Saturday, February 27, 2016

Sadame (3DS)

If I were to summarize Rising Star Japan's "Sadame" by using other JRPGs in the genre as comparisons I'd say that it is a mixture of "Samurai Warriors", 'The Legend of Zelda", "Muramasa: The Demon Blade", and "Diablo 3". There are certain elements from each of these gaming experiences that seem to have inspired this action RPG. When it comes to the 'Samurai Warriors' comparison you'll find that the game plays heavily on actual Asian history, but does so in a fictional sort of way. It takes one of four character classes (Samurai, Ninja, Monk & Maiden), turns them into the protagonist, and pits them up against the lords of various dynasties who have been physically corrupted by karma. This act by act battle takes place much like 'Samurai Warriors' would, and has players guiding their character of choice to wave after wave of enemies in order to clear them out, and make it to the end boss for the same purpose.

The 'Legend of Zelda' comparison, on the other hand refers to the fact that the action in 'Sadame' is much like what you'd see in one of the older Nintendo DS games of that said series. You'll be traveling through various Japanese locales set in a feudal Japan in an almost top down fashion, and will be fighting both lesser enemies, and greater bosses as you loot the places for better items. As far as the "Muramasa" part of the game goes I say it's like that because the monsters, and demons within are very reminiscent of such a mythological representation. The creature design is similar to that of "Muramasa: The Demon Blade" in a lot of ways. Lastly, the 'Diablo 3' comparison comes into play simply because the game harbors a character customization setup that slightly mirrors what 'Diablo 3' has going on. The rarity of items is definitely there as is the gem placement, and spell usage. It's a set of features that not only compliments other parts of the game, but also gives it replay value. While those comparisons may sum up 'Sadame' at base level, let me go a little deeper into detail with what this 3DS game offers it's potential buyers ...

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Love Live! School Idol Project - Complete Series 1 SE + 2 PE (NISA)

GENRE: Idols, High School, Drama

DIRECTOR/LOCAL DIRECTOR: Takahiko Kyogoku / Mitsu Hiraoka

STUDIO/PRODUCER: NIS America / Nippon Ichi Software

MSRP: $98.98 (US) (http://store.nisamerica.com/anime/love-live-school-idol-project-complete-series-1se-2pe)

RELEASE DATE: February 14, 2016

LENGTH: Season 1 = 2 Blu-ray, 13 episodes, 308 mins. / Season 2 = 2 Blu-ray, 13 episodes, 307 mins.

LANGUAGE: English Dub w/Songs in Original Japanese (English Subtitles Included)

PREMIUM EDITION EXTRAS: Hardcover Artbook w/Glossy Pages + Artbox & 2 Slim Blu-ray Cases

JAPANESE CAST (CHAR/VO): Honoka Kosaka - Emi Nitta, Eli Ayase - Yoshino Nanjo, Kotori Minami - Aya Uchida, Umi Sonoda - Suzuko Mimori, Rin Hoshizora - Riho Lida, Maki Nishikino - Pile, Nozomi Tojo - Aina Kusuda, Hanayo Koizumi - Yurika Kubo, Nico Yazawa - Sora Tokui

ENGLISH CAST (CHAR/VO): Honoka Kosaka - Marieve Herington, Eli Ayase - Erica Lindbeck, Kotori Minami - Cristina Vee, Umi Sonoda - Kira Buckland, Rin Hoshizora - Faye Mata, Maki Nishikino - Caitlin Glass, Nozomi Tojo - Laura Post, Hanayo Koizumi -Xanthe Huynh, Nico Yazawa - Erica Mendez 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Why I Love the Neptunia Series

After having an open talk with my friend Aaron this morning on Twitter I realized that there needs to be some clarification as to why I recommend, and back the Neptunia series/franchise. The series itself is undoubtedly notorious for including sexual images of younger looking female characters, and I know that does not sit well with some people. It is understandable, and I'm not trying to defend such artistic practices as that sort of moe, and loli inspired creative direction does weigh heavily on morals. I will say in the game's defense though (for those who can look beyond the girl-on-girl perversion) that it holds value in it's storytelling. As I've said many times before the series is tied to, and reflects our own gaming industry happenings. Whether it be the console wars of old, or the copyright issues of today everything is discussed in a between the lines kind of fashion. That's why I fell in love with the series. That and the hyper-stylized anime combat. As far as the perverted side goes it is there, and to a varying degree, but if you can look past it 90% of the story, and gameplay overshadows the few images, and innuendo placed within. You do have to be willing to look beyond something so outstanding in nature though.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Megadimension Neptunia VII - Heart Dimension Neptunia H

