Monday, December 26, 2016

2016, Was It Really That Bad?

The year 2016 has become synonymous with celebrity death, global calamity on a natural scale, PC culture fanaticism, SJW self-deprecation, and the looming threat of global nuclear war. The tension is high everywhere on the planet, and everyone including their mother is glued to social media waiting to chime in on the next bad happening. At least it seems that way. In light of all this the question I feel begs to be asked is whether or not this world is really worse off than it was last year, or years before? To answer that we all need to take into consideration the social media boom, and the boom of biased opinions of the mainstream media. That, and the outlets' purposeful agendas within the confines of each "boom". In all cases it could simply be said that the "bad" things in life are more socially widespread now, and more socially known due to the connectivity the internet has more than willingly provided. We are constantly being force fed information, and misinformation from all fronts with all sources bringing forth the most negative of spotlights on human activity, and negative topics of discussion. If anything it seems to a certain extent we've all jumped aboard the "2016 Apocalypse" train whether we intended to or not. We cannot escape the descent into maelstrom that we've all been plunged into in every aspect of our daily online lives.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Amazon & Ambitions

This year has been a trying year for me, and my blog. Though I posted a decent amount of reviews I posted nowhere near the amount of reviews I could have. This problem fell on mainly on the fact that it is getting increasingly more difficult to get review copies of games. For the first time in a long time I was even denied review copies by some indie developers due to their misunderstanding of my reach, and capabilities. I had hoped the decline in reviews would not happen, but it did. What I'm about to propose in regards to this unfortunate downfall could help me do more reviews for you in the coming year. I don't want you to feel pressured about it, or feel that you have to help me though. At the end of the day you could easily use what I'm about to ask for, for yourself. If however you find what I'm proposing to be worthwhile then I will welcome your assistance. Now for that proposal ...

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Cursed Castilla (Maldita Castilla EX) (PS4)

I don't know how to say this without echoing every other review of 'Maldita Castilla', but it is definitely inspired by Capcom's "Ghouls & Ghosts/Ghosts & Goblins" games. It looks, and plays very much like those arcade-like retro gaming experiences. You have the basic platforming, the scoring setup, the simple back story, the map screen traversing, and even the weapon and item system used in those types of games. Everything from the onscreen displays to the 32bit pixel construction screams inspiration from said sources. Even the playable protagonist comes off as being inspired by Capcom's character, Arthur. While the game definitely has it's similarities it also has it's differences though. In the way of story, for example, this game takes place after the events surrounding the fall of a princess's love interest, and the unlocking of the demon realm through her tears which were turned into a magical key for the demon's loosing. Ultimately as one of the four named knights of the kingdom of Castilla you are ordered by the King to go out, and slay the demons that are bringing ruin to it's people. Thus freeing the kingdom from it's curse. Through short lived stages divided by multiple areas you must effectively fight off the demonic creatures while looting treasure chests, finding key items, and advancing to the final battle.

Friday, December 16, 2016

The True Meaning of Christmas (POEM)

The True Meaning of Christmas

Poem by ~ Brad "OtakuDante" Carver

This year's Christmas tree is gonna be the sh*t
A huge swirly turd with all the trimmings, and future presents 
tucked firmly underneath it
When old Saint Nick shimmies down the chimney with care
he'll catch a surprising whiff of the putrid smell that's been filling the air
So repulsed by the foul odor,
and disgusted with fright he'll heave & he'll ho till he's well out of sight 
No gifts will he leave, and no stockings will he fill,
but through captured surveillance footage we'll all have a laughable thrill
For the true meaning of Christmas is not commercialized goods
but is instead the friends & families who gather together in harmony 
within each neighborhood.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Flying Bunny (PS4)

Zepetto's "Flying Bunny" is one game that nearly flew under my radar. Pun intended. I didn't see it announced until the day before launch, and little to no information was given on it. All I was able to gather is that it was a shmup (shoot'em up) of some sort, and that it kind of looked like "Parodius". Being a fan of both shmups, and the Parodius series I really wanted to review this game. In fact I really wanted to just play it. Upon getting my hands on it though I was slightly disappointed to see that it was less of a traditional side-scrolling Gradius style shooter, and more like a mobile game akin to "Flappy Bird". I do get it though. The title is fitting in accordance to the gameplay as you have to tap/hold/release the "X" button to get your bunny guy or gal to fly through strings of sweets, and enemies as they come into view for that retro high scoring opportunity. Much like a bunny would hop along, but more so in the flying plus hopping sense. The idea is actually very interesting as is the setup.

When it comes to plot, and story elements nothing is really fleshed out in "Flying Bunny" though. While there is some character flavor text hinting at a school, and something called the "Candy Core" the game comes off as being one of those pick up, and put down arcade style mobile games that you'd play on your mobile device during a break. You basically have a given selection of characters to choose from, and some setup options beyond that as well as a stage by stage gameplay mode where the point is to get the highest score for the bragging rights ...

As one of the three initially available characters (Bunny, RingRing, Fey) you start off with a selection unique character specific stats including varying life, attack, and speed attributes as well as a base perk that allows for things like magnetism, quicker bomb refills, and a longer giant state among other things. This allows the gamer to experience their singular playthroughs in a variety of different ways. Being there's a total of thirteen characters, some of which require certain in-game feats to unlock, it gives the gamer different ways to make it to the top of the global or local leaderboards. You could say that for each character there's a different play style, or even difficulty in regards to how easily or difficult the character is to manage.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Ark: Survival Evolved (PS4 Impresions)

Before I say anything I need to say this ... 'Ark: Survival Evolved' is still very much a work in progress. It will not be finished until Spring 2017, and even after that I imagine the developer will continue supporting the game with patches, and updates. To date, the game has received many such updates including new crafting items, new environments/servers, and new beasts of burden (or prehistoric creatures). As far as the state of the game goes I've played both the Xbox One launch release of the game, and this newer PS4 port of the same release. In both instances I was met with initial confusion, a lack of control functionality comprehension, and a lack of mechanics comprehension. I did, however understand it was a first-person survival game at heart, and that it had "Minecraftian" elements embedded in the game's UI (User Interface), but with no tutorial or reference guide I was unable to grasp what it is I needed to do in order to not die or even to bring up the menus. I also realized in my aggravation that the game harbored RPG, and online competitive features that worked together in a server only presentation. Since it had been so long from the time of my former Xbox One playthrough though I met up with the same frustrating factors, and unfortunately that frustration ran off about 18 viewers from my Twitch stream. Nobody likes seeing some virtual caveman named "BeezleBob" wandering aimlessly around in a dark island jungle for 30 minutes straight with nothing to visibly see. Nor do they like hearing me rant and rave about a lack of explanation as I failed continuously to see the controller diagram available right in front of my eyes within the "OPTIONS" menu. Seriously Brad? ...

Monday, December 5, 2016

Zen Pinball 2 ~ Bethesda (PS4)

When a gamer hears the name "Bethesda" more often than not thoughts of retro, and modern day gaming come flooding into their minds as the company name is synonymous with titles like Wolfenstein, Doom, and the Elder Scrolls series. In fact some of us grew up in the earlier days of gaming playing games like Wolfenstein, or Doom on the PC. Others of us who are newer to the gaming hobby have even adopted the new adaptations of each ongoing series in re-release, or re-imagined form. I think it's safe to say one of the key attractions of Bethesda's growing library of releases has been the more mature themes included. That, and the mods that Bethesda willingly allows.

As both a Zen Studios and Bethesda fan I was excited when I first heard Zen Pinball 2's development staff was going to brave the odds, and take on the daunting task of making a noteworthy pinball table set in the likeness of Fallout, Skyrim, and Doom. Having followed Zen Studios efforts throughout the console versions of their pinball franchise, and having played and owned each of the games by Bethesda I knew they could do such tables justice. When I finally got my hands on them I was not disappointed in the least. After playing, and streaming the tables for my followers I came to realize this set could possibly be the best set the studio has released, to date. In fact I think it is. I found all three tables to be open, and inviting as well as beautifully crafted. The attention to detail is far greater than what I'd hoped, and imagined.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

When All Hope is Gone Game On!

It is December 2016. It won't be too long until Christmas comes to pass. This holiday season, and the year in general has been a truly trying experience for me as well as for some of you. If you follow me on social media you'll know my family members have had several near death experiences this year, and are each steadily declining in the area of personal health. I won't bother you with details, but I will say that it's been hard trying to stay positive. In fact the only time I have had a good day in the middle of all this chaos is when I've been able to distract myself with my gaming hobby. It's no mere embellishment when people say gaming has gotten them through some tough times in their lives. I can definitely attest to that being fact. I realize not everyone has that luxury though. This of course abruptly brings me to the point of my article. If you, for whatever reason, are experiencing bad times this holiday season do yourself a favor, and find a distraction. It doesn't have to be video games. It can be anything that offers you a mental escape from the overbearing troubles of life. Engage in said activities for as long as it takes to get over your bout of depression, worry, or fear. I know doing so is not a solve all solution, but distractions are much better than dwelling on things that cannot be changed so easily. Compared to bad habits like smoking, or comfort eating I'd say hobbies like gaming, or even reading are to an extremely lesser extent less harmful for those partaking of them. Just be sure to eat, sleep, and move about from time to time as well.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Brad's Black Friday List 2016!!!

