Thursday, June 29, 2017

Cryptark (PS4)

Alien Trap Games' "Cryptark" on the PS4 is an interesting science fiction space shooter with rogue-like elements. At least that's what it's being played off as. I find it to be a somewhat annoying blend of Metroidvania, and shoot 'em up features with a sort of H.R.Giger and actual Metroid based inspiration. Of course rouge-like elements do play a part in all of that though. The game itself features four modes of play, and familiar mechanics that are setup in a way which adheres to a salvaging crew's logic. The four modes include a story driven "Campaign," an action oriented "Rogue Mode", "A Co-op Campaign", and an unlockable mode known as "Cryptark Excavation" ...

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

America's Army: Proving Grounds ~ My Thoughts

What I'm about to share will no doubt stir up some raw emotions, and feelings. I'll probably catch flak for it, and possibly lose some of you, because of it. Regardless of that I'm going to push forward as I feel what I have to say is important. I will leave the comment section open to anyone who wishes to debate me in my beliefs, and will engage in civil conversation if the person/s in question asks me to do so. Let us begin ...

First, and foremost war is not glorious. It is not an event where you are guaranteed to go into the conflict as a nobody, and come out alive on the other end as a recognized hero/heroine with tons of bragging rights. You might get your badges of honor, and be remembered by those whose lives you've impacted, but beyond that you'll suffer the scars of PTSD, possible war injury, and a lack of proper care when back in the states. In saying this I'm not implying that we shouldn't stand up for those we care about, or not fight in a war when our country's future is at stake, but sometimes the motives behind war, and the recruitment of armies isn't as black & white as it seems. Sometimes people need to take a step back, and weigh the possible consequences of signing up for such a cause. It goes without saying that the reasoning behind the engagement should also be questioned. At the end of the day the army, navy, and air force is a country's defense against those who would cause said country, and it's civilian population harm. It should be viewed as such, and used as such. While it may be a necessity to have, and recruit an army that army should never, in a civil regard, be used to conquer other nations, especially when unprovoked or without proper motive. Nor should it be turned against those it's sworn to protect.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Danganronpa Another Story: Ultra Despair Girls (PS4)

For this review I'm going to mainly stick to the pros and cons of the PS4 port while going over in minor detail the direction of the story, and how it relates to the happenings of the first Danganronpa game. No spoilers though, and no mechanics breakdowns outside of what is new. If you want to catch up on the full scope of the game be sure to check out this link to my PS Vita review of the same game (https://thegaminginferno.blogspot.com/2015/08/danganronpa-another-episode-ultra.html) ...

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Chess Ultra (PS4)

Chess, the undisputed game of kings. Among all competitive games there is none other that comes close to being as pure, and strategically challenging as it is. It has often been used as a reference to various real world conflicts including the conquering of nations, and warfare itself. It has even been used in quotes regarding wisdom, and other things of intellectual importance. As a former chess player I, myself have played various forms of the age old game including the traditional kind against real players as well as video game versions against AI controlled grandmasters, and even in the form of battle chess with animated fighting pieces. Over the years many game developers have taken a shot at making the perfect chess video game experience, and for a while "Chessmaster" has been that fine example of chess purity. With Ripstone joining the league of such developers I have to say that they tackled the enigma of chess quite well. Though their version of the game is simple in some respects, and limited in others it helps the player to rise from the lower ranks of understanding to grandmaster status through time spent in the offline, and online portions of "Chess Ultra". All in an easy to understand manner.

Friday, June 16, 2017

GOD WARS Future Past (PS4)



NISA's, and Kadokawa Games' new strategy JRPG, "GOD WARS Future Past" blends the old Disgaea formula with a more straightforward story presentation. That story being one that takes the hero, and heroine of the tale being told on a journey through a land bound by old sacrificial traditions, and against the judgement of Japanese gods. At the beginning, through comic panels and anime sequences, we are clued into the narrative which has a particular shrine maiden named Tsukuyomi sacrificing her own youngest daughter (Sakuya) to the angered gods of Mt.Fuji in hopes that it will calm their imposing wrath, and restore peace to the native villages. Being distraught by losing her young daughter in the act Tsukuyomi breaks down, and eventually turns from her duty assigning Kitsune as the village overseer while eventually vanishing thirteen years after the fact with another of her daughters being held as a potential sacrifice to satiate the anger of the gods should their temper flare up again. This daughter (Kaguya), by fate, meets a concerned villager named Kintaro who promises to free her from her prison so that she can see the world, and the beautiful flowers that reside upon Mt.Fuji. In light of an uprising caused by village famine Kintaro seizes the opportunity alongside his bear-like companion Kuma, and frees Kaguya from her prison fulfilling his promise. It is at this point the two realize they have an uphill battle ahead of them, and that to find out the truth behind the gods' anger they will have to seek Kaguya's missing mother, Tsukuyomi. Along the way Kintaro, and Kaguya's friendship grows as they face off against insurmountable odds to defy the gods, and ultimately free their people from the oppression thereof.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Damascus Gear: Operation Tokyo HD (PS4)

