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    Sunday
    Sep072014

    NES Flashback 30 Coin Review - "Milon's Secret Castle"

    As a kid I spent a number of Summers with my grandparents allowing my parents a break from my awfulness. Always had a great time at the "Grandparentals" and one of the best parts of it was that my Aunt was a gamer. Once we had our fill of the sun we would spend hours trying to beat games along with my Cousin. She always had the latest and greatest NES games along with some titles that most NESinites at the time never even heard of, enter Milon's Secret Castle.

    Originally released in Japan two years earlier for the Famicom system, Milon's Secret Castle dropped on the NES in 1988. Milon, the hero of this cartridge, lives in a world where people communicate through music. The problem is, Milon lacks this ability. The age old tale of being different forces Milon to search for others like himself. During his travels he comes across a castle being attacked by an evil Warlord. When the Warlord he takes the castle over and kidnaps the princess, Milon volunteers to save the day with his magic bubble. Yes, a magic bubble.

    Let's be honest the game was super weird and was an acquired taste but it was a hell of a lot of fun. It reminded me of a cross between Super Mario Bros and Kid Icarus. You would even shrink if you got hit by an enemy. The game play was very wonky and slow along with music annoyingly hyponotizing music, think circus theme song torture. The bosses themselves hid in various doors consists of bouncing dragons and strange giant birds. Not all that hard to beat, considering you were throwing bubbles at them.

    Nostalgia Factor: 6 Coins

    Fun Factor: 8 Coins

    Game Play: 4 Coins

    Total: 18/30

    Conclusion: Give the game a shot if it is really late at night or your pre-gaming with coronas before a night on the town. Then just play Buck Hunter or Golden Tee instead you ladies man you.

    Thursday
    Aug282014

    Review: Telltale's The Walking Dead Season 2 Finale

    SPOILERS.



    "I'm just so sick of this shit" 

    or something similar is uttered by the character Mike in the episode, which sums up my feelings on all of Season 2. Specifically the penulimate episode where it ended on a climatic and out-of-nowhere standoff with a random death of one of the only characters you could get emotionally attached to. And with the finale, it opens on the exact same moment except our survivors are now spread out and under patches of cover that were not visible in the previous episode. And it is in this gunfight where all of our survivors miracuously survive, because with all Walking Dead media, deaths must be shocking, over the top and unpredictable. Coincidentally, Telltale perfects that with this episode. Every death is unexpected because it's random with little-to-no buildup except the suspensful final ten minutes of the episode.

    To start, the best part of the episode and the only one that made me almost-cry was a flashback to a (unseen) portion of season 1 with Lee. Clementine wakes up from a dream and sees Lee on the RV during a time that Duck was bit and this scene showed how young, adorable and amazing Clementine used to be. This is the character I loved and the character that I tried to raise right in Season 1. A little girl, lost and abandoned in this dark, dark world and the only guiding light was Lee, portrayed by, well, me. That was my main motivation in Season 1 - to see that Clementine survives. No matter what. And as Lee, I fulfilled that promise the best I can. But with Season 2, Clementine's only motivation is what...staying alive? The reason behind why I'm playing as Clementine was always so unclear to me. Not to mention the fact that almost none of the characters take this little girl seriously is frustrating, because in the end your choices almost mean nothing. It's completely boring. If Telltale had balls, Clementine would've died from Arvo's gunshot and the scene with Lee would've been her gateway into heaven. Although, you can't kill a little girl in a video game or Tumblr will go apeshit! Has this game even touched on sensistive tumblr subjects such as rape?

    Sure, there are a multitude of endings but they're all cliffhangers that don't add to the story. Unless Telltale plans on developing dozens upon dozens of different games in one episode to satisfy these endings for Season 3, they will probably have some sort of start that ties into all the different ending in this episode. But the best thing they can do is scrap Clementine's joke of a story and just start with a new group and tie more into the comics. You know what I'd like to see more of? Lily. I'd like to see her rise to power in Woodbury and how she ended up killing The Governor. Stuff like that. It's all loose plotlines left behind from the first season. 

