Monday, December 29, 2014

2015 Is Just Around The Corner ...

It has definitely been a disappointing year for gaming in many ways. The year 2014 has brought with it MANY gaming problems including half-assed products, money mooching to the extreme, and even the latest hacking fiasco. Some gaming studios along with gamers have felt the hurt of poorly made decisions all across the board. In fact some gaming studios are on the brink of self-destruction as we speak due to such poor choices. With the way things are going it's hard to tell if gaming will survive the hard hits it's been dealt, and continues to be dealt. I personally hope gaming companies, and certain gamers get their shit together in 2015. The trolling, modding, cheating, and hacking seriously needs to stop. The younger generation of gamers in particular needs to lay off the stupid sauce, and get educated on how to act in a social environment. While hopes, and dreams for a better year of gaming may seem foolish, and far fetched I'm gonna hang onto the hope that things will improve.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Top 10 Video Games of 2014

Before I get into the thick of this article I'd like you to brace yourselves, and remain open minded. I'm almost certain some of my picks for this year will be met with criticism, but keep in mind my list is my own. This means that it is an opinion piece meant solely for like-minded individuals who appreciate my critiques, and feel the same way I do about video games. Always remember that opinions are like arseholes, and that everybody's got one. If you disagree with my opinions then your welcome to do your own list on your own blog, and claim that it lists the "Top 10 Video Games of 2014". With all that out of the way I hope you enjoy reading my thoughts on each of my picks. Keep in mind it was a hard choice this time around as I played so many impressive, and wonderful games this year. Props to the devs whose games made my list, and a humble bow to all the runner ups who did good in their own way.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN (PS4)

Before you get into the thick of this review there's some things I want you to understand. First off there will be no significant story spoilers. I've made a promise to ArcSysWorks not to include such details, and honestly I think you'll enjoy the game more if I don't giveaway too much of what goes on therein. Secondly I found both flaws, and impressive features during my extensive, and thorough playthrough of the game. I will disclose both findings in a decent, and respectable manner. There's no pressure from the developer to sway me to do so either, for those of you who are wondering. I simply feel it is important that you know about the game's flaws, and the game's more noteworthy features as it will better help you to decide if this fighter is the one for you. As usual I'll also be detailing the new mechanics as well as all other significant features, and modes of play. Here at the Inferno I believe in being thorough even if that means typing up a short story length review. For ease of access sake though I will be dividing each game oriented subject up by titled section for easy reference, and return reading should you need to go back later to finish reading the entire review, or have the need to return to parts you may want to recheck. I think that about wraps up the intro, so sit back, relax, and prepare for my in-depth review of "Guilty Gear Xrd SIGN"! Heaven or Hell!!! Let's ROCK!!! ...

Monday, December 8, 2014

Zen Pinball 2 - "Venom" (PS3/PS4/PS VITA)

Zen Studios could have gone so many different routes with the design of this table, but in the end they chose the table itself to feature locales from the venom symbiote lore as it's core playing elements, and placed the main character role players in said settings. I had honestly expected something more venom-like in it's stead, perhaps with a black & white theme, but it just did not end up that way. Aside from my disappointment though I think Zen Studios did a stand up job in relaying the comic book stories associated with Venom, and all the other symbiotic spin-offs. Even Spider-man got his debut appearance on the table. For those of you who don't know of Venom's origin story it began with a man named Eddie Brock, and his chance encounter with an alien symbiote that had ultimately adhered to him in a parasitic fashion. Having had prior issues with Peter Parker (aka, Spider-man) Eddie Brock, and his now split symbiotic personality sought to destroy the web slinging superhero, and rid himself of the threat. Of course later on, and through many comic book issues, and series the alien symbiote chose to take on different hosts with different physical results, and even spawned some offspring of it's own at one point. While this latest table does touch base on a lot of the Venom tales, and tie-ins it still does not include it all. One could understand that though, because of the ridiculous amount of content that the table would have to include to be "All Inclusive".

Friday, December 5, 2014

Fantasy Hero: Unsigned Legacy (PS VITA)

Utilizing the commonly used human extinction approach ArcSystemWorks has created, and delivered a budget priced JRPG that is a hybrid of sorts. It combines traditional RPG stat leveling, and skill based character features while using an action RPG gameplay setup as it's base. With a selection of four customizable characters, and a serious amount of mission based objectives you will be tasked with braving the odds against a half-beast species known has the "Decoders" who have set out to exterminate the human race on their own home turf. The plot, while as original as it can get without being entirely cliche, has the heroes of various genders, species, and backgrounds fighting the good fight in solo single player playthroughs, or in conjoined battles with up to three other players via 'ad hoc (Local Multiplayer)' mode.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Comic Books!!!

Comic books, and me go way back. Heck, I remember collecting back in the days of Adam, and Eve ... just kidding, lol! I do remember collecting comic books as a young child though, and later amassing a respectable collection by the time I reached my mid 20's. Before I sacrificed my collection for the greater good (paying a family member's medical bill) I had collected hundreds of comic books including signed, "Nude (Cavewoman)", and special editions as well as a hard back Dark Horse comic book with an actual nude drawing of a character by the main artist. Damned, I do miss that collection! Alas, all good things must come to an end though. Nothing lasts forever, unfortunately. Thankfully in light of my collection passing though a new comic book, and gaming shop has opened up not far from where I live. Some of you will know the shop as "Area 52 Games & Comics (or something along those lines)". Since it's opening a week ago I have treated myself to some cool new comics with my monthly side cash in hopes of building back up what I had lost years ago.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Staying Socially Relevant & Other Stuff ...

Socially relevant, I shall stay socially relevant. That's what I keep telling myself. Honestly, though my coverage of gaming is fading due to several different factors. For one thing I find that games worth reviewing, or talking about are becoming fewer, and further between. Most games are half-assed pieces of shite that never live up to the hype. Some are even blatant rip-offs meant solely for cheating gamers out of their hard earned money. In light of these blasphemous gaming developments my review requesting has waned, and rightfully so. I've found my passion for covering such games, and gaming topics dwindling. Gaming in general has become aggravating for me on so many levels. The online multiplayer experience that I once loved is being snuffed the f**k out by hackers, and is leaving a lot to be desired in it's wake. Even the offline only games are leaving a lot to be desired with their half-baked delivery. Seeing as new-gen consoles are mostly built for the online experience the consoles themselves are also posing a potentially threatening problem for the future of gaming. Where does a passionate journalist go from here? What does one do when they've reached a realization of what is truly happening to one of their most beloved hobbies? It's a question that I'm going to have to answer for myself before the new year comes into light as I may, or may not continue on this journalistic path due to the oppressing factors that weigh so heavily on me now. Heck I might even go retro before it's all over.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

Today is Thanksgiving for all of us American folk. Contrary to popular belief it's a day about giving thanks. As far as I'm concerned I definitely have a lot to be thankful for. First, and foremost I want to thank all of you, my readers for your return visits, and continued support throughout these past years. You have been a true blessing to me. Without you my blog would not be a thing. I would not have been able to share my thoughts, and opinions on the many games I have been privileged to review. I'm also very thankful that I've been able to continue supporting my gaming hobby as times are tough money-wise for me, and many people around the world. It's one luxury I don't want to lose as it draws me closer to the lot of you. I've never really had friends in my grown-up life, and to be able to share friendly conversations with the people I like, even if it is about gaming is a gift in itself. For that I'm thankful.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Zen Pinball 2 - "Core Set" (PS3/PS4/PS VITA)

For those of you who are unaware of it this particular Zen Pinball 2 set was originally available for Zen Pinball, and the Xbox 360 counterpart Pinball FX. It cost the gamer $9.99 to purchase, and included a total of four tables. These tables were 'Secrets of the Deep', 'BioLab', 'Pasha', and 'Rome'. Unlike most recently released Zen Pinball 2 tables these tables included were all about the challenge, and were designed with mostly low point values in place as well as table structures that were geared towards the more professional players. Some of the tables like 'Secrets of the Deep', and 'Pasha' had multiple playing fields for a wide variety of different scoring opportunities. Tables such as 'Rome', however were geared solely around speed play, and would test the players mettle through their ability to keep the ball going at a steady, but fast pace. Out of all the tables of the set though I do have to admit that the quirky, and fun loving 'BioLab' was the easiest to score on, and had the greatest available point values of all four tables. Like the other tables though keeping the pinball going, and from reaching an out of bounds state was trying enough in it's own right.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Game Developers, Half-Assed Releases & What To Do About the Issue

Okay. So, this is going to be a slight rant. It's directed solely at game developers, and content creators ...

