Sunday, December 29, 2013

"Online, the Ruination of the Gaming Industry"

Growing up I was privileged to have participated in the best era of gaming to ever grace this world. As a gamer of the 80's, and 90's I got to enjoy years worth of quality gaming content on the offline consoles of yesteryear. What made this experience so grand, and memorable was the fact that every game, and product released by Nintendo, Sony, and the likes were of the highest quality possible. Nintendo, for example knew that as a rising gaming company they would have to pour their heart, and soul into the product, and do so in a single fell swoop. You have to understand that game releases back then were a one shot deal. They were created on cartridges, or CD discs that could not be altered after they hit the store shelves. There were no such things as patches, or bug fixes available to the programmers who helped make the games. It wasn't until later years that the introduction of online features became a thing, and began to become a mainstay in the world of gaming entertainment. As year after year passed the simple cartridge, and CD based consoles that we loved, and admired became more, and more like the PC experience that we hoped they wouldn't be. Game developers were eventually able to introduce online play, online patching, and a digital marketplace that would make going to the local gaming store a thing of the past.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Zen Pinball 2 (PS4)

By now you know that I'm sold on Zen Studios' pinball related arcade games. I've covered nearly every table, and every set released on both the "Pinball FX2", and "Zen Pinball" formats. While last generation's offerings are still good to this day I have to say that next generation's is even more impressive than that. Not only are the graphics enhanced, but the gameplay itself is more fluid than ever before. Scoring high is now an easier task due to the next-gen upgrade, and the complimentary PS4 controller (which is truly a spectacle in itself). Sadly though not every table from the previous "Pinball FX2", and "Zen Pinball" iterations have made their way over to the new consoles. Sony ended up limiting the amount of tables Zen Studios could include. As such the developer had to pick, and choose the best from the lot.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A GHOSTS-ly Xmas Gift From Yours Truly!!!

Merry Christmas, and Happy Holidays to all of you! I hope your Holiday is grand in every way, and that you get to share it with those you care about! Since it is the season of giving I have taken it upon myself to find something worth giving to all of you. While I can't mail out individual presents like Sanity Clause I think what I have to offer you in it's stead is pretty darn good. Seeing as 'CoD: GHOSTS' is the go to game for most gamers, and will no doubt be so for the Christmas noobs I figured I'd spread some holiday cheer by sharing with you my super secret GHOSTS loadout. Awesome, right!? This loadout which I have named the "Panty Thief" will guarantee you some much needed holiday fun. Not only that, but if used correctly it can potentially up your k/d to a respectable percentage.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Rofaxan 2089 A.D. (XBLIG)

Rofaxan 2089 A.D., there's a lot of things that come to mind when I mention the title of this game. In a way it reminds me of the oldschool arcade shooters I used to play at the local mall, and in another way it sounds like I'm talking about some kind of futuristic mind altering drug when I say it out loud. The fact of the matter is that this is indeed an oldschool shooter (shmup), and is so in more than one way. In it you'll find plenty of 16-bit retro goodness, and Gradius style gameplay that pays tribute to shmups of old. Even the soundtrack harkens back to the retro arcade era where the game's origins were likely inspired. Angry Gam3rs, the development studio behind this project definitely incorporated what I like to call the "Gradius Formula". That is a given. If you've ever played a Gradius shmup you'll know that it's a hardcore side-scrolling shoot'em up that utilizes an upgradeable power-up system. Like Gradius this 16-bit shooter will have you controlling a small ship as you guide it through various areas shooting alien ships out of the sky. Of course as you do so the enemy ships will drop power-ups in the form of different projectile types, shields, speed boosts, orbiting satellites, and even energy refills. With these upgrades your Rofaxan ship will become a formidable force against every opposing enemy including the screen filling bosses.

The Holiday Greetings Just Keep On Coming ...

It seems the holiday spirit among developers is catching on. I was actually surprised to have received two new holiday greetings from developers I have never done reviews for. I guess someone was actually reading my articles, eh? Anyways, I'd like to once again thank the people who took the time to send these artistic holiday greeting cards my way. Thanks goes out to Marcin of Techland, the Hellraid development team, and the Monster Madness Online team. It actually means a lot to get such heartfelt season's greetings from developer's I've barely even met. I hope that as my readers you too enjoy these holiday greetings, and masterpieces. Have a Merry Christmas & a Happy Holiday everyone!!!

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Inferno's "Top 10 of 2013"

2013 has been an eventful year to say the least. The world has witnessed many tragedies, many political catastrophes, and has even seen some worldly war threats. Amongst all the chaos though I, as many of you have found a safe retreat in the world of gaming. Game developers, and console makers alike have worked their asses off to bring to us these noteworthy experiences which were worth our time, and our hard earned money often time gambling their own hard earned money in the process. While there was the occasional flop gaming for the most part has been truly exceptional this year. Being the privileged journalist that I am I was lucky enough to experience a lot of these noteworthy offers that the developers brought to the table. As such I feel obligated this year to bring to your attention my "Top 10" list, so that you can seek out the games for yourself, or for your loved ones. I feel that narrowing the list down to 10 makes the list more special for the developers who sought out my critiques, and that it helps you to narrow down your choices when you go to the local game retailer for your holiday shopping. Along with the "Top 10" you will find that I have also included some honorable mentions as well. I feel it is only fair to do so, because I have played and reviewed many games this year. While the honorable mentions will be more of a list, and less than an explanation as to why I chose them they will serve as a reference in case you want to go back, and check out the reviews I have given. Without further adieu though let us get into this list, so that you can get those presents that need to be gotten!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

More Holiday Greetings From the PR & Devs I Work With!!!

After typing up my article about the digital holiday greeting card I got from Fabian Florez (Gentleman Squid Studio) I received a few more digital greetings from other PR, and game developers. I love the fact that these men, and women of the industry don't mind sharing a little holiday spirit with me, and the other journalists who have poured our hearts out this year trying to promote the products that they make. It lets me know that someone out there in the game making/promoting industry actually cares about what I do. As such I'd like to take the time to share with you these images, and links so that you too can partake of the acts of kindness. I do understand that they were meant for me, but I think you'll enjoy them just the same. Thanks to Atlus, Neocore Games, and Reverb for the Awesome holiday greetings!!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

POS - "Piece Of Silver, Less Than Gold"

This my friends is an open letter to the online gaming community, and the companies that make the online gaming experiences possible. I have personally reached the point to where I'm about to give up on fighting games entirely, and possibly even online gaming. This possible future decision of mine is due to the POS (Piece of Shit) gamers out there who think it's alright to ruin the online experience with their BS antics. The fact is that many people in the gaming community have begun to think that this hacking, lagswitching, and cheap play is an acceptable thing since it has become so commonplace. I see more an more gamers giving into the cheaper side of gaming as a result. It's like a bad f*cking pandemic that's spreading like wildfire. Well I'm here to tell you differently. IT IS NOT OKAY! Just because a million gamers across the globe choose to act like trolling jackasses doesn't make it an acceptable trend. I don't think it's alright, and you shouldn't either. In fact as consumers we should be bitching about this with our wallets, and with our words. Until something effective is done about the matter no one should spend one damn cent. Someone in the industry needs to step up to the plate, and do something about this growing problem. I, myself have given advice on numerous occasions as to what could be done, but sadly my expert advice is falling on deaf ears. I believe it would take a million of us saying the same thing to get the point across, and unfortunately that sort of percentage lies with the ones causing the issue.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God (PS VITA)

In the world of gaming you'll find plenty of copycat ideas, and blatant rip-offs. Most of the gameplay mechanics that are copied, and combined with these new game creations end up making for a complete mess. In other instances the mixture of old gameplay features, and new plot material works in the developer's favor. In the case of Compile Heart's "Sorcery Saga: Curse of the Great Curry God" the mixture works out quite nicely for the most part. It contains some LOL humor mixed with memorable characters, and a lighthearted story that is entirely unique to it. On top of the new also comes some features that definitely seem inspired by previously released PS3, and PS VITA RPGs. Among the inspired tidbits you'll find dungeon crawling turn based mechanics very similar to that of NISA's "The Guided Fate Paradox". There's also hint's of other NISA RPGs thrown into the mix such as that of the "Atelier" series. While I could pick at the game all day for containing such content the fact remains that I think Aksys Games, and Compile Heart came out smelling like roses with this JRPG release.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Season's Greetings From Gentleman Squid Studios!!!

Over the years that I've been reviewing for "OtakuDante's Gaming Inferno" I've made many friends with the PR staff members, and development crews who make the games that you, and I play. Both indie developers, and retail developers alike have been thankful for the critiques that I have provided, and in turn I have been thankful for their generosity. Some of them have even sent emails containing very nice "Thank You!" messages expressing their gratitude for my hard work. It is this appreciation, and earned friendship that remains part of the reason as to why I continue to do what I do. I absolutely love the people who make the gaming industry so grand, and love to play my role in spreading the word on their products as well. Game developers such as Fabian Florez of "Gentleman Squid Studios" are the epitome of what a game developer should be in regards to the appreciation of fans, and journalists. This year Fabian continued with his gracious nature by sending me yet another digital greeting card wishing me, my family, and my friends the best this holiday season. The artistic image, and well wishes definitely brought a smile to my face. It's not often that I'm gifted such a greeting from any developer a year, or even years after I've reviewed their game.

Pinball FX2: "Dr. Strange" (XBLA)

The origins of the well spoken, and all powerful mystic known as Dr. Strange are about as strange as the name he bares. His first appearance which was featured in the 1963 issue of Marvel's "Strange Tales #110" only gave a glimpse of the superhero who was inspired by an early 1930's radio show character (Chandu the Magician). It wasn't until later issues that his origin story was revealed, and that Dr. Strange earned a proper place amongst Marvel's vast mythology. Like his radio counter part Doctor Stephen Vincent Strange delved into the mysteries, and mythologies of the arcane. He used his mystic powers throughout his many different comic book appearances to thwart otherworldly threats (Nightmare, Dormamu, Shuma Gorath ...), some of which could have ended the world if he were not to have intervened. This charismatic, and all powerful character has appeared in many different forms throughout the years. He's had his own standalone series, has been a guest to other superhero's tales, and has even appeared in various form entertainment outlets as well as on merchandise related collectibles. Some of you will even know him for his appearance as one of the roster members in Capcom's fighting game "Marvel vs Capcom 3".

Monday, December 16, 2013

Super Street Fighter IV 2012 AE Version Differences, Flaws & The Reasons I'll Likely Not Buy the Ultra Version in 2014

Okay folks. I just got through playing the PS3 version of "SSFIVAE 2012", and I'm pissed. I'm pissed that I even spent a dime on the POS (Piece of Shit). I'm fit to rage, and rant all day long about it. Before I lose my cool though I'd like to go over the differences between the Xbox 360, and the PS3 versions of the game with you. I'd also like to go over the game's flaws in regards to my main character Vega as well as some in-game features that need to be fixed if the game is ever going to be worth a purchase on the PS3. Please bare with me as I may use some cuss words in this informative rant, because Capcom really screwed the pooch with this BS. I take back ever taking up for Capcom. I think that unless they can get their shit together, and create a proper gaming experience their company should belly up, and die out. As cold as that statement is I've come to the conclusion that it is a justified one. The Capcom of the 80's that produced amazing gaming experiences is no longer alive today. That's just how it is.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Let's Talk - "Youtube's Copyright Apocalypse Pt. 2"

Okay, with all conspiracy theories aside let us talk about what's really going on with Youtube, and my personal thoughts on the matter. Over the past few days I have sit through, and watched video after video of famous Youtube commentators, and content providers giving their take on what has happened as well as what is happening with the ContentID / Copyright-gate system. While Angry Joe pretty much nailed the issue on the head I'm beginning to believe that this is 90% a problem brought on by Youtube's recently applied ContentID system , 5% an issue brought on by companies with legit claims, and 5% claims made out of pure BS. Last week, even though I do not in any way monetize my videos I was hit with a copyright strike from a company that doesn't even exist. They claimed that a one second frame of the video containing the developer's logo, and a piece of the Dolby Digital logo was somehow their property. Curious, I looked the SOBs up, and could not find any company by that name on the internet.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Doctor Sleep (BOOK)

If you are into Stephen King books, and movies as I am you'll have no doubt read, or watched his older masterpiece, "The Shining". The Shining, which got it's name from one of the main character's special abilities told a horrific tale of a haunted hotel getaway in which the Torrence family lived out a truly terrifying ordeal. There were plenty of ghastly guests to keep the family of three on their toes, and the fact that Jack Torrence (The Father) was growing madder with each passing day made the otherworldly predicament all the more dire. Aside from Jack Torrence his young son Danny, and his wife Wendy also took on major roles as guests of the haunted hotel. In the end, and through many nerve racking encounters Danny's imaginary friend gave the family enough warning to enable Mrs. Torrence, and her son to make a proper getaway. It is also this imaginary friend known as Tony who allowed them both to witness the more horrific haunts contained within the confines of the massive hotel during their earlier days there. Both Daniel Torrence, and his Mother Wendy Torrence eventually make a narrow escape leaving Jack to be forever lost amongst the ghostly apparitions of the Overlook Hotel. That of course is where "The Shining" ends, and "Doctor Sleep" picks up.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Strength of the Sword 3 - The War Golem (PSN)

When I first saw the trailer to "Strength of the Sword 3" there's a couple of things that immediately popped up into my mind. One of those thoughts was "Where the heck are the first two games!?", and secondly "Why have I never heard of this game before!?". The game looked really impressive to be from an indie studio (Ivent), and definitely looked worthy of a review. The fact that the game was boasted about as being a truly hardcore experience that only skilled gamers would enjoy definitely caught my attention. I knew that if the hype were true that "Dark Souls", and "Demon's Souls" players would definitely be interested in knowing about it. Even though games with such a hard learning curve usually turn away a majority of gamers, there's actually a select group of truly hardcore gamers who love such a challenge.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lets' Talk - "Youtube's Copyright Apocalypse"

This morning while doing my usual Youtube browsing I happened upon one of the most unnerving videos ever related to the gaming/entertainment industry. Boogie2988, the great Youtuber that he is decided to give us fair warning about Youtube's copyright policy change, and did so in a well spoken and professional manner. He was to the point with his argument, and everything he said was relevant. For that I'm truly thankful. I myself have been hit in the past by copyright claims, an would hate to have to pony up a serious amount of dough for legal purposes for my continued inactions. Being hit by a copyright notice earlier in the week was enough I to make me take the hint, and clean out my own Youtube channel this morning. I think deep down I knew this day was coming, especially seeing as the gaming industry as a whole has become one large greedy cesspool. There's no doubt in my mind that game developers, console makers, and entertainment providers alike are going to see this thing through to it's bitter end. All they are concerned about is getting rich, and they don't care how they go about it. You better believe that these creators of the gaming/entertainment industry could care less about the consumer, and more about themselves.

Monday, December 9, 2013

"Birds of Lore" by Ryan Durney (Book, ebook, iOS, Tablet)

Copyright © Ryan Durney 2013
As a fan of mythology, and art I consider myself lucky to have stumbled across a retweet that one of my fellow Twitter followers had passed along. The message was about a book kickstarter that had actually made it through the crowd funding process. Ryan Durney the author of this magnificent tale of mythological birds, and the time traveler who traveled through the past, present, and future to learn all that he could of them created a story that is not unlike an H.G.Wells novella. Both the art included, and the words that followed all held an exquisite tone that was truly rich in nature. Parts of the story definitely reminded me of H.G.Wells' "The Time Machine" while other parts seemed like tales inspired by pages, and inscriptions of ancient world myths. All of it came together quite nicely, and looked impressive enough to warrant the $30 price tag.

Friday, December 6, 2013

MvC3, Tomb Raider & Alice: Madness Returns Minimates (Diamond Select Toys)

Since 1999 "Diamond Select Comics" has been bringing to the forefront toys that cater to a more mature audience. Among their collection you'll find everything from comic book superheroes to movie villains of a vast assortment. Thing's like the sinfully sweet statues of the characters from "Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose" are not out of the question when it comes to Diamond Select's toy production line. This is one of the many reasons I sought to bring reviews on Diamond Select Toy's offerings to your attention. Toys are still very much a happening thing, and as such I know that some of you will be interested in knowing about what's available. Through my shared toy critiques I hope that you gain the knowledge needed to make a smart collector's choice, and that my reviews continue to enlighten you about today's Diamond Select toy offerings. Knowing what's available, and what's of good quality, or rarity are three important things that all toy collectors need to know if they are going to have a noteworthy collection themselves.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Super Motherload (PSN)

Russian cosmonauts, Dig Dug, Resident Evil, and DOOM are some of the things that come to mind as I play "Super Motherload". As with those games, and subjects there's a lot of gameplay, and plot material included that seems oddly familiar. Whatever your take on this mining strategy game is though there's one thing for certain, and that is the fact that "Super Motherload" is one of the more interesting indie titles you'll experience this year. Xgen Studios, the developers behind this Dig Dug inspired strategy game will have you investing hours upon hours literally trying to get down to the bottom of things. With a chosen character, and a helicopter drilling machine you will be doing the bidding of a shady corporation as you try to strike it rich with the combination of minerals that you gather. The deeper you dig into the martian landscape that the game takes place on the closer you'll get to the bottom of it all, and in more ways than one.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Diamond Select Toys & OtakuDante's Gaming Inferno

When it comes to reviews I'm a highly unorthodox journalist. I love to cover topics, and products that interest me as well as those things that reflect the kind of hobbyist that I am. This year I've introduced certain things to you such as the art of the very gifted UK artist Danielle Tunstall as well as reviews on the MTG trading card game. I'm a man of diverse tastes, and as such I love to share these topics of interest with you as often as I can. That is one reason I decided to start contacting companies earlier on in order to setup business prospects for 2014. I believe in being innovative, and bringing to the forefront reviews, and articles on things that dedicated gaming journalists wouldn't touch. Among the companies I've contacted in hopes of securing a partnership of sorts was the Diamond Comics Distributor's sister company "Diamond Select Toys". Unknown to even some of my earlier followers I've been trying to get on board with toy companies to do reviews on these products for quite some time. While this has been a failed attempt for the most part Diamond Select has given me a proper chance to prove my worth as a toy reviewer. For that I'm more than thankful.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory (PSN)

If cutesy anime girls with oddly perverse dialogue oriented scripts are your forte then "Hyperdimension Neptunia Victory" might just be the RPG experience you've been longing for. This latest chapter of the ongoing saga featuring the goddess-like CPUs brings to the table yet another otherworldy dilemma set in the fictitious lands of the GameIndustri. Neppy (Neptune), and all her kawaii little girly pals get lost in their lazy daily activities while paying no attention to the duties they should be tending to. In the heat of the moment Neppy parts ways from her GameIndustri CPU friends only to be spirited away to another dimension where the GameIndustri is less evolved than the one she came from. With the Seven Sages up to their usual antics it is once again up to Neppy, and her old friends as well as her newly found friends to set things right and thwart a plot to rid the GameIndustri of the CPU's authority.