2016. What a !@#$%^ year. We've been met with natural disasters, abnormal weather fronts, terrorist activity, the 3 ring circus that was the US presidential election, and all sorts of freedom snuffing propaganda and agendas. On the gaming front, which didn't fair much better we've been duped time, and time again by broken promises, broken games, and a slim selection of noteworthy 'Triple A' titles. Normally I do a list regarding my year's picks while breaking down why I like this, or that as well as why I believe you'd benefit from owning the game in question, but not this year. This year I'm gonna lay things out simply in simplistic paragraph form. You won't be seeing many picks from me, as I honestly was met with a lot of disappointment like a lot of you were. I also do not feel inclined to recommend many of the games I reviewed, especially on the 'Triple A' front due to the fact that they were a one and done playthrough for me. I want to instead mention the games that are true industry blockbusters. The kind that offer immense replay value, lengthy campaigns, proper innovation, and overall more bang for your buck. More excitement for your Euro. More payout for your Pound ...

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Samurai Showdown VI (PS4)

Samurai Showdown for me was a series that not only captured my attention as a fighting game enthusiast, but also held a special place in my gaming history as one of the few arcade experiences that I had as a teenager. I remember playing the original arcade cabinet of SamSho at the local bowling alley as my family did their routine bowling. I also played on a rare 'Samurai Showdown III: Blades of Blood" arcade cabinet at the local Kmart department store back in the day when department stores had those special arcade rooms set aside for the children of customers. Of course I also bought SamShoIII when it was finally ported to the PSOne in the late 90's, because I loved it that much. The Treachery, and Chivalry finishers in SamShoIII were, in my opinion one of the series' finer points. A feature which was lost along the way as SamSho became an all inclusive, and censored shell of it's former glory. Don't get me wrong though. I did love the new character additions, and mechanics that came into play years down the road. The different "Spirits' meters opened up new opportunities in-game, as they tend to do. When the final 3D SamSho dropped, and flopped on the Xbox 360 years after the final 2D entry I was fairly certain we'd no longer see or hear from it again. Imagine my surprise earlier this week when I found out on Twitter that a PS2 port of "SamShoVI" was actually coming to the PS4. If for nothing else I personally wanted it for a trip down memory lane, and for what it's worth I think it provided exactly that.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Ittle Dew 2 (PS4)

Before I was selected to review this game I had no idea what it was about or which studio developed it. Upon learning that it was a Nicalis creation though all my fears regarding the game's sequel nature, and it's possible poor indie quality subsided. I know I was quick to judge the game before even learning about it, but thankfully I did get to discover what "Ittle Dew 2" was all about. For those of you new to the 'Ittile (ittle) Dew' series you'll be glad to know that this "Legend of Zelda" inspired action/adventure RPG can be played, and experienced as if it were a standalone release. It's a game that follows the havoc wreaking path of an unlikely female adventurer named Ittle, and her talking and flying fox sidekick Tippsie. It seems the pair got stranded on an island this time around without a way off due to the destruction of their raft. As a result of said loss it is their ultimate goal to gather raft pieces in order to move onward to their next island adventure.

Upon washing up on shore the two traveling adventurers meet up almost immediately with a grumpy town leader who tells them to basically not embark on any adventures while there. He is definitely anti-adventure in those regards. To stop them he has his fellow citizens guard the various raft pieces within dungeons in hopes of scaring the duo off. As Ittle, with the tip guidance of your companion Tippsie you'll continue forward on your adventure regardless of the given warning while harassing the local townsfolk, trashing the objects in your path Link style, and looting the place for not only raft pieces, but also for items that will help you progress throughout the sectioned off island. There are secrets aplenty, and formidable foes spread widely across the island which stand between your path of adventure, and the stranding situation you currently face.

The Gaming Industry's Last Samurai

That headline, that title it means more than most think it does. I've noticed over the five years I've been doing what I do that the industry has changed. From the PR to the gamers themselves the uphill battle for the integrity of the industry grows ever more inclined as the days pass by. While some aim to corrupt the system with poorly made decisions and opinions I have, and always will be an unbiased voice of reasoning as well as understanding. Though many may try to discredit my work, and my knowledge of all things gaming the undeniable truths I hold steadfast to will always remain unwavering and true. Regardless of the fact that I am a journalist who openly seeks review material my opinion is not for sale, and the reviews I provide will always include facts with a tiny percentage of my own opinion based on said facts. You can choose not to believe my critiques, and you can choose to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to things, but the truth with or without me will reveal itself in due time. Hiding behind your lies, your ignorance, and your self-indulgence will not shield you from the aftermath of your actions, or reactions. While that may seem harsh I am here for one reason. I have grown up loving the hobby that is gaming. I've seen it in it's better days, and I know it could be better than it is today. Shady business practices, an outright lack of customer caring, and greed have become an accepted staple of what is to be expected. I however will not accept it. I will call things out like they are.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Brad Carver on LinkedIn!!!

You've no doubt saw me struggle at impressing some developers, studios, publishers, and PR these past couple of years. My review count has definitely suffered. In light of this I decided to up my social status by joining LinkedIn. It proved to be a very useful outlet for relaying exactly who I am as a business man as well as what my ideals, and goals are as a freelance journalist. Those privileged to my account's information have gotten to see a different side of me that most of you don't get to. A more intellectual, and business savvy side. It is reserved mainly for providers in the industries I work in though. Things like my education, my previous work, and social engagements are listed. While I'm not going to openly share the link to my LinkedIn for obvious reasons my future is looking bright. Currently I'm at all-star status on LinkedIn, and am gaining all sorts of new leads. This in itself motivates me to continue doing what I do, so you can expect more from me in the months, and possibly years to come.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Sword Art Online: Hollow Realization ~ Deluxe Edition (PS4)

Bandai Namco's latest installment in the SAO video game series builds upon what the story has established so far. It rehashes past anime installment's happenings through optional in-game inquiries, and pushes the evolving story forward in full effect through the reintroduction of the attached lore's VRMMORPG experience which manifests itself within a fantasy world that is all too familiar to the previous characters involved. As with the first SAO tech disaster involving beta testers of the new virtual reality NervGear who were trapped against their will in a VRMMORPG called "Sword Art Online", Kirito and his band of unlikely friends from the previous encounter return to their former SAO battlegrounds in Ainclad (now Ainground) via another special beta test in hopes of facing their own fears, and moving forward with their lives as friends. Upon entering the familiar yet somewhat different virtual realm of "Sword Art Online: Origins" though Kirito is immediately met with the gaze of a mysterious NPC girl, and a message shortly thereafter stating that whoever sent it was back in Ainclad. These strange occurrences left Kirito with a lot of questions, but in doing so didn't overshadow his online reunion too much, initially ...

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Earth's Dawn (PS4)

Awesome. Stunningly surreal. Eerie. Awe-Inspiring. These are some of the descriptive words I'd choose to describe Rising Star Game's latest new-gen indie release, "Earth's Dawn". It reminds me of games like those from Vanillaware such as "Odin Sphere" yet it is done up in such a way to bypass even that sort of greatness with a more dark, mature, and foreboding tone. The animated marionette style characters, the post-apocalyptic science fiction setting, and the fast paced combo heavy gameplay come together so perfectly in blend I could recommend this game without going any further. Even the character customization is so deeply involved it's quite impressive in it's own right. I had ton of fun playing it, and I think you would too if you gave it a chance. For review sake though I will breakdown all the juicy details for you. I really want you to understand what this game is about, and what it offers you at the $29.99 price mark. I know that's a steep price for an indie, but I believe it is worth it, especially for the retail physical copy.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2 (PS4)

Bandai Namco's "Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2" is a game that caters wholly to fans of the Dragon Ball anime, and it's growing lore. It's pure fan service done up in a non-canon way that could be easily considered canon. As far as the story goes you, as a Dragon Ball Time Patroller must prevent time from being altered under the guide of various Dragon Ball characters including Trunks, and the Supreme Kai of Time. Unfortunately there are also some shady characters working behind the scenes trying to make your work harder for you. Like you, they too can travel through time, and change history through their actions. When it comes to your character's involvement you are more, or less the destined silent protagonist. The hero, or heroine of the game. You interact with certain individuals within Conton City (the home of the Time Patrol), and move the story forward by taking on ranked parallel quests, or character driven quests pertaining to rifts opened up above the city. You can even leisurely battle other 'Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2' players, or AI controlled characters in order to improve upon your custom character through the earned rewards.

