying to repeatedly get past the first boss battle to be the straw that broke the camel's back. Not being able to get past a boss, because the actions onscreen don't seem to be in sync with the button presses makes the seemingly badass boss encounter a trying experience.Very rarely will I choose to not continue playing a game, but this playthrough has been beyond rage inducing for me. I just don't see myself being able to make it any further any time soon. As much as I hate to I'm going to have to go ahead, and post my review with my limited knowledge of the game. I apologize to my readers, and to Mel of Zen Studios, but a full playthrough of this game is just not possible for me.

Friday, September 6, 2013

DOA 5: Ultimate (PS3/PSN)

As a gamer I have invested countless hours, days, weeks, and years into playing the latest fighting game releases. This includes everything from the classic 2D fighters such as "Street Fighter" to the more modern day 3D genres such as "Tekken". While the classic 2D fighters will always have a special place in my gaming history it's the 3D fighters like DOA that have brought me to the next level of the fighting game genre. DOA, as I recall it started off as classic fighters usually do with humble beginnings, and an innovative concept that had not yet been delved into by other game developers. Even in it's early days as a Playstation title, DOA took fighting games to new heights of stardom with their infamous "Breast Motion" physics, and it's simple yet challenging style of gameplay. If you were to ask any of us fighting game veterans we would all tell you that DOA is likely the most challenging fighter in the history of 3D fighting games. You'll find as we have through the years that the simple control scheme can be quite misleading. Mastering the game, or fighting against a veteran DOA player can definitely prove to be quite the unforgiving experience if you are ill prepared.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Diablo III (PS3)

Like readings ripped from apocalyptic scriptures of old Blizzard, and their team of creative geniuses bring forth the continuing tale about hell's lords, angels, and the people who are unfortunately caught in the midst of an ongoing war between the two factions. The clash between the long dead King Leoric, and the Horadrim who have sought to end the hell lords' reign of terror comes full circle as Horadrim descendant Deckard Cain, and his niece Leah try to make sense of the approaching dark times, and the apocalypse at hand. With Deckard, and Leah being the last of the Horadrim the fate of humanity lies in the balance of their discoveries that are found within the ancient manuscripts which were passed down to them. With the aid of a heavenly being, lost souls, and a select few individuals whose motivations in preventing the end times are each uniquely their own they set forth to rewrite humanity's final chapter.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Killer is Dead (PSN/PS3)

Like a modern day grindhouse film, SUDA51's story about a hired American killer with a mysterious past unfolds in a way that is not unlike Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" movie series, or some of his other more recent films. This game, or interactive experience as I've grown to know it was given the uniquely appropriate title of "Killer is Dead" by it's collaboration of developers, and publishers (XSEED, Grasshopper Manufacture, Kadokawa Games & SUDA51). In the simplest of explanations that I can think of I'd say that  it is an over-the-top hyper stylized gorefest filled with flirtatiously sexy mini-games, epic boss battles, combo based combat, and an interesting cast of individuals who are all a part of a mythology like none other.

Mondo Zappa who just so happens to be the main protagonist of this otherworldly plot is a guy with a mysterious past, an augmented arm, and several unanswered questions. As a hired killer Mondo willingly does the bidding of another gangster looking gentleman who also deals in the profitable business of executions. This employer who looks an awful lot like the gun armed Barrett of FF7 (Final Fantasy VII) goes by the name Bryan. Along with his interest in taking on contracts Bryan also has an odd, and often times unreadable sense of humor about him. With Bryan's guidance, the assistance of a female accountant named Vivienne, and the help of a younger "moe" style female secretary named Mika, Mondo sets forth time, and time again to fulfill contracts as well as earn a living so that he can support his more perverse hobbies.