We all know as gamers that everything from video games to patches/updates have been being botched, and released regardless of their unsatisfactory condition. This has got to stop. What it all boils down to is pure laziness, a lack of commitment to the product, and a lack of willingness to supply the funds needed to make things right. If you are going to make a game set in an online environment, or even an offline game it is imperative that you get things right from the start, and that you work out all the kinks before it hits shelves. There's no if's, and's, or butt's (I typed it that way on purpose) about it. If you are not willing to fund a team who can get such a job done then you do not need to be releasing the game, or patch in the first place. While I could point fingers, and call names all day I'm going to go a different route, and offer up a viable suggestion that will help get the development process back on the right track, and no it does not require more money to do ...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Never Alone (PS4)




Video games in general are usually crafted wholly from the developer's imagination with sometimes subtle hints of various mythologies, or man-made fictions included. Most games, again in general, are derived from fictitious stories about unreal places, and persons or beings who have no standing in our reality whatsoever. The hero's, heroine's, and even anti-hero's feats are merely put into place for entertainment purposes. Nothing is really relative in that sense, and only serves to impress it's audience on an escapist's level. As I've said many times before gaming is often times an escape from reality for most of us gamers. It helps us escape the bad, or trying times in our lives, and in doing so gives us a much needed break in a fantasy world that is unlike our own. While this sort of entertainment based fiction is, in it's own right a story that mimics life such tales of heroism, and feats of prowess never really serve a point beyond their entertainment values. While this would seem like the norm to a lot of us gamers, and readers it still pales in comparison to the tales of old that are passed down through generation after generation in order to keep a culture's beliefs, and traditions alive.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Blog Update Nov. 15, 2014

It's been a few days since my last post as you can probably tell. The games for review are becoming scarcer as the year comes to a close. Most of the retail games are already spoken for, and only a handful of indie arcade style games remain for bloggers such as myself. Not that that's a problem though. I do love a good indie, and have found out through my four years of work that some indies are far greater than any "Triple A" title will ever be. As we've all likely learned this year retail developers really seem to be caught up in a pattern of dropping the ball when it comes to a proper release. The latest 'Call of Duty' was a mess as was the equally anticipated release of Ubisoft's 'Assassin's Creed Unity'. I think a lot of us, including myself figured that out a wee bit too late. The sad, and unfortunate thing about this is that it hurts the consumers' confidence in the industry's offerings, and in turn hurts the industry as a whole. It makes loyal gamers begin to second guess everything from journalistic opinions to the biased advertisements that are released by developers, and PR. You've all likely seen cases of each if you frequent Twitter as I often do.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Nano Assault NEO-X (PS4)

Shmups. Gotta love 'em! Having never played a shmup (shoot 'em up) of this sort I didn't really know what to expect, honestly. I knew that Shin'en (the developer) had created a new generation 3D experience, but other than that I had no clue as to what the game would play like. After doing an initial impressions video on my Youtube channel (otakudante), and actually getting into the game though things began to make sense. In essence "Nano Assault NEO-X" is your typical twin stick shooter with enhanced graphics, and a theme that suits the nano technology which the game is built upon. While there is no story to speak of you will find that your laser blasting spaceship is more, or less a micro-bot sent in to destroy bacterium that are harming, and changing the nature of cell clusters. There are a wide variety of these viruses, and bacteria on each cell which you must clear out in order to move on to the next cell.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare - "Impressions"

If you have been following my rants about the latest CoD release you'll know that I've had some mixed opinions this week. These opinions which favor, and insult the game for it's features continue to evolve as I type. Unlike most of the CoD games I've played in the past this was by far the most frustrating of them all due to it's complexity, and failed functionality. Taking a different playthrough path than what I usually do in a CoD game I opted to go with the game's Campaign from the start. I found for the most part that the Campaign was brilliant in delivery, but that it contained a few design flaws that sometimes would hinder my progress. Things like the lack of distinct objective direction, and the poorly crafted enemy/ally ID system really made the playthrough aggravating at times. Other than those issues the campaign was certainly the best the CoD series has ever seen, in my personal opinion. On the flip side, when it came down to multiplayer delivery though things got a bit messy, and half-assed.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

#KILLALLZOMBIES (PS4)

While shmups have been around in various forms over the years it wasn't until recently that indie developers began mixing different ideas into the genre. One of those ideas, which I love, took the zombie apocalypse, and mashed it up into a top-down military style shooter filled with bloody tidbits. While some of the provided indie zombie shmups were good others fell behind with their over simplistic designs. Some cost only a dollar to own, and were better than anyone could have hoped for while others cost a good bit more, and were piles of shite not worth the time of day. Recently while scouting the PSN store updates for review games I happened upon one of the soon to be released higher end zombie shmups which was created by a developer called Beatshapers. After having played a similar themed shmup earlier this year on the PS4 that had failed miserably I was a little skeptical. Thankfully that worry subsided once I began to play the game though. I think, in all honesty, that Beatshaper's zombie shooter is the penultimate zombie shmup. While it holds tight to traditional formulas it still does it's own thing, and does it exceptionally well.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Poltergeist: A Pixelated Horror (PS VITA)

I've always been an advocate for creativity, and originality in the gaming industry. I believe developers who are willing to try new things are the future, and that those who copy others' works are just drawings us back into the past. Without innovation the gaming industry, or any other entertainment industry for that matter is doomed for failure. That's why it's always a pleasant surprise to stumble upon a game that incorporates such innovative features. Recently I had the privilege to play such a unique indie, the likes of which falls under the label of creativity which I just spoke about. I ended up enjoying my playthrough thoroughly, and intend on finishing the game to it's end soon. The game in question, for those of you who are wondering is GlitchyPixel's "Poltergeist: A Pixelated Horror". They take the simple concept of a haunting, throw in a unique plot about the ghost of a former mansion owner, and add in gameplay that is definitely genius in it's own right.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

HALLOWEEN 2014 ... Hey, That Rhymes xD

Greetings all you ghoulies, ghosties, and long legged beasties! Tomorrow is "Halloween 2014". While I personally won't be celebrating, or dressing up in costume I do have some horror movie suggestions for your late night festivities. Being the horror film enthusiast that I am I've seen me fair share of unique horror movies including some foreign films that push the limits of decency. I'll try to mix in a little of everything so that you'll have several movies to choose from should you not be afraid of watching such things. I hope that you all have a safe, and responsible Halloween. Always travel in groups, and with trusted adults. Always check your candy thoroughly before partaking of it, and also wear bright colored clothing when walking through traffic heavy areas. Halloween is meant to be enjoyed, and I hope that you enjoy your Halloween to it's fullest this year!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Blood of the Werewolf - "Impressions" (PS3)

I hate to do this to you readers, but I'm going to have to go the "impressions" route with this game. Not only does it look as if Sony implemented the timed trial review codes that I mentioned earlier but I will not be repeating the second stage one thousand times to see what's beyond it, nor will I ever be able to complete the game far past that stage in the timed limit. The fact is that there's a point when a developer's game design pushes the limits of difficulty decency. Making the game difficult just for the sake of making it difficult is not the way to go, period. Unfortunately that's exactly what the developer, "Scientifically Proven" chose to do in "Blood of the Werewolf". A lot of the level design within the game, and the accompanying character mechanics conflicted so much that it made the playthrough truly unbearable for me. Difficulty in that respect was geared solely towards a precisely performed playthrough that gave the player only one viable course of action that was damn near impossible to achieve a majority of the time ...

Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Post About My Time Off

For the sake of posting a post I'm going to fill you guys, and gals in on what I've been doing during my time off from reviews. Exciting, right? Anyways ... Destiny has been the go to game for me for a while now. It has a sort of addictive charm about it that I just cannot deny. I've gotten plenty of new games (not to brag), but have found myself returning to Destiny for some relaxing thrills on a frequent basis. In fact yesterday evening a friend of mine (Dee) invited me to a chat in Destiny only to invite me to the "Vault of Glass" playthrough that he intended to do. I knew my level 26 hunter was ill-prepared for the task ahead, but seeing as it was my friend requesting help I could not say no. After assembling a crew of educated, and uneducated Vault of Glass players we took a two hour trek into one of the most nightmarish, and unforgiving environments that Destiny has to offer. With the aid of a level 30, and 29 players though we all managed to muscle our way through the abysmal experience, and come out victorious with plenty of noteworthy perks.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Thanks to an Industry

As a gaming journalist I have scrutinized, and picked apart games in order to deliver my opinions of them. Sometimes I've even taken my passionate rants to Twitter, and other social media outlets expressing my likes, or dislikes about said games. In the midst of all the passionate opinions, and hateful trolling that I've seen escalate on such outlets though I've begun to realize one thing above all else, and that is that we as gamers, and gaming enthusiasts have become so comfortable with telling game developers and console creators their faults that we don't take a second to realize the hard work that goes into such a project. We don't take in account the money, or hours put into game related projects, nor the fact that without the developers' investments we would not have any video games to play at all. It's for this reason I'd like to take the time out of my day to thank the industry innovators who still have the drive to take gaming to the next level even if it is through a trial, and error basis ...

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ATTN Devs & PR: "Review Policy Change"

In the past day it has come to my attention that there is going to be a serious change to review codes for journalists such as myself. Apparently Sony is going to start making the codes only valid for a 48 hour time period after the codes have been redeemed. Seeing as most games require over 2 days time for me to complete, especially if they offer a lot of in-game content I will not be able to do a proper review from such a code. As it stands the review code change is set for the "future", but when that might be is anyone's guess. As such I'm going to put in place the new changes to my review policy now. If you wish to have me to review your game I will need a physical retail copy from hence forth. It's just the way it has to be if you want a thorough review.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Smash Bros. (3DS) - "Impressions"

I know I've already gone over this on twitter, but I figure why not make it concrete, and set it in stone ... It has been a couple of weeks, or more since I first nabbed my copy of "Smash Bros." for the 3DS from the local Gamestop. I had actually pre-ordered the game to assure I'd have a copy waiting for me when the launch date came around. Seeing as it was selling like hotcakes in Japan I figured the same would happen here in the US, so it was better to be safe than sorry. After getting my copy of the game, plugging it into my standard issue 3DS, and playing it the first day I was honestly a bit appalled at how dumbed down the game seemed in comparison to the former Wii, and Gamecube Smash Bros. titles. Having played both previous Smash Bros. games the 3DS version honestly looked "Plain Jane". The initial roster was super small, and the offered modes seemed too simple to be of any significance. Thankfully though the more I played, and tried out the various modes contained within the more I found out otherwise, and realized that the game was so much more.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Let's Talk - "PS Vita"

For the longest time now Sony's PS Vita has fallen under the scrutiny of gamers, and like-minded biased journalists who haven't even experienced the console for themselves. Like most products on the internet, one biased, and uneducated journalist/gamer spouts nonsense about what he/she doesn't know about the console, and in turn has all of their followers believing the same damn thing. This act of leading the gamer astray then leads to more of the negative news spreading through other journalistic outlets, and the internet itself. The fact that Sony does little in the way of promoting the underrated handheld through informative ads, and commercials further leads potential buyers to believe what they hear in regards to these rumors/gossip.

