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.