Coming around full circle "Heart Dimension Neptunia H" ties in everything from Uzume's initial introduction to the goings on in regards to the failed attempt at securing Uzume's console in the second part of the unfolding tale. At the heart of this current story arch you'll find that the CPU candidates, and the four Gold third members are the main role-players in a quest that has finally pitted them against the real culprit behind the scheme at hand. After the ruling CPU's evolved into their next form during the final battle against Affimax's leader in chapter two they succumb shortly afterwards to the tricks of a doppleganger known as Kurome, and are forced against their will into the Heart Dimension. Kurome, as it turns out is the main villain of this latest Neptunia tale, and she is intent on seeing things through to the end. Until now it wasn't made clear what Kurome's agenda was, but as things come into the light through character interactions it is made known that she is intent on merging both Zero Dimension, and Hyper Dimension so that the Hyper Dimension falls in a similar manner as Uzume's world did. Along with Arfoire and Croire, Kurome continues to lead the CPU candidates on a chase in hopes that she can possess the console that she sought out from the start. The only thing standing between her and that end goal now is the CPU sister candidates, and the Gold Third who had become allies through circumstance.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Capcom You Done Goofed

This Sunday morning I got into SFV hoping that I could get in some decent matches to share with my Youtube audience. To my dismay I ran into a steady stream of modders, and lagswitchers via the good old PSN. This was made worse by the pitiful excuse that is matchmaking. In SFV you have only two options when searching for a match online. One is regarding the platform of choice (PS4 / PC), and the other the connection quality (which makes no real difference with cheaters in the mix). Without the previous region options, and skill level settings in place the player is forced to play against those online players who are abusing the system. Noobs get paired with wannabe pros, and visa versa. This in itself is a huge oversight on Capcom's part. Their whole ideal of pro level competition is so badly warped that they have overlooked these matchmaking details in an attempt to force players to get better, or fail. With the lack of a proper tutorial mode (combos, setups, ...), and an Arcade mode with competent AI/CPU opponents to fight against newcomers do not stand a fighting chance. Not to say that going up against the world's greatest cheaters is going to make them any better though.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Street Fighter V - Impressions (CENSORED VERSION)

The following critique is open for discussion between gamers, and members of the Capcom staff. All I ask in engaging in said conversation is that you keep things clean, and well thought out. Don't throw around expletives, or blame like a wayward child. If you have facts, or opinions based on said facts feel free to share them. Just do so modestly, and earnestly. The truth is what I personally aim to present here, and I hope you all take the time to do the same. Let us begin ...

First off I want to say that I honestly feel as if I just paid sixty dollars for a free-to-play fighter. What I mean by that is that SFV in it's current state is a lot like what Koei Tecmo, and the Killer Instinct developers offer up freely at base level with their core fighting game franchises. The only significant difference between those gaming experiences, and this one is that you get a full roster of currently available fighters. Does a full roster, and only a few modes warrant a sixty dollar price tag? I don't think so. Not only does SFV feel as if it should be a F2P game, it also still looks and feels as if it's in a Beta state. Not all features are functional, and not all listed offerings are readily available. A huge chunk of what should be there is not there. The added fact that online play is worse than last-gen's "Ultra Street Fighter IV" makes the experience even less worth the retail pricing than it already is. The one viable offline mode, as of now is the "Survival" mode. It is the only thing that is even really worth playing at this moment in time, and that's not saying a lot.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Rainbow Moon (PS4)

Yesterday, while doing my usual Twitter interactions I saw eastasiasoft tweet a quoted message that I feel is very relevant to gamers, and the developers who are reaching out to said gamers. Their tweet basically tied in with the fact that Capcom's 'Street Fighter V' will be coming out the same day that their 'Rainbow Moon" port will. That is definitely a big game to go up against, and I think in light of their sporting remark they realized this too. I personally feel that indies are often times looked over due to such release scheduling, and there's no doubt in my mind that SFV will be stealing away a lot of attention from such indie experiences for some time to come. With that being said though 'Rainbow Moon' does hold it's own as a quality tactical RPG, and presents to the gamer a unique take on the genre as well. I'm just hoping that some of you out there will give it a chance before getting lost in other gaming activities, and PSN store offerings this week. If you do you may find as I did that indies such as 'Rainbow Moon' can sometimes be of more value than what 'Triple A' titles are.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Megadimension Neptunia VII - "Hyperdimension Neptunia G" (PS4)

