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 ...