Saturday, October 31, 2015

Happy Halloween 2015!!!

It is October 31st of 2015. It is Halloween!!! Currently some of you are at work, and some of you are at school. The lucky few like myself are at home preparing for the evening's activities in some form or fashion. Whatever your plans may be, be sure to play it safe this Halloween. Parents it is your duty to keep your kids safe, and kids it is your duty to do as your parents tell you. I know that may be hard as a youngster, but your parents do know best ... usually.

In light of the holiday that is Halloween I do have some tips to help you in making sure this nightly celebration of ghoulish delight doesn't turn into one of tragedy, or misfortune. First, and foremost do not go into neighborhoods that are known for violence, or criminal activity. Secondly be sure to wear brightly colored clothing, or reflector strips to keep people from running over you in their vehicles. Also do not walk in the middle of the roads. Always keep your eyes on the traffic, and always mind your surroundings. When 'Trick or Treating' be sure to do so in the company of others. Preferably in the company of a responsible adult, or adults. When you get your candy back home check every piece for tampering, and if a piece of candy looks like it's been tampered with throw it away. For those of you with food allergies be aware of the types of candies you have, and what types of ingredients make them up. If you are allergic to any type of foods be sure to have the appropriate medications on hand in case you should have an allergic reaction. Those are all good tips that you should each abide by this Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Zen Pinball 2 - "Balls of Glory" (PS4)

It's not a normal thing for Zen Studios to step outside the comfort zone of their "E - T" rating spectrum in regards to the table themes they choose to take on. You can imagine my own personal surprise at the fact that they actually went after "MA" rated late night cartoons this time around. While the cartoons themselves are often times subject to media scrutiny, and looming controversy due to their overly explicit content the tables did seem to stray away from that mindset, and maintain the common decency which Zen Studios is known for. You won't hear cussing, or anything questionable in the way of quotes, but you will still find the often times unapologetic, and sarcastically dark humor associated with each of the four television shows embedded within. Among the lot, which you will be getting for a single affordable price ($9.99) are "Family Guy", "Bob's Burgers", "Archer", and "American Dad!". Each of which comes complete with character based scoring objectives, and features as well as events that tie-in with fan favorite episodes pertaining to the long running series. Like the cartoons that they mimic every table in the set comes to life with replicated character animations that look as if they were ripped straight from the shows themselves, and accompanying voice-overs that seems to have been contributed by each of the original voice actors, and actresses. It is truly fan service at it's finest. In saying that, and realizing that that's the case I've come to understand that if you've not followed the cartoons like me you'll be completely lost in the puns, memes, and comedic jabs that are thrown out at the gamers in a sort of massive assumption of common understanding. It's not necessarily a bad thing though.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Future Reviews & Smite Impressions (Xbox One)

While you wait for my next three review posts I thought I'd go ahead, and let you in on what's up. Recently, and possibly by good fortune I was able to secure three games/items for review including the latest Zen Pinball 2 "Balls of Glory" tables, 'Divinity: Original Sin Enhanced Ed.', and 'Rodea the Sky Soldier'. It honestly seems like it's been ages since my last review posting, and I cannot express how excited I am to be able to get back to work. As far as said work goes I'll be doing some serious multi-tasking since the games I've received were ones that were all slated to be released around the same time of month. All three games, though on different consoles come in at an order of importance close to one another due to their release dates, and accompanying embargoes, so you can expect them sooner rather than later. In fact two of the game items have already been released, and only Rodea is yet to be out to the public making it all the more important for me to get the job done ASAP. Speaking of Rodea, my nephew is going to get a sneak peek of it this evening while I begin my playthrough. It's one of the perks of being related to me, lol! He saw the word "soldier", and got super excited. I can't blame him. I don't think he knows what it's about though. My guess, since he is into that G.I.JOE toy phase is that he thinks it's an army type of game. Hopefully he'll enjoy it regardless as he's working hard at his school work just to be able to watch me play.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Crowdfunding - "Good or Bad?"

As you likely know I just got through watching AlphaOmegaSin's Youtube video regarding Square Enix's crowdfunding/Kickstarter ambitions. My opinion about said topic respectfully mirrors that of Alpha's in that I think "Triple A" companies have no business turning to fans to fund a game especially when they can stand on their own two feet as a company. Square Enix, in particular has done, and is doing alright for themselves. They still have the money to publish, and produce 'Triple A' games. For them to ask fans to give them money for translations of Japan only video games is almost robbery, in my opinion. Translation, as tedious as it may be is nothing like making a game from scratch. It's not. Even if they were using a service like Kickstarter to create a game from the ground up I'd still not back them in their efforts, because time is the most uncertain thing in this world. We don't know what the next minute, or even second holds for us let alone the future outcome of a Kickstarter that is basically a gamble of time and money itself. Time has shown that Kickstarters, and crowdfunding are indeed a gamble. Even when some studios meet their goals the games still never come to fruition. That 'Red Riding Hood' indie game comes to mind.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Dragon Quest Heroes: Final Impressions & Verdict (PS4)