Once the game begins you will immediately be prompted to either port over your original Xenoverse character, or create a new one from five different Dragon Ball races. If you do have a save file from the previous installment you'll be notified that some items may be carried over, but also that some may not. The items that don't make it will be transformed into in-game credit which can be used to purchase newer items. Supposing you choose the latter option you'll find that these races with which you can create your character include Majin, Saiyan, Earthlings, Namekian, and Freiza. All of whom fans will be familiar with. The character customization process you'll work your way through is decently detailed with various options relating to body type, facial features, and even colors. Once your character is created, and named they'll be ushered in as a Time Patroller whose sole duty is to correct historical events, and make sure time goes along as it's supposed to. Along with the Supreme Kai of Time, the elder Kai, Trunks, and many other Dragon Ball favorites you'll arrange your outings through the districts of Conton City. Your all in one hub for every in-game activity whether it be offline, or online. According to Gamestop's televised advertisements there are double the amount of things to do this time around in comparison to the original Xenoverse. From what I've seen the game definitely has it's replay value, and value in content.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

BlazBlue: Central Fiction (PS4)

What have I gotten myself into!? I never thought I'd see in the series of BlazBlue such utterly harmful design decisions. This not only applies to the tweaked gameplay, the returning features, and the new characters, but also an in-game community forum that delves into more darker territory with it's potential ramifications. As a former fan of Aksys fighters I've taken to Twitter, and Youtube often to express my woes in regards to BlazBlue, and various other fighting games from their studio for the hope that the series might see a brighter future. I've pointed out that there needs to be a change for one reason or another, but mainly pertaining to online functionality, and harmful character designs. While I find those are mostly not addressed here yet again that's not what really bothers me. Within it's new features BBCF has an even darker side motivated by political agendas, and hidden propaganda. Both things of which the game has you agree not to participate in before taking advantage of it's new forum community feature. It's these double standards which Aksys has stated in the bold print that they'll hold as legally binding towards gamers. Never before have I seen a game take such a bold, politically driven, and motivated stance in the realm of online gaming, and interactivity. It effectively cripples your right to complain about the game within the game (specifically the forum feature), and holds you criminally liable should you even slightly overstep your boundaries. The studio uses the vague term "slander" and "discrimination" as a way to explain away what could simply be potentially harmful views against the game or even the company. Even calling out cheaters as cheaters is prohibited. I digress though ...

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors (PS VITA)

No matter how perverted or unfairly censored you may think the latest installment of Criminal Girls is I've personally found myself enjoying it. Everything from the constantly unfolding plot to the mythology revolving around a system of judgment that sends naughty girls to hell before they've ever committed a crime drew me in, and kept me wanting to play the game through to the end. The characters involved, their life circumstances, and their unique assortment of personalities (or personality disorders) brought to the game something more than the presence of the usual heroes, and heroines we are often used to controlling in JRPG adventures. The fact that the girls, or rather "delinquents" are fighting not for the greater good, but are instead fighting to be reformed in order to escape hell along with the program instructor makes the experience all the more intriguing. Of course as the gamer you take on the role of said male instructor, and must cope with your amnesiac situation while doing as you are told by a mysterious person who talks to you through a radio. The prison system's "reformation" program that you'll be applying as appointed instructor includes some lewd motion rubbing motivation via touchscreen interactions, the gaining of trust through given answers, teamwork, and the traversing of the multiple floor dungeon that you are in. Needless to say you will also be fighting baddies in the form of warped convicts who have become monsters through their own sinful deeds. Supposing you, and your delinquent crew makes it to the top floor you are promised a way back home, but whether or not that holds to be true is up to you to find out ...

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ginger: Beyond the Crystal (PS4)

Badland Games, and Drakhar Studios has developed one of the most charming, and visually pleasing puzzle platformers I've seen yet on the PS4. While it's not perfect the fairytale plight contained within, and the lone hero of circumstance which the game is centered around come to life in such a way that it makes you reminisce about games like "Super Mario 64", and "The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time / Majora's Mask". It features gameplay elements similar to those types of games, and blends them well enough in it's own arrangement to attract fans of said former titles without infringing on the rights of other developers. There's plenty of storytelling told through textual dialogue, and the garbled speech of bug-like creatures who are simply looking to recover, and rebuild from a catastrophe regarding their sacred crystal. Along with the guided platforming there's definitely a lot to do as you embark on your world changing adventure as the game's hero, Ginger.

As Ginger the protagonist, and goddess appointed savior, you'll ultimately be tasked with purifying corrupted crystals while helping various towns rebuild, and repopulate. This is done through combat, platform puzzle solving, and material gathering ...

Thursday, October 20, 2016

BlazBlue - The Good & The Bad

In the past, on this very blog I've covered extensively some of the BlazBlue games. From Calamity Trigger to Chrono Phantasma EXTEND I've owned, critiqued, and played every release in some form or fashion. In each encounter I've both praised them, and even talked badly about them in regards to their constantly evolving, and longstanding features. Regardless of the good, or the bad I feel BlazBlue could be greater than it is. In fact I hope it does improve for the sake of the gamers willing to continue investing in the series. I feel there's definitely a need for change in several aspects of the game, and that the developer desperately needs to make these changes lest the series continues to attract or maintain a lesser and lesser audience ...

Friday, October 14, 2016

OtakuDante's Gaming Inferno on Youtube!!!

This past week I've been working hard on maximizing my Youtube channel's reach potential. I've researched ways to manage tags, get attention through titles, and even do minor things like choosing the right thumbnails. While I seem to have done so according to the expertise given my channel is still not gaining the momentum I hoped it would. It's a tiny hungry fish in a see filled with fish looking for that next meal. I'll be honest in saying that my channel was initially born as a way to share my love for gaming. Simply that, and nothing more. In it's early years, near the dawn of Youtube I actually uploaded a lot of videos that captured me as I played Call of Duty on the PS3 in front of a tube-style television. Those videos got flagged though, and are forever lost. Keep in mind this was at a time when Youtube was much less gamer friendly, and where Vlogs were the site's main focus. It wasn't until my gaming blog picked up in popularity years down the road that I began to ponder ways to use my channel to further extend upon my views and critiques of the hobbies I loved. This year alone I've restructured the channel to include organized playlists, group themes, and even channel art. I've also done commentary videos on occasion among other things.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Rogue Stormers (PS4)

I am super late getting to this game, but to be fair I did get it late. Regardless of my past due review what I have to say could still hold sway with what those of you who have yet to play or purchase the game think about it. Let me elaborate ...

Black Forrest Game's latest single player, and multiplayer Metroidvania style platformer brings with it an unusual combination of gameplay elements. Along with the basics of platforming utilized within the usual 2D (3D accented) environments also comes twin-stick shooter controls that are further enhanced by the use of shoulder button, and face button functions. There's that, and the fact that this is a rogue platformer. Meaning that each level is randomly generated. Everything from the contents of the chests, to the environments themselves are randomly constructed before you actually get into the gameplay. Despite it's random nature the levels which are alphabetically assigned in the loading screen sequence, and titled therein in episodic fashion are done in "Battlegate" playthroughs as well as boss battles that ultimately lead to a final boss encounter. You will make your way through each level as one of several pre-designed, and unique characters who each have unique weapons and perks with which they can combat minions of 'Hector Von Garg' that spawn forth from strategically placed Transgoop portals. It seems old Hector is about as corrupt as our own politicians, and has overthrown with the help of his orcish goons the world in which the game's heroes, and heroines live. As a dedicated hero, or heroine it is your duty to end his reign of terror, and put a stop to his goopy ways.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Superdimension Neptune vs Sega Hard Girls (PS VITA)

Idea Factory's Neptunia series has taken on a rather odd, and seemingly non-canon plot twist this time around in which IF is the protagonist, and a Segami (an amnesiac on a mission) is trying desperately to stop the post-apocalyptic end of the world which was brought on by inner conflict among the Sega Hard Girls. When the game opens up IF is shown scouring a desolate wasteland on her motorcycle in a search for an ancient library. She eventually finds said library, and in doing so meets up with a predicament tied to the disappearance of history itself. It seems the grand library is the storehouse for all historical knowledge, and is run by the series' motherly figure, Histoire. While browsing the volumes of information IF falls victim to a surprise attack, and later realizes through Histy's inquiry about her whereabouts, and the lost tomes of knowledge that there is a history thief among them. Of course during the visit, and perhaps before that Segami is found roaming aimlessly about, and insists on tagging along with IF. Together IF, Histy, and Segami work out a deal to travel back in time from era to era to figure out what exactly happened to the missing data. Histy actually turns IF's motorcycle into a time traveling vehicle, and it is with that motorcycle that IF, Segami, and the select characters she encounters travel back and forth from library to era doing their detective work as they attempt to fix the future.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Candy Connoiseur - Runts

This October I thought I'd do something special. Something that coincides with the Halloween celebration, and spirit. That thing being candy. Yes, I said candy. While we like to watch our horror movies, and dress as ghoulies and ghosties the candies we loot have always been a staple of that all encompassing Halloween experience. Throughout my childhood, and even my early twenties I partook of said candy. Probably more than I should have. I can't name offhand how many different candies I've eaten, but I will say there are some good ones to enjoy. In fact while recently out at the local gas station I picked up some candy for this very reason. It was a candy that has been around for many years, and has surprisingly been changed to a more healthy version of itself. The candy in question being "Runts". For those of you who have not had the privilege to taste these fruit shaped hard candies you are missing out. The banana, strawberry, grape, orange, and lime flavors are truly delicious. Even with the health transition towards less sugar, and non-artificial flavoring it still tastes as good as I remember ...

