Thursday, August 27, 2015

"What I am & What I'm Not""

From time to time I like to post an article going over my life's journey, and how it is I got to this point at being a gaming, and adult film journalist. It's sort of a way to keep things in check, while trying to make sense of why it is I do what I do. In that sense it's all a reflection for me. For most of you you'll likely see me as an underdog who kind of appeared out of nowhere, but to me it's been a long hard road getting here (A certain Marilyn Manson song comes to mind). I haven't exactly been a "somebody" all of my life, and until a little over four/five years ago I did not become as well known as I am today. For the longest I have lived in silence, and solitude withdrawn from society, and have been unable to reach out to anyone like you. I kept to myself in my little corner of the world, and used my imagination, and creativity to make the days before me more tolerable. I often times read books, wrote poetry, did art, played video games, watched movies, and listened to music in the confines of a single room in the house I grew up in. I can't remember the last time I had an actual friend in my life, nor do I recall what it's like to have a close friend to hang out with. I've become so accustom to being alone that until now I was not even a person in the sense I could not relate with people on a personal level. I lived in my own little fantasy world which resided in my own imagination. I had genius conversations with myself, and even enjoyed video games by myself. Even with the occasional support of family members I still felt alone in this world.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Danganronpa Another Episode: Ultra Despair Girls (PS VITA)


NISA's Danganronpa series continues it's twisted, and often times morbid tale with one hell of a plot deviation that most gamers will not see coming. This 'Spike Chunsoft' re-imagining of the traditional Danganronpa formula not only impresses with it's visual aesthetics, deep seeded storytelling, and action RPG inspired gameplay mechanics, but goes well beyond all of that to provide likely the best entry in the series to date. It touches base on some real world problems while continuing to be it's own beast of burden. We find some returning characters of interest as well as a character or two that was briefly shown in the previous two game entries. All of which are showcased through amazing in-game visuals as well as through decent length anime sequences, and CG cutscenes that will no doubt keep the gamer closely following what the hell is going on. Content wise this sequel is more robust in nature, and more hefty with everything that it offers. While the developer could have easily made it a more linear experience they added extra mini-games, secret items to discover, and a grade system among other things that will have you spending plenty of time outside of merely advancing the plot. As usual the game is chapter based, and will incorporate some of the elements of the previous Danganronpa experiences while doing it's own things with them.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Shutshimi: Seriously Swole (PS4/PS VITA)

If you like your WTF with a side order of memes, and pop culture nods then you might just like Neon Deity Game's, "Shutshimi: Seriously Swole". Like Konami's 'Paroduis' (a Gradius Spin-off) you'll find an unlikely protagonist shooting unusual oddities in a fictional shmup driven environment. In the case of this particular indie shmup you'll play as what some journalists deem a "Reverse Mermaid". The creature in question is a fish with two buff arms in the place of fins. For whatever reason this guppy with a shotgun, and a cigar in his mouth has a beef with invaders who have invaded his oceanic paradise. That's all that's disclosed via intro plot text before you are thrust head first with no f**ks given into a series of wave based mini-game inspired modes that incorporate the usual shmup mechanics. Through the provided mode selection screen you'll enter an underwater world filled with creatures that ought not be there as well as some that will have you second guessing your current state of mind. The game doesn't take itself seriously, and plays on the memes, pop culture nods, and WTF inspirations of social media. In a way it's like a trend itself in that it bundles all the absurd worldly trends into one super wacky gaming package. Sure there's an actual game embedded in the nonsense, but it's more so a nod to nods.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Curses 'N Chaos (PS4/PS Vita)

Tribute Games has done some impressive things with their retro/indie hybrids. Wizorb, for example mixed classic 8-bit retro RPG mechanics, and visuals with classic brick breaking combat to make the perfect retro tribute. The end result was that the game not only caught the attention of me, but also a number of other gaming journalists who were into the indie scene when that game had launched. It was even accepted among the gaming community on an equally impressive scale. Seeing the previous success, and impressive nature of 'Wizorb' I was very curious to find out what Tribute Games' latest creation, "Curses 'N Chaos" was all about. I had not seen the trailers prior to requesting it for review, but I did see the screenshots, and accompanying art which all looked awesome to me. When I finally got into the game I was pleasantly surprised, and hooked from the start as I found yet another hybrid retro experience done up with all the glory of an innovative indie. This game turned out to be a mixture of Metroidvania platforming, RPG elements, and wave based combat similar to what you'd find in a shmup (shoot 'em up). It may seem odd, but it's the type of game that takes skill to master, and delivers on so many levels in demanding that mastery.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Weekend Blog Log (Aug. 23, 2015)