    Hell, what this episode specializes in is hanging plot lines that leave the player guessing or plotlines from earlier in the season that were never resolved. What happened to Christa? How did Kenny dispose of Mike, Bonnie and Arvo? Stuff like that. The Wellington ending only gives you a hint. The thing is, I really thought this season to remake the magic that the first had. Lee was an exceptional character and playing as him felt like an honor and when he died, it felt like I died too. Playing as Clementine didn't feel right, it felt like a cheap tactic. Why is it that Telltale wants to tell me that a little girl is the only who makes it through this apocalypse unscathed, when someone like Luke who always carries a gun on his back cannot?

    Speaking of Luke, I will admit the character development in this episode was really well-done. You learn a lot about almost all of the characters except Arvo, whose sort of like a background character and just there to make a rift between the characters. Kenny goes full apeshit by this point and we learn a bit more about Jane and how she survives in the world. Overall, that was the only satisfactory part of it. The campfire scene with the rum bottle was exceptional. Unfortunately, Luke's tension with Kenny is never fully realized as he falls through an ice river, which I do not believe is the end of him. Luke could potentially be the "Kenny" of SEason 3 and miraculously come back from an almost-certain death.

    In summary, I don't completely despise this episode but I do not believe this season is worth the money. I would completely understand if Telltale stopped giving me review season passes for their games due to this negative review, but I just wanted to be honest. And to add to that, I'm just so sick of The Walking Dead as a franchise. I use to be a completely huge fan of it but it's horrendously saturated and beyond milked at this point. I want Telltale to use more of the comic canon and start fresh with a new group of survivors, although I know that'll never happen.

    Final words: If Game of Thrones and Tales of The Borderlands share the same team as The Wolf Among Us, those will be A+ series.

    Friday
    Aug082014

    The Viper Strikes In New "WWE 2K15" Screenshots

    2KGames and IGN have released the first look at "The Viper" Randy Orton in WWE 2K15, out this October. One of the screenshots feature Randy Orton in his signature pose while the other is a duplicate of the John Cena screenshot released on Cena's twitter. The screenshots are deemed "Work In Progress" by 2K as you can see audience members are horribly looking or just non-existent in some areas. The 2K Sports Roster Reveal will be at a (seemingly) closed-doors SummerSlam panel in two weeks, and the game will be playable at GamesCom as well. One has to wonder when an official gameplay trailer will be released. For now, check out these screenshots!




    Thursday
    Jul172014

    Review: The Wolf Among Us Finale - "Cry Wolf"


    MAJOR SPOILERS!!!


    The Wolf Among Us's finale is one of the best fictional pieces of video gaming I've ever played. Tantalizing, explosive and psychologically melting, the final episode - “Cry Wolf” - is not one to be forgotten, at all. The finale wraps up every ribbon of a storyline perfectly, even ones you didn't realize existed. It's impossible to compare any other Telltale product to this singular 2 hour drama as it's literally a perfectly crafted experience. It also features scenes that Fables fans have been waiting MONTHS for, but for the non-readers these scenes will absolutely shock you, completely. There's too much to praise about this behemoth of an episode. As I said, it's quite possibly the best piece of fiction you'll find in a video game.

     

    The episode really starts to flesh out character with The Crooked Man, as he tries to set up on of his own henchmen as the killer of the strippers. The best thing about The Crooked Man is his gift of cerebral assassination, and despite that being a little cliché in fiction these days, it's still executed perfectly. Telltale's Crooked Man never loses his cool, he's always calm and composed and never changes his stance or opinion on the matter. He calculates every possible outcome and tries to spin it away from him. My problem, however, was that up until the final act of the episode I never felt as if the Crooked Man was that much of a viable threat to Fabletown. Fortunately, this was all rectified during the ending with Bigby and Snow putting The Crooked Man on trial in front of everyone he has affected (that we've seen). This scene in front of all of The Crooked Man's victims (except Woody, interestingly enough) is probably one of my favorites in all the series. It's a perfectly crafted “courtroom” scene, reminisce of Sidney Lumet films. Overall, The Crooked Man turns out to be a sadistic “villain” and one of the best in all of Telltale's video game history, but the real question is whether or not the Fabletown conspiracy was crafted by the monocle-wearing psychopath.

