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.