At first "Dragon Quest Heroes" seemed to be a simple bare bones JRPG brawler akin to the 'Dynasty Warriors' series, and not much more than that. You had short lived missions that you could take on with applicable in-depth battle mechanics, and after battle intermissions that left the player wanting more. I personally longed for that epic battlefield experience that 'Dynasty Warriors' is known for, but the game seemed to fall short of living up to such a grand in-game spectacle. Sure the game looked, and sounded amazing, but one couldn't help but ask "Where is all the epic stuff?". Thankfully the more I played the more the game opened up to me. There were plenty of new playable characters to play as, and plenty of new vendors that offered up even more things to do in between the various mission objectives. Not only did you have the enemy clearing challenges, and boss battles adorned with story driven cutscenes, but things like grinding levels that could go on forever began to show up. Those lucrative extra missions, and the weekend bonuses really got me excited about actually dedicating some time to my playthrough. While it may not be a game that's for everyone I do feel that 'Dragon Quest Heroes', and it's unique approach to the JRPG formula has earned it it's rightful place on the PS4 as a true gem of a game. A "Must Have!!!" title!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Dreams, Ambitions & the Long Road Out of Hell

It's hard to not notice the lack of posts from a favorite blogger especially when said blogger used to post reviews, and articles like an obsessed madman. Assuming that you've followed this blog, and my posts from it's humble beginnings you'll more than likely be able to notice the difference in the content that's being provided, yourself. Sure I still type up quality reviews, and sure I've still got the support (which continues to grow), but things have begun to slow down to a crawl. I still reach out to developers and PR, but due to various issues things aren't all that easy to come by anymore. I've had my personal falling outs with PR who obviously don't want to do their job, and have even run into an issue with the Industry not offering much in the way of new releases. Being a journalist who has the time to dedicate to multiple reviews, but who cannot do so due to such issues makes me rather frustrated. I offer up my talents pretty much freely in comparison to the paid off sites, but often times get turned down for one reason, or another regardless.

What developers, and PR fail to see with my blog, and my review offers is that this blog is a hassle-free platform for getting the news out to a significant amount of gamers, or hobbyists. There are no pop-ups, no loading issues, and the reviews I provide are easy to understand yet highly informative. Of course I also follow-up via social media with my readers, and followers if they are interested in knowing more about a game, or product. I often times go out of the way to back games that I was impressed by as well. Not many mainstream sites can claim all that. In fact I recently caught a mainstream site/streamer that reviewed "Disgaea 5" giving one of the most uninformative reviews I've ever watched on Youtube. They talked to the followers like they knew the series, and that they knew the game. That is where my reviews differ. I spare no words in relaying necessary game information, and my opinions of said game afterwards. I even go out of the way to try, and help the developer better understand how to appeal to their target audience at the end of it all. Why I'm passed over as much as I am with all that I offer is truly beyond me. I think developers, and publishers often times seek the more well known outlets while not understanding that most of them are under scrutiny by gamers themselves. As a PR seeking attention for your supported studios you have to realize that It's not the messenger (the sites) that really matters, but more so the message. If you would bother supporting lesser gaming blogs like my own, and like-minded journalists with the time, and talent to commit to reviews you could get some serious attention. Keep in mind though that it also helps us when you treat us like the well known sites by sharing our links.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Dragon Quest Heroes: The World Tree's Woe & The Blight Below (PS4)

When I chose to pre-order this game I kind of knew what to expect, but honestly upon playing it my expectations weren't met in full. At least they haven't been up to this point. Currently in my playthrough I seem to be caught up in the game's introductory phase which is teaching me the controls, and various other mechanics related to the Dynasty Warriors inspired gameplay. I will say that what I've learned so far is easy enough to pick up on, and understand, but that the control scheme is a little complex. Unlike the DW games there seems to be a lot more involved in the various combat scenarios that you take on than what you'd find in such gaming experiences. Sadly those combat scenarios, or missions which have the characters getting to the bottom of the world's monster issues are short lived, and divided by character management intermissions. I do understand in saying that, that I have yet to experience the game in full though. I'm hoping there's more to it than to just go out, kill all the baddies, and return to better equip your characters for the next battle. We'll have to wait, and see though ...