     


    The ending of the episode is a beautiful scene between Nerissa and Bigby outside of his apartment. They talk about how Nerissa lied in the “courtroom” to get The Crooked Man convicted by the jury that Bigby and Snow had setup. The scene is reminisce of the ending of Zack Snyder's Watchmen, where Nite-Owl cries out that the world is peaceful based on a lie, and Veidt replies that it's “peace, nonetheless”. With that, Fabletown is put in a similar situation where Nerissa's plan altogether was seemingly to get rid of The Crooked Man. Unfortunately, the episode ends with a tight cliffhanger that Nerissa may actually be Faith in disguise, or the other way around. Telltale's Wolf Among Us cliffhanger is far better than the one in the first season of The Walking Dead, especially considering that as with The Walking Dead, this ending does not have an answer in the Fables comic books.

    Speaking of the comic books, this episode of The Wolf Among Us is the pinnacle of Fables video gaming. I can't imagine it being any better. On one hand, Telltale has crafted some great original characters in Bill Willingham's world but on the other, you've always wanted to see some important people and moments in the game as well. Thankfully, Telltale finally lets Bigby go “full-wolf” like you've seen in the comics, and he is big and bad. In an amazingly choreographed scene inside an abandoned warehouse, Bigby completely wolfs out against Bloody Mary in an action-packed and suspenseful sequence that rivals even that of a foreign action film. It's completely fun to play and the cinematography is completely on-point. Mary is a psychological bitch of a villain that takes a while to completely destroy but other than that, she is a fantastic henchman for The Crooked Man. Another event from the comics that's teased is the fate of Crane, which is teased when Bigby looks into the mirror and finds out that Bloody Mary is paying him to stay in Paris. Bigby retorts that the problem has to be solved later, and if you've read Fables comics you know exactly how Bigby solves that problem. It's a great nod to the fans of the book.



    On the whole, “Cry Wolf” is the pinnacle of storytelling in regards to products by TellTale Games. I've yet to play something else from them that even comes close to the cerebral probing that The Wolf Among Us contains. In particular, this entire season felt like True Detective on LSD, an extremely dark noir crime masked with characters from children's books. It's a mature and explosive story filled with the governmental issues that the real world faces while also challenging the morals and ethics of those involved. Coupled with the fact that the player is in charge of the narrative, Telltale's gaming experience is bar none. Coupled with the fact that it's often duplicated and attempted by other big budget studios, Telltale's visual flare is also one of the reasons it is ever-so recognizable. Overall, “Cry Wolf” is an absolute, stellar masterpiece in video gaming that is not to be missed.  

    Tuesday
    Jul152014

    Sting Confirmed As WWE 2K15 Pre-Order Exclusive

    In one of the greatest promos of all time for the character that has been an icon in professional wrestling for decades, 2K Sports released this stunning teaser on Monday Night RAW last night to announce "Sting" as a pre-order launch exclusive in WWE 2K15. The pack will contain Surfer Sting and "Crow" Sting as playable characters. Check out the trailer and renders for Sting below.

     


     

     




    Thursday
    Jul102014

    Sigourney Weaver Returns to the NOSTROMO in ALIEN: ISOLATION DLC

     

    One of the most highly anticipated games this fall will be Alien: Isolation set to be the first real "definitive" ALIEN game that the disasterous ALIENS: Colonial Marines attempted to be.
    Along with tense and gripping gameplay and smart rescource managment, the survival horror in-between-quel of ALIEN and ALIENS will feature Ellen Ripley and "most" of the original cast as they return to terror in space for a special pre-order DLC for the game. 

    Sigourney Weaver will reprise her iconic role as Ellen Ripley for the first time in 17 years. She will be joined by Tom Skerritt (Dallas), Veronic Cartwright (Lambert), Harry Dean Stanton (Brett), and Yaphet Kotto (Parker).

    The two DLC missions are described as "What If" scenarios, which IGN describes:

    Everyone who pre-orders the game will get a free upgrade to the ‘Nostromo Edition’, which includes the first of the two DLC missions, entitled “Crew Expendable”. Taking place moments after the death of Brett, it sees players assuming the role of Ripley, Dallas or Parker, as the crew of the Nostromo attempt to flush the alien from the air vents and into the ship's airlock. Depending on which character you choose, you'll have a slightly different perspective on events and will begin with different resources.

    The second pre-order mission – “Last Survivor” – will be available through select retailers depending on territory. Set during the film's dramatic finale, you play as Ripley and must activate the Nostromo's self-destruct sequence and reach the Narcissus shuttle in order to escape.

    Pre-order incentives are usually cheap weapons skins or throw-away bonus maps and levels; but Alien: Isolation seems to be doing it right with a lot of care and thought being put towards it.