Other than the HD graphics upgrade, and the inclusion of the former PS Vita DLC this PS4 port of, "Damascus Gear: Operation Tokyo" is simply more of the same. It's the same simple gameplay focused arcade-like experience surrounded by minimal lore that could be shrugged off as a borrowed idea. Like so many other JRPGs the characters involved are a part of a special organization fighting desperately for humanity's survival, and like those types of games it has you fighting off non-human entities with advanced weaponry. In this case that weaponry being mechs known as, "Gears". By piloting a Gear you are ultimately tasked, sometimes along with other NPCs (Non-Player Characters), to complete timed objectives which will be graded according to completion standards. This includes killing off the Rage (non-piloted mechs) during delivery, reconnaissance, and threat ending missions. Think of it as Pac-Man fighting off the constantly respawning ghostly trio with dual weapons for the sake of looting Rage parts, and scoring that highest ranking on the missions listing.  While the game itself is definitely unique in those regards, both in build and functionality, it still leans heavily on other gaming ideas. Details which will become obvious if you choose to buy into what Arc System Works is reselling. I suppose, in retrospect it isn't all that bad of an experience though. It's just not as story heavy, or content heavy as a lot of modern-day JRPGs are.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Battleborn (Trial) ~ Impressions

After playing the trial it became clear to me that Gearbox's aim in regards to "Battleborn" was to hook a new audience for lobby population sake, and to revive the game's popularity through a lucrative/beneficial free-to-play system. While the term "Trial" doesn't accurately describe this free-to-play version of Battleborn it does hint at the fact that you will not be getting the complete experience unless you fork over some cash for season pass content. In fact you'll only gain access to a third of what the full game contained should you choose to download the trial. New to the trial version of Battleborn is currency based micro-transactions that come in the guise of two forms of coin credits. One type of credit (blue) being easier to obtain through the game's new quests offerings, and the other (gold) not so easy to obtain. Both credits can be earned in-game, or bought through the PSN store via DLC. Earned, or bought credits can buy and unlock the usual content regardless of how you obtained them. This includes characters, cosmetics, and gear that will boost performance stats in one of the three main multiplayer matchmaking modes.

 Speaking of said modes you will not gain access to the story or the operations modes which are, in my opinion what makes the experience worthwhile due to the objective based co-op content contained within each. Instead you'll gain access solely to the game's competitive multiplayer modes including a Versus mode which houses a rotation of game types and maps as well as an Incursion mode which is a more direct multiplayer mode of play. There's also an AI bot battle in which 5 online gamers will face off against 5 AI bots. All game/mode types are a 5v5 team based battle with different goals governing each. Along with the multiplayer comes the promised unlimited leveling, and loot system that will have you grinding for hours upon end to unlock everything in the game while climbing the ranks of the global leaderboard. If you are looking to train on your own there is also a training mode just for that.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Hobby Highlight Archives (MAY 2017)

HORROR



Horror. It's a word that conjures up feelings of fear on various levels for many people. Whether it be nightmares, violent unmerciful deaths, or even the fear of the unknown mortal man has in his own way adapted to and dealt with the many horrors of life through the ages. While horror, and the fear inducing panic thereof has no definitive origin it has followed humanity like a plague throughout history. Through tales of terror, religion, imagination itself, and real life encounters mankind has always been afraid of something. A primal instinct embedded within us, and for good reason. Some of us develop phobias in our lifetime, or fears of certain things while others embrace it's darkness in the form of entertainment that mimics, and plays down the real threat of being mortal in the presence of so many life ending possibilities.

Friday, June 2, 2017

TEKKEN 7 ~ The Story (Spoilers!!!)

After having played Injustice 2, and seeing how good a fighting game could be in regards to story direction I was taken aback by the sub-par experience that TEKKEN 7 held. TEKKEN 7's story mode is lazy. Pure laziness. It's a mixture of slightly animated art panels complimented by emotionless voice acting, and further told through equally emotionless CG cutscenes. There's even a rehashing of old cinematic sequences from past TEKKEN games thrown in as filler material. Some of which look better than the current CG scenes. The story that's being told is unnecessarily drawn out with fights that feel less than heightened as well. It's as if they were thrown in as filler material themselves. One fight in particular, the climactic battle between Akuma and Heihachi, has Akuma playing like a weakling while Heihachi manages to completely avoid direct hits, and sponge up a majority of the damage thrown at him. One would expect Akuma to dominate his arse, especially in context with his forced role in the story, but Akuma takes a distant second seat to Heihachi in regards to battle prowess early on. Particularly in the player controlled portion of the fight.