There's actually a lot Sony could be doing to improve upon sales of the PS Vita, and they could be thwarting the threat of falsely biased opinions by doing said things, but they act as if they don't want to support the Vita much at all any more. Sure the PS Vita is getting numerous noteworthy releases, and additional content on a regular basis, but without proper promotion, and consumer education it will never be able to rise as the great handheld console that it truly is. As it stands the PS Vita has an impressive game library that outshines that of the 3DS by a longshot, and is one that is being constantly updated with more titles of significance than the PS4, and PS3. Not only that, but it also has superb graphics in comparison to Nintendo's 3DS as well as audio capabilities that push such a console's limits. Coming from a man who owns & plays both said handhelds I can honestly atest to the durabilty, and overall quality construction of the Vita as well. I've dropped my PS Vita several times, and it has yet to break in any way. Not only that, but the applied controls feel much more natural than that of the 3DS. Sadly without gamers admitting to such things though the popularity of the Vita will eventually fade out, and the console itself will eventually die out as a gaming alternative.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Zen Pinball 2 - "South Park" (PS3/PS4/PS VITA)

For many years, and through several seasons the cult television phenomenon "South Park" has appalled, stunned, and intrigued viewers of various ages, and moral standings. It has pushed the limits of common decency on occasion, but has continued to thrive on late night television as a beloved cartoon classic to many despite the controversy that surrounds it. Movies, merchandise, and even video games have spawned from the main series that started it all giving fans more options to enjoy the cast of characters who make the show so appealing. Who would have thought that some imaginative foul mouthed children from the rough side of town would have stirred up such a response, but thankfully they did as it has brought much needed laughter to our otherwise dreadful lives. Regardless of your take on the "South Park" series, and what it entails you will be glad to know that through their signature pinball table designs Zen Studios has brought the series to life in video game format yet again, but in a milder version that still stays true to the nature of the show's creative direction. Cartman, Stan, Kyle, Kenny, and most of their wacky friends from South Park return in full-on glory as they spout mindless banter taken from various well known episodes. Their obscene, and often times laughable actions, and reactions litter the playing field making your high scoring efforts all the more entertaining. Trust when I say that this is one 'Zen Pinball 2' set not to miss out on!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

SHORT PEACE (PSN/PS3)

Back in 2013 Grasshopper Manufacture, and Crispys! amongst other co-contributors took on an ambitious anime inspired project combining two highly popular forms of entertainment. One being that of anime, and the other being that of video games. In one part of the project there was a short length anime cartoon compilation that was something along the lines of "Robot Carnival", and "Heavy Metal". This five part anime collaboration titled "SHORT PEACE" pushed the limits of it's mature rating, and oozed with creativity while tying in a game separately from the actual anime collection. The game that accompanied the release of the film which was titled "Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day" also contained several anime sequences of it's own created by various well known anime artists along with heavily influenced Japanese gameplay directed by Suda 51 himself. In it's entirety "SHORT PEACE", which is now offered up in this all inclusive edition comes complete as an imaginative journey with pure Japanese influence not usually seen here in the states. As such you will find that despite the $39.99 digital only offerings it is a true gem in all regards. You'll find that Suda 51's "Ranko Tsukigime's Longest Day" comes to brilliant life with his personal touch, and delivers a solid yet frantic experience that will have you exclaiming "WTF!?" in the most positive way imaginable. Even the "Short Peace" anime will have you at full attention as you see the imagination of Japanese directors unfold on your television screen. The fact that the anime, and the game finally come in one complete package definitely makes the purchase more worth it than it ever was before.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Rise of the King: Companions Codex II (Book)



In a fantasy world that slightly mirrors our own author R.A.Salvatore continues his tale of the dark elf named 'Drizzt Do'Urden', and those who aim to make, or break the world around him. The times, and setting of this follow-up tale continue to be darkly lit, and foreboding leaving the reader anxious to see what each page entails. The pages themselves are filled with the epic battle mongering of orcs, dwarves, and elves who are each engaged in a territorial war akin to J.R.R.Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings". Within it's pages kings are betrayed, and killed as the orc's new alliances make way for the promise of a new bloody age for orc-kind. In the not so distant background of the ongoing conflict Drizzt, and his newly found troupe of followers also find themselves drawn into the fray as they look desperately for lost comrades. Their unlikely band of wartime heroes which is comprised of an elf, a halfling, a barbarian, and a dwarf come to know true danger at the hands of their many enemies, and even from Drizzt himself.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

ATTN: RPGs, and New Review Standards

I'm going to be totally honest with you guys, and gals. I have failed you on two reviews here at "OtakuDante's Gaming Inferno". One being "Drakengard", and the other 'Pier Solar HD". I did play deep into each game, and honestly felt myself having fun during said playthroughs, but I didn't fully complete either. I "assumed (we all know what assume does, right?)" that the game would be just as good throughout in each case, but through fellow journalists I found out otherwise. It definitely makes me look like an ass, and for that I humbly apologize. At this point I can understand you looking to other sources for honest gaming critiques, but know that I stick by the rest of my reviews, and that I aim to improve upon the previously mentioned failures. For the longest time my work as a solo gaming, and adult entertainment journalist has been demanding, and overly so at times. I've found my own time limited by the full-time nature of the job, and have made a couple shortcuts (Drakengard & Pier Solar HD) to catch up. This is inexcusable, and once again I humbly apologize. From this point forward, in the light of these two learning experiences, I will never again rush an RPG review. I will play it to the end, and give my review afterwards. The same goes for any game of any genre. That is my promise to those who wish to stay.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Pier Solar HD (PS4)

Following a warmhearted path of storytelling Watermelon's "Pier Solar and the Great Architects" aims to draw in the gamer with a lovable trio of friends, and their quest to escape the norm as they discover their fantastical past. Starting off on a somber note akin to another indie RPG release (A Tale of Two Brothers) we find young Hoston, the game's main protagonist in a dire situation regarding his ill father. Gathering up all the courage he can muster he defies his mother's demands, and travels along with his two friends Alina, and Edessot to a nearby cave in hopes of securing a plant that can hold off his father's sickness until a doctor can arrive. Upon entering the expressly forbidden caves the trio of friends happen upon a long forgotten garden, and stumble into a world of mystery only known by few. They not only obtain the special herb that Hoston seeks, but in trekking deeper into the cave they get drawn further into an ancient lore of Goamen, and a seemingly familiar goddess. It's this intriguing mystery that has the band of unlikely heroes abandoning their homeland, and seeking out the truth regarding the myths of their culture. They travel far, and wide as they meet up with different persons of interests, and battle the many monsters that stand in their path to knowledge. It is a heartwarming tale filled with the retro goodness of a gaming era long gone.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My Review Schedule, and the Future of Gaming

Hi again all ye readers, followers, and gamers! September was a super busy month for me as a journalist, and October looks like it is going to be about the same. Juggling two different blog can really become a burden sometimes, especially when you are managing everything on your own. Thankfully though I usually tend to catch up at some point. As of now I've got two reviews pending here on the gaming side of things. One is a game, and the other is actually a hardcover book which was sent to me by a lovely lady from the 'Wizards of the Coast'. If you like RPGs you'll definitely want to keep a watch for the posting of these two reviews. As far as the game goes it is none other than the oldschool RPG indie known as, "Pier Solar HD". I actually got the PS4 version, and I'm looking forward to seeing what it will be about. As far as the book goes it is the second part of a series started by world renown D&D author, 'R.A.Salvatore', and is titled 'Rise of the King'. Without spoiling too much before the review I will say that I think that D&D fans committing to a hardcover book purchase will be happy with the slipcover that comes along with it. Top notch stuff if I do say so myself.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Natural Doctrine (PS3/PS4/PS VITA)




I was truly baffled by this particular NISA release. It was about as simple in design as it gets in the area of story development, and gameplay. While the game did have it's slight visual perks in the way of art options, and in-game character design the lack of the usual NISA cutscenes really hurt the game's potential. The added fact that the gameplay was geared around long dull fights against a handful advantageous of enemies at a time also did the game a huge disservice. I will however say that the RPG mechanics were innovative enough to grab my attention, and for what it's worth they worked pretty darn well. I just wish that the character's were more fleshed out, and that their story was equally as so.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

CastleStorm: Definitive Edition (PS4)

Longtime fans of the 'Worms', and 'Angry Birds' franchises can now rejoice knowing that a new competitor to the genre has re-emerged on the Playstation 4 console in an all inclusive definitive edition. The Monty Python style ballista shooting arcade game makes a triumphant return with enhanced graphics, all of the former DLC, and some new features exclusive to the PS4 gaming experience. You'll find Sir Gareth, and his king once again trying to thwart Rufus's plan to lead the opposing viking hordes to victory. You'll meet tons of wacky characters in plenty of silly cutscenes as the plot thickens in more ways than one. You'll even get to utilize Zen Studio's own unique brand of weaponry as you try to keep your own kingdom stronghold (aka, castle) intact. There's plenty to do, and perfection to achieve should one be brave enough to take the challenge head-on. While the gameplay remains same as before you will find that this definitive edition lives up to it's name, and that it is aimed at the audience who might have missed out the first time around.

Destiny (PS4) - Thoughts & Opinions + Clan Details

Hello all ye Destiny enthusiasts! Welcome to my official thoughts, opinions, and clan recruitment article! As many of you likely know by now I'm deep into my first Destiny playthrough on the PS4. In fact I'm rank 23 at the moment. As far as character classes go I chose to go with the hunter class from the start, and have not regretted my choice since. While I have run into some issues along the way regarding gameplay I have found the game to be a mostly pleasant experience. My only complaints lie with the ridiculously hard boss fights that are only hard, because of the swarms of re-spawning lesser enemies that appear, and the fact that some of the designed in-game terrain can cause issues when you are attempting to get away from the fray for some health recovery. Other than that everything is peachy king.

When it comes to game, and genre comparison you'll find that if you've ever played Borderlands you'll have a good idea as to what type of game Destiny is. While it does have some signature HALO FPS action, some CoD bits, and some Borderlands style RPG elements the game does good to stand on it's own two metaphorical feet though. You'll be taking on repeated co-op missions with your three man/woman fireteam across a handful of planets including Earth, the Moon, Venus, and Mars in hopes of scoring better equipment for your custom created character. Once you level up through consecutive playthroughs you'll also unlock a multiplayer mode known as the 'Crucible' in which you'll find some CoD-like modes as well as some competitive modes more akin to the HALO experience. Whether you like co-op games, or like going all out in the competitive sense you'll more than likely find yourself enjoying what Destiny has to offer. One thing to keep in mind when playing Destiny is that the good things come to those who wait, namely those who get to rank 20, or beyond with their chosen character.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Arcana Heart 3 Love Max!!!!! (PS3/PS VITA)

Oddly enough this was my first time playing an 'Arcana Heart' game. I had often times thought about paying $29.99 for the former digital PSN release, but never did due to nature of the gamble I'd be taking. Forking over $30 dollars for a digital fighter can be sort of iffy, if you know what I mean? Regardless of my choice not to get the game at the time though I still thought that it looked interesting enough for a fighter. The fact that it featured an all girl roster comprised of the wackiest sort of anime characters definitely had my attention. The rarity of the game itself even intrigued me. It's not often that you get to see anime fighters such as the Arcana Heart series released here in the states, and when they are released they are few, and far between. I think that fact alone played a huge role in my seeking out of this latest re-release for review purposes. I was definitely curious to see how it stood up against modern fighting games, and was anxious to find out if it was a solid experience in regards to the genre. The gaming gods know I've seen my fair share of failed fighting game creations, and I was hoping that this would not follow that trend. Thankfully after giving it some time I think I've grown to like it quite a bit, quite a lot if I do say so myself!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Let's Talk - "Pre-Orders, Niche Games & the CoD Phenomenon"

Last night while shopping at Gamestop I had an interesting conversation with an employee about pre-orders, and their importance to game sales. We talked about the pro's mostly, and never really discussed the negative effects that it could have on sales, or the gaming industry. When it comes to pre-orders I'm personally not entirely against them, and I'm not entirely for them. I think in some instances they can really hurt the industry, and in others they offer the customer some additional physical merchandise worth having, and collecting. On the negative side of the debate you'll find that developers, and publishers are now basing their retail copy production, and distribution on pre-order sales alone. The problem with this practice is that not all games are going to be blockbuster hits like 'Destiny', or 'Call of Duty'. Not every genre of video games, or video games in general are going to bring in that sort of income, especially when said game is categorized amongst the gaming community as a "niche" title. With that being said though there is still a thriving market for good, and I stress "GOOD" niche games.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Funko Mystery Minis - "1 Rare & 1 Common Variant!!!"

Just recently the local Walmart began carrying a different variety of Funko toys including different types of the usual 'POP! Vinyls' as well as some newly introduced 'Mystery Minis', and 'ReAction' adult figures. Being the Funko 'POP! Vinyls' fan that I am I couldn't pass up the opportunity for some new review material, and collectibles to add to my growing collection. This time around I decided to take a gamble with a couple of Funko's Mystery Minis figures/bobble heads, and an 'Alien' ReAction figure which I'll be reviewing a little later on. I picked up a series 2 "The Walking Dead" Mystery Mini, and a "Guardians of the Galaxy (the title reminds me of Destiny ^.^)" Mystery Mini bobble head figure. What you have to understand about these types of Funko toys, and my purchases aside from the fact that they are a "mystery" is that the toys are randomly packaged. You could score a common figure, an uncommon one, or even a rare one. Surprisingly enough I scored one of the rarer Mystery Mini figures you could get for the "Walking Dead" series, and a common one from the "Guardians of the Galaxy" series. In "The Walking Dead" box I got the glow-in-the-dark bloody zombie, and in the "Guardians of the Galaxy" box I got the common 'Ronan' figure. It was a truly pleasant surprise to get the glow-in-the-dark zombie, and is one that will go down in pure luck history ... for me anyways.

Monday, September 15, 2014

KickBeat Special Edition (PS4)

Those of you have stuck with me from the beginning will more than likely recall my review of the PS3, and PS Vita versions of the original "KickBeat". I had accused the game of being too visually, and functionally complex. You had to mind too many things at once, and do so to mostly fast paced music. Features such as the rhythm based mechanics didn't really sync up with most of the songs being played out. Marilyn Manson's song, "Beautiful People", for example did not fit the rhythm based gameplay at all due to it's mostly vocal nature, and faster than normal drum play. Normally in a rhythm game developers will sync actions up to beats, or the thump of the bass to ensure that the gamer can follow the game without trouble. In the case of "KickBeat" though they chose to use everything from beats to vocals as focal points with the rhythm mechanics. Another issue I had with the original game was the fact that they started the first levels of the game off with some of the most difficult songs to follow. It was issues like these that ultimately kept me from completing a full playthrough, and recommending the game to my readers. Sadly, after returning as a next-gen rehash the game still carries with it the same issues that I found before. The only differences I noticed were the upgraded graphics, sound quality, and possibly some new unlockable content.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Devil's Charm - "The Cursed Bracelet"

During a "Destiny" conversation with Stephanie (aka, @IRGRL) this morning I noticed she tweeted a link to her online jewelry store. At the mention of her products I myself was inspired to share with you the same link on my own timeline as well as share with you a special bracelet I crafted myself during my own jewelry making days. While I'm gonna share my own crafts with you please do my friend Stephanie a favor as well, and visit the link to her jewelry that she has posted on her Twitter timeline. She's an excellent jewelry designer, and could use the funds she earns from sales for modest reasons. Also give her a follow while your at it as she is one of the most Awesome gamers I've had the pleasure of meeting online.

Friday, September 12, 2014

OtakuDante's Art 9/12/2014

Stare in amazement at the wondrous penmanship that went into this glorious masterpiece!!! Just kidding, LOL! I just thought I'd share with you a piece of art I did today. I hope you enjoy it even though it is a bit sloppy. It's a 5 minute drawing, not some well designed DaVinci sketch. Btw, I hope everyone is having an Awesome start to their weekend. I know some of you are at school, or are working today. Hopefully work won't be too hard for you, and you can get some proper R&R this weekend ...

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Fairy Fencer F (PS3)



Abounding in compelling content, and vibrant with attention getting art "Fairy Fencer F" aims to draw the gamer in with a new story built upon old standards. Like 'Neptunia', and 'Mugen Souls' you will find that this latest JRPG has some elements slightly akin to those previously mentioned series. Along with the old does come the new though. This time around the main protagonists are bound by mystical relationships that harken back to an epic battle between a Goddess, and a Vile God. Ending the fight in a stalemate eons before the main protagonist came to fulfill his role both deities were left impaled by hundreds of furies (swords), and were imprisoned by each other's actions with only the fairies that were left behind to share their tale. Fencers who prove worthy to carry the furies are destined come to the aid of the imprisoned fairies contained within, and in doing so form a mutually binding relationship meant to free one of the two deities. Of course it goes with out saying that there is a wish to be granted as well once the said deity of choice is freed. In the end it is up to you, and those you choose as companions to release either one deity, or the other. Thus letting the world's fate be decided by those who added that spark to life in the first place.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Ed. - "Hints & Tips"

For those of you just now jumping into Diablo 3's hellish adventure there are a few hints, and tips you might want to consider when facing off against the lesser, and greater evils of the burning hells, and the high heavens. The world of Sanctuary, as it is known in Diablo lore is a treasure trove of equipment, weapons, gold, and other items of value. While you can collect a lot of items on your epic journey into the maelstrom the amount you can carry with you, and can store away are limited. As such choosing what to keep, and what to do away with will take some educated management on your behalf. Aside from item management I'll also be disclosing details on how to score the most gold as well as which character is best for beginners. Keep in mind there's a lot that goes into a Diablo 3 playthrough, and that you can invest an exceptional amount of time experiencing all that the game has to offer. It's best to make the most of each, and every playthrough as your in-game rewards can be grand in scale should you choose to do so.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

USFIV - "Prize Code Update"

I know I promised to keep on top of the USFIV prize codes, but life has a funny way of putting a journalist in the dark sometimes. During late last month, and early this month my online services were knocked offline due to modem complications, and lightning strikes. It was a learning lesson in how one can become isolated from the worldly happenings. Regardless of these electronic mishaps I'm online for the time being though, and will gladly share with all you fighting game fans the latest USFIV (Ultra Street Fighter IV) prize codes. Keep in mind that the codes are multi-use, and can be used by numerous USFIV players. At this time I know of no limitations, or expiration dates. After tracking down the codes I actually found a USFIV title amongst them that was to my liking, and have assigned it since then. This title I speak of is of course a motto I completely believe in, and it is "You Need Spanking". I dish out online spankings as often as I can in USFIV, and feel accomplished when I can do so. I hope you too can find a favorite prize code title amongst the lot, and that you flaunt it when beating the bejeezus out of your online opponents. That's what USFIV titles are there for, after all!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Velocity 2X (PS VITA/PS4)



Objective gameplay comes in a wide variety of different themes within the world of gaming. Some games are meant for a quick in, and out session of arcade style scoring while others offer the gamer a more in-depth experience complete with such things as a story, fleshed out characters, or even an action packed adventure. When it comes to Futurlab's "Velocity" series the developer chose to combine the previously mentioned arcade style of gameplay with applied adventuring details, but in a way that was not intrusive to the intended fast paced experience. Initially the "Velocity" series, and it's unique take on the action-adventure/shmup genre began as a humble indie game under the PS3's 'Minis' label. Later, as the game became more popular, and gained more attention from the gaming community it moved on to the PS Vita under a slightly different title with upgraded graphics, and features. This of course eventually led to the latest iteration of "Velocity which continued the tale of those involved in Futurlab's unique Scifi universe.

The current tale of 'Velocity (aka, "Velocity 2X)' takes in account 'Lt. Kai Tana's" collision with a black hole, and her arrival in an alien inhabited universe filled with oppressed Jintinden slaves, and Vokh oppressors. Lieutenant Kai Tana ends up coming to the aid of the alien slaves, and tries her best to free them with the help of a Jintinden alien scientist named Ralan who is taking a more scientific approach to overthrowing his races' captors. As with the previous 'Velocity' you will be piloting the infamous"Quarp Jet" while going on rescue missions, taking out the bad guys/gals, and gathering the resources needed for the Jintinden's uprising. Along with the return shmup style gameplay you'll also get the chance to run in the shoes of Lt. Kai Tana as she goes above, and beyond her duty to do the right thing by a race of beings she has only just begun to understand. Of course it goes without saying that Kai Tana's home planet, Earth is also at stake in the grand scheme of things as well.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Gaming Journalism Corruption

First off I want to make something extremely clear. There will be no name calling here, and their will be no direct mudslinging of any kind. I'm not some politician looking for votes, and I'm most certainly not some gaming journalist who wants to be paid for what I have to say. I've personally been a part of the gaming journalism community for four years now, and I feel it is my right to discuss what is taking place in regards to gaming journalism corruption as it greatly effects my future in the biz. In case you don't know me by now I'm a freelance gaming journalist who has always provided reviews, and articles on my own time without getting paid for them. My opinion is not for sale, nor has it ever been. Hell, I don't even monetize my blog with Adsense for that matter. My motives were completely honest from the start, and I have always given facts within my reviews regardless of whether they were negative, or not before delivering my personal opinion so that you could build your own opinion of the game without relying wholly on me.  For those of you curious about my sex life you can rest assured that I do not !@#$%^ to gain favoritism in the gaming industry. Just sayin' ...

In this article I will go over my thoughts about the undeniable corruption that is taking place in gaming journalism as well as where I stand in the grand scheme of everything. I will also make it a point to drop a few suggestions as to how the corruption can be fixed. This of course will be directed more towards the game developers, console makers, and people who produce products within the gaming industry. As bleak as the corruption situation my seem at this point it is not hopeless yet. It will be up to the main industry creators to do the right thing, and seek out the right journalistic outlets in order to right the wrongs they are very much a part of ...

Azure Striker Gunvolt (3DS)



Keiji Inafune, the mastermind behind the "Mega Man" series, and the upcoming "Mighty No.9" multi-platform phenomenon teams up with the like minded developers at Inti Creates to bring to us an action packed game about a psychic (Adept) boy named "Gunvolt", and his mission to take down a corrupt conglomerate known as the "Sumeragi Group". Joining the ranks of a resistance group known as "QUILL" Gunvolt initially aims to use his lightning powers to cripple the energy sapping Sumeragi by killing off Lumen, a pop star whose vocal talents were being utilized in order to help Sumeragi locate, and capture other Adepts for energy source purposes. Upon finding Lumen, and the real source of her powers though Gunvolt makes a quick decision to rescue the young Adept girl (Joule) who is the driving force behind the Lumen double, and keeps her safe by his side as they continue going about their work of ridding the world of Sumeragi's evil grip. Of course trouble comes in a sinful variety as the Sumergai's cronies (which are each named after the seven deadly sins) try to put an end to Gunvolt, and the other QUILL members. There's even a human scientist named 'Copen' who aims to rid the world of both Adepts, and Sumeragi with his specially crafted Adept weapons. It's an electrified shootout with multiple targets caught in the crosshairs. Who comes out on top is up to you!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair (PS VITA)



Following a similar path as "Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc", Spike Chunsoft's "Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair" pits the latest Hope's Peak Academy "Ultimates (students with varying ultimate talents)" against themselves, and against the murderous intent of the returning Monokuma as they try to figure out why it is they are where they are, and who is behind their current predicament. As with the first game the second installation in the series begins with the unusual meeting between a main character (Hajime Hinata), and his accompanying classmates at the supposedly prestigious Hope's Peak Academy. It's after the classmates arrive, and meet up with "Usami" (a mystical stuffed rabbit) that the students are magically transported via the school building to an island resort meant to build their hope. Of course things go to hell in a hand basket rather quickly as Monokuma arrives on the scene once again with his usual trial, jury, judge, and executioner ploy. As the plot thickens, murders occur, and trials go underway even more underlying facts surface in the origin of Monokuma, and the driving force behind his actions. Secrets to the core story are ultimately revealed through the characters that are fighting for survival in this second go around. You'll find as always that in returning to the world of Danganronpa nothing is ever as it seems, and digging to the truth of it all will require some serious attention to detail as well as some serious detective work. It's mystery mayhem at it's finest! ...

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Zen Pinball 2 - "The Walking Dead" DLC (PS3/PS4/PS VITA)

These days the zombie apocalypse, or thoughts of it seem to be on everyone's minds. It has spawned real concern of a worldwide zombie pandemic amongst the peoples of the world as well as given us American citizens some noteworthy entertainment opportunities. Amongst the more well known zombie related entertainment offerings the televised series "The Walking Dead", which has it's own brand of zombies (aka, Walkers), seems to reign supreme above all else these days. It's practically everywhere you turn. Bookstores, DVD retailers, and department stores are all selling, and promoting items related to the popular franchise. The television series itself has gained some serious notoriety since it's debut, and has in turn inspired everyone from toy makers to video game developers to give their own personal spin on the long running, and still unfinished television show. Not long ago TellTale Games, also dazzled the Walking Dead fanbase with an interactive novel style game that took in account a new cast of characters, and survival situations not shown in the original series. We got to fall in love with the characters that TellTale provided, and watch in horror as some of our favorites lost their lives in a truly grisly manner. Ultimately TellTale's story concluded with young Clementine being left without the father figure she had found with Lee leaving the gaming community shocked in disbelief. Like the series, the game of the same name was episodic in nature, and offered many twists regarding the surviving civilians of the world's populous. It is this aspect of storytelling, and provided plot material that Zen Studios has harnessed, and utilized in a pinball tribute that is not unlike TellTale Game's own creation ...

Friday, August 22, 2014

Hyperdimension Neptunia Re;Birth1 (PS VITA)



This time around co-developers Idea Factory, and Compile Heart take the reigns of the previously published "Hyperdimension Neptunia" PS3 series of the same name, and revamp it in a more gamer friendly manner for all those anxious PS Vita owners who are looking to get their hands on this niche JRPG series for the first time. While the story theme is basically the same as the the original PS3 releases you will find that there is a completely new story included which is geared more towards the newly provided in-game mechanics. The battle system which was a slight bother before due to it's stiff, and somewhat dull nature has taken on an overhaul as have certain aspects of the equipment setup, the way difficulty settings are managed, and the way you navigate the Game Industri map. There's even newly introduces characters from games like "Mages", and "Tekken" thrown into the fray for your gaming enjoyment.

You'll also find in the story portion of the game that Neptune (aka, Purple Heart) returns in all her former glory amidst the new tweaks as Planeptune's reigning Game Industri Goddess, savior, and main in-game protagonist. The game itself starts off with an epic intro cinematic sequence that takes in account the "War of the Guardians" which was meant to determine which Goddess is to rule all in the Game Industri. In it Purple Heart (aka, Neptune) ends up falling from Celestia during her fray with the other Game Industri Godesses, losing all of her memory in the process. With the aid of new found friends Histoire (Game Industri's tome of knowledge), Compa, and IF, Neptune (or Nep-Nep, as her friends call her) aims to regain her memory, and save the world from the grips of a dominating evil corporation known as Avenir ...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Recent Events, Scheduled Reviews & USFIV Prize Codes!

If you've not been following my recent Twitter activity you'll more than likely not have a clue as to why no new reviews have been posted yet. As it turns out last Thursday I was taken completely offline, and I do mean completely offline. The tech guy who came in to check things out believed it was the router that was the issue, but I'm leaning more towards a hacker attack. Anyways, after getting a new router I had to spend the entire weekend, and the beginning of the this week rebooting my PC to factory settings, and re-downloading all of Microsoft's Windows updates. It was a disheartening fiasco that left me clueless to the world's social status, but I sojourned on, and did what needed to be done in order to get back online, and back to work ...

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed (PS VITA)

As one might imagine from the details disclosed about this game you'll find that "Akiba's Trip: Undead & Undressed" has a title with multiple meanings. At heart the game is based around the real-life "Akihabara" district of Japan where the main entertainment culture thrives, and where people from all walks of life come to shop to their hearts content. Everything from gaming to yaoi, and even pop idol fandom is what makes up the social aspects of the community who frequents it's many pop culture oriented shops. As such you'll find that the portion of the title "Akiba" actually refers to 'Akihabara' in a shortened way rather than a person, or individual taking a trip. Another intended secret buried within the spelling of the game's title lies with a certain aspect of the gameplay, namely the interesting combat system that was applied. If you were to dislocate the apostrophe at the end of "Akiba", and move the "S" over to "Trip" you'd get the word "Strip" which coincides with the nature of the combat system.

Oddly enough undressing the undead, or 'Synthisters (Synthetic Vampires)' by beating the clothes off of them is a huge part of what you'll be tasked with doing after becoming a part of the undead population yourself. Since you are dealing with vampire-like citizens it only makes sense that exposing their unnatural skin to sunlight would do them in. In the game you, the gamer become the main male protagonist by name, and actions as you meet up with fellow persons of interest. With your Otaku Activist group known as MOGRA by your side, and your new found mysterious savior Shizuku you set out to rid Akihabara of Synthisters, and find a cure for your current state of being. Of course other characters you meet such as Shizuku, a female warrior of a different kind, will have their own objectives in mind as they lend a hand, or try to stop your efforts.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Disgaea 4: A Promise Revisited (PS Vita)



Those of you who have followed the Disgaea series from it's beginnings will likely notice something oddly familiar about the title of this particular PS Vita video game revamp. The difference in title, in fact resembles the original version of "Disgaea 4" which debuted on US PS3 consoles under the name, "Disgaea 4: A Promise Unforgotten". Keeping faithful to the original, but building upon it's core gaming experience NISA decided to go all out for the gamers' sake this time around, and offered the most content heavy Disgaea yet for the usual asking price. Not only did they revamp the visuals (HD), add new chapters, and include all 50 pieces of the original DLC, but they also made if fit the PS Vita handheld console perfectly. It's the type of game a Disgaea enthusiast could get lost in for a very, very long time. Like the other Disgaea games you'll find plenty of laughable moments as well as NISA's usual level grinding gameplay experience. For those of you looking for customization options you'll also find plenty of that in this latest re-release in the form of character naming, and item naming options.

Godzilla 60th Anniversary - "King Caesar"

Back in the 80's, and 90's when I was still a young lad I would often times venture to the local video rental store with my brothers, and family to rent a VHS Godzilla flick. We loved watching the old B&W films as well as the more modern in-color releases like many kids did back then. Heck going to the video rental store was a treat in itself. Looking back at those past experiences I do pity those who missed that golden age of video rentals, and Godzilla movies. The experience of browsing the rental shelves, and looking at the VHS cover art was a worthwhile experience. Sadly over the years both Godzilla, and the VHS rental places became a memory of the past that most would merely reflect on from time to time. It wasn't until the modern-day US Godzilla remakes debuted that the king of monsters once again made himself known to the US movie goers. Sadly even in his return the newer Godzilla still did not capture as much attention as he did back in his glory days. With the release of the new film (2014) though also came the usual merchandise, and toys as one might expect. Like many other companies looking to capitalize on the 2014 remake's hype Bandai also decided to release a "Godzilla 60th Anniversary" toy series of their own that took in account creatures from past Godzilla films ...

Friday, August 1, 2014

Steel Empire (3DS)

Developed by Mebius, and published by Teyon this Japanese steam punk shmup (shoot'em up) known as "Steel Empire (originally Koutetsu Teikoku)" makes a triumphant return from it's former Sega Genesis, and Gameboy Advance glory days. Like any military based shmup you will find that 'Steel Empire' has in place groups of warring factions that each have conflicting goals. The factions this time around are grounded firmly in a science fiction world with fictitious steam punk empires that are trying to gain control of the airways. In this revamped version of the game you'll fly two different types of steam punk engineered aircraft including an eagle-like plane, and a small dirigible. Both aircraft are your empire's only saving grace. With them comes varying speeds, and attributes that will make the gameplay at hand a very different experience, and your goal an even more trying one.

Your ultimate goal, as a pilot in 'Steel Empire' is to traverse 7 side-scrolling stages filled with dangerous sci-fi terrains while blasting ships of various shapes, and sizes out of the sky. You'll have a set number of lives with which to complete the task, but 1ups, and health refills can be found to improve your odds of beating the game's campaign in a single playthrough. Along the way you'll find power-ups in the form of health refills, screen clearing electric-bombs, orbiting mini-dirigibles, and bullet hell enhancements. You'll be able to level up your aircraft of choice up to 20 times, and use that power to destroy the larger than life aircraft, and cargo carriers that aim to put an end to your mission.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pure Pool (PS4)

Pool is definitely an enjoyable game to play. It's one of the few recreational games that incorporates mathematics, strategy, and only a slight amount of luck. You'll find that some people play pool for the fun of it while others play for the more competitive aspect. Either way you choose to play you will find that Pool requires some serious skill, and close attention to detail. In the case of VooFoo, and Ripstone's "Pure Pool" virtual Pool table experience you'll find plenty of next-gen worthy content that not only incorporates the time honored traditions of the game, but that also presents it in a way that's about as realistic as it is in real life. Everything from the pool table's graphic details to the surrounding club/bar backdrop makes it look as if you are in the virtually crafted environment playing pool yourself. Along with the realistic pool hall setup comes various modes of play, customization options, and an XP ranking system that will properly pair you up with others in your skill class. Online, and offline gameplay are both options afforded to those willing to pay for the game.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Zen Pinball 2: Guardians of the Galaxy (PS4/PS3/PS VITA)

Like many of Marvel's reinvented comic book series the "Guardians of the Galaxy" storyline was rebooted years after the original was printed, and was named after the origin story which debuted many years before it (1969). Taking heed of the comic book's, and the film's growing popularity Zen Studios chose a design that was ultimately centered around the 2008 "Guardians of the Galaxy" lore. At the core, the 2008 comic book reboot tied into the previous "Annihilation: Conflict" storyline, and included a newly comprised cast of  known villains, and superheroes which you'll also see, and recognize within the film as well as on the table itself.

On the flip side the movie which also seems to have given Zen Studio developers some inspiration took only a portion of the tale that was being told. It included characters that would more, or less capture the audience's attention as well as a portion of the story that was more action packed. While the character offerings are somewhat limited on Zen Studio's pinball table rendition of the movie's events the oddly paired heroes of the story that are included still hold their places as important pieces of the story being told. Characters on the table, and within the movie include "Star-Lord", "Drax the Destroyer", "Gamora", "Rocket Raccoon", "Groot", "Yondu and the Ravagers", "Nebula", and "Ronan the Accuser". As far as the story goes the tale being told incorporates the heroes' escape from Kyln prison, and their rise to fame as the fabled "Guardians of the Galaxy". As you can probably imagine the heroes face off against many foes, and perils as they try to make a name for themselves in one of Marvel's most unique settings.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Meaning of Life, an Epiphany

The Meaning of Life, an Epiphany

By Bradley Carver

The longer I think about life, and humanity's purpose in the grand scheme of things the more I realize that we, as a species were destined to bring about our own demise. It's a rather simple concept to grasp once you give it some thought ...

Thursday, July 24, 2014

HyperX Cloud White Gaming Headset

Having played games for as long as I have I've went through my fair share of gaming headsets. Sometimes the headsets such as the Turtle Beaches I've owned would fail right out of the package, and I'd have to take them back to the store for a replacement. Other times the copper wire would break somewhere inside the plastic wire casing causing the headsets not to work after a short term use. Over time I learned to always buy an extended warranty, because of these types of issues. Due to my dealings with faulty, and poorly designed headsets in the past I've not been too keen on purchasing anymore. Having a new PS4 in the house made me want to get the perfect one regardless of my skepticism though. I've looked online, and even at Gamestop for a decently priced headset, but never really found one worth investing in. It wasn't until a Kingston Technology representative got my attention about an upcoming PS4 compatible headset that I got my hopes back up again. The "HyperX" headset, as it is known was first released in a black design, and was widely accepted amongst the gaming community. From online Images I could tell that a lot of work went into the design, and that it definitely looked of good enough quality for the $89.99 asking price.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Zen Pinball 2 PS4 Table Re-Releases

About a week ago the good guys, and gals over at Zen Studios let the public know that their already obtained PS3, and PS Vita versions of 'Marvel Pinball Vengeance and Virtue', 'Classic Pack', 'Fantastic Four', 'Captain America', 'Marvel Civil War', 'Super Street Fighter II Tribute', 'Mars', and 'Excalibur' tables would be re-released, and made readily available in HD format for the PS4 console. If you already owned all of these tables then there was no need for an extra purchase, but should you find yourself lacking any of the additional DLC content the individual tables will set you back the usual $2.49/$2.99, and the sets $9.99 each. For those of you who are new to 'Zen Pinball 2', and have yet to read my past reviews on the newly re-released tables I will briefly go over each to give you a hint of what they each entail. Just keep in mind that these are HD remakes fitting of the PS4 console, and are quite the steal at the asking prices they are offered up at.

Monday, July 21, 2014

MTG 2015 Core Set is here!!!

I know I'm super late getting this article posting out to you guys, and that all of your regular MTG enthusiasts have already covered the latest series with unboxings, booster pack openings, and what not. Even so I though I'd go ahead, and support the one TCG that I have mad respect for. For those of you who follow MTG (Magic the Gathering) closely you will know that the latest 'Duels of the Planeswalkers' game released on a variety of different gaming formats not too long ago. Among those gaming consoles, and mobile devices were the iPad, PC (Steam), Xbox 360, Android, and Kindle Fire. Of course Xbox One players will also be getting their turn at the game a little later this Summer. Where does that leave us Playstation players? Sh*t out of luck. That's where. Yes, I'm a little butthurt by Stainless Games', and Wizards of the Coast's decision to leave out the Playstation players. It's just wrong. I personally think it was a bad decision, and that they could have made more money had they at least released it on the PS4 as well. Regardless of that fact, PS faithfuls who love MTG can still nab the 2015 cards which come in the usual pack, and deck varieties.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Abyss Odyssey (PS3)

With a hint of Harry Potter, a sample of Soul Sacrifice, and a clip of Castlevania the development crew over at ACE Team weave a dream-like tale of a slumbering warlock, and those who would dare to oppose his ever-spawning nightmares. The tale which follows a Chilean lore begins with the underground trek of a dreamt of female warrior named 'Katrien", and follows her as she travels down into an Abyss where her creator lies in sorrowful slumber for the past choices he has made. Katrien, who was once the Warlock's love caught wind of is secretive lifestyle, and turned on him forcing him to silence her. Unfortunately things didn't go as planned, and for the sins that followed the nameless Warlock submitted himself to an eternal sleep in which he hoped to escape the forever torment of his unrelenting nightmares. Despite his efforts though the Warlock's nightmares continued to occur, and began manifesting themselves into reality. A part of him, which is Katrien aims to right the subconscious wrongs that are currently taking place. This is where you, the gamer steps in ...

Friday, July 18, 2014

What's Goin' On - 7/18/2014

It's been a while since my last post, and there's a good reason for that. During the beginning of July I was pretty much left high & dry with only porn to review. Thankfully now though I have picked up some games, and DLC extras to cover on this blog. If you've been following my daily tweets, and mentioned activities on Twitter you'll know that I picked up a handful of new video games, and DLC to review this month including a new Atlus release, and a Zen Pinball 2 DLC pack. Atlus, and ACE Team's "Abyss Odyssey" is what I'm currently working on, and trying my hardest to complete. After that I'll be taking on the Zen Pinball 2 PS4 table DLC re-releases that were shared with me. My intention with 'Abyss Odyssey" is to do a thorough review since the game wasn't that easy to figure out at first. I want to give the game a fair chance before posting my definitive opinion. As far as the re-released Zen Pinball 2 tables go I will be briefly rehashing what I know about each table, and set of tables. I'll also do a comparison paragraph, or two explaining what the PS4 upgrade has in store for the gamer. I hope you stick around, and continue to follow my progress as I will be reviewing even more games in the months to come.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Crimsonland (PS4)

Crimsonland, at the core is a minimalist's top-down twin stick shooter that incorporates creature carnage on a massive scale. The indie style shmup, which was developed by 10tons takes the simplistic controls of twin stick shooters, throws in hordes of relentless enemies in varying types, and gives the player just enough weapons, and power-ups to overcome the insurmountable odds before them. Within the game you'll find two main modes of play including, "Quests", and "Survival" in which you can test your skills, or your patience as a shoot 'em up master. By playing through all six chapters of "Quest" mode you will unlock perks, and weapons of different varieties which can then be used in the "Survival" modes that are to follow. PSN trophies are also obtainable during your main playthrough should you meet the set requirements to unlock them. As important as the quest completion is though you will find that Crimsonland's true value ultimately lies locked away in the various "Survival" modes that are unlocked through an initial 'Quest' mode playthrough.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

One Piece Unlimited World Red (PS3)

Eiichiro Oda, and the development team at Bandai Namco once again grace the Playstation consoles with a tribute game designed around Eiichiro's fantastical world of pirates, and marines. Eiichiro's epic adventure known as "One Piece" boldly began in 1997 as a manga exclusive, later became an anime, and has since gained six seasons (over 600 episodes) worth of maritime lore surrounding the 'Straw Hat Pirates', and their quest for the ultimate treasure known as 'One Piece". With the addition of video games such as 'Unlimited World Red' making their debut on current generation consoles the 'One Piece' mythology continues to expand even further reaching an even broader audience than before. Staying faithful to the series, and expanding upon it Eiichiro Oda contributes to this latest One Piece game with additional plot based scenarios, and characters not yet seen in the anime series. You'll find high seas adventures in the form of a vastly constructed story mode, and a coliseum mode in which the "One Piece" battles mean everything. There are plenty of colorful characters to play as, and team up with as you take on the quests, face insurmountable odds in epic battles, and complete tasks that are asked of you. Much like 'Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker' you will be spending hours upon hours interacting with island residents, and expanding upon the island itself. There's lots to do, and plenty of fun to be had as you join Luffy, and his Straw Hat Pirate crew in their latest set of misadventures!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Why I Do What I Do

I've never really explained my motivation behind my blog reviews, or why I request as many games as I do. I'm sure some of you think I'm some cocky wannabe journalist who thinks he's entitled to codes, and retail copies of games. Some of you on the other hand might like the review services I provide, and appreciate the time and effort I put into my work. Either way make no mistake that what I do is a full-time job. With "job" being the keyword. I personally don't get paid a dime for what I do, and the games I get only get played through once, and then I move on (90% of the time). It takes up a good portion of my daily life to do what I do, and is no different from the jobs that PR perform on a weekly basis. Do I think what I do warrants free games all the time? No, but I know for certain that I wouldn't be able to produce the amount of blog content that I do if it wasn't for the codes, or the retail games that are sent my way. The motivation which I spoke of just a few sentences before ultimately lies with my drive to write creatively, and support a form of entertainment that I grew to love, and have an immense amount of respect for. I also do what I do for every one of you. I've said it before, and I'll gladly say it again. You guys, and girls mean the world to me.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Limitless + DVD Giveaway

It's a known fact that we as the human species only use a fraction of our mind's potential. Geniuses of the greatest intelligence, as smart as they are also meet such limitations. With all the inherent, and born capabilities in the human genetic make-up it makes one wonder exactly what we could do if we we're to know, and understand everything there is to know, and understand. Many scientists, movie directors, writers, and video game developers over the years have also pondered the same question, and put into published theory the rewards, and consequences for being godlike. This topic of limitless possibilities, and potential is of course where the movie "Limitless" begins, and where it continues on after ending openly. Based upon a novel by Alan Glynn titled "The Dark Fields", "Limitless" opens up with a seemingly final suicide scenario in which the main character 'Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper)' faces the consequences of his actions that took place well before the movie ever began.

Monday, July 7, 2014

My Connection Is Not Sh*te, Get It Right pt.2

Some of you my have caught my Twitter talk about my connection last night, and saw that my connection failed the speed test miserably. This in itself puzzled me, because the in-game online connection stats on the games I play all reflect a perfect 4-5 bar connection depending on the game's standards. I got to thinking about the speed test this morning, and then it hit me. I had run the test on my wifi enable PC which was feeding off of the signal of my main PC which was hooked up to the Broadband DSL. On top of that the wifi enable PC that I tested, and frequently use has a low 512MB memory making it pretty darn slow by itself. Of course things started making more sense after that. To ensure that it was not my connection that was the issue, and that my connection was not sh*te I decided to run the speed test on my main PC.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

My Connection Is Not Sh*te, Get It Right!

Here's a blog post going out to all you hacker non-believers, and all you connection naysayers. It's time to put rumors to rest. Contrary to popular belief, as you are about to find out, My connection is always a full 4-5 bars depending upon the game. The only exception I know of is in "Persona 4 Arena" lobbies due to the connection offset that happens when joining a lobby of foreign, or distant origin. In most cases it's either a 2-3 bar connection status due to this netcode anamoly in that particular online experience. Even with said connection stat differences 99% of my online P4A matches play out as if on a 4 bar connection which is the best in the online P4A lobbies. Of course if you'd like video proof via some recorded matches of P4A I'd be happy to oblige sometime during this coming week. Without further adieu though, sit back & brace yourselves, because you are about to get educated!

Share a COKE with Brad

Recently my family stumbled upon this neat little promotional series that was implemented by the Coca-Cola manufacturers. It seems that if you travel to a gas station, or convenience store you are likely to stumble upon some 16oz bottled Coke drinks with names on the label. I'm sure they cover most American names, with the exclusion of some spellings. My Sister-Inlaw was able to find my name amongst the lot, and actually bought one for me yesterday. I honestly didn't think 'Brad' would be amongst the library of Coke label names, but I'm glad it was, because I can now share an image of the Coke product with you. On the Coke's label you'll see my name in bold print, along with the catch phrase "Share a Coke with ..." above it. Underneath all the white lettering is a hashtag trend for twitter that is as follows, "#ShareaCoke". I'll likely share it on Twitter as well being the Twitter faithful that I am. Anyways, I hope you enjoy a look at this cool idea by the guys & gals at Coca-Cola! Please share responsibly. No need to share the actual drink if you get one as that could possibly get you sick, supposing the person in question is sick.

Friday, July 4, 2014

POP! Vinyl / POP! Rides - "Batmobile"

Recently, while out shopping at Walmart I decided to buy a 'POP! Vinyl' figure for review. I liked reviewing the Vocaloid figures, and wanted to start collecting some of them on my own. One thing you have to understand about Walmart, and my trip there for the 'POP! Vinyls' though is that there's slim pickings in regards to 'POP! Vinyl' figures within the store. Unfortunately my options were severely limited, because of this. Most of the figures on the store shelves were of 'My Little Ponies', 'The Walking Dead', 'Game of Thrones', and 'How To Train Your Dragon 2'. Stuff that nobody wanted to buy, and figures that have been on the shelves for months now. The only figure that caught my attention amongst the lot was the classic Batmobile plus classic Batman combo. I had on my mind many other 'Pop! Vinyls' I'd rather have had, but the Batmobile package was an alright choice. So I bought it.

Wolf Creek 2 (DVD)

For those of you who have watched the first "Wolf Creek" film you'll be very aware of it's torture gore nature, and the man who does the death dealings therein. In "Wolf creek 2" racist outback serial killer 'Mick Taylor (John Jarratt)' returns once again in all his primitive glory to cleanse his Wolf Creek paradise of foreign invaders. This time around a pair of authority abusing cops, a German couple, and a British man who just so happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time get caught up in the grisly carnage that ensues. Paul (Ryan Corr) plays the unlucky lad who gets drawn into the fray shortly after the first three killings of the movie as he stumbles upon a female victim who is trying to escape the grasps of Mick. Through an intense, and sometimes sarcastically humorous cat, and mouse pursuit Mick trails his target through the desert like a master hunter with his prey caught in the center crosshairs of his trusty rifle. Sometimes the chase takes place while Paul, and Mick are in their separate vehicles, and other times it's an on land struggle in which Paul tries to outwit Mick with his cunning.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

"Five Dollar Flick Giveaways"

In the "Future Review" section of my blog's right side bar you will now notice a listing for a "Five Dollar Flick - Limitless" DVD review. I've talked it over with a friend, and have decided that each month (assuming people actually try to win) I'm going to make a trip to the local Walmart, pick up a $5 DVD, review it, and then give it away. I intend on always picking out something worthwhile, and not some half-assed production. This month's DVD, which is pretty darn good in my opinion, will be "Limitless" starring 'Bradley Cooper', and 'Robert De Niro'. I actually happened to watch the first half of the movie on cable, and know personally from what I've seen that it's a good movie. Even with my past viewing though I will have to go back, and rewatch it via the dvd, so I can deliver a proper review to you. After that I'll decide exactly how I'll give it away. Nothing is concrete as of yet. I am open to suggestions.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

"I've Lost My Dream" - by Brad Carver

"I've Lost My Dream"

An inspirational speech by Brad Carver

I've been pondering a lot of things lately. Mostly things to do with life, and the meaning of it. I have come to the conclusion that humankind is doomed to fail for one simple yet complex reason. That reason lies with the social standards that dictate how we live. As a child we dream of doing great things, godlike things. Our imagination knows no bounds. Sooner, or later though our parents instill upon us the social standards that were passed down to them. We are expected to grow up, and put aside our childish dreams, and ambitions. We are told to live by the law of the land, and grow up accordingly ...

Monday, June 30, 2014

POP! Vinyl / POP! Rocks - "Kagamine Rin & Kagamine Len" (FUNKO)

In December of 2007, as the Vocaloid phenomenon continued to evolve Crypton Future Media, Inc. decided to take their Vocaloid2 engine a step further, and introduce a new musical concept using two voicebanks instead of the usual one. The concept was to combine both a female, and male voicebank along with the usual synthesized sounds. Ultimately the Kagamine twins, as they have come to be known were created, and given the names "Rin (Female)", and "Len (Male)". These names were inspired, and given accordingly in regards to their Vocaloid voice actress Asami Shimoda's fond childhood memory of two similar characters' names (Ken & Rin) which originated from the "Hokuto no Ken / Fist of the North Star" anime/manga series. The "Kagamine" portion of their namesake came from the code development terms "Kagami (Mirror)", and "Ne (Sound)" which also kept true to Len, and Rin's twin-like nature. As with prior Vocaloid traditions the twins were also given an age, amongst other life details. Their age which was mutually shared was '14', and reflected their young appearances. The original illustrator of Rin, and Len (KEI) incorporated details that are seen on both "POP! Vinyl" versions of the characters. These details include a YAMAHA KX5 on the back of Len, and their boots which sport a YAMAHA EOS inspired design amongst other things.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

A Comprehensive Review - BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma (PS3 / PS VITA)

In the world of fighting games you'll find that not all games are created equal. You have your easy to play, and understand fighters such as that of the "Street Fighter" series, and then you have the more elaborate fighters such as "BlazBlue", and "Marvel vs Capcom" which demand so much more from the player. While BlazBlue, in general utilizes the same core practices as that of 'Street Fighter', or "King of the Fighters" including things like special button inputs to release certain attacks, and combo oriented fighting it still stands apart from the rest of the fighting game genre's offerings by making the applied mechanics more meticulous in nature.

Additions such as BlazBlue's exclusive 'OverDrive', 'Astral Heat', and 'Break Bursts' greatly alter the gameplay at hand. In doing so it demands dedicated attention from the player in order for that said player to come out victorious amongst the top tier players that make up it's faithful online community. Another huge thing that sets Arc System Works latest fighting franchise apart from the rest is the massive amount of content that comes with every game. A fully fleshed out 'Story Mode' with it's own in-depth character mythology as well as intricately laid out character specific interactions are among the many features that make the setting, and it's inhabitants all the more realistic, and relative.

Friday, June 27, 2014

POP! Vinyl / POP! Rocks - "Hatsune Miku" (FUNKO)

First off I'd like to take a moment's time to thank Allison of Funko for entrusting me with these toy reviews. I feel extremely privileged to be able to deliver my thoughts, and background history on each of the three POP! Vinyl "Vocaloids" that were sent my way! Domo arigato! ...

At first glance I can tell you that I was personally beyond impressed with what I saw in regards to these latest FUNKO toy offerings. They looked absolutely stunning to say the least. Without giving away any early spoilers though I will simply state that in total I received 3 Vocaloid 'POP! Vinyl' figures. There are only three in the series (with possible exclusives), and they are each allocated to the "POP! Rocks" listing. Included in the trio are "Hatsune Miku" (which is probably the most recognizable of the group), "Kagamine Rin", and "Kagamine Len". As with all 'POP! Vinyl' figures each of the Vocaloid figures are brought to life in a super deformed way which is very similar to the "Chibi" art style that is featured in some anime series.

For those of you who do not know what the "Vocaloid" phenomenon is in relation to the anime aspect of each offered figure you'll find that it was originally a music synthesis program made to mix human vocals with synthesized sounds from various electronic instruments. It wasn't until a little later on into the early 2000's that the project expanded upon it's conventional use to include promotional characters such as "Hatsune Miku (originally, "Hachune Miku")" which were each made known by various artists through video game adaptations, virtual concerts, and specialized Japanese Vocaloid magazines. It is this pop culture phenomenon known as "Vocaloid", and the combined anime inspiration that come together collectively through artistic means in the form of these three very special 'POP! Vinyl' figures.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Blue Estate (PS4)

Video game comic book adaptations usually don't capture the core material like they should. Whether it be poor game design, or bad graphic representation of the characters involved something usually does not jive with these types of games. Often times such games fail significantly, and never gain the attention that the developer, or comic book artist had hoped for as a result of the lackluster craftsmanship. In the case of "Blue Estate" however I feel we have been gifted one of the PS4's finest console gaming experiences to date, and one that will likely draw attention to Viktor Kalvachev's comic book series. The game itself takes in account the wacky misadventures of the Luciano mob family, an off kilter private eye named Roy, and some sticky situations that two of the game's main characters wind up getting into. Both Tony Luciano, and Clarence (a hitman for hire) blast their way through gangs, rival mobs, and mob bosses who would each like to rid the Luciano family of it's most prized possessions. Blood feuds, kidnappings, horse hijackings, and even pot plant stealing are some of the strange things that you'll encounter as one of the Luciano family's contributing members.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Zen Pinball 2: Deadpool (PS3, PS4, PS VITA)

Since February of 1991, in the pages of "New Mutants #98" Deadpool (aka, Wade Winston Wilson) has been making guest appearances, and solo debuts within the Marvel Comics universe, video games, and even movies. This fan favorite anti-hero which has made himself known through his many superhero, and super villain encounters carries with him a signature brand of slapstick humor, killer martial arts skills, and some complimentary super powers. His gained powers, or abilities which were gifted unto him during the Weapon-X program include, but are not limited to regeneration, resistance to telepathic powers, immunity to toxins, and extremely slow aging. His scarred appearance which was revealed through the comic books, and X-Men movies came about as a result of the adverse effects that the Weapon-X regeneration capabilities brought along with it. Before undergoing a surgery slightly similar to that of Wolverine's, Deadpool's cancer overtook his body, and scarred it in the process severely disfiguring him. That is why he is always shown wearing his signature mask, and full body costume.

As far as battles go Deadpool has seen his fair share of fights both onscreen, and offscreen. The Hulk, Daredevil, Cable, and Wolverine are amongst the unlucky ones to have encountered this lunatic assassin, and lived to have told their tale. At one point in his timeline Deadpool had his head bashed in by the Hulk, and was even decapitated by Wolverine. Even with these mortal wounds though he was able to regenerate, and continue doing what he does best. In the early years of Deadpool's comic book history you'll find that he was more of a serious character with a bit of psychosis, and didn't develop his unique brand of humor until later on. It is this latter iteration of the anti-hero known as Deadpool that you'll find in Zen Studio's kid friendly 'Deadpool' Pinball table. Even with the "E" rating though you'll be pleasantly surprised to know that Deadpool works his way around the rating system quite nicely, and that in doing so his sarcastic charm never fades as the pinball bings around the table hitting the intended targets triggering his wacky actions, and reactions as it does so.