    Alien: Isolation will launch on PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Windows PC, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on October 7.  

    Thursday
    Jul102014

    White Samus and Patriotic Mario set for SMASH BROS

     

    E3 saw a lot of big news coming for the upcoming 3DS/Wii U blockbuster Super Smash Brothers set to release this fall, such as Lady Pauletina and "Amiibos" (think Skylanders but Nintendo); and now they're showing off some cool new costumes for the fighters- with an image of Mario, trading in his red overalls for some star-spangled goodness from NES Open Golf Tournament and Samus in a variation of her poer-suit featured in Metroid: Other M 

    Game designer Masahiro Sakurai said on the costume, revealed on Nintendos' Japanese Twitter:

    "The character farther in the back isn't from the Imperial forces, and the character in the front is not the infamous drum-playing puppet in Osaka," he said. "Mario is actually wearing an outfit from Family Computer Golf: U.S Course! NES Open Tournament Golf might be a more familiar title."

    Super Smash Bros releases on October 3 in North America for the Nintendo 3DS, and Winter 2014 for the Wii U system. 

    Tuesday
    Jul012014

    John Cena Saves Video Games; Graces Cover Of "WWE 2K15"

    After winning the WWE Championship at Money In The Bank this weekend, John Cena has become a 15-time world champion. But that's not all, John Cena has teamed up with 2KSports to provide, literally, one of the best covers of a 2KSports video game. Revealed on RAW by Stephanie McMahon is the cover to WWE 2K15 below. Whilst Yukes is still helping out on development, 2K Sports' studio Visual Concepts is finally going to do much of the work, hopefully providing a fully functional game this year. Check out the cover below.

     



    Thursday
    Jun262014

    Legend of Korra Game Announced By Activision

    Activision and Nickelodeon's partnership is once again heating up by releasing The Legend of Korra as a downloadable title this fall for a variety of platforms. The game has yet to receive cover art, which will be voted upon by the fans. Check out this amazing trailer featuring footage from the TV show because, obvioulsy, it will give you an accurate representation of the game!

     


    The Legend of Korra fans will have the unique opportunity to select the cover art for this digital video game by voting on three different concepts drawn by one of the show’s character designers, Christie Tseng. Fans can visit https://www.facebook.com/legendofkorra to cast their vote. Voting will run through June 30 at midnight PST.

     

    “We are thrilled to expand our relationship with Activision Publishing, Inc. to bring the hit animated series from TV screens to gamers everywhere,” said Yaacov Barselah, Vice President of Games & Digital Publishing New Business, Nickelodeon.  “Capturing the true essence and exquisite creative of the series, The Legend of Korra games are sure to captivate fans as they delve into the rich and exciting world ofKorra.”

     

    The Legend of Korra video game follows Korra, a strong-willed young woman who, as the reincarnation of the Avatar, can bend the four primal forces of nature to her will. Scripted by staff writer Tim Hedrick and consulted by series co-creators and executive producers Bryan Konietzko and Michael DiMartino, the game's original adventure takes place between Books Two and Three of the TV program allowing for an authentic Avatar experience.  The game’s cell-shaded visuals recreate the beautiful look and immersive feel of the show, with colorful, vivid detail going into every action, elemental effect and animated story sequence.

     

    The Legend of Korra is a single player, action-packed brawler, in which Korra's mastery of martial arts and the four elements – fire, earth, air, and water – can be used on the fly to bolster her combos and counters against foes. Throughout the game, Korra's polar bear-dog, Naga, will aid her in high-speed traversal segments.  The game also brings to life the series' competitive sport, Pro-Bending, in which teams of three use the elements to fight for territory in an arena. 

    Thursday
    Jun192014

    E3 Theate-Demo of METAL GEAR SOLID V: THE PHANTOM PAIN Is Up; Looks Hot

     

    The gaming community has been hungry for more and more information about Hideo Kojima's latest endevour, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain which tricked people and sparked headlines since it's "debut" at the Spike VGA's in 2012. 
    Cut to years later, fans got their first taste of Metal Gear Solid with Ground Zeroes (which you can read my review of here).

    Well now, after the dust of E3 has finally settled, Kojima and co present the first full gameplay demo of Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain after it was shown behind close doors last week when we, instead, got  the beautifully done story-trailer set to Mike Oldfield's "Nuclear".

    And here is the story-driven trailer from E3: