Thursday, March 27, 2014

BlazBlue: Chrono Phantasma (PS3)

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, March 21, 2014

Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z (PS3)

Ninja Gaiden has always been a hardcore series. It's been hardcore in regards to it's difficulty, and in regards to it's required mastery. From it's early days on the NES to it's more modern debut Tecmo has kept the series faithful to the ninja theme that it's all about. Devotion, and consistent practice are a must if you hope to survive the many challenges contained within. If you've ever played, and completed any of the Ninja Gaiden games as I have you'll no doubt have felt accomplished when it was all said, and done. The same could be said for this latest spin-off about one of Ryu Hayabusa's longtime enemies, if you choose to take it on. While the gameplay in "Yaiba: Ninja Gaiden Z" is unlike any Ninja Gaiden game before it it still holds true to the hardcore formulas of the past. You will face insurmountable odds in the form of zombie hordes as well as larger than life bosses as you try to avenge your death, Kill Ryu Hayabusa, and do the bidding of the shady individual who revived you.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The 80's: "Have the Golden Years Passed Us By?"

For a lot of us older gamers "The 80's" was the point in time when the hobbies of collecting toys, and playing video games were at their prime. As a collector from the 80's I bought about every iconic 80's toy imaginable. Things like 'Garbage Pail Kids', 'Madballs', and 'M.U.S.C.L.E. Men' were all the rage, and I definitely spent a lot of my time as well as money obtaining them. They were of top quality, and were interesting enough to grasp the consumer's attention. As a gamer from the 80's I also played, and owned about every NES game made. I eventually amassed such a game collection that I was the envy of the schools I attended. Being able to enjoy said games with family, and friends also had it's pleasant perks. Due to my dedicated love for all these great things you'll often times find me reminiscing about the days of old, and how I wished I could turn back to the retro era, and leave behind all the worries of the modern age. There's a good reason for that. Sadly, only the older generations of gamers, and collector's like myself who grew up in the 80's will understand. For all you new aged gamers, and collectors you have simply missed out on the best times ever. It's just the way it is. Do I, as an 80's faithful think such an era will ever return? Unfortunately not. It's just not meant to be.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Witch and the Hundred Knight (PS3)

A foul mouthed witch, a faithful monstrous butler, and a summoned demon of legendary fame lead the cast of this latest action-rpg conquest that's all about magic, manipulation, and mayhem. NISA, the developers behind this new JRPG experience take their tried, and true JRPG formula, twist it six ways from Sunday, and present it in a wholly new fashion never seen before by their fans. Forget the tile based level grinding combat of "Disgaea", and the god-like management of "The Guided Fate Paradox" as they have little in common with this latest otherworldly plot. Instead of taking sides of the eternal kind (Good vs Evil) you will find that NISA aims to place you in the shoes of a summoned demon who is unfortunately bound by contract to do the bidding of a notorious swamp witch. This little creature known as "The Hundred Knight" does Metallia's (The Swamp Witch's) bidding from the beginning of the tale without so much as a question, but through experience, and your help he will gain powers, and assertive abilities that will help him decide his own fate amidst the morbid scheme at hand. In the end going good, or going bad is a decision that will be entirely up to you.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Gamestop Makes Good On Their Promise

Yesterday after raising six levels of hell, and making a total ass of myself online about the pre-order issues that I had with Gamestop I revisited the store, and ultimately found the situation resolved. Both Karen (the store manager), and Shawn (an employee) worked hard behind-the scenes on my behalf to right the wrongs that were done. After talking to Shawn personally, and squaring away all the harsh feelings I had my faith in Gamestop's services were renewed, and I once again found some common ground as well as some understanding of the efforts Gamestop as a company has put into place in order to make our experience a more welcome one. I'll be the first to admit I have found some things going on in the store in the past that were anything, but customer friendly. Regardless of this obviously negative side of the Gamestop customer, and business relations though I now see hope for the store regardless of it's unpopular standings with the gaming community. There are things that Gamestop has put into place to help fix anything that needs to be fixed business-wise. We as consumers merely have to voice our opinions in a respectful, and professional manner with these tools.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Recent Clash With Gamestop