Here I sit once again contemplating life, and the recent week's happenings. I've come to the realization that I'll never have a solid week's worth of peace. It's just not going to happen. It's not a realistic goal. Despite being unrealistic, and out of reach I do also realize that I will have my peak moments of happiness in life that will make the down times an easily forgettable series of events. I just have to hold out for those shining moments, and sojourn on through the darkness that will eventually happen ...

At the beginning of this week I was thankful, and beyond grateful that I'd finally gotten enough review material to matter. Instead of scraping by with only a single game to review I had received an anime Blu-ray set, and several games to cover. It kept me busy, and my mind off of the negative things in life for a short while. Unfortunately as I took on said tasks my efforts were plagued by drawbacks including a week's worth of stormy weather, and the stress that comes with friendship. I hate even mentioning it, because I know it'll only serve to drag my readers down with me, but that's the nature of my life. I'm on a roller coaster ride that just won't level out. Nothing, but highs and lows. This weekend I've tried desperately to regain focus, because I've still got review work scheduled. I'm hoping that I can find that peace of mind among the storms, and life's negative surprises, so I can get done what needs to be done. That is my hope for the coming week.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Troubled Life of Miss Kotoura Premium Edition (NIS)

GENRE: Romantic Comedy, Drama, School Life

DIRECTOR: Masahiko Ohta

STUDIO/PRODUCER: NIS, Nippon Ichi Software

MSRP: $51.99 (USD) (http://store.nisamerica.com/the-troubled-life-of-miss-kotoura-complete-premium-edition)

RELEASE DATE: Aug. 4, 2015

LENGTH: 2 Blu-ray Discs, 12 episodes, 288 mins.

AUDIO/VIDEO: This Blu-ray set is geared to be played, and watched on an HDTV. It sports 1080p visuals on an AVC MPEG-4 16:9 scale. The colors are vivid the animation is clear, and the characters look amazing doing their thing on the widescreen in HD. As far as the audio goes it is a LPCM 2.0 Japanese soundtrack with optional English subtitles. The menu system which house all of the anime greatness is easily accessible, and contains a "Play All" option, a "Scene Selection" option, and even an "Extras" option for viewing the opening, and ending song sequences.

CAST: *ACTORS/CHARACTERS* Hisako Kanemoto (Haruka Kotoura), Jun Fukushima (Yoshihisa Manabe), Kana Hanazawa (Yuriko Mifune), Yuriko Kubo (Hiyori Moritani), Hiro Shimono (Daichi Muroto)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Kung Fury: Street Rage (PS4)

Going into this review I was very curious to see what a $1.99 promotional video game experience would be like. The price tag alone had me intrigued. I had hoped for the sake of the gamer, and the developer that 'Kung Fury: Street Rage" would be a brawler similar to that of "Streets of Rage". To my dismay though It was nothing like that. It was nothing like the quality indie games former XBLIG developers had made back on the Xbox 360 gaming console, nor was it like the previously mentioned 'Streets of Rage' experience. In fact Hello There AB, the developers behind this movie based action brawler made it as bare bones as they possibly could. I guess they figured bringing back the nostalgia of the 80's arcade experience, and offering little else of new generation standards would suffice. As much as I love the arcade cabinet screen look, and the 80's nod I cannot back this game even at the lowly price of $1.99. I've seen indie developers do more, and ask less for what they have created than what 'Hello There AB' has done. You can't just feed off of a movie's hype, or nostalgia to make yourself known as a proper indie studio. Quality matters even in the indie development scene.