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Zenith (PS4)

Badland Games' "Zenith" is a self-aware, and self-loathing RPG which incorporates not only older JRPG elements, but also includes comedic rip offs of said JRPG material as well as hilarious mockery of some of the 80's to early 90's greatest cult film classics. While it does bare it's own story centered around a foul mouthed mage known as Argus Windall, and his unfortunate dealings with an ancient scepter for the sake of the empire he serves under it continuously displays all sorts of cliches with tons of fourth wall breaking moments meant to stir a reaction from the gamer who is intently playing through the oddly orchestrated adventure. Nothing in the game is overly complicated, and after having played through it myself I realized the main focus was mostly about the developers' underlying message to gamers. Their personal opinion regarding the various cliches, and tropes found within most of, if not all RPGs. It's a proper adult comedy that gamers who grew up playing RPGs can appreciate, and enjoy ... to a certain point. Unfortunately the game does have it's issues, and those issues tend to break the immersion that should have been more smoothly delivered.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Slain: Back From Hell (PS4)

Finally! Slain has made it to the PS4!!! Well, at least it did last week. I know I'm a little late to the show, but I've been waiting quite a while to get my hands on this game, and see what it's all about. Was I disappointed? Not really. Digerati Distribution, the masterminds behind this Metroidvania homage have done the genre justice. Slain may not have the deepest of stories, but the attention to detail, and the overall experience included lives up to the hype that surrounded it's initial release.

At the heart of the hardcore horror fantasy tale is a long dead hero named Bathoryn who is summoned once again by his spirit guide to fight the forces of evil led by Lord Vroll. Though stubborn at first this dude of metal morals sojourns forth braving the odds in the form of perilous landscapes, and vile enemies. As the gamer you will take control of Bathoryn, and guide him along as you face the threat of instant environmental death, death by the hands (er, claws) of minions, and even that of the dastardly larger than life boss creatures that look as if they were torn out of someone's nightmares. With your sword, spirit magic, and capabilities as a tried and true warrior you will deal with all this, or suffer the consequences of your inability to do so. It is an unapologetic, and challenging game in the light of older Metroidvania platformers much like the early Castlevanias, Chakan the Forever Man, and even Altered Beast. Along with said challenge comes a symphonic heavy metal soundtrack, tons of blood, and plenty of gory bits. If you like your Metroidvanias maturer, and hardcore you'll no doubt enjoy what Slain has to offer!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Zen Pinball 2 - Women of Power (PS4)

Up until this point Zen Studios has chosen the more well known, and older selection of MARVEL superheroes, and superhero tales to make as their focal point in pinball table design. They've chosen pivotal moments from past MARVEL histories, and timelines including that of the Hulk's exile to space, and even the 'Fear Itself' table which was about as "Metal" as I've seen a MARVEL product get. They even used single characters as the spotlight interest from time to time, and built said table around said character. Most former MARVEL fans can appreciate the attention to detail put in these older tables as they are more relative to those of us who have been with MARVEL in the past, but who have currently abandoned them for their awkward direction in both storytelling, and art. Myself included in that statement.

That having been said the "Women of Power" two table set isn't all that bad. I was intrigued by the "A-Force" table which included Black Widow, and Madame Masque as it's flagship characters. It looked, and seemed similar to a lot of the more male inclusive story spin-offs I've read through in the past. On the flip side of the same set though the "Champions" table completely lost me outside the fact that it's the one table out of the set with the easiest high scoring mechanics included. In fact today I landed a score of 143+ million in a 20+ minute playthrough. The inclusion of Ms.Marvel, Lockjaw, and the other female casting kind of turned me away from liking it regardless of this plus side. As I mentioned in my preview stream the characters, and the table felt too slapstick, or rather too comical to be considered what I think of as MARVEL. In a Scooby-Doo sort of way.

That aside both tables in their entirety look superb, and for the most part play excellently under the guide of skilled, and even amateurish control. Everything from the soundtrack to the voice-overs, and even the visual effects come together in a manner befitting of Zen Studio's advancing, and ever improving quality. For that very reason I find myself on the fence about either loving, or not liking what path Zen Studios has currently taken with their trek into MARVEL comics coverage. There's definitely an air of PC (Political Correctness) influence, and aspirations with the theme. I'm not saying it's bad to cover only super heroine inclusive MARVEL plots, but like the latest MARVEL films this too seems to be introduced for propaganda purposes by outside sources with their own agendas. God knows I favor the female characters over a lot of the male characters, because they've always looked cooler to me, but this gender divide and singular focus has got to stop in the entertainment industry. Seriously.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Pac-Man Championship Edition 2 (PS4)

As far back as I can remember, even in the original championship series spin-off, Pac-Man has always been about collecting the dots, traversing the mazes masterfully, avoiding the four infamous ghosts, and only attacking when Pac-Man was powered up by the power pellets he consumed. To me this flagship formula in it's simplest, and early championship edition form was what Pac-Man was meant to be. It's what it was from the start. An arcade style experience centered around high scores, and only complicated by the mazes themselves as well as the ghosts that inhabited said mazes. In this latest installment of the championship series this flagship formula was turned upside-down. Topsy-turvy, if you will. By that I mean Pac-Man, the protagonist of the game, is no longer really all that troubled by the presence of the ghostly inhabitants of the mazes he takes on, but is instead challenged by the mechanics that add several extra options for capitalizing on the ghost chains which were the main scoring features within the original championship edition. At base level the game looks, and reacts as it did in it's former championship glory, but over-complicates things at the same time. The biggest of differences in regards to this change, the ones causing the fuss, being the change with the effect of the bombs, the ghosts' behavior in general, the addition of a boss inclusive adventure mode, and the ability to basically bully the ghosts and their trains out of your way with little repercussion.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet (PS4)

Admittedly I went into this review rather blindly. I knew little of the Touhou anime universe, or the characters that resided therein. Despite this lack of series knowledge I do know my shmups though. I've played every possible kind of shoot 'em up from the bullet hell type to the side scrolling type, and even the top down variety. I've also played old school, and newer shmups from various publishers and developers throughout the years. Yar's Revenge on the Atari 2600 included. The thing that's always drawn me to the genre, and it's sub-genre offerings has in each case been the challenge, and the accompanying top score goals. Everybody wants to be the best at a game, but in the shmup genre this aspect of gameplay really does show, and you really do have to work hard to earn your placing among the honorable few. It's kind of like pinball in that sense. Looking back at my review playthrough I can definitely see those core values, and similarities in this game as well.

When it comes to this latest NISA release known as, "Touhou Genso Rondo: Bullet Ballet" you'll find that it brings with it an all encompassing variety of shmup mechanics. By that I mean even though it is a top down shooter it uses every mechanic known to the genre, and then some. The power-ups, the bullet barrage, and even the scoring are included in the mix. While it does stay true to those more traditional elements it in some ways also seems to blend fighting game offerings with it's fleshed out character roster, story driven content, and the melee system that uses two colored rings as a way for players to dish out melee combos instead of the traditional bullet hell attacks. There's definitely a lot to this budget bullet hell title, and for what it's worth it may be one of the more interesting shmups I've ever played.

Who Ya Gonna Call!? Not Sony!!!

Are you continuously haunted by the harassment of others while gaming on the PSN? Are the trolls trolling you, and the hackers hacking your MLG efforts to bits like some Jack the Ripper clone? Well, if so I've got some disturbing news for you. In patch 4.0 the reporting options that should be are no longer available. In their place stands a confusing assortment of options that are once again so vague in description that anyone would be hard pressed to make heads or tails of what the complaint is all about. Sure they added in the description box for applying details about your complaint, but said complaint form effort is made futile, because it is tied to specific complaint types which are of an extreme nature. Complaint types which encompass issues that are hardly ever present in the PSN. There's that, and there's also a blatant push to pass the buck to gaming studios who offer online gaming features. They tell you to block the player (with limited blocks in place), and to report your problems to the video game's service provider. The catch is not all gaming studios offer in-game reporting options, so who are you supposed to report to in such a case? Not Sony, obviously. They couldn't care less what you are complaining about, and this is made increasingly more evident with each grief report patch that has been forced, to date.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The "Git Gud" Proposition

I get it, I really do. You guys want me to "Git Gud", and stop being salty. Unfortunately we all have our wants. In my case I wish you guys would accept the fact that not everyone wants to "Git Gud". Some gamers simply want to enjoy a game they paid for on a more casual level without being harassed by trolls, and cheaters. With that having been said though I think I might have a way to satiate both of our deep desires. You want me to "Git Gud", and stop being salty, but how bad do you really want it? I am willing to "Git Gud", and stop being salty, but it's gonna cost you due to my own sacrifice of personal opinions. Opinions which are very near, and dear to me ...

Friday, September 9, 2016

PSYCHO-PASS: Mandatory Happiness (PS4)

Modeled after the anime series of the same name NISA's, MAGES', and 5pb's addition to the ongoing plot that is "PSYCHO-PASS" takes place somewhere in the midst of season one with two new playable characters, and a new villain the likes of which fans of said series will not yet have seen. All of which is presented in an interactive visual novel style experience with exceptional attention to detail abound. For those of you have never heard of the anime, or it's story you'll be surprised to know that it's not quite as far fetched an idea as anime usually is. In fact, dare I say it, it kind of mirrors the direction our own society is currently taking with the secretive collection, and assessment of private data tied to persons of interest by corporate entities. The premise in the anime series, like our own real world plight, revolves wholly around a managed society where enforcers operating under an AI judicial system known as the "Sibyl System" track down latent, or potentially latent criminals through their personal "Psycho-Pass". The 'Psycho-Pass', as it were is an accessible psychological evaluation that takes into account a person's stress level (Hue), and criminal capacity (Crime Coefficient) for the sake of maintaining a peaceful society. Criminals found with a certain Hue will either be counseled, enforced by the Inspectors/Enforcers via a non-lethal paralysis shot, or will be executed on site with a Dominator pistol which evaluates the criminal status of the individual before firing the fatal shot through one of the Enforcer's or leading Inspector's handling of said weapon. Inspectors, and Enforcers of the Public Safety Bureau (MWPSB), as a result of the use of this system are effectively judge, jury, and executioner of anyone deemed suspect. Even latent criminals found among themselves. Of course this game picks up on that base story element, and builds greatly upon it in a case by case, and chapter by chapter basis where three main characters' involvement intertwines through their unusually connected circumstances.