If you follow my Twitter timeline closely you'll no doubt have seen me ranting & raving the other day about my recent pre-order issues with Gamestop. I had put down $20 ahead of release date thinking that it would secure me the "Black Armor Ed." upgrade that was so heavily advertised via Gamestop's official website, Twitter account, and emails up to this very month. Little did I know that my pre-order experience would turn into an all-out three ring circus though. I do realize that I may have blown things out of proportion in regards to the employees being at fault, but someone over at Gamestop was definitely not doing their job right. At this point in time I'm solely pointing my finger at Gamestop management for the blame as this is the second time I've pre-ordered from an employee who was ill-prepared to handle my pre-order properly. I feel as if someone in upper management is failing to properly educate, and inform employees about what to do in all situations.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Microsoft to Ban Campers

Recently during my browsing of my favorite Youtube channels I happened across a disturbing commentary by "ReviewTechUSA". In it the commentator stated that Microsoft's decision to ban gamers who camp in "Call of Duty" games was an "Awesome" move. His reasoning behind this was simply that he despised being killed off by campers. I think we can all agree that being killed off by campers in-game sucks, but at the same time I personally do not agree with his brand of thinking. There's ways around the "Camper" phenomenon, but there's no way to combat the immense amount of hacking that is the true threat to online CoD. Microsoft, and Sony both do not want to deal with the nagging complaints from gamers such as myself who constantly remind them that hacking is a prominent threat in online gaming. Not only do these corporate bigwigs want to pass the buck off to some other issue such as 'Camping", and ignore hacking altogether, but they are also ill-equipped to handle the ever-growing issue that is hacking.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Basement Crawl (PS4)

When this game first came into the spotlight Bloober Team teased at it's more mature nature with an excellently crafted CG trailer. As a horror movie enthusiast I got excited, and briefly fell in love with the innocent yet nightmarish look of the toys, and characters involved in the cinematic teaser. The voice acting was as eerie as the post-apocalyptic look of the environment in which the game's main female character resided in making me want to see even more. To me it hinted at a possible plot, and a possible singleplayer experience. Unfortunately when I got my hands on the game I realized two very disappointing things. The first being the fact that the multiplayer offerings which were what the game was all about were busted, and secondly that the game gave little in the way of plot material, or control explanations.

Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition (PS4)

If you grew up as a young lad during the PSOne era of gaming you'll no doubt have spent some quality time getting acquainted with Miss Lara Croft's naughty physique, and her noteworthy archaeological  adventures. Prior to the release of the original Tomb Raider series no one in game development had ever touched base on such an adventure as the ones Lara Croft embarked on. Not only was she the female version of the well known "Indiana Jones", but she was more badass than he ever was. This gun toting hottie put away many historic, and prehistoric threats during her treasure seeking days, and always walked away to tell the tale. From a guys standpoint Lara was the video game epitome of sexy. She was a virtual goddess that captured the attention of many like minded guy gamers. I for one fell for her unreal beauty, and even once attempted to make a bogus nude code work. By the way, thank you friend for bursting my bubble with that one. You know who you are ...

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Muramasa Rebirth (PS VITA)

Out of all the gaming gems that Vanillaware, and George Kamitani have released "Muramasa: The Demon Blades" was, without a doubt my all-time favorite action-rpg from them. It was one of the first games that I pre-ordered, and was one of the first Wii games to draw in my undivided attention indefinitely. I played the game through completely creating all 108 Demon Blades, finishing both character stories, and both difficulty settings. It was a video game adventure I don't think I'll ever forget.

Recently, being the rather fortunate journalist that I am I was able to secure a code for the PS Vita re-launch of the original game. Appropriately titled "Muramasa Rebirth" the game not only presented an HD visual overhaul making it look worlds better than before, but it also offered additional DLC enabling the player to experience the game through four new character perspectives. While only two batches of DLC are out at this time you can rest assured Aksys Games will follow through with the final two intended DLC releases. Aside from the DLC additions you'll find that the enhanced gameplay was presented in a more fluid manner than before with more responsive controls, and spot on features that matched what the massive Wii version had in store. This handheld version of the classic tale will no doubt come off as being the definitive version of the two as a result.