Adventures of Pip (PS4)

Tic Toc Games takes all the impressive things about the retro gaming era including the 8-bit goodness of the NES, the 16-bit upgrade of the SNES, and the graphical 32-bit upgrade of consoles like the original Playstation, and makes the penultimate homage to the classic gaming experiences us older generation of gamers grew up enjoying. Of course there are a lot of nods, and inspiration borrowing from titles of said consoles, and console eras, but for the most part "Adventures of Pip" remains it's own unique experience throughout it's entirety. Beyond the Metroidvania platforming, The Castlevania quotes, the Legend of Zelda II features, and the Super Mario World maps you'll find a story about a tiny pixelated kingdom not unlike our own world. Within said kingdom lies a land divided by wealth, social standings, and the lack thereof. The currency, and social stature being that of pixels themselves. Things like today's real world stock market, the homeless, and the potential introduction of a one world currency (BitCoin) come to mind in relation to this game's accompanying lore.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Conspiracy Coroner - "The Entertainment Industry Sold It's Soul to the Devil"

Hello there! It's your friendly neighborhood conspiracy coroner, back with some entertainment industry possibilities! Prep yourself once again for the details about one of my conspiracy theories relating to the greedy stance taken by many, if not all industry providers. It's gonna contain a dab of religion, but I will not push the envelope beyond generalities, so don't get your undies in a wad. Replace the biblical entities with any good, or evil deity that you wish. Good is good, and evil is evil ...

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Let's Talk - "Numbers vs Quality"

This topic has been weighing heavily on my mind for the past few years that I've been into the retail part of the journalism biz. The topic in question being, "Numbers vs Quality". It's obvious through my rants, and ravings that I think greed has taken a firm grip of many entertainment outlets including that of the video game industry. A grip that developers, PR, and publishers just won't loosen. Industry makers see numbers in the form of possible monetary income, and sales percentages. Sure that's an important part of running a business, but if you give the consumer less, and constantly ask for more you begin to look like the greedy corporate pig that you are. On the opposite end of the spectrum gamers simply want to spend their hard earned money on gaming experiences that are of the highest quality. Experiences that are not plagued by day one patches, broken elements, or other fun negating issues. They simply want to get their money's worth in the form of a fun time. Of course as it stands there is no middle ground meeting on the plain of "Numbers vs Quality". It's a one-sided scale that is usually offset to one side, or the other by number crunching businesses, or the cries of gamers who are getting fed up with being force fed the same excuses as to why they are not getting their money's worth. There is no balance to be found here.

Weekend Blog Log (Aug. 15, 2015)

For most of this year I've been met with huge disappointments on the gaming journalism front. I've either been too late to request a code, or denied outright by the constantly changing PR. I've even had to get reacquainted with PR, because of employees leaving for one reason, or another. I have tried to keep it up for you guys though, and have been inquiring constantly despite what my meager review output might imply. Today, despite the shortcomings I am glad to say my gaming, and hobby review plate is full once again. I've got an indie to review, a Danganronpa game to review, and my first NISA anime to cover. Things are looking up for the old Inferno once again. I have to say in the midst of all this good news that I wouldn't be able to do what I do if it weren't for your support. For that I humbly, and sincerely thank you. You are the force that keeps me going, and that keeps me from retiring. I hope that you stick around for the future reviews, and that the critiques I provide are worthy of your patronage. Here at the Inferno I don't half-ass things, and I work my ass off to provide you the best informational reading experience I possibly can. It's the least I can do for those of you who acknowledge, and support my efforts. Once again thanks for continuing to stop by, and reading what I have to say! Thank you very much!

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Awesome NISA Review News!!!

It has been a super long while since I've sat down to enjoy any new anime series. I've just been so involved in gaming, and adult film work that anime has taken a back seat in my ever-expanding list of things I want to do. I have noticed a ton of new anime series over the past few years that I want to see, own, and review, but gaming, comic book collecting, and toy collecting have become my mainstay review related hobbies lately. Thankfully the guys, and gals at NISA have heard my plea about reviewing anime though, and have allowed me to review one of their exclusive anime series. It is a premium edition, which NISA is known for, and it houses the complete 12 episode series plus extras on two Blu-rays within an art covered box container. For those of you who are curious about the title of said anime it is, "The Troubled Life of Kotoura". I haven't got a clue in hell as to what it's about, but from the box art it looks to be one of those pervy, and comical anime misadventure series filled with wacky hijinks. I'm anxious to get started on my viewing of the collection, and will be snapping some photos to accompany the detailed review that is to come. If you guys want to see a video unboxing on my Youtube channel just let me know, and I'll try to make that happen as well.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Conspiracy Coroner: "Illuminaughty, Anunnaki & Otherworldly Matters"

For as far back as I can remember I've been fascinated by the occult, the spiritual world, and worlds beyond our own. I've read countless books, articles, and stories relating to things like aliens, reptilians, and ghostly apparitions amongst other oddities. I personally think that there's a hidden truth to it all, but not exactly as we see it. I've always had the theory in mind that this world is made up of layered realities. Like an onion with it's many layers I feel people, things, and events from the past, present, and future are all happening simultaneously in our plain of existence. With things being layered like that that's why I believe some of us are able to see things like ghosts, and otherworldly creatures, theoretically. If my theory is correct then there could also be ways for knowledgeable individuals to traverse said layers at will, and influence the various time periods as they see fit. It is this intentional influence upon time that could possibly be swaying the balance of power, and the way things will play out for those of us who have yet to see the future ahead. Where this theory gets interesting is that all throughout history traces, and hints have been left behind in a cryptic manner for us to discover. Even the entertainment world of today contains hidden meaning, and messages relating to the occult, and otherworldly happenings.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Trans-Galactic Tournament BETA (PS4) - "Impressions"

This morning I spent some time getting familiar with Kiz Studio's new free-to-play MOBA, "Trans-Galactic Tournament". It is currently in a BETA state, and is not yet complete. Thankfully there were no NDA (Non-Dsiclosure Agreements), or legal notices required to play, and enjoy the game though. After having played through the tutorial, and the first few "Plunderball" matches myself It became apparent to me that this game is an indie trying hard to impress on a MOBA level. By that I mean it's not as grand in scale as say, "League of Legends", or 'Smite", but does hold it's own as a competitive team oriented gaming experience nonetheless. I'd say it's a scaled down version of those types of games in some ways, but is more akin to a team based brawler. You do have your MOBA mechanics, and features, but at heart it plays more like a brawler that took a hint from the FPS genre. The modes of play which become available as you level up your character through the initially playable mode, 'Plunderball' are included within the 'Tournament (ranked)', 'Quick Match', and 'Practice' main menu listings. They take hints from FPS 'Capture the Flag', 'Domination', and 'Team Death Match' game types, respectively. In this case 'Plunderball' replaces CTF, 'Conquest' replaces DOM, and 'Annihilation' replaces TDM. Each mode is a small team endeavor with a team based objective in mind.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Plans, Plans, Plans ...

It is early August of 2015, and I've got little to offer in the way of reviews, unfortunately. Journalistic outlets of various standings are jumping the gun, and requesting review copies early. Most of the time I'm left wanting in said cases. I've even run into the problem of finding a proper contact in some instances. I know that sounds like a bunch of excuses to not provide for my dedicated readers, but it is what it is. What I do have planned for this week is a basic review of the upcoming free-to-play PS4 MOBA, "Trans-Galactic Tournament". After having sampled the last supposedly "Free-To-Play" MOBA I have my doubts about the sincerity of the free-to-play model though. I will spend some proper time with it learning the controls, and feature functions to give you a breakdown of how user-friendly it really is. From the preview trailer I can say that it looks visually promising, and definitely more action oriented than the previous PS4 MOBA flop. Sony definitely needs to provide a proper MOBA experience as that is a rising genre in competitive gaming, and with Microsoft having the rights to "Smite" they really need to impress the genre fans with this new game. I'm still holding out hope for a worthwhile free-to-play experience on the PS4, something akin to what "Destiny of Spirits" had to offer. A true free-to-play gaming experience. While such a thing might dip into Sony's pocket if they were to offer something of a "Triple A" nature in the free-to-play format they could possibly make up for the loss, and earn a profit with more console, and gaming peripheral sales. That's "Big Business 101", my friends. Take a hit to impress, and it could lead you to fame, and fortune.