Monday, September 5, 2016

MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death (PS VITA)

Idea Factory International, and Compile Heart bring to us yet another creative anime RPG with a unique twist. This time around it's a fresh take on the age old dungeon crawling formula set within the anime fantasy that is "MeiQ: Labyrinth of Death". The story, for those of you who are curious encompasses an unusual mythology where the world has ceased to function, and demons have begun taking over. To the rescue are a handful of busty (one not so busty) Machina Mages including Estra, Setia, Flare, Maki, and Connie who are each tasked with the duty of winding up the world key at the heart of four towers within the Southern Cross so that the world they live in will once again know peace and prosperity. The catch being that only one Machina Mage can wind the key, and in turn be granted the head position at their temple. Along with their mage skills these four young ladies of unusual elemental prowess are accompanied by Kaiju-like guardians who help them with the oppressive demon threat, and the dark Machina Mage known as Gagarin who is at the center of the dilemma. As the title suggests you, as Estra will be traversing various labyrinthine environments alongside her compatriots in the first person point of view as you do as the temple elder has ordered you to do. You'll take on guild quests, rest at the Star Wind Inn when need be, and shop at the temple merchants store for items that will benefit both you, and your party members. Guardians included, of course. While it all sounds simple combat within the multi-floor labyrinths is a little less so. Luckily past the flashy spectacle that is the anime intro the developer drops several tutorials that will have you understanding the game in no time.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Strike Vector EX (PS4)

RageQuit Corporation's "Strike Vector EX" is not your traditional aerial dogfight simulator by any means. It brings with it an immersive arcade-like atmosphere with a plethora of arcade style gameplay elements included. It also includes a vaguely explained story locked behind a fairly lengthy campaign along with a healthy multiplayer experience that mirrors offerings from games like Call of Duty, or HALO. It's definitely unique in it's delivery, and quite engaging once you get to know how the game is meant to handle outside of the default settings.

If I were to compare the story portion of the game to anything I'd have to say it was a mixture of the climactic saga of StarCraft, and the federation goings on of the recently released StarTrek movies. The latter of which were based around the younger cadets, and their rise to becoming their older selves in the science fiction lore therein. By that I mean the game is futuristic, and that it seems to have different inhabitants, or factions in factory-like bases floating above a desolate planet. Each fighting for various causes ranging from domination to pirating, and even a seemingly futile fight for freedom. The main character himself mirrors the young and defiant pilot Captain Kirk in the way that he conducts business for both freedom fighters, and corporate entities alike. It is as Marv, this young Vector pilot of circumstance that you'll be taking on missions from those you follow within the mission based campaign. Outside of said campaign setting you'll be free to fully customize, and pilot your own Vectors in dogfight friendly environments set aside for competitive, and objective combat. All of which is ranked, and will earn you Kebs (credits) for unlocking all the other bits and bobs that the game has in place for you to unlock.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Worms W.M.D. (PS4)

The Worms franchise, for those of you who are unaware, has been around for quite a while. It's seen releases throughout the years on PC, and console platforms alike. For the most part the Worms games have stuck to their pseudo-platforming trajectory turn based combat roots in a 2D presentation, but on a couple of occasions Team17 also dared to bring the games into the 3D realm. The past Worms games I have personally reviewed (which have been of both types) have all received recommendations from me for the wacky humor included, the party-like atmosphere that each installment provides, and attractive features that are in essence attractive. The Worms games are always tons of fun whether you choose to take advantage of the offline, or online modes of play. In this latest installment titled, "Worms W.M.D." nothing really changes in those regards other than some system streamlining, new worm weaponry, and some new features that add to the core values the game's developer has stuck faithfully to. I think that's a good thing.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Dante's Guide To Spotting Cheaters

What is a cheater? What does the term "cheater" entail? These are but a couple of questions that will be answered as we take an educational journey into the realm of the cheater. Brace yourselves for a truly unapologetic, and eye opening experience the likes of which no gamer has ever dared to engage in within the history of competitive online gaming ...

Friday, August 26, 2016

Assetto Corsa (PS4)

Let's talk about racing games for a moment. The racing game genre has had it's ups, and downs over the years. It's had it's highs, and lows within the realm of popularity and sales for various reasons. In it's high times gamers got to revel in the glory of the sub-genre known as simulators while playing games like "Gran Turismo". A series which mostly hit the nail on the head when it came to realism, and plentiful in-game offerings. On the flip side of the same coin we have had arcade style racers like 'Project Gotham Racing', and "Super Mario Kart" which offered a different take on the racing genre, but in a manner relevant to a more casual crowd. For the most part racing games have fallen into one of a handful of sub-categories including that of simulators, arcade racers, and even indie racers. Each of which has appealed to a different type of gamer demographic. As a gamer myself I have enjoyed games like 'Gran Turismo', and 'Project Gotham Racing', but never really invested a lot of time into said games. I'm not what you'd call a racing fan, and only found enjoyment when the races weren't so true to life that I found myself stumbling along trying to grasp an understanding of pro circuit driving. I feel that while games like 'Gran Turismo' are attractive they are geared towards a very faithful audience. An audience that understands the fundamentals of racing, and the basics of driving. An audience who appreciates such technology, and science. None of which I'm really accustom to.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Let's Talk - Sony's PS Plus Price Hike

I am a man who is more than willing to pay extra when a product or a service warrants a price increase. Say for example if Sony were to actually do something to combat the cheating pandemic on the PS4 by adding in proper console grief report options with replies back from said reports that aren't copy & pasted BS I'd be happy to fork over $59.99 for a years subscription of PS Plus. Sadly Sony, and their PSN division has neglected the PSN's online integrity, and have deliberately went out of their way to make reporting PSN cheaters, hackers, and modders a near impossibility. How have they done this you say? Well, for starters they completely removed their official website's only viable complaint form. The only real option we had as gamers to voice our complaints. Not only have they done this, but their only social media support outlet spouts out unsympathetic answers to gamers' burning questions directing them to the official website's feedback form which has absolutely nothing to do with reporting a problem or a player. When it comes to on console grief report options Sony's PSN moderators have made it a point to beat around the bush with report options, and make said report options so vague that anyone in this world would be hard pressed to understand what a wronged PS4 player is complaining about. They basically give legit gamers the run around, and do NOTHING about the cheating issues at hand. At least not anything effective. Sure, they slap a serial number with a hashtag on a reply with the same copy & pasted message saying thank you, and a minute later that they have processed your report. By the way how the hell does anyone investigate, and deal with a complaint within a 1 - 5 minute time span?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Everything Wrong With the Paragon Open Beta

I would like to first state that these findings are in regards to the open beta of Paragon. The game has yet to become a finalized experience, and is subject to change at the discretion of the developers. It could improve, or it could get worse over time depending on how the game is managed. I need to also state that what I'm about to say contains only my opinions, and that it does not reflect the opinions of anyone else unless they choose to agree with me. In no way is what I'm going to tell you a tool being used to turn you away from the game. It is instead an article I'm hoping the developers read, and take note of in their goal to perfect Paragon ...

Friday, August 12, 2016

Dante's Two For One - State of OverWatch & No Man's Sky

Today friends I'm going to talk about two overly hyped video games, and what it is I think about each one. These two games include "OverWatch", and the recently released "No Man's Sky". Before I get into either discussion though I think it's important to talk about hype, and what it can do to a game's reputation. Hype, in general can be a good thing if, and only if a game lives up to said standards. Hype, as it were is a state of excitement over what could be. If what could be isn't factual, or reasonable then the hype will most definitely fail upon delivery. In the gaming industry studios, PR, and publishers sometimes use hype as a tool to secure day one sales or pre-order sales without merit or warrant. While using hype to promote a game can be a good business practice if utilized properly it can also come back to bite the content creator in the arse if they know what they are selling will fall short of the hype that has been built up before launch. Hype, more often than not is a dangerous thing for any content creator to rely on regardless of circumstances, and more often than not does not bode well for said hype feeders who do not truthfully disclose what their game or product is really about. Thus is the case with games like "No Man's Sky". In the end it's all about the use, or abuse of hype in the PR sector of the gaming industry. Much like it is with any entertainment industry branch.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors - Icons, Wallpapers & Banners!!!

Just got word from the Awesome guys & gals over at NISA that they have setup a special website for fans of the "Criminal Girls" PS Vita series. This website includes downloadable icons, banners, and wallpapers that fans can use to celebrate the upcoming game, and their favorite Criminal Girls gal. There's also some trailers with which you can gain a sneak peek, and understanding of what the game is all about. The easily offended need not apply. Criminal Girls is a mature JRPG, and is labeled as such. If you aren't mature enough to handle it then I suggest you pass along. That is my opinion though. An opinion that I stick by. Be sure to click the "Read More ..." button on this post if you'd like to take up NISA on their generous offer, and adorn both your social media accounts, and your PC with the "Criminal Girls 2: Party Favors" goodies!!! Enjoy, and you are welcome!!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

A.W.: Phoenix Festa - Part 2 (PS VITA)

After having completed the story mode, and having checked out the additional modes of play I am ready to deliver unto you my verdict, and an explanation of what else "A.W.: Phoenix Festa" has for those thinking about buying it ...

As I mentioned in the first part of my two part review this game keeps things simple while tying into the "Asterisk War" light novel mythology on a very basic level. It is centered mostly around dating sim mechanics while using a simple combat system to further build upon said relationship building. Nothing is really complicated once you get past the tutorial phase, and after a while things do become repetitive, and kind of bland outside of the dialogue that is shown within each characters' interactions. You will be basically minding optional tasks to a calendar based schedule in three month-like intervals with the tutorial playthrough, and introductions being the first month's activity regiment. After that it's all about courting one of four available girls (Julis, Saya, Claudia, Kirin) while readying your partnership for the Phoenix Festa event, and ultimately engaging in said event with your won over partner. The other modes of play include a "Battle" mode with three additional in-menu options including "VS CPU", "AD HOC BATTLE", and "SURVIVAL". Upon completing the "Story" with the already named protagonist you will also unlock an extra "Gallery" mode in which you can view all character interactions from previous playthroughs in all of their former glory.

Monday, August 1, 2016

A.W.: Phoenix Festa (PS VITA)

Bandai Namco's video game spin-off of the "Asterisk Wars" light novel series takes in account said light novel's background story, and turns it into an interactive dating sim hybrid. It combines the use of characters from the ongoing series, applies dating sim mechanics, and adds elements of 3D action based combat into the mix of it all. As a newcomer to the academy which the game utilizes as it's training grounds, and area of romantic outings you (the protagonist) will be tasked with completing optional chores/duties, and extracurricular activities to a series of collective 45 calendar days within a month-like arrangement which takes in account such things as student courting in the form of dates, stat improvement through Lux (weapon) training, duels with challenging individuals, and an end goal of competing in the annual "Phoenix Festa" event in order to obtain a single granted wish. How you manage the schedule will of course determine the outcome of your time invested. Whether or not you're prepared is entirely up to you though as you will be the one deciding what the readily named protagonist, or unnamed protagonist does with his given time.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Brad's Presidential Speech 2016

Fellow Americans, people of all nationalities. It is time for a change. Not in the sense of the current candidates' goals, but more so a personal at home change. As the late John F. Kennedy so rightfully said many years ago, "Children are the world's most valuable resource, and it's best hope for the future". It is time we as grown-ups, authority figures, and parents recognize the true problem at hand. That problem being the ill-advised raising, and outright neglect of our children's education regarding what's right, and what is wrong in a social environment. It's time the adult population is held accountable for their inaction and actions in relation to the corruption of the youth, and are made to raise the children of America in a way befitting of the country's more humble, and respectable origins. Long gone are the days of proper parenthood, and a righteous upbringing. As such we must strive even more to right the wrongs we have passed down from generation to generation. As your potential presidential candidate I aim to help you guide your children to become our brightest future.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS-Force (PS VITA)

For a guy who has never watched the Gundam anime, and who has never played a Gundam video game I was oddly drawn into the short lived battles, and objective based scenarios of "Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme VS-Force". It's one of those attractive gaming experiences that borrows properly from it's origin sources while weaving a new tale, and drawing in a new crowd of gamers with a standalone experience that is polished in every way possible. Along with the returning Gundam from the ongoing series of the same name, and the enemies from said series are a handful of new ways to get involved in the worlds, and lore surrounding the Mobile Suit mythology. At story level you'll find that you are a computer construct which was awakened, and transformed into a Gundam by a couple of AI for the purpose of saving humanity. By "saving humanity" I mean you are battling it out in the virtual worlds, and historical timelines of said virtual worlds in order to change the history therein so that a better, and more evolved form of humans can inhabit the cyberspace through embedded personalities. It's an unusual pitch, but it is one that's good enough to keep newcomers, and MS Gundam lovers of old hooked long enough to learn the ropes of gameplay, and possibly even continue playing to perfection.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Oversaturation In The Gaming Industry

I've been itching to talk about the oversaturation of game releases for a while now. It's a topic of discussion that hits close to home, and likely not just for me. For those of you who don't know what I mean by "oversaturation" I simply mean similar genres of game releases that are constantly competing for attention in a market that is overfilled with continuously released copycat ideas. This phenomenon is happening more, and more on the free-to-play front, and in the paid gaming front as well. The problem with these similar releases is that it poses two very significant problems. One problem being the detraction of attention from noteworthy gaming experiences, and secondly the confusion regarding which games the gamers should dedicate their time, and money to. In this industry gamer population means a lot to developers as does time, and if gamers aren't supporting a studios' games on a regular basis those said games eventually become virtual ghost towns while potentially ruining the possible success of another game from the same series/studio. It's a lose-lose situation. Both for the industry providers, and the gamers alike.

If you've been following game offerings on the PS4 side of things you'll notice that MOBAs are becoming a popular fixture on the platform. Currently there are three decent MOBAs in the free-to-play section of the Playstation Store begging for gamers to participate. This includes the long running MOBA "SMITE", the newcomer and possible heir to the MOBA throne "Paragon", and finally the League of Legends clone "Pirates Treasure Hunters". I've played all three games, and for what they're worth each F2P model is rewarding enough for the gamers who wish to dedicate time to them. The problem, as I mentioned before is that with three MOBAs competing for attention the gamers are confused, and divided as to which MOBA would be in their best interest to dedicate time to. As gamers are busy trying to decide which F2P MOBA to commit to they are also dedicating time to their weekly "Triple A" releases, and other games they've picked up along the way that demand such attention as well. This only serves to hurt the industry providers further due to the gamers' time limitations, and it ultimately moves fans from game to game like a swarm of locusts hungry for the next Awesome release. As such some studios that were once somebodies end up becoming nobodies while newcomers steal the show only for a limited time themselves. Thus is the oversaturation of which I speak.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Carmageddon: Max Damage - Online (PS4)

This afternoon I was finally able to join two multiplayer lobbies in "Carmageddon: Max Damage". Both experiences were completely lag free, and were quite fun for what they were. In the first lobby I played a mode called "Fox 'N Hound" in which two cars played the roles of the hounds while a single tagged, and highlighted player played the role of the fox. I think the point was to stay the fox long enough to deplete your 3 minute timer completely while dodging the other two players' vehicles. Sort of like a children's game of "Cat & Mouse". In the second lobby I entered I got into a "Death Race" against a single player, and found it to be contrary to what other journalists have said. That said thing being claims that the game lacked proper racing controls. While I did crash on the course several times I was able to keep up a good speed in Max Damage's sports car. Sadly I came in 2nd place at the end of it due to the odd roller coaster style layout of the course, and my unfamiliarity thereof. The game actually looked slightly nicer online than it did offline with all the people, and animals littering the pathway in their simple forms. In fact it kind of looked like a proper racing game to a point. That of course brings me to my final point of this article though. When it comes to online play you will not find pedestrians, or beasts of burden roaming about the tracks. No blood, guts, and gore for you while playing online. It would have been nice if that was a part of it, but it's just not the case. Sorry.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

HAWKEN + Founder's Bundle (PS4)

I have wanted to play this game for so long. I took notice of it when it came out on the PC years back, and was completely crushed when I figured out it was going to be a PC exclusive at that time. Seeing it come out as a free-to-play game on the PS4 this year though was exciting for me. In saying that I realize some of you may be questioning the choice of the developer to adapt the F2P console model, but from what I've experienced, and seen it is a quality game where the paid for content does not detract from the experience at all. Sure you'll be without the bobbles, and finer customization options if you choose not to pay for the paid in-game currency, but you can still unlock the mechs, and still enjoy them in their entirety without the superficial add-ons. Gameplay is definitely king in this situation, and it really shows. One thing the game has going for it beyond all the offered extras is it's post-apocalyptic environmental design. That, and a well thought out mech design. The developer doesn't get too deep with the mech play, but instead makes it easy to manage so that players can enjoy multiplayer modes like team death match without hassle. Being an online only multiplayer experience it certainly compliments "HAWKEN", and in more ways than one.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Carmageddon: Max Damage (PS4)

The original "Carmageddon" game was no stranger to controversy in it's early days. If memory serves me well it was actually banned in some countries (Germany? ...) for the gore, violence, and crude subject matter. Seeing it come back in this very same unapologetic form both delights me, and kind of worries me at the same time. Don't get me wrong though. I love my violent video games. The features in this particular game however could easily be offensive to many gamer types. Things like the running over of animals, the elderly, the handicapped, the obese, and the use of certain descriptive words (Babyshit Bronze, Pink Penetrator, Spotted Dick ...) for applicable skins definitely show a sort of tastelessness or lack of common decency. Not that I'm complaining (Freedom of Expression FTW!!!). Despite this potentially frowned upon formula parts of the game really stood out as being polished for a game bearing such a price tag ($39.99). At least to me ...

Coming back in all it's lewd, crude, and rude glory "Carmageddon: Max Damage" returns with it's cybernetic antagonist named 'Max Damage' who is once again focused on wreaking havoc on innocent bystanders, and fellow death race participants. The races which come in three carnage heavy flavors give the gamer some unusual options for winning as the homicidal maniac himself, or as any of the other racers in the league. In the campaign specifically the "Carnage Carma" mode allows the player or racer to win through either the killing of all pedestrians, the destruction of all other racers/racing vehicles, or the usual completion of laps via checkpoints. In other modes you'll also be racing to capture marked points to meet a point quota, or racing to the finish line with vehicular combat in mind during a proper death race. There are plenty of armored, and weaponized vehicles to unlock (25), upgrade, and deal damage with ranging from Max's spiked sport's car to drift cars, dragsters, and even a transfer truck among others. The catch is you are timed, and the damage done to your vehicle is only reversible if you obtain the credits by performing "cunning stunts", killing peds in different stylized manners, or by running over barrels in a fashion similar to the Mario Kart games. There's even PUPs, or Power-Ups which will give you options outside of wrecking, and racing. Again, like "Mario Kart". Customization is an added bonus as well which to an extent will allow players playing with the same vehicles online to make their vehicles more unique in comparison to others ...

ATTENTION!!!: Brad's State of the Nation Address

What I'm about to say I'm going to keep short, and to the point ...

As of late, and well before then it has come to my attention that Americans among other worldly citizens are being led to restrict their own freedoms. We are tightening the leash around our necks (so-to-speak) through our actions, and reactions regardless of how justified they may seem. In fact we've become a highly reactive, and active society when it comes to voicing or displaying our opinions about what is wrong, and what is right. The fact that social media is constantly ablaze with negative controversies concerning the average citizen, and the ruling body should be concerning in itself. It's as if we are being subliminally led to direct our anger, and worries at specific targets for undisclosed reasons. Those reasons ultimately being for the limiting of our own rights, and the ushering in of a totalitarian government. Whether you are black, white, or any color under the rainbow this should concern you. There's no doubt in my mind there's been racial injustice at play as well as political injustice, and gender specific injustices. No doubt at all. With these injustices set aside though there is no denying that some peoples' actions in regards to these intentional public outbursts have only served to cripple our rights as free citizens, and have all but plunged us into a civil war. I believe it is what certain individuals want since a society that can be swayed to believe a certain way can be easily controlled. A wise man or woman would easily pick up on this fact.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

God Eater Resurrection (PS VITA)

Bandai Namco's "God Eater Resurrection" was a new experience for me. I had never played any of the previous games in the series, and only had a vague idea of what it was about. Going into it as blindly as I did I found that I was mostly concerned as to whether or not I needed background info on the previous game/s, or if it would be a standalone experience. Thankfully, despite throwing out names, events, and explanations all over the place the game still offered the gamer a proper entry point into the series without losing them along the way. I kind of figure "God Eater Resurrection" is a remaster of the first game, or something between the first and the second release considering how the game played out plot-wise, but that is only a guess.

When it comes to the given story, and gameplay therein Bandai Namco's developers continuously drop hints of specific characters' involvement as well as information on a corporation fighting to save humanity, and the plague of alien creatures known as the Aragami which are hellbent on wiping out all of humankind to the point of extinction. This fight becomes evident through the main character which is a generic creation molded to the gamers' specifications at the beginning of the playthrough. A character that is a standout presence in the story being told, but only vaguely so through the implied "chosen one" cliche that has been used in so many other JRPG adventures. Past the game's intro cinematic, and initial character creation which harbors detailed name, voice, color, and aesthetic options it becomes apparent that your character is to take on the previously mentioned cliche role of an extraordinary individual, and that he/she is to make strides in the waning warfare that has the corporation you are working for backed into a corner along with the remaining human population.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Let's Talk - Video Games, Gaming & The Gaming Industry

It's been a while since I talked openly with my readers about my thoughts on the current path the gaming industry has taken. I've definitely had a lot on my mind in regards to it, but I've mostly confided in my one close friend who joins me for gaming sessions on a regular basis, because she listens. She's been coming to me for advice on what games to get, when it's best to adopt a new console, and where I think the gaming industry is headed. While I hated to be the bearer of bad news for her since she's new to modern gaming I had to be honest. Even though there are potentially good games on the horizon, and good games already released I can't help but think something is amiss in the industry. Something that could send gaming to an abysmal grave. The heart and soul of what gaming once was is simply no longer there. You have developers shoveling out sh*tware, console creators who are doing practically the same thing, and a universal focus on getting as much money as possible while putting in as little effort as possible. There is a sort of desperation in the air. You can feel it as you play some new game releases, and even in the world outside of gaming. We are faced with uncertain times, and I think industry providers are well aware of this. I feel that's why they are selling you crap. It's why they are begging you for money to support kickstarter projects that may never happen, and why they are still figuring out new ways to charge you extra for pieces of a gaming experience that should be complete at the sixty dollar price point.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Full Mojo Rampage (PS4)

Though this game is published by Nicalis, and developed by 'Over The Top Games' it bares a distinct resemblance to the previous "The Binding of Isaac" games, if slightly so. It's as if they took the base formula of said mini-series, improved upon it, and made it into a new experience with a new theme. That theme being one of voodoo, magic, and the Loa death gods that surround said mythology. As the protagonist you take on the role of a willing voodoo apprentice sent out to do the bidding of your Loa master in quest driven fashion. You will face objectives that are made difficult by the spirits of the undead, and other voodoo related creations as well as the larger than life rival bosses that send out said minions. You'll even encounter side quests with things such as retro inspired goals, and rewarding multiple choice riddles. As usual the gameplay is done up in a semi-top down dungeon exploring way that is very much akin to the earlier 'The Legend of Zelda" adventures on the Nintendo DS. You'll find in place oddly reminiscent fixtures such as rooms that harbor vendors as well as rooms that contain helpful Loa spirits which will also aid you on your level by level objectives. As far as the art style goes the game has a sort of Tim Burton meets Jim Henson vibe about it. Everything from the character design to the level layouts are vividly portrayed in such a style, and are otherworldly in a way that you'd expect to see from something like Tim Burton's "The Corpse Bride".

Monday, June 20, 2016

Grand Kingdom (PS4)

Prior to getting my hands on the full version of NISA's "Grand Kingdom" I was on the fence about it. I really was. At first I saw little promise due to the game's overall indie appearance, and deviation from the NISA norm, but going back into it during it's BETA phase I saw some potential. A glimmer of hope, if you will. I think it was the combat system that intrigued me the most of all during that time. The fact that it was a tactical RPG built around multiple forms of lane offense/defense, and strategy really made it stand out from other games in the genre. While the combat was simple in a lot of ways it harbored a much deeper functionality, and role in the provided gameplay than I imagined it would. Not only do you have objective war oriented quests to play through, but as the title suggests everything about "Grand Kingdom" is grand in scale within the finalized product. I liken it to a complex, and decisive chess game in which there are four warring nations moving their pawns about on a continent sized chess board in order to achieve ultimate victory, and/or global domination. In fact the game itself is heavily war focused with lengthy skirmishes/wars playing out at your direct command or through AI driven troops sent out in your stead. You have plenty of tasks to take on in the form of detailed troop management, campaign initiatives at the capital of your chosen nation, and even field operations with battles that will sway your influence over the shattered continent on which you, and your guild take on mercenary tasks.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force (PS4)

Before you read the following review regarding this PS4 re-release of "Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force" be sure to read my thorough review of the original PS3 version of the game via the following clickable link ... Fairy Fencer F (PS3)

Idea Factory International is a JRPG studio which has often times focused on the more "Moe" appeal of anime fantasies, and anime characters. While some of their older games such as the earlier "Hyperdimension Neptunia" releases stuck to a routine formula involving cute girls doing cute things they have innovated along the way, and have created many other noteworthy experiences that weren't solely based on said formula. "Fairy Fencer F" itself is nothing really new in comparison to the more recent IFI (Idea Factory Intl.) releases though it still remains one of the studio's more unique, and noteworthy adventures when it comes to plot, and character development. For one thing, "Fang", who is the game's slightly unwilling protagonist is a male character placed in a fantasy world where the joint efforts of both male and female characters are the norm. IFI actually strayed quite heavily from the all female, and all "Moe" casting of their previous Neptunia series within "Fairy Fencer F", and in doing so made the main role players more diverse in various ways.

Story-wise, "Fairy Fencer F" is also a game where there is a full fledged adventure without too many heavily comedic side skits. There are definitely some serious moments, and there is definitely a reason for gamers to advance the plot in order to see the three paths that are made available through ending choices come to fruition. As far as plot advancement goes you will be basically following Fang the Fencer, and his Fairy sidekick Eryn as they go about collecting Furies (swords containing fairy servants) in order to awaken a slumbering Goddess, or the Vile God who rest in an eternal stasis not far from each other. Choosing to revive either deity will have it's pros and cons as will going neutral at the end of it all.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Anima: Gate of Memories (PS4)

The fantasy world of "Anima: Gate of Memories", much like our own real world has reached a point where the reigning superpower has faltered, and the seeking of global domination by others via war has brought all worldly existence to it's knees. In Anima (as I'm going to refer to it) the superpower which was the Empire of Abel has been destroyed by the darkness that aimed to consume it, and has left in it's wake an order called the "Order of Nathaniel" which stands as the sole savior of all creation. The story starts off abruptly in the midst of all this lore, and background information with a chase involving an enigmatic character named Lady Red who has stolen a prophetic book known as Babylos for unknown reasons. Her female pupil, who is known only as the "Bearer of Calamity" follows in pursuit with her demon companion "Ergo" at her side in order to get back said book. Upon facing the Lady Red in combat the bearer is warped to a sort of dream realm in which a convergence of entities are being gathered for the destruction of all existence. It is here where she must fight against all odds to ensure a future for humanity, and the order itself.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Let's Talk - "OverWatch & Franchise Killers"

Blizzard's "OverWatch" is one of those games that has potential ... the potential to fail. The game was hyped up by developers, journalists, and gamers alike. Despite the hype being very alive at the moment there are still so many issues plaguing the online only experience that it poses the very valid question, "How long will that hype train last?". During the Beta, on the PC platform, OverWatch suffered from two known cheats. Those cheats being "wall hacks", and "aimbot" assists. Both of which I firmly believe are still present in the game. Wall hacks, for those of you who are unaware lets players see enemies through the walls without the use of the in-game perks that do the same thing. As far as the aimbot assist goes even Blizzard knows what it's about as one of their character creations (Widowmaker) has a voice option joking about the existence of that very thing. Aimbots, as they were are a hack geared towards keeping your crosshairs focused on any incoming enemy. It allows you acquire the target more easily thus making getting the kills all the more easily done. One thing you need to understand about 'OverWatch' is that target acquisition is all over the place without the aimbots. You basically have to dumb down the look sensitivity on both ends at less than half strength just to be able to keep from aiming wildly. That's why aimbots are a huge problem in the game. They allow for perfect play without the earned effort.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

One Piece: Burning Blood (PS4)

Coming from the pages of Eiichiro Oda's serialized manga, "One Piece: Burning Blood" recounts in vivid detail the pivotal moments at the battle of Marineford island, and the triggering event that started the whole war. Nearly every One Piece character imaginable converges in a fight to the death in order to either execute the captured 'Portgas D. Ace', or rescue him from his would be execution. Joining Luffy, and the Straw Hat Pirates on Ace's behalf are Whitebeard, and his nefarious fleet as well as some former foes who have found themselves on the side of Luffy against the marines. On the opposite side of things Akainu, and his established Navy partners go all in to stop all pirates from advancing, and rescuing Ace from execution. The epic battle that ensues is all accounted for in a four part campaign called the "Paramount War" which depicts what transpired through the four main role players' points of view. You get to see the fight as Luffy saw it, as Whitebeard saw it, as the marine captain Akainu saw it, and even as Ace saw it from the trigger point forward. It's a heated battle filled with manga-like visuals fit for modern-era consoles. It's like seeing the manga itself come to life with original Japanese voice-overs, and being able to live out every moment of it in decisive hands-on encounters. Just as Luffy, and the Whitebeard crew fights an insurmountable war so shall you as you battle boss after boss in the midst of fighting game worthy arena combat.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

What the Inferno Offers You

I've often times reached out to PR, gaming studios, and publishers in hopes I could review their games. I've promised significant views of my reviews, thorough reviews, and critiques without a harsh delivery. I have always delivered on all three things. While the blog itself doesn't get as many views as my other review view sources the reviews are definitely getting noticed. How do I know this? Well, for one thing my Google+ page which houses my reviews gets around 2,000 views daily for each new review that is posted on that page. This actually lasts for a good while after the review is posted. Of course those review posts mirror what I post here on the blog, but are simplified in comparison. As far as the thorough nature of said reviews go I've never once left out any significant details. I've usually provided more in-depth reviews than what most sought after mainstream sites care to provide. These reviews I speak of have sometimes been over ten full length paragraphs. I've included detailed mechanics breakdowns, character descriptions, story descriptions, and even audio/graphics assessments among other things. I have dedicated many hours to each, and every review I've typed up. I have delivered on my promises. I've even gone out of my way to let developers know why their games have gained a less than favorable verdict, and what it is they could do to improve upon the game. To be told otherwise by certain PR that I've done several reviews for in the past is slap to the face.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Score Rush Extended (PS4)

Years ago, back when "The Inferno" was a fledgling indie gaming blog I crossed paths with two of XBLIG's most interesting, and unique shmup (shoot 'em ups) creators. Those creators being Matthew Doucette, and Jason A. Doucette of Xona Games. I was privileged enough to be able to review a couple of their retro inspired shmup titles including that of "Score Rush", and was able to try to best their high scores that were set before the game's launch. Being an old time arcade fanatic, and shmup enthusiast I greatly enjoyed the simplicity, and challenge of said games. They stayed true to what made the genre so attractive, and in doing so made those who could gain the highest scores in the leaderboards more noteworthy. In this day, and age that challenge seeking side of the gaming community is lost to the casual crowd though. Long gone are those multitudes of gamers seeking to achieve the highest scores possible within the shmup genre. Regardless of this loss of interest shmups continue to be created, and continue to thrive within the gaming culture.

As a quote included in "Score Rush Extended" so rightfully says shmups are the one genre that has withstood the tests of time. Players only pick them up for short bursts of fun, but return to them often over spans of years just to be able to make themselves known as top score leaders. Shmups, as they were are all about short lived gaming sessions, and long lasting replay value. They are also a genre of games that are somewhat misunderstood by the modern-day gamer. The casual direction the gamers of today have been steered in is basically negating any admiration of games that offer up a proper challenge. It's sad to see, but like the quote also said the genre has done alright for itself, and continues onward in games like, "Score Rush Extended".

Monday, May 30, 2016

Happy Memorial Day!!! (5/30/2016)

In our day to day lives, and even in our daily gaming activities some of us often times do not stop to think of the men, and women stationed abroad, and at home who are constantly fighting to keep this country's freedoms intact. Some of us take what they do for granted without a second's thought like some spoiled child who expects them to continue without question. Some of us don't even account for the fact that our freedoms are made possible by the service men, and women who willingly serve in this nation's army, navy, and air force. The fact is if it weren't for them doing what they do we wouldn't be able to partake of the simplest pleasures in life. We'd be too worried about scraping by, and doing as we are told by people who don't have our best interests in mind. If we fail as a society to acknowledge, and appreciate what those fighting for us do we may one day find ourselves forced to fight in their place while wondering why it is nobody cares about our sacrifices. Today, for the sake of remembrance, and for looking forward do the right thing, and put your own petty internet inspired battles aside to remember the fight that really counts. The fight for our right to live freely. If you know someone who has served our country, or who is currently in service of it let them know you appreciate what they have done, and continue to do. Show some respect. Honor those who have sacrificed it all so that we might see a better tomorrow.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

The Last Blade 2 (PS4) - Faults & Finds

Consider this a companion piece to my core review. It will include info on things I figured out, encountered, and forgot to include ...

The first thing I want to address is the annoyance that is the item unlock message. At first I didn't know why my matches were being rudely interrupted by a pop-up message that brought up the pause/options menu. As it turns out it was letting me know I unlocked one of the gallery's 29 unlockable images, and that it was saving my progress because of that fact. I'm not sure why SNK thought it was a good idea to do things this way, but it's definitely not a good development decision. Thankfully once you unlock all of the gallery items you'll no longer be bothered by the pop-ups, and can play the game without pause.

The Last Blade 2 (PS4)

Coming in three years after the arcade release of "Samurai Showdown III: Blades of Blood" at November of 1998, the series known as "The Last Blade" returned to the gaming scene with a sequel that was very much like it's preceding SamSho (Samurai Showdown) inspired entry point. This Dreamcast follow-up release, and fan favorite known as "The Last Blade 2" continued onward with the tale of ongoing spiritual warfare waged between a group of select characters which were each explained away in the first installation. Some might say the game was a Samurai Showdown derivative like me while others may argue that it was it's own unique experience altogether. Whatever you choose to believe the admiring fans have spoken out, and in a recently held PSN poll they have voted for "The Last Blade 2" to receive the full re-release treatment. A treatment which has since come to pass. While the core game stays pretty much intact in it's newer version there have been noticeable adjustments, newer options made available, and new additions added in to make this gem of a fighting game more than what it was initially. Not only will you find the game you boasted about through the years along with all of it's secrets in HD clarity, but you will also be able to experience it online through the Playstation network with players across the globe. Whether or not it stacks up to your expectations though is up for speculation ...

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Battleborn vs OverWatch

The hype is real folks. The fans have spoken, and most of them seem to favor OverWatch over Battleborn. Whether this hype continues to be validated or not is yet to be seen though. As a gamer, and a guy who has seen the direction competitive multiplayer games take I do have my concerns for both games. Those concerns lying more so with the people playing, and moderating said experiences than with the games themselves. What you have to understand is that online competitive play is nothing like the eSports events that take place in a locally competitive environment. You are actually facing off against random players from across the globe. Some of which do not have your best interest in mind. They usually are not monitored on an eSports level, and often times get away with their cheating regardless of complaints. Cheating aside I feel that both games in question have met with a similar judgment from the gaming community. I've seen, and heard players say that you cannot solo OverWatch, and that the objectives in the modes of play are limited as are the character offerings. On the flip side I've seen Battleborn called out for several things including a poorly implemented reward system, a grindy type of experience that is not in the players favor, and a lack of content. I myself have bitched about it having a mandatory server sign-in. While all of these things are bad in their own right you have to think about which things can be fixed, and which ones cannot.