When it comes to the complete package that is "Dragon Quest Heroes" the graphics, and accompanying soundtrack are hands-down the most delightful I've experienced thus far this year. By Square Enix, and Koei Tecmo sticking with the original artist of the series on the project it has truly lived up to it's hype both visually, and audibly. There's plenty of gorgeous cutscenes, and even the in-game character models are a sight to behold. The fact that the soundtrack is so special the developer, and publisher had to throw in a copyright notice regarding the legal terms of streaming the game tells you that this game is truly a gem in someone's eyes. To me the soundtrack was a noteworthy homage to Dragon Quest games of old. It sounded retro, but modern at the same time. It had a sort of fun-loving ambiance that reflected the more lighthearted scenario that the game encompasses. Keep in mind there is a bad guy doing bad things in the story, but this game is anything, but foreboding. The added fact that the spoken dialogue can be heard through the PS4 DualShock4 controller makes the game even more immersive.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Playstation Communities - OtakuDante's Fight Club

After finding out about the new PS4 community feature I took it upon myself to start up a community geared towards fighting games, and the enthusiasts who love them. As the title of this post suggests the name of said community is, "OtakuDante's Fight Club". It is for both experienced gamers, and newcomers looking to get into the genre. I'm hoping that the more experienced players will extend open arms, and tutor those willing to learn the tricks of the trade in a sort of mentoring leadership. That is the goal of my community. That, and simply having fun playing the games. As of now I only have a few members joined, but I am looking for any active participants who aren't going to troll me, or the other legit players who join. No mods are allowed, and that includes the use of modded controllers with mapping functions. As of now the membership is open to anyone wanting to join, but might change if things get out of hand.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Onigiri (PS4)

Today I took the time to try out CyberStep's free-to-play Japanese/Anime MMORPG "Onigiri", and was pleasantly surprised at what I found when I dedicated some time in figuring it out. Beyond the initial setup that required an email and password, and further beyond the Tecmo Koei inspired character customization menu I entered perhaps one of the more oddly beautiful gaming experiences I've had the privilege of playing this year. While the graphics do look like something ripped straight from the PS2 era, and are outdated for being on a console like the PS4 the world in which you play, and the mythological creatures you encounter in battle more than make up for the more poorly applied design elements. It truly is a Japanese inspired role-playing experience in every way imaginable. Even the soundtrack screams "Japan!". As a matter of fact a couple of Japan's own flagship games, and gaming series come to mind when I think of "Onigiri". Digging deep beyond the facade, and into the skeletal structure of the game that is, "Onigiri" I find that it reminds me a lot of the quest oriented N64 "The Legend of Zelda" games as well as the hack 'n slash centric "Toukiden: Kiwami" games that were recently released on the PS Vita, and PS4 consoles. Unfortunately everything that makes this free-to-play experience a gem could fall short of impressing the American audience it's aiming to captivate for the simple fact that it's not explained nearly well enough.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Weekly Update - Oct. 6, 2015

This morning I spent some quality time with friends playing through Destiny's weekly Nightfall, and uncovering a secret that's tied to god knows what in the Daily strike? Afterwards I did my morning routine of tidying up the place, getting a bite to eat for breakfast, and spending some time on Twitter chatting it up with my other friends. To me it's time well spent even if I'm not currently obligated to deliver a review. Speaking of game reviews I have been seeking out possible review prospects, but due to the availability issues, and my limitations with PR I'm finding it difficult to gain anything. I did, however go out to Gamestop last night, and pre-ordered "Dragon's Quest Heroes" for the PS4 which I'd be glad to review if anyone wishes to know more about it. In the meantime I'll be gaming for myself, and doing a couple of dvd reviews for my "Adult" blog readers. I do realize I need to post something of significance soon on this blog though, or risk forfeiting some of my loyal followers. Just keep in mind I am reaching out for review material, and that I'm still trying to keep this blog afloat.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Weekend Blog Log (Oct. 3, 2015)

It is Saturday, or rather late into Saturday of October the 3rd. I've mostly sat on my ass today tweeting to friends on Twitter via the old PC, and have spent a lot of the extra time off playing Destiny. Despite my lingering complaints about the game it is one those gaming experiences that has kept my undivided attention. I think most of that can be attributed to my friends' love for the game, and my return love for gaming with said friends. I have to admit that I do value what little time I have with my friends each evening in Destiny. It's a friendly conversational opportunity that I'm not afforded very often outside of social media text chat. Though my contribution to said conversations consists of mostly out of place exclamations, singing, and a lot of "dude" talk I still get to speak my piece about gaming, which I enjoy greatly. The one-on-one sessions with my friend 'Trouble' always gives me the opportunity to open up even more about my day, hobbies, and gaming passions. In return I also listen to her about her day, and her thoughts on things. It's a friendship that I couldn't do without, and one that I'm truly thankful for.