I know it's been a while since I promised the follow-up reviews from this amazing Neptunia trilogy, but I do have some valid excuses. The fact of the matter is it's taking longer than normal, because the game is much larger in scale than I anticipated. It's like reviewing three separate games in one go. There's a lot to do, and a lot I've yet to discover. The fact that Idea Factory continues to release game expanding DLC has me paying attention to even more in-game offerings. Currently, as it stands, I find myself deep into the second portion of the game with enough knowledge to keep you in the know. This portion of the game, as it were is known as "Hyperdimension Neptunia G", and like the first game in the series it follows the Gamindustri gals' encounters during the Gameindustri shift period. It also takes places directly after the events surrounding the discovery of the mysterious console, and Uzume in the previous story. There are of course new features introduced as well as four different branching stories involving specifically paired off Gameindustri CPUs, and their sister CPU Candidates. Each of which is playable in any order from the start.

The Old Man, The Children & The Playground

Once upon a time in a world much like our own there existed a place of financial mediocrity. The people who inhabited the cities, and their dwellings barely scraped by on their meager monetary income. For entertainment they'd seek out the simplest, and most affordable of pleasures. Often times they'd get lost in books filled with tales of fantasy, luxury, and things beyond their reach or understanding. They dreamed of the finer things, better places, and better times. For the most part their ideals, and their focus was very much like a dream, and even with the simplest of pleasures at hand they were able to create an entirely different coexisting world of their own in which their own trouble burdened world did not really matter. Generation after generation this ideology, and simple scraping by on meager financial earnings was passed down, but to a greater degree. New fads, and new ideas were born from the wood works often times offering the newer, and older generations something they had never experienced before. It wasn't until an old entrepreneur happened by though that their world of social entertainment was changed for the better, or perhaps the worst ...

Monday, February 8, 2016

Online Gaming Has Gone To Hell

For the past month I've been waging a mostly silent behind-the-scenes war with those PSN players who would go out of their way to do me wrong, and the moderators at Sony who don't seem to care that they are doing so. This past weekend I hit the boiling point. I reached the end of my rope. I erupted on social media voicing my concerns, and my opinions about the situation. At one point I tweeted directly at Ed Boon in regards to the 'MKX Enhanced Online Beta'. I told him how I was being trolled, and that the way he went about running the Beta program was wrong. I even mentioned how those who are out to ruin the online experience in MKX are currently in control of it, and are more than likely giving false feedback. Did he reply? Did he listen? Nope. Like everything else I've said it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.

On top of that Sony, and the trolls who I face in every f**king online game I play on the PS4 are trolling me as well. I get spam f**ked by Sony with their repeat copy & pasted messages regarding my grief reports (which come back almost immediately showing that they didn't even investigate properly). The real sh*t kicker with that is I cannot turn the messages from Sony off, and they know it. Apparently they think I'm playing some sort of childish game by reporting as many PSN players as I do, so they get back at me with pointless spam. As far as the trolls go I found out that they are indeed targeting me, because my PSN ID has become synonymous with calling out the troublemakers as they are. I ended up making a couple of extra PSN IDs to test the waters, and see if it was me being targeted, or if I was a normal everyday victim. It turns out that I am indeed a target. I'm now getting spit roasted by Sony, and the PS4 trolls.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel (PS4)

I've seen anime fighters come, and go along with their interesting mechanics, their unusual character rosters, and their flashy special effects. I've seen most of them turn into virtual ghost towns that only dedicated Japanese gamers bother playing as well. I've even seen some of them do fairly better than others. The Guilty Gear, and Blazblue series comes to mind in regards to that latter remark. When it comes to XSEED's, and Marvelous' anime crossover, "Nitroplus Blasterz: Heroines Infinite Duel" I think the game lands somewhere in the middle of the mark. It's neither great, nor is it a huge disaster. I think this forty dollar fighter has something catchy, but at the same time feel that the asking price is a bit too steep even though it is on new-gen hardware. What you have to understand is that the developer went all out to make the game flashy, attractive, and functional in a fighting game sense but failed to offer the gamer some essentials that have become a must for fighting game fans. Sure it looks nice from the cover image to the main menus, and even the gameplay, but where it really counts it struggles a bit to captivate a